Oakwood Infant School
Self-Evaluation and Strategic Priorities 2021 - 24
Each year our leadership team and Governing Body evaluate the strengths of our schools and identify opportunities for improvement against the following areas:
- The quality of education
- Behaviour and attitudes to learning
- Personal development
- Leadership and management
- Early Years provision
We carry out this evaluation using our assessment data, looking at children’s work, observing teaching and learning and talking to pupils, staff and parents. We also engage with external advisors from Hampshire County Council to support us in this evaluation process. Through this we are able to build an accurate and robust picture of how well our schools are achieving our strategic aims and ensure all of our children receive the best education possible.
Quality of Education
Children at Oakwood Infant School enjoy learning. The school uses a Global Inquiry Curriculum to scaffold and support subject specific learning. Pupils work as expert teams to solve problems, acquire new knowledge and apply learning in a rich and engaging way.
Curriculum subjects are planned across the Key Stages to allow a breadth and depth of learning. There is a clear hierarchy to learning and teachers know how to support pupils who find learning difficult and provide stretch and challenge for higher attaining pupils. Quality first teaching is prioritised for all pupils by teachers and subject leaders understanding the core curriculum content and the progression in learning towards end points. There is a strong focus on improving the security of mental models to allow transfer of knowledge to long term memory so that children know more, remember more and can do more over time. This is supported through precise interventions when needed that are planned by teachers and delivered by expert teaching and learning support assistants.
Early reading is prioritised through the school with evidence of high quality phonics teaching though a DfE approved systematic and synthetic teaching programme. Pupils are assessed regularly for knowledge retention with immediate intervention for pupils at risk of falling behind in phonics acquisition.
Our teachers understand summative and formative assessment and use this to plan and teach core subjects with evidence of flexible and responsive teaching within lessons and over time. Feedback is used to encourage learners to reflect on their own and other pupil’s work.
At Oakwood, teachers are research-driven and continually strive to improve their own and other’s practice. This includes teachers working within the Maths Mastery programme to build expertise in teaching mathematics and ensure all pupils know more and remember more over time. Across Green Oaks there is a culture of high expectations for all pupils, and teachers expect to be held to account for the quality of education and outcomes for pupils in their class. This high quality of education is embedded within the culture of the school and has been sustained over time. This has ensured that outcomes for pupils in EYFS are excellent with evidence of rapid and sustained progress each year. Pre-Covid outcomes for pupils in KS1 were consistently above National with evidence of sustained and accelerated progress from Early Years. Teachers and leaders have high expectations for children to catch up quickly and keep up with their peers so that they are ready for the next stage of their education.
Areas for Development
Priority 1: Improve outcomes for pupils who are vulnerable to underachievement
Teachers will have an expert understanding of external and internal barriers to achievement for disadvantaged pupils. They will understand how to diagnose misconceptions or missed concepts and employ their knowledge of curriculum progression and how children learn, to plan for intervention. This will raise standards and ensure planning and teaching is expertly matched to the learning needs of pupils in the short and longer term.
Priority 2: Every child a reader and writer; every child a mathematician
Oakwood will prioritise quality teaching to strive for the vast majority of pupils to achieve the expected standard in English and Mathematics by the end of Key Stage 2. By the end of Key Stage 1 we will expect all pupils to demonstrate high levels of oracy and language development with all non-SEND pupils achieving the expected standard in phonics. Pupils will have acquired the necessary knowledge in English and Mathematics to ensure that they are set up for success in the next key stage of learning. Pupils with SEND will make good or better progress from starting points with evidence that they are building secure knowledge over time.
Priority 3: Build expert subject knowledge in non-core subjects to ensure sequential breadth and depth of learning
This will ensure all teachers have a secure understanding of the progression of knowledge skills and understanding in Foundation subjects. Teaching is true to subject discipline and pupils understand how to research, learn and present as subject specialists. Teachers will develop an expert subject knowledge and understand how to effectively differentiate for depth and breadth of learning in non-core subjects.
Priority 4: Embed a Global Inquiry Curriculum that is integrated, progressive and builds cultural capital and citizenship
This will allow the children to understand the local, national and global community that they live in and be part of real life projects that are relevant to their own and other’s lives. Pupils will have ownership of project proposal, implementation and outcome and the curriculum will builds cultural capital and citizenship
Behaviour and Attitudes
At Oakwood there is a positive and respectful school culture in which staff know and care about pupils The school has a diverse community and is highly effective at promoting positive behaviour for all pupils. This is achieved through a robust behaviour policy that is linked to latest research and recommended best practice. Pupils know and understand the values and three core rules that are part of the Green Oaks Way and this is entwined throughout the school.
