5.1: The quality and effectiveness of leaders and mangers is excellent due to improved provision and outcomes across the whole school. Robust monitoring, evaluation and review systems directly impact on standards, teaching, learning and care for all.
The Senior Leadership Team (SLT) has a clear vision and sense of direction for the school based on raising standards and creating an inclusive learning environment. This vision is shared effectively with staff, governors, pupils and parents. Our Vision statement was created in full consultation with the whole community through letters, questionnaires and online discussion tools. The SLT work collaboratively and successfully to engage all staff in helping to move the school forward.
The School Improvement Plan (SIP) contains manageable and focused targets that prioritise improvement in standards for all groups of learners. The plan identifies suitable actions that have clear and measureable targets. For example, leaders use a wide range of first-hand information to identify how many pupils should attain the expected and higher-than-expected outcomes and levels in writing. This enables all stakeholders to monitor and challenge progress towards achieving this target effectively. This enables the whole school community, including governors and teachers, to gain a better understanding of what the school needs to do to improve.
The school’s Performance Management processes links well to its priorities. Personal targets are directly related to wider school SIP targets from the Headteacher to pupils, which we describe as the ‘Golden Thread’, being a collective focus for whole school improvement. For example, all teachers have a target to improve pupils’ writing, implementing a consistent and progressive approach. As a result, standards in pupils’ writing are improving across the school. Senior Leaders and staff meetings focus well on school priorities. All staff have clear roles and responsibilities set out in job descriptions and their impact on whole school development is evidenced against their performance management and leadership roles.
Middle leaders play an active role in monitoring their AoLE responsibilities. Through a robust cycle of monitoring and action planning, AoLE leaders are fully involved in whole school planning and improvement. Senior leaders are consistently conveying high expectations which impact on all staff, further developing and challenging – through a supportive ethos. The roles and responsibilities of all staff are supported by a prioritised CPD programme linked to whole school targets, which aims to improve effectiveness within their role.
The SLT have created a Leadership Booklet which is a progressive model that enables leaders to gauge their performance and effectiveness against a rubric of impact measures. This is used to raise and sustain standards in their areas of responsibility and wider. The rubric provides a route to leadership success in areas such as, vision and clarity of expectations, values and behaviours, evaluation skills, securing improvement, managing resources, securing accountability, developing self and others partnership working. This is having an impact both on improving leadership capacity and raising standards of provision.
The school takes suitable account of local and national priorities, for example, we have embedded the use of Hwb across the whole school which permeates everything that we do from teaching & learning to administration. We have made significant improvement towards embedding DCF skills across the curriculum and are working collaboratively with pioneer schools, and a regional Leader of Learning (STEM Cluster Project), to develop and refine staff/pupils’ skills.
The Governing Body has a very positive impact on the work of the school and receives regular detailed reports from the Headteacher. This enables it to contribute effectively to self-evaluation. Governors have a good understanding of performance data and are developing a culture of support and challenge in order to improve standards. Governors are engaged in training to develop their understanding of their roles and responsibilities. During such training they are made aware of statutory obligations and the need to take account of legislation and guidance. This training endeavours to improve their effectiveness on supporting and challenging the school. The Governing Body members have attended a wide range of training sessions related to performance, including data analysis, lesson observation and work scrutiny sessions. These activities enable the Governing Body to carry out their role as critical friend. The Governing Body receive presentations led by staff and middle leaders to ensure governors are well informed on SIP progress and other areas of development. All AoLE leaders submit termly evaluations of progress and developments to the whole school community on our website, and specifically to the Governing Body through the Headteachers Report. The Governing Body also receive presentations from the AoLE Leaders and Pupil Voice Groups termly, to report on their developments and the impact on school improvement.
Our Monitoring Committee attend SLT Workbook Scrutiny sessions and complete feedback forms as part of the team. They work collaboratively with SLT in order to construct, monitor, review and evaluate the LPS SIP. They disseminate information and feedback to whole Governing Body. Governors undertake their own self-evaluation report, in order to demonstrate areas of success and issues for further improvement. As a result, all Governors have an improved understanding of the school’s successes and what is required to further improve performance in key areas. Evidence of the challenge provided by the Governing Body can be found in the minutes of their meetings.
