St Giles was inspected in May 2016.
The report will be published on the Estyn website today but you will find a very brief summary of the findings below:
Current Performance: Strengths outweigh areas for improvement
· Many pupils with additional learning needs, including those in the resource provision and those who receive support for English as an additional language, make good progress from their differing starting points
· Throughout the school, most pupils listen well and many pupils speak confidently
· Many pupils read appropriately in line with their age and ability
· Many pupils write for a range of purposes using different genres effectively
· Many pupils make good progress in mathematics
· By the end of key stage 2, standards in Welsh are good
· Most pupils enjoy school and take great pride in their roles and responsibilities
· Nearly all pupils are courteous, kind and well mannered
· The school provides a broad range of stimulating learning experiences
· Most teachers ask purposeful questions to consolidate and extend pupils' understanding
Prospects for improvement: Many strengths and no important areas requiring significant improvement
· The leadership team have a strong vision for the school and share this well with pupils, staff, governors and parents
· There is a collaborative, whole school approach to raising standards and all staff have clearly defined roles and responsibilities
· The leadership team challenge staff suitably to bring about improvements
· Leaders implement the literacy and numeracy framework well
· Governors are very supportive of the school and are beginning to develop their role in challenging performance appropriately
· There is a regular cycle of reviewing and monitoring and priorities in the school development plan link closely to findings from these
· The school takes good account of the views of a wide range of stakeholders to bring about change
· The school has strong links with parents and informs them well about the life of the school and the progress of their children
· The school plays an active part in its local cluster of schools to bring about improvements
· All staff participate in regular training that links appropriately to school priorities, and their specific roles and responsibilities
· The school makes good use of the Pupil Deprivation Grant to support vulnerable pupils
Areas we need to further develop/work on:
· Improve the attainment of pupils at the higher than expected levels
· Improve attendance
· Provide more opportunities for pupils to develop their independent learning skills
· Improve the level of challenge for more able pupils
· Develop the role of governors in providing more effective challenge regarding pupil outcomes
We are currently working on four of the above recommendations, having already been identified as areas for improvement. We will now update our School Development Plan to incorporate all five areas.
The report acknowledges the wide-ranging context of St Giles:
‘On entry, pupils' skills, knowledge, and understanding vary considerably and around half of the pupils enter the school with a limited experience of the English language. Many pupils with additional learning needs, including those in the resource provision and those who receive support for English as an additional language, make good progress from their differing starting points’.
It also highlights strengths in teaching:
‘In most classes, teachers engage and motivate pupils successfully. Many teachers use their curriculum knowledge well to provide an interesting range of learning experiences. The strong partnership between teachers and support staff ensures that there are clear routines and a calm learning environment for pupils. Nearly all teachers set clear learning objectives for their lessons and share these with pupils appropriately’.
With regard to partnership:
‘The school works with a wide range of partners to improve outcomes and provision for pupils. It has strong links with parents and informs them well about the life of the school and the progress of their children’.
Finally, the report acknowledges our diversity and inclusiveness:
‘The school is a very inclusive and welcoming place which promotes its Christian values such as compassion, thankfulness, and equality very successfully. There is a clear emphasis on recognising, respecting and celebrating the diversity within its own and wider multicultural community. The school treats pupils and staff equally, fairly and with tolerance and respect’.
The report provides an up-to-date evaluation of St Giles and has provided us with a future focus. We will continue to develop and improve our systems to ensure that we offer the best possible education for our pupils. The fact that we matched four of Estyn’s recommendation illustrates that we have effective self-evaluation processes in place and are secure in our judgements:
‘The school has effective methods for self-evaluation. There is a regular cycle of reviewing and monitoring, and priorities in the school development plan link closely to findings from these’.
I look forward to working with pupils, parents, staff, and governors next year, in providing the best possible learning environment.