Turnfurlong Junior School

Name Turnfurlong Junior School
Website http://www.tjs.org.uk
Ofsted Inspections
Address Turnfurlong Lane, Aylesbury, HP21 7PL
Phone Number 01296489264
Type Primary
Age Range 7-11
Religious Character Does Not Apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 365 (51.5% boys 48.5% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 20.8
Local Authority Buckinghamshire
Percentage Free School Meals 8.2%
Percentage English is Not First Language 22.7%
Persistent Absence 2.7%
Pupils with SEN Support 12.9%%
Catchment Area Indicator Available Yes
Last Distance Offered Available No
Highlights from Latest Inspection

Short inspection of Turnfurlong Junior School

Following my visit to the school on 21 March 2018, I write on behalf of Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills to report the inspection findings. The visit was the first short inspection carried out since the school was judged to be good in April 2014.

This school continues to be good. The leadership team has maintained the good quality of education in the school since the last inspection. The substantive headteacher, who is currently on maternity leave, was on-site throughout the day of the inspection.

During the headteacher’s absence, you have stepped up from your substantive post as deputy headteacher, to lead the school as the interim headteacher. Pupils leave Year 6 with standards slightly higher than national at the expected standard and higher than expected standard in mathematics and reading. Nevertheless, pupils do not make as much progress from their key stage 1 starting points as pupils nationally.

However, analysis of the school’s assessment information shows that current pupils are making strong progress. You, the headteacher and other leaders are very ambitious for the school. Leadership at all levels is strong.

The accurate evaluation of all aspects of the school’s effectiveness enables you to prioritise actions to improve outcomes for all pupils. The leadership team is very effective in reviewing current practice and promptly taking any necessary action to improve teaching. Middle leaders have a strong and accurate understanding of how to increase pupils’ progress.

They support staff effectively to refine their teaching skills in English and mathematics, so that pupils make rapid progress across the school. Leaders ensure that the curriculum engages and inspires pupils. The school’s effective practice in developing teachers’ skills and knowledge is shared with other local schools.

The governing body demonstrates strong leadership and takes a very active role in holding the school’s leaders to account for pupils’ progress. Each term, governors meet with year-group leaders to discuss the curriculum and the progress of pupils in each year. Governors visit regularly to carry out a wide range of tasks, including evaluating the school’s effectiveness, safeguarding systems and the outcomes for pupils.

Consequently, they are very supportive of the school and offer effective challenge to leaders. The school is a very happy place, and pupils speak with great affection about Turnfurlong. They really enjoy being part of the caring community and are complimentary about how hard the staff work to support them.

One pupil said that the school is ‘safe, fun and teachers are nice, and people will help you.’ Across the school, pupils behave very well and have positive relationships with staff. Pupils speak very highly about their ‘School Parliament’, through which approximately 140 pupils have responsibilities for the whole school community.

These responsibilities include being school council members, subject champions and peer mediators. During my classroom visits, it was very apparent that pupils are engaged in their learning, motivated and keen to do well. Pupils knew what they were learning, how to succeed and how to challenge themselves to achieve a higher standard.

Parents and carers are very supportive of the school. One parent said: ‘This is a great school, with a rich and varied curriculum that is taught in an interesting and engaging way.’ The leadership team has taken effective action to maintain and build on the strengths identified in the last inspection.

You recognise that there are still some areas in which the school needs to improve. For example, you have an effective plan to continue to improve pupils’ progress in writing. You also acknowledge that the further development of pupils’ problem solving and reasoning skills in mathematics, especially for the most able pupils, continues to be a priority.

Safeguarding is effective. There is a strong culture of safeguarding at Turnfurlong. Senior leaders, who are designated safeguarding leads, have a confident understanding of all safeguarding systems and procedures at the school.

You provide ongoing training for staff and governors so that everyone knows what to do if they have a concern about a pupil. Governors check regularly that all agreed safeguarding policies are properly implemented. Recruitment checks ensure the suitability of all those who work or volunteer at the school.

The leadership team has ensured that all safeguarding arrangements are fit for purpose. Pupils are aware of the potential dangers when using the internet. They said that if they ever viewed anything on the internet that made them feel unsafe, while at school, they would tell a member of staff.

