3.1: The quality of teaching at LPS is excellent; this is evident through our self-review systems, highlighted in our MER Timetable – such as lesson observations, workbook scrutiny, learning walks and listening to learners.
Nearly all teachers at LPS use a wide range of teaching strategies to develop learners, with good up to date subject knowledge. This is enhanced by utilising well-considered published and inhouse resources and effective implementation of recent and relevant materials from training and research. Nearly all staff demonstrate strong collegial collaboration to apply expertise in their planning and supporting ideas for teaching.
Pupils are increasingly involved in choosing methods that best suit their learning; this enables learners to become more independent. In nearly all classes, there is an appropriate balance of ‘teacher led’ and ‘pupil led’ activities as well as practical and oral applications. Most teachers are skilled at coaching in a planned manner for whole class and groups of learners. For example, our Foundation Phase and Early Years team provide rich learning experiences based on sound Foundation Phase Learning philosophies. The experiential approach towards teaching and learning is organised through our topic-based approach. Most outdoor activities are planned through enhanced provision and all children have free flow access to the outdoors with classrooms now having safe areas immediately outside. Outdoor planning highlights identified Areas for Learning skills for groups of children to support learning in context. Our stimulating environment and provision has had a significant impact on children’s standards of achievement, particularly in PSD.
Nearly all teachers demonstrate a good understanding of pupils’ contexts and use this well to support learning. Nearly all teachers understand the needs of learners and build good relationships, taking the necessary action to secure well-being. Nearly all pupils respond well when they face challenge, due to pupils viewing the teacher as an encourager. Therefore, pupils take appropriate risks within their learning. Within nearly all classes, creative solutions are used to challenge and inspire pupils’ learning. For example, the use of our ‘Question Matrix’ to inspire independent higher order research and the use of ‘Lotus Diagrams’ to plan independent challenges using a software package (Class OneNote). As a result, nearly all pupils visibly thrive. When they require support or further challenge, pupils are confident to act upon their teacher’s responses. The teacher does not intervene too soon, and all groups of pupilsoften achieve very good outcomes as a result. High expectations are clearly set for learners in nearly all classes. There are a good range of approaches designed to ensure expectations are reached and intervention occurs when the few pupils fall short of high expectations.
All teachers adopt our skills based, thematic approach to teaching and learning, which provides coherence, continuity and progression across the curriculum. Our rich learning projects are flexible and facilitate innovative practice. AoL and PoS strands are planned for in all lessons to ensure that the teaching and learning of skills are focused on across the curriculum. The school uses ‘Incerts’ to track the progress of pupils’ skills across the curriculum. This assessment is undertaken as part of an on-going triangular system of ‘Plan, Teach, Assess.’ This system is used effectively in nearly all classes across the school. Monitoring activities demonstrate that this is having a positive impact on pupils’ application of skills across the curriculum. Lesson observations in nearly all classes highlight the use of precise objectives, linking clearly to the expected success criteria. Success criteria are differentiated, derived appropriately by the learners and teachers through co-construction. Observations demonstrate that in nearly all classes, pupils are motivated to select relevant skills to apply across the curriculum that enhance enquiry-based learning.
Nearly all classrooms are highly stimulating; resources and displays inspire learners to incorporate skills purposefully into their learning. In nearly all classes, TA’s and teachers work collaboratively to coach learners in order to enhance independent learning. TA’s provide input through specific verbal and written feedback that detail successes and difficulties which is in line with LPS policy. They have a clear focus when working with children and have a positive impact on improving standards of learning. Through continuing professional development, they are effective and valued practitioners.
All learners are challenged and supported with differentiated approaches. All groups of learners make good, and in many cases, excellent progress, including learners who have severe and complex needs. In nearly all classes, insightful teacher awareness enables pupils to experience high challenge and to which they respond with enthusiasm. Our ALNCo provides all staff with the appropriate and relevant training to undertake their roles effectively and efficiently. The school has devised a pupil centred approach, which has improved communication across the school community on specific learning needs and progress made.
