Parents - Please share your views about our school with OFSTED.  

Since our last OFSTED, September 2014, the Headteacher has worked relentlessly with the new staff team and governors to improve school life at Mells. 

The OFSTED highlighted successes and areas for us to improve upon. The successes included:

Pupils are polite and well mannered. They behave well outside lessons.

Attendance has improved and is above average.

Pupils’ attainment at the end of Key Stage 1 improved significantly.

All parents are highly positive about the school and say that their children are safe and well looked after. Pupils agree.

Leaders ensure that spiritual, moral, cultural and social development is promoted well through a wide range of subjects and activities.
— OFSTED 2014

The following areas are areas we have been working on with quotes from independent sources on how we are improving ...

OFSTED said 'Pupils' achievement, especially in writing, has not been good enough. Too few pupils have made good progress from their starting points at the school. Pupil's progress in writing is not consistently good across all years."

The school team has focused on writing, staff have attended Talk for Writing Training and the Headteacher has invested in support and training from Sarah Cook. 

There is evidence of continued progress for the majority of children in the school since the last moderation.

The improved attitude to writing has continued and the majority of children are engaged and motivated by the writing tasks that have been set. This is particularly noticeable in Year 3 and Year 4 where there is marked improvement in the quantity and quality of writing as well as improved attention to handwriting and presentation.
(July 2015)

There is clear progression and development for all children [in EYFS] in writing and this is evident in their books.
(Dec 2015)

Handwriting has generally improved across the school.

The improved attitude to writing has continued and the majority of children are engaged and motivated by the writing tasks that have been set.

The progress that the children have made this year is clearly evident when comparing their first writing of the year to what is being produced now.

The quantity and quality of writing evidenced in the books continues [Y3/4].
(March 2016)
— Sarah Cook, Independent Literacy Consultant
Progress was evident in all books and many were making better than expected progress.
(February 2016)
— John Cavill, School Improvement Partner

OFSTED said 'Pupils who are disabled, have special educational needs and those who are eligible for additional funding make similar progress to other pupils, and this is not yet good enough. Over time, too few are making the accelerated progress that would normally be expected. However since then the school's new SENCO has led the changes with regard to SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities).

The small number of DSEN pupils are being carefully monitored by the SENCO and are making progress appropriate to their starting points.
(February 2016)
— John Cavill, School Improvement Partner

OFSTED said "Children's progress in the Early Years Foundation Stage has not been good enough". The Early Years Leader and Headteacher have focussed on improving the Early Years.

Learning journals in Early Years are much improved from last year and show progress being made across all areas. This suggests that there is improvement in Early Years...’
(December 2015)
— John Cavill, School Improvement Partner
The progress that the children have made this year is clearly evident when comparing their first writing of the year to what is being produced now.
(March 2016)
— SarahCook, Independent Literacy Consultant
Provision maps [for children in receipt of Pupil Premium funding] are in place for EYFS children which reflect current EYFS assessment expectations. These are showing measurable progress from Sept-Dec 2015.
(January 2016)
— Helen Fenn, Bath and Wells Diocese

OFSTED said "When learning lacks challenge some pupils become restless, attitudes to learning worsen and they do not always concentrate or work hard. Teaching for some time has not ensured that all groups of pupils learn sufficiently well. Activities provided by teachers do not always provide appropriate challenge to pupils, especially the most able, to allow them to achieve well." 

The school team, with support from Di Pardoe has sought to address this. All members of the Mells team are encouraged to be 'purple learners' and through this approach children can self-challenge, guided by staff.

Teaching in [the majority of classes] classes (including Early Years) was resulting in pupils making good progress. This was because teaching in those classes was focused accurately on the ability of pupils and that all pupils were engaged fully on their work. In the class where teaching and learning required some improvement a small number of pupils were not fully engaged and therefore progress for these slowed and at times stopped. However, this represents a substantial improvement at the school, demonstrating teachers’ ability to enable good learning to be secured.
(November 2015)
— John Cavill, School Improvement Partner
They [the children] had a sense of what it means to be a good learner (try your best and work hard, have a go, it doesn’t matter if you make a mistake).

They [the children] understand that this is a new way of learning – ‘ we’re learning to be purple learners – it’s just like roller skating – when I started to learn to roller skate I tried and I tried / it’s good to be on red zone as it is good to push yourself sometimes.

They [the children] described how specifics could improve their work, such as the use of more description / the use of connectives.
(October 2015)
— Helen Fenn, Bath and Wells Diocese

OFSTED said "Some teachers do not have high enough expectations for their pupils and do not check their work meticulously enough to challenge mistakes." The staff team have worked hard at increasing expectations, improving the marking and feedback provided verbally and within the books to challenge all children.

 

Teachers are marking books regularly and are using of the school’s marking policy.

Teachers are challenging pupils’ incorrect spellings and number formation rigorously.
(December 2015)

Two governors joined the HT and SIP to undertake a book scrutiny of writing and mathematics books. Pupils from each year group were selected using the school’s tracking information. Four pupils from each year were selected and reflected the progress they had made. These were:

• Expected progress from ARE
• Better than expected progress from ARE
• Making at least expected progress from above ARE
• Making at least expected progress from below ARE.

Overall, the work represented an improvement from last year and from last term. This was evident in all books looked at by the group. This suggests that the school is accurately judging the achievement of pupils and reflects their individual improvement as teachers. No books gave the group any major concerns and productivity of pupils was better than previously.
(February 2016)
— John Cavill, School Improvement Partner

OFSTED said "Leaders have not checked the quality of teaching rigorously enough to ensure that teachers successfully help pupils to achieve well. Leaders, managers and governors have not ensured that teaching and achievement have improved enough to be good."

Judgements made on all observations for learning and behaviour (for learning) were accurately made by school leaders. Strengths of teaching and learning along with areas that would benefit from improvement were recognised. This demonstrates leaders’ ability to assess the quality of teaching and learning accurately.
— John Cavill - School Improvement Partner

OFSTED said "Leaders and governors do not have a clear understanding of how well the additional funding is helping to raise the achievement of eligible pupils." 

Clear and detailed provision maps are in place for every child in receipt of the pupil premium.

Provision is tailored to meet the needs of individual children and includes specific interventions such as ReadWriteInc, in class support and emotional support as appropriate.

Interventions and provision are evaluated as part of this process, to ensure that they are having the desired or planned impact, and adjustments are made accordingly.
(January 2016)
— Helen Fenn, Bath and Well Diocese