Governors have undertaken a complete review of skills, experiences and training in order to place individuals in best possible positions within the Governing Body. Actions are recorded in order for the SLT and Site Manager to make improvements by next review, so that there is transparency with regard to ensuring that the site is safe and meets legal obligations.
5.2: The self-evaluation process at LPS is excellent, this is due to the effective MER systems that run through the academic year and the resulting impact on improved standards and wellbeing.
The school has excellent systems for self-evaluation, with ownership shared by all stakeholders. The success of these systems has been recognised by the region. The school has been asked to compile a detailed report regarding our systems and strategies in order to share with all schools across the region via ‘Dolan’. The following strategies are effective in bringing about strong improvements and are having a significant impact on standards across the school:
Half Termly SLT Workbook Scrutiny – followed by feedback to all staff.
Half Termly Incerts tracking system analysis and planning reviews.
Internal tracking systems and target setting system for induvial and groups of learners.
Termly Pupil Progress Meetings between Headteacher and Class teacher.
Whole staff standardisation of all levels and core subjects every half term.
External verification of standards within cluster.
Self & Peer Workbook Scrutiny sessions.
Listening to Learners activities
Termly Lesson Observation using Performance Management Matrix to track performance over time.
Performance Management structure and support systems.
Data analysis of testing and teacher assessments.
Subject Leader Monitoring forms and action planning.
Stakeholder questionnaire analysis
Governor Monitoring Committee meetings and reports
Use of external agency partnerships for verification and support (ERW & Private Consultancy)
The priorities and objectives of the SIP take into account staff, pupils’, parents’ and governors’ views and suggestions. Many targets are developed using the ‘Golden Thread’ approach where the SIP target is evident in all performance targets from the Headteacher to pupils. Senior Leadership Team, Subject Leaders and Governors are all aware of data generated by standards of achievement and attainment throughout the school. Through the analysis of all data sets, all stakeholders are informed of successful outcomes and the areas identified for further development.
The school ensures that a variety of opportunities are given to enable staff to monitor and evaluate their areas of responsibility on a regular basis and feedback to all concerned. This Self Evaluation Report is based on a wide range of first hand evidence including data analysis, lesson observations, subject monitoring, listening to learners and scrutiny of books – undertaken by all stakeholders. For example, all subject leaders undertake termly reviews of their areas of responsibilities through lesson observations, listening to learners, workbook scrutiny or learning walks. Most undertake questionnaires to glean clarity of how their developmental objectives have impacted standards or wellbeing. Leaders feed this back at a school, phase and individual level to provide all stakeholders with the relevant information required to enable them to make further gains.
As a result, all staff and governors have a sound understanding of the self-evaluation report and the SIP. Self-evaluation outcomes directly feed into the SIP, which clearly outlines staff responsibilities, funding, resource requirements and timescales, and has clear success criteria against which to measure progress. The school has made very good progress in addressing all recommendations from the school’s last inspection. This is evident by the fact that SLT were asked to present progress, systems and success to all Headteacher’s across the Local Authority. Because of this presentation, many schools have begun working with the SLT, to refine their systems and share our journey.
5.3 Professional learning is very good at LPS. There is a culture of lifelong learning that permeates all staffing levels. Nearly all staff want to be the best they can be to provide excellent educational experience for all.
All staff undertake in-house experiences to refine and improve their practice that can be seen from 5.2. Nearly all staff experience a full menu of CPD throughout an academic year that relates to personal targets and whole school initiatives. For example, we have two members of staff completed and successfully achieved their NPQH; two members of staff undertaking Thrive training; three members of staff working with ERW Lead Schools on MAT developments; a member of staff working with an ERW Leader of Learning regarding Concept Based Learning and DCF and numerous TA’s working with ‘Essential Skills’ providers to improve their practice and chances of progressing in their careers’. Additionally, LPS staff work effectively with specialist support agencies, for example there is a successful partnership between the school and the ‘Athrawon Bro’. This has a positive effect on pupils’ enjoyment of learning Welsh and they are becoming more confident in their use of the language. The school has recently created an online form that captures all staff CPD experiences and how they will ensure impact across the school.
