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We were inspected November 23 and 24th 2022. 

As you are all aware the school received a Section 5 graded inspection in November. During the 2-day inspection inspectors met with the headteacher, other leaders, staff and members of the governing body. The inspectors carried out 5 deep dives in reading, mathematics, history, PE and science. They discussed the curriculum with subject leads, visited lessons, spoke to teachers and pupils about their learning.

We would like to share some of the positive key headlines.

  • Pupils enjoy a wide range of activities at Frittenden; they feel happy and safe and take part in the life of the school.
  • Pupils achieve well in a number of curriculum areas; leaders provide a well-thought through curriculum, teachers are clear about what is taught and when.
  • Pupils in the early years have a strong start to their education and form very positive relationships; older children play with younger children creating a warmth to relationships
  • Pupils with special educations needs receive beneficial support; teachers swiftly identify pupils’ needs and use a range of strategies to enable pupils to learn alongside others
  • Pupils experience a wide range of opportunities that enhance their learning; they are encouraged to reflect on global issues and think about how these impact upon their lives
  • Safeguarding is effective; staff receive valuable training and leaders act quickly on concerns that arise and work with families and outside agencies to provide helpful support.

However, we, as a staff, and the governing body are disappointed that the overall judgment given to the school was a grading of requires improvement. Inspectors identified 3 key areas:

  • Not enough pupils develop the fluency needed to read well. This means that pupils who have fallen behind struggle to catch up because they do not have the phonics knowledge required to decode unfamiliar words. Leaders need to ensure that teachers accurately identify pupils who have fallen behind in reading and help them to catch up quickly.’

What we are doing:

We have implemented a new phonic scheme which was introduced September 2021. Internal data shows that pupils who started with this programme are learning well and are progressing through the phases successfully. All support staff and teachers have received training in Monster Phonics. Pupils in all year groups, up to and including year 3, are regularly assessed and targeted support and interventions are put in place for those who need it.

  • Pupils do not secure the knowledge and skills needed to reason mathematically. This creates misconceptions in some pupils that limits their understanding. Leaders and governors need to act swiftly to ensure teachers implement the mathematics curriculum consistently so that pupils gain the knowledge and skills needed to succeed.’

What we are doing:

We use the White Rose maths scheme, which was implemented at the beginning of January 2020, at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Teachers are implementing the scheme consistently and evidencing reasoning and problem solving through teaching strategies and ensuring that examples of reasoning are widespread in books.

  • Some pupils’ behaviour in class and when unsupervised around the school is not good enough. Leaders need to ensure all staff have high expectations for the behaviour of pupils and enable pupils to regulate their own behaviour in class and around the school.’

What we are doing:

Staff and leaders reviewed the behaviour policy at the beginning of term 2 and this has had a positive impact on behaviour, which has improved significantly. When pupils do not behave well this is dealt with immediately. This area of the grading was the most contentious; with staff and governors not in agreement with inspectors.

Together, staff and governors will continue to work tirelessly to ensure these areas are promptly addressed in preparation for reinspection

Read the full report here.