Staff at Oakwood are highly trained and demonstrate an expert understanding of the communicative function of behaviour. The school uses emotion coaching and restorative practice to support behaviours at school and a system of stepped consequences and rewards to reinforce high expectations and the school social norms. Pupils with complex additional needs are well supported by adults and the school is proactive in engaging in outside agency support. The Green Oaks Federation has an excellent reputation within the professional community for the knowledge and work done to support pupils with complex and challenging needs through personalised planning and provision.
Any evidence or suggestion of bullying, harassment or discrimination is responded to swiftly and the school uses assemblies, school councils and the curriculum to promote equality, acceptance and positive relationships within our community.
Attendance at Oakwood is carefully monitored and staff are proactive at engaging with parents and outside agencies to offer support when needed. The school is not afraid to challenge poor attendance or lateness and will proceed to legal intervention when required.
Areas for Development
Priority 1: Develop and implement a Green Oaks Values curriculum that directly influences behaviour and attitudes
This will allow a progression in expectation for the school values and rules so that expectations are consistently high and align to the age and stage of pupils. Pupils will be trained to mentor and coach each other to keep the Green Oaks rules and maintain high expectations for all.
Priority 2: Pupils consistently uphold the Green Oaks Values and Rules and are respected members of the wider community
Green Oaks RESPECT awards will be established that encourage pupils to consistently demonstrate the Green Oaks rules and values in the wider community. A community forum will be established that allows swift and early intervention for pupils at risk of anti-social behaviour
Priority 3: Improve pupils understanding of health and relationships
The Relationship, Health and Sex curriculum will be fully embedded, with all pupil groups engaging in the full curriculum offer. Pupils will have an excellent understanding of how to keep themselves physically and mentally well and this has a positive impact on behaviour, attitudes and attendance.
The Personal Development of pupils is a strength of Green Oaks and at both schools pupils treat each other with respect and understanding.
At Green Oaks we teach an implicit understanding of the British Values through our own values of RESPECT and our core rules. Our values entwine through the school Global Inquiry curriculum and this allow pupils to learn about identity, diversity, equality and universal rights as a global as well as a British citizen. Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is central to the school curriculum, ethos and values and is evident throughout Green Oaks.
Pupil voice is valued and respected and the school has an active school council that allows debate, discussion and shared agreement between pupils. This builds the collaborative culture of the school and strengthens our school into a community that values each other.
Our pupils actively contribute to the local community through assemblies, festivals, and ‘singing and giving’ in the community. Our school choir regularly performs at our elderly residents’ community centre and local events. Our Evergreen Café further strengthens our links with our community and our pupils enjoy talking to our elderly guests, playing games and singing alongside them.
The school champions physical and mental health and well-being for pupils, staff and parents and a high emphasis is placed on promoting and developing healthy and supportive relationships.
We have strong links with our pre-schools and our federated junior school, Greenfields. This allows transition between school phases to be carefully planned and enables our pupils to have the confidence and resilience that they need to be successful in the next stage of their education.
Oakwood is part of a diverse community that includes pupils with Special Educational Needs, our local Gypsy Roma Traveller community and families from other ethnic minority groups. The school understands, respects and celebrates diversity and is proactive in supporting families who may feel marginalised or disadvantaged
Extracurricular activities are promoted and give opportunity to engage in sport and interest led activities. Whilst pupils own achievements outside of school are also celebrated and encouraged throughout the school community.
Areas for Development
Priority 1: Establish RESPECT portfolios and awards to promote responsible, respectful and active citizenship
Allowing pupils the opportunity to showcase their contribution to our values through a portfolio of evidence will enhance understanding and engagement. Awarding pupils for their achievement will lead to high expectation for all and raise commitment to demonstrating our values at a school, local and global level
Priority 2: Enhance the extra-curricular to offer to opportunities to nurture, develop and stretch talents and interests
This will allow all pupils to have talents nurtured and grown in different fields on interest including science, technology, the sports and the arts.