The use of our Teaching & Learning Booklet and Spreadsheet demonstrates that all teaching is consistently good or better throughout the school. Lessons demonstrate pace, effective use of questioning and a range of stimulating activities. The supportive relationships between staff and pupils are a strong feature and builds pupils’ confidence, helping to ensure pupil engagement in learning. Through Performance Management, it is evident that teachers use a wide range of teaching strategies, data and resources (both physical and human), effectively to improve standards and wellbeing.
Lesson Observations are undertaken with agreed judgements between performance management leaders and their teaching staff teams. These impacts positively on provision as teachers have a clear focus for improvement with strengths being identified. The Performance Management Spreadsheet provides a baseline for SLT and individual teaching staff. This baseline demonstrates improvements in standards of teaching with characteristics of teaching featuring from good to excellent. The Performance Management Spreadsheet collates and presents information gleaned from SLT Workbook Scrutiny; Lesson Observations; Teacher Self & Peer Work Scrutiny; Planning and Assessment analysis; Internal Standardisation & Moderation and Subject Leader monitoring feedback.
SLT celebrates and shares success effectively, by offering staff to showcase their practices across the school and wider. When excellent practice has been identified in any given area, this is shared with all staff, with opportunities for team teaching and shared planning. Additionally, these practices have been shared across the cluster or wider. For example, excellent practices have been shared with a local Comprehensive school regarding literacy across the curriculum. The head of department came to observe a Year 2 and 5 class to gain an understanding of how effective literacy practices can enhance other areas of the curriculum. The observed practices were fed back to her team and across the departments to embed similar practices.
The SLT is a strong partnership, which drives the school forward, focusing on specific targets generated through the school’s self-evaluation. The ERW Assessment and Standardisation Leader has requested information regarding MER systems and procedures. Additionally, external agencies have requested our internal standardisation, moderation and pupil profile procedures to present to the consortia key teachers, which demonstrates very good practice. Furthermore, the SLT have prepared and presented to Headteacher’s and SLT’s from schools across Swansea to help refine their self-evaluation procedures. This has generated strong links enabling reciprocal improvement.
Staff are well informed of local and national priorities through school-based training sessions and with other providers. The school has developed good working partnerships with outside agencies and cluster of schools to improve consistency in teaching, learning, provision, assessment and wellbeing. For example, Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) have been established within school and with external groups, to share good practise and develop ways to further promote pupils’ opportunities. The school (and cluster) has developed standardisation portfolios for the core areas including both Foundation Phase Outcomes and National Curriculum Level examples. Working parties within school are very productive and result in clear foci for improving standards. Networking sessions have been established to discuss the implementation of the new Curriculum for Wales 2022.
The school actively seeks individuals wishing to initiate a career in education. We encourage volunteer working for us to provide free training from our partnerships with various training centres. LPS also ensures that all staff receive free training for many individuals wishing to progress in their career. The school also works effectively with a local university and training providers to provide placements for students. The school works with a range of multi-disciplinary agencies and voluntary organisations. These serve to broaden the curriculum and further develop children’s skills and effectively support the PSE curriculum. Through good relationships with the local university, and the mentoring of students, the school uses these opportunities to reflect on its own practice and question the effectiveness of established processes. Changes that come about because of this self-reflection through supporting student teachers, initiates dialogue on school improvement issues.
The school works effectively with the Comprehensive School to ensure continuity in learning and wellbeing. Excellent systems are in place, which ensures secure continuity and progression of individual learning needs and well-being are transferred successfully to secondary school. Regular meetings are held with the Comprehensive School and cluster primary schools to standardise and moderate the work of pupils in the core subjects. Portfolios of standardised work have impacted on the expectation of teaching staff and served to further challenge standards of teaching and learning. Headteacher meetings at cluster level are very productive in initiating and communicating cluster-based initiatives, for example; all schools within our cluster have worked collegiately to improve standards of writing. The Literacy PLC have analysed practice and provided information and training on how further progress can improve standards. Training packs, resources and AfL tools have been generated and disseminated to all year groups in offer to raise standards. The school is also involved in a professional learning community within the cluster to improve numeracy, with a specific focus on Reasoning. These PLC’s have proven to be extremely successful as standards in both Literacy and Numeracy have improved noticeably across the cluster.