In nearly all classes, a wide range of relevant questioning techniques engages pupils in developing their understanding. Process time is well used, and most pupils engage well with questioning sessions. Pupils increasingly ask questions of each other at formal and informal times. In nearly all classes, higher order questioning is used by the teacher and pupils to deepen learning. For example, our Question and Response Frames and Oracy Booklet have enabled all pupils with opportunities to enhance their discussions.
In nearly all classes pupils and staff select appropriate and effective AfL strategies. In nearly all classes, verbal feedback is timely and personalised, suggesting clear ways to improve. Pupil response systems are embedded and engaging, this is evident through lesson observation and workbook scrutiny. Dialogue between staff and pupils, both verbal and non-verbal, is clearly acted upon to enable learners to make progress. In nearly all classes, very good teacher modelling enables pupils to self and peer assess learning effectively. Most pupils use marking codes effectively to identify and are encouraged to set personal ‘next steps’. As a result, all learners make good or better progress.
Through workbook scrutiny and listening to learners it is evident that nearly all staff mark pupils' work regularly and give pupils useful feedback on what they have done well and how they can improve. Marking is consistently good or better across both phases. Teachers mark diagnostically and respond to the needs of individual pupils. Targets are sensible, achievable and appropriate and meet pupils’ needs. Most pupils can evaluate their own and others' work successfully. In nearly all classes written feedback is provided regularly, consistently and in a timely manner. It is specific in terms of both the strengths of the work and the way forward. The pupils begin to describe what a successful outcome would be. Drafting and editing is co-constructed by the teacher and pupils to make improvements to their writing through this process. Our LPS Marking Policy promotes a range of feedback and teacher prompts which are effective for drawing out very good pupil responses. Additionally, most pupils independently reflect on and improve their work. This is providing an increasing ownership of their own targets and progress in learning. The motivational effect of this is evident throughout the workbooks.
3.2: The Curriculum at LPS provides all pupils with excellent learning experiences that challenge and engage all learners; this is evident through lesson observations, workbook scrutiny and listening to learners.
The curriculum at LPS provides a wide range of valuable experiences for pupils which enhance their learning, for example through learning to play musical instruments and taking part in sport and dance activities within the school and the wider community. Regular Welsh lessons and clubs help pupils to understand the importance of learning Welsh. Teachers link the topics that pupils’ study with the culture and heritage of Wales, for example through visits to St.Fagans and through the study of Welsh artists, poets, myths and legends, and celebration during the annual Eisteddfod. The community are also invited to join the school for a Welsh themed evening to celebrate the food, craft and dance of Wales.
The school has robust planning procedures, which ensure all pupils have access to a broad and balanced curriculum. The impact of planning, teaching and learning is regularly monitored and evaluated by AoLE Leaders, Pupil Voice Groups and SLT to ensure standards are in-line with school policy and priorities. Pupils have many varied experiences that impact the standard of their learning and wellbeing. For example, the school provides numerous opportunities for pupils to develop their entrepreneurial skills within the context of their learning projects. They plan, design, create, advertise and promote numerous products to be sold at numerous events in the community. Pupils learn about profit and loss to manage budgets effectively. Pupil Voice Groups organise events for our community, such as Christmas Markets, Summer Fetes, Welsh Open Evening, Concerts and Parent Workshops.
Valuable partnerships have been established within the local community, wider community, employers, key figures, other schools and parents, which have enriched the curriculum further. All pupils are engaged in challenging and thought-provoking trips, visits, talks and workshops, including visits to organisations within the local community such as places of worship, environmental centres and government buildings.
The school provides very good residential experiences for all pupils. Every year, Year 5 pupils visit the ‘Urdd Centre at Llangrannog' and Year 6 visit ‘Carreg Adventure’ in the Gower. These centres provide many adventurous and challenging activities that enable pupils to boost their resilience and wellbeing. Through structured and engaging team building activities, pupils improve their relationships with teachers and peers. These residential visits also enable pupils to attempt new experiences that provide risk taking opportunities, developing confidence and character which can transfer to all areas of learning.
