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Castleview Primary School : Ofsted Report

01-Nov-06
Reporting Inspector: 
Steven Hill
Description of the school: 

This is a large primary school with a nursery. About 60% of pupils are of Indian heritage, with substantial minorities from White British and Pakistani backgrounds, and small numbers from a range of other ethnic groups. Relatively few pupils (10%) are identified with learning difficulties or disabilities. Over half the pupils have a first language other than English, most commonly Urdu or Punjabi. Just 16 pupils are identified as being at the early stages of learning English. Pupils' social circumstances, while varied, are somewhat better than average overall. Children's attainment when they start school is average or slightly above in most areas, although weaker in speaking and listening skills.

Overall effectiveness and Average across all judgements

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Leadership, management and capacity for school improvement

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Overall achievement & academic performance

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Care, Guidance and Personal development

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Ofsted assessment

Castleview is an outstanding school. It is a thriving and harmonious multi-racial community, where pupils' achievement is excellent regardless of their background. Standards are consistently very high. By the time they get to Year 6, two thirds of pupils achieve above the expected levels in English, mathematics and science, a higher proportion than found in the great majority of schools. The school has identified that speaking skills, while above average, are not as high as in other aspects of English, and is rightly concentrating on improving these further.

Children get off to a flying start in the Foundation Stage, which is described by one parent as a '...home from home'. Excellent provision ensures that the vast majority meet the expected standards by the time they reach Year 1.

The high academic standards are matched by pupils' personal development, which is outstanding. Behaviour is exemplary and pupils have extremely positive attitudes to school. They thoroughly enjoy their lessons and take a great pride in their achievements. They form excellent relationships with each other and with staff, and boys and girls from all ethnic groups play and work together happily. Pupils have a good understanding of healthy lifestyles and keeping themselves safe. Their social, moral, cultural and spiritual development is outstanding.

Teaching and learning that are consistently at least good, and often outstanding, are major factors in the school's success. Excellent classroom management is based on positive relationships and very high expectations of work and behaviour. Pupils make rapid progress because they find lessons fun and challenging, but are confident that help and support are always available if they are 'stuck'. The school has excellent procedures to track how well pupils are doing, and uses the information very well to match work to pupils' individual needs. Plans are in hand to use a new computer-based system to improve assessments even further. Good use is made of the very skilled learning support assistants to give help to pupils. This is particularly effective in ensuring the excellent progress of pupils with learning difficulties and disabilities. The pastoral care for pupils is very good. One parent summed this up by writing that the school '... is like a second home to my children'.

The school has an outstanding curriculum. The excellent provision for English, mathematics and science, which leads to very high results in national assessments, is paralleled by exciting and innovative provision in other subjects. Planning that links work in different subjects helps make learning meaningful and interesting. The creative aspects of the curriculum are covered particularly well, so that pupils say they really enjoy subjects such as music and art. A current project, 'Power Drawing', to raise pupils' understanding across the curriculum through enhancing their visual skills, is enthusing pupils, who say it is helping them to learn.

The school's outstanding provision is the result of outstanding leadership and management. The headteacher and senior leaders provide excellent educational direction to the school. A well-informed governing body and hard work from all staff support them very well. The school is relentless in seeking improvements, consistently making innovations to drive up standards further. It uses its excellent self-evaluation to seize on even the smallest perceived weaknesses, and to implement action to tackle them. Improvement since the last inspection has been very good, and the school is very well placed to go on from strength to strength.

What can be improved

While there are no major issues for improvement, the inspector agrees with the staff that the school should build on its strengths by implementing the innovations outlined in its development plan. In particular, it should focus on raising speaking skills, developing the Power Drawing project, and refining assessment procedures.

Progress of Special Needs learners, and equality of opportunity

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Behaviour & attendance of learners

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Curriculum and Teaching

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