Priority 3: Embed the Relationships, Health and Sex Education policy into consistent and established practice that meets the needs of all pupils
Pupils will have a good understanding of mental and physical health and well-being and are able to access strategies to support self and others. All pupils and parents will actively engage in RHSE curriculum with evidence of policy into practice.
Leadership and Management
Leadership and management is a core strength of the school and there is a clear vision and strategy to sustain and enhance the excellence that is embedded throughout the school. The Executive Headteacher has been part of the school for many years and has an in-depth understanding of the school and the local community it serves. The Federation with Greenfields Junior School has enabled the Executive Headteacher and Governing Body to define a long term vision and strategy across the schools and this has strengthened the capacity to secure the best possible outcomes for pupils in the short and long term.
The Executive Leadership team shares the same drive and ambition for the school and this has been strengthened by the Executive Deputy Headteacher and Leader of Education roles.
The school has a distributed leadership structure and there is a high emphasis on creating coherence and consistency across the year groups so that pupils benefit from excellent teaching and consistent expectations.
The leadership team are robust in their evaluation of the quality of education and are rigorous in their ability to hold others to account, challenge under-performance and implement improvement priorities. This is reflected in the sustained high outcomes across the school.
The school has a strong safeguarding culture, and systems and procedures to safeguard pupils are rigorous and robust. Designated Safeguarding leads are tenacious in their pursuit of keeping children safe and are not afraid to question and challenge when needed. There is a tiered support system for families, and pupils and families in need are exceptionally well supported by staff. Inclusion is a high priority of the school with consistent evidence of the schools going ‘above and beyond’ to support hard to reach pupils and families.
Governors have an expert understanding of the Federation and fulfil their three core functions with diligence and integrity. Governance is recognised as a strength of the school and there is a strong and supportive professional relationship between Governors, leaders and staff. This allows Governors to challenge leaders and hold staff to account.
Areas for Development
Priority 1: Enhance the Executive, Senior and Subject Leadership structure of the school to achieve the strategic priorities of the Federation
A distributed and delegated leadership structure will ensure the effective implementation of the strategic plan and improvement priorities of the Federation. Improving non-core subject leadership will ensure that the quality of education in all subjects is of consistent high quality leading to pupils consistently knowing more and working at depth.
Priority 2: Enhance the professional development of staff to ensure this provides breadth, depth and challenge across the teacher standards and aligned to career stage and knowledge.
A professional development programme matched to the career and professional knowledge stage of the teacher will allow stretch, challenge and high aspirations within the teaching profession. Teachers will be motivated to improve self and others through direct instruction, seminar, coaching and mentoring and self-directed research.
Priority 3: Build staff resilience through effective personal and school management of well-being
This will maintain ‘professional positivity’ and build a proactive culture for promoting positive mental health and wellbeing across the Federation
Early Years provision is a strength of the Federation. Pupils’ personal, social and emotional development is a priority and pupils thrive within a stimulating and supportive environment. Expectations for achievement are high for all pupils with evidence of pupils making excellent progress from their relative starting points. The curriculum is carefully planned to meet the needs and interests of the pupils and is responsive to the needs of each cohort. The content of the EYFS curriculum is taught in a logical progression, systematically and in a way that is explained effectively, so that it gives children the necessary foundations for Key Stage 1. The Early Years leader responds swiftly to identified areas for development, and strategic intervention rapidly leads to change and positive impact
Areas for Development
Priority 1: Implementation of the revised Early Years Framework and baseline assessment
Continual enhancement of staff knowledge of the revised framework will allow all Early Years practitioners to have an excellent understanding of Early Years framework and assessment. This will allow:
- Professional collaboration between pre-schools and Oakwood
- Expert transition between pre-schools and Year R and Year R to Year 1
- Enhanced school readiness of pupils entering Year R
- Enhanced readiness for Key Stage 1
Priority 2: Ensure all teaching staff have a secure understanding of Child Development
Teaching staff will understand the influence of child development on curriculum design, progression and implementation. They will be expert in utilising their knowledge to accurately plan, teach and assess within a carefully designed environment for learning.
Priority 3: Continue to build language and oracy skills in the Early Years
An expert ‘language curriculum’ will ensure pupils acquire the tiered language that they need to thrive in education. Staff will be able to accurately assess language acquisition and development to allow rapid and early intervention when needed. Pupils will continue to thrive in a language rich environment that builds articulation and comprehension