The school acts in a sustainable way, recycling many items and helping pupils understand the need to conserve resources. The Eco Warriors act as a steering team to coordinate all activities for the whole school such as recycling all paper, creating competitions for designing the playground buddy stops, taking assemblies on school, local and global issues in order to raise awareness.
Visitors to the school, trips to local heritage sites and after school clubs contribute appropriately to expanding and enriching the pupils’ learning experiences. Pupils’ awareness of global citizenship is developing well through our revised curriculum maps and progression models. The PVG and AoLE Leader provide guidance for staff on the role of sustainable development and global citizenship within the curriculum. This provision is monitored and evaluated across the whole school during LPS Review Weeks.
The school constantly strives to establish an ethos that is inclusive and reflected in our vision and mission statement. The school has established effective and agreed policies, action plans, schemes of work and aims of the school in order to promote this. The school promotes equal opportunities successfully and places a strong emphasis on respecting each other and celebrating diversity. All children have equal access to the curriculum and learning experiences which enable them to have choices and challenge their expectations.
Communication between home and school has improved, our online parent questionnaire corroborates this. We have improved communication and links with multi agencies to provide better support for children in our care. The LPS website and our Home Learning area has been set up for parents and pupils to receive support out of school hours. The implementation of Hwb has been a great success for all learners across the school. For example, in KS2 pupils now have access to additional research homework via Office 365 sharing between home, school and cluster. At FP, pupils are able to start animation projects within JIT at school and complete at home with their parents. Furthermore, our new Website and Mobile App have significantly improved communications as stated by a Parent Governor during a recent full Governing Body meeting, ‘The school app has dramatically improved my life.’ (see Governing Body Minutes)
Our home learning strategy has proven to be very supportive for families during the school closure during the summer term of 2020. We have received very positive feedback from our parents and pupils, which can be viewed on our LPS Connected Community page in the link below:
The LA undertook county wide survey regarding home learning, which highlighted how successful this strategy has been. When parents were asked, "Schools are currently providing home/distance learning. Are you happy with the provision of home/distance learning from your school?"
90% of parents replied yes, higher than the LA average of 84%
When parents were asked, "Has your child completed any schoolwork during this lockdown period?"
95% of parents said yes, again higher than the LA average of 90%
We are fully aware that when all return to some sort of normality at school, children may have made different steps in their learning. This is completely understandable in the given circumstances. Our main priority for return should be, and will be, their wellbeing, safety and happiness, this is paramount.
We appreciate this and will be using a series of strategies that will enable all pupils to make a speedy recovery to remedy any gaps or regression in their learning.
Lesson observations, planning reviews, listening to learners and learning walks demonstrate that TAs act in partnership with teachers. They input through specific verbal and written feedback that detail successes and difficulties. Due to its accuracy, it directly influences the teacher’s evaluations and future planning. TAs are advocates for the pupils they work with and this impacts on the progress made. Nearly all TAs know precisely when to intercede and when not to. In a planned way, TAs move away from their groups to develop independence.
Our outdoor learning environment provides opportunities for our Foundation Phase pupils to practise and consolidate skills such as measuring, writing for purpose and experience scientific concepts within the natural environment. Our outdoor theme days, e.g. ‘Welly Wednesday’ provide the stimulus for this experience which transfers into classroom provision. The impact of this can be seen in workbooks across the phase. As a result, standards have continued to improve due to increased levels of engagement and application of skills across the curriculum. The success of such FP approaches are continued into KS2 successfully through the systems described in 2.2 above. The introduction of the Challenge Boards, Challenge Books, LPS Question Matrix, Topic Webs and Mission Books provides strong evidence of increased opportunities for self-directed learning. Further demonstrating that the contributions of all pupils at LPS are valued and encouraged. This system is currently is under review and our new whole school approach will be implemented during 2020-21.
3.3: Provision for Skills at LPS is excellent due to the standard of work in core subjects which is equitable to the level of skills applied across the curriculum in most classes. This is evidenced through lesson observations, workbook scrutiny and listening to learners.
Nearly all teachers ensure that skills have a clear focus and ensure opportunities are not missed. Therefore, most pupils recognise the skills that they are proficient with and are beginning to select their own approaches in most classes. Nearly all pupils make connections to previous learning or learning in other subjects. As a result, the application of skills across the curriculum is equitable to core skills for most pupils. For example, pupils use grid references and measurements for a recipe in their WW2 topic work. In Science, pupils construct and interpret Scatter Graphs effectively.
Along with the Programmes of Study, learning experiences are carefully planned for using our LPS Literacy Booklet and INCERTS. These planning resources allow for a breadth of genres and creative writing opportunities to be interlinked effectively within our learning projects. Workbooks and lesson observations demonstrate a variety of cross-curricular writing tasks set within real-life contexts and experiences, for example pupils write persuasive letters based on a scientific debate. As a result, standards of literacy across the curriculum are equitable to that in core lessons.
Learning experiences are carefully planned for within our learning projects using the LPS Numeracy scheme, INCERTS and the Programmes of Study. Rich numeracy projects are planned skilfully to bring in skills such as problem solving, calculations, reasoning and measures. These projects are set in real-life contexts in order to enhance skill application, deliver new concepts and engage all learners. For example, in Year 6 during our ‘Blitz project’, pupils experience opportunities to plan, organise and budget for a VE Party. As a result, most pupils develop their independence skills effectively through selecting their own methods and strategies for solving problems.
Provision for ICT is very good across the school. The school is equipped with excellent resources to improve understanding of Technology and enhance the whole curriculum. All classrooms are equipped with interactive touch screens, there are two banks of mobile devices and the school also has three class sets of Chromebooks that are stored in mobile trollies. These devices are used to enhance the whole curriculum across the school through careful and precise planning of ICT within each learning project. The ICT curriculum map enables teachers to plan effective and engaging lessons in each project. The school has also incorporated the DCF into the new LPS ICT SoW. As a result, nearly all pupils demonstrate that their ICT skills enhance and enrich their learning in other areas of the curriculum. This is evidenced within their Hwb files for example, pupils in Year 5 create databases on mini-beasts and use them to interrogate and interpret data.
Provision for Welsh language development is having a significant impact on pupils’ progress. A number of initiatives including ‘Criw Iaith’ and drilling of language patterns are having a positive impact on pupil outcomes. Bilingualism is adequate throughout the school, however good in some classes. Where it is good, children speak Welsh with enthusiasm and enjoyment within class. The school promotes the Cwricwlwm Cymreig successfully with an annual school Eisteddfod which focuses on heritage and culture. The pupils have a good understanding of the cultural, economic, environmental, historical and linguistic characteristics of Wales. The new literacy scheme also supports the pupil’s experience of story and poetry with a Welsh dimension. The model ensures there is continuity and progression in standards of provision across the school.
Teaching and learning of Welsh is beginning to have a high profile throughout the school in both incidental Welsh and focused teaching sessions, experiencing a resurgence through the ‘Siarter Iaith’. Weekly Welsh assemblies are planned and led by the Criw Iaith, where pupils gain further experience of Welsh myths and legends, songs and poems. As a result, pupils reflect on and develop a Welsh ethos. During this assembly, pupils are rewarded for their use of Welsh patterns. A bank of Welsh text types has been created which link with all learning projects in order to enrich and improve standards of written Welsh. The school’s learning environment effectively encourages reading, listening and speaking of Welsh, which is enhancing the Welsh dimension throughout the school.
Partnerships across the LA are strong within this area which supports development initiatives. For example, our Subject Leader has presented at Welsh subject leader training days for the Local Authority to share good and effective practice. Additionally, work has begun with local schools in order to learn best practice from alternative contexts. As a result of these very good standards, the school has achieved the Siarter Cymraeg Bronze Award.
Areas for Further Improvement:
Further improve provision pupil voice and self-directed learning through whole-school weekly foci regarding the 4 Purposes. (see Pupil Learning Journal)
Refine curriculum topics for alignment with the Curriculum 2022 – AoLE Leader Research and Networking to align WMS and Progression Steps with topics.