5.4: The use of resources at LPS is excellent, due to its continued success regarding improving standards and wellbeing, despite very limited financial capacity.
The school has a range of experienced staff to deliver the curriculum effectively. Staff and teaching assistants are deployed efficiently and they contribute positively to pupils’ learning and wellbeing. Staff expertise and experience is used appropriately to further raise standards, support colleagues, and drive school improvement. The school has effective systems for performance management processes for all staff. Teachers’ performance management targets link clearly to the needs of the school. All teachers receive appropriate time for planning, preparation and assessment and senior managers receive additional non-contact time for leadership duties. Professional Learning Communities have been established within school and with external groups, to share good practise and develop ways to promote improved teaching and learning opportunities. All staff at LPS are engaged in professional development. This has resulted in staff increasing their skills and becoming more innovative. This has had a positive impact on standards of teaching and learning.
The school has a variety of learning resources: human, and physical. The school is continually auditing and relocating all physical resources to ensure that they are appropriately targeted and provide stimulus and support for effective teaching and learning. The school have measures in place to ensure resources are allocated appropriately for specific and agreed areas of development based on evidence from school self-evaluation procedures. This involves strategic action planning with resources allocated and AoLE leader monitoring and action planning. There is a range of good quality resources to support pupils’ learning, such as computer tablets used across the curriculum. Pupils use these, for example, in physical education lessons to assess and improve their performance. The school has an extensive range of reading books and uses these to promote pupils’ enjoyment of reading effectively and raise standards in reading. The learning environment promotes skills based learning, stimulate, challenge, celebrate the achievements of children and reflect the ethos of the school.
The PSO ensures that budgeting arrangements are accurate, working closely with the Headteacher and the Finance sub-committee to monitor all aspects of finance. The SLT and the Governing Body manage the budget carefully and in line with the priorities in the SIP. Stakeholders have a clearer understanding of the priorities and needs of the school to further improve. Teaching Assistants are deployed appropriately, supporting individual and groups of children. They are organised effectively to make the best use of their time and expertise. Provision is effective in the resourcing of staff to have a direct impact on standards attained by children with Additional Learning Needs, emotional difficulties, more able and talented and on underachievement. The SIP clearly identifies the cost of implementing strategies for improvement and prioritises these effectively. With reduced budgets and increased expectation – LPS performs well and is continually improving against the trend of funding.
The school strives to provide the best possible accommodation for the school community, aspiring to meet three main aims – Safe, Secure and Stimulating. The school building has seen significant investment and improvement in recent years and there continues to be a realistic programme to enhance the learning environment. Displays in classrooms and corridors are bright and are useful learning aids. The improvements to the outdoor environment, with the creation of a small all-weather sports pitch and the outdoor learning zones to support Foundation Phase learning, have created bright and stimulating areas. The accommodation is of a good quality, secure and well maintained. The school also makes effective use of available community resources, for example, the school uses the local village green for sports days and orienteering experiences.
The school has used its own budget to undertake major work to enhance the environment for pupils and ensure the safety for all, e.g. repair boundary walls, rendering and the improvement work required on areas that was undertaken previously to rectify any issues. Strong collaboration with the community through the PTFA has provided substantial funding used to develop key improvement areas such as; toilet refurbishments, lockers for all pupils, community seating areas and library developments.
LPS uses grant funding effectively, for example PDG funding is used for higher level TA staffing to focus on Fringe Group and FSM pupils. As a result, all children (save for Severe & Complex Needs) achieve the expected level outcome or better. Furthermore, the school is continually successful in securing additional funding through various grant sources. For example, LPS develop their outdoor provision through securing £25k from the European Rural Community Grant, which impacted very positively on standards and wellbeing.
Areas for Further Improvement:
Enhancing leadership skills at all levels through the research and development of Areas of Learning.