Pupils feel safe and parents agree that their children are safe at school. The school has effective systems in place to ensure that vulnerable pupils get the appropriate and timely support they need. Inspection findings ? During this inspection, we agreed to focus on: how leaders ensure that pupils make good progress in writing; how leaders ensure that pupils from the middle-prior attainment group make good progress; and how well leaders have addressed the recommendations in the previous inspection report to further improve the quality of teaching.

? The English leader has made changes to curriculum planning so that the curriculum is more engaging and inspiring and captures pupils’ imaginations. Pupils are provided with many opportunities to talk about their work before they write about it. The focus on editing and redrafting writing is a key feature in pupils’ books and enables them to make well-considered changes to improve their work.

For example, in one class, pupils successfully evaluated each other’s writing based on the learning objective, and suggested ways it could be improved. Pupils have many opportunities to write in a wide range of genres. ? Pupils are supported well to develop a wide and rich vocabulary.

However, leaders are mindful that this needs to remain a focus so that pupils can improve their writing further. Teachers use their subject knowledge well to assess and deepen pupils’ understanding. Leaders successfully encourage pupils to use their computing skills to support their learning.

This also includes blogging, where pupils have written to their favourite authors about why they like their books. Pupils were delighted when some authors replied. ? You and your leadership team have clearly identified the need to raise achievement in reading, writing and mathematics for some middle-prior-attaining pupils.

Pupils’ progress is tracked rigorously and evaluated effectively to further support their learning. Timely additional support is provided to ensure that any gaps in pupils’ learning are addressed swiftly. Some pupils receive pre-teaching support, in small groups, from learning support assistants before a lesson, so that they can achieve well during the lesson.

Most pupils across the school make good progress in reading, writing and mathematics. However, leaders accurately recognise that there is more to do to ensure that all pupils, especially the middle-prior attaining, reach their full potential in writing. ? You have addressed effectively the areas for improvement identified at the last inspection.

The quality of teaching has improved. From visits to lessons, it is evident that teachers ensure that pupils are fully engaged in their learning tasks. Pupils made appropriate choices in selecting a suitable level of challenge to extend their learning.

Year leaders have a clear understanding of the strengths and areas for further development within their staff team, and use this knowledge wisely to support staff to teach effectively. Most pupils who have special educational needs and/or disabilities are making good progress. ? The most able pupils are making good progress in their writing.

Staff ensure that these pupils receive appropriate levels of challenge so that they are consistently stretched. The enriching curriculum enables pupils to be excited and motivated to inspire their writing. ? The mathematics leader wisely evaluated the curriculum and made changes to the teaching of mathematics across the school.

Pupils now have more opportunities to develop and apply their mathematical skills. The new approaches for the teaching of application and problem-solving skills are being implemented across the school, starting with pupils in Year 3 and Year 4. Pupils’ books clearly show a range of activities which require reasoning and problem solving.

This is challenging pupils to think more deeply. Pupils are supported well by the availability of a range of mathematical apparatus. You know that you need to continue to embed this approach across the school to ensure that all pupils make stronger progress.

Next steps for the school Leaders and those responsible for governance should ensure that: ? teachers sustain high expectations of pupils’ writing, especially for middle-prior-attaining pupils, so that rates of progress continue to rise. ? the quality of teaching, learning and assessment in mathematics is consistently high across the school so that all pupils make the best possible progress. I am copying this letter to the chair of the governing body, the regional schools commissioner and the director of children’s services for Buckinghamshire.

This letter will be published on the Ofsted website. Yours sincerely Darren Aisthorpe Ofsted Inspector Information about the inspection I met with you, the headteacher, an assistant headteacher, the subject leaders for English and mathematics, and two governors. I also had a meeting with a group of pupils and spoke on the telephone to a representative from the Buckinghamshire Learning Trust.

I spoke with six parents on the playground and considered 90 responses to Ofsted’s online questionnaire, Parent View, including 52 free-text comments. I also considered 23 responses to Ofsted’s online staff questionnaire and 115 responses to the pupil survey. Together with the substantive headteacher, I observed teaching and learning across the school and visited all classes.

I looked at pupils’ learning in their mathematics and English books. I observed pupils at breaktime and spoke with them informally. I also considered a range of documentation, including documents related to safeguarding, assessment, school development planning, governance and the curriculum.