Post Ofsted Visit to School, 22nd-23rd January 2019
Friday 8th February 2019
Please find a copy of our latest Ofsted report following our inspection 2 weeks ago in the Ofsted section of our website. This report highlights the many strengths of our school as well as areas for development.
Since the last full 2-day inspection in February 2014, this is an entirely different school and the criteria under which we have recently been assessed is very different and far more rigorous than ever before.
Having become Head here in 2016, our school has seen vast changes, all of which have been entirely necessary to improve outcomes for our pupils. We have experienced 100% turnover in teaching staff and 40% turnover in support staff, which inevitably brings challenges in embedding our ethos and vision. We are now finally in a place to drive change and ensure that all staff strive for excellence in all that they do.
We are very proud that our inspection report highlights the following strengths:
- Our parents are highly appreciative of the care their children receive – thank you!
- We now have a rigorous and robust assessment process in place for all year groups, which shows us exactly which starting points we need to teach from for each and every child. This is also being used to scrutinise progress for all of our pupil groups (Pupil Premium, Free School Meals, and Special Educational Needs etc.)
- We now have a great team in place to drive forward the changes already underway
- Our processes and procedures for monitoring teachers’ performance are robust and effective
- Our school improvement planning is accurate and effective
- We have requested 2 audits of safeguarding since September 2016, both of which were graded as ‘good’ with many aspects of ‘outstanding’
- Governance is highly supportive, skilled and very well-informed
- We are making, and have made, excellent progress in maths, particularly in years 2 and 6 so far this year. This was a particular focus of ours following historical data issues. The models and images we are using are securing this progress, enriching the teaching, and learning of maths hugely.
- The Inspector, the Local Authority and our System Leaders all have confidence in our Senior Leadership Team and Governors. They fully recognise that we know what we are doing, how to further drive change and how to consolidate the best practice we already have in school.
Of course, the most important people in all of this are the children. I am immensely proud, as always, of the way that our children behaved throughout this inspection. They were so welcoming and articulate in their meeting with the Inspector who commented on their politeness and the extremely warm way in which they described how we all support all of them and how they support one another, particularly those children who may experience difficulties from time to time.
I am sure you will share with me the pride we have in our overall judgement of EYFS (Owls Class). Mrs Rowley and Mrs Heffernan have worked tirelessly to implement huge change in this class and this is celebrated in our overall grading of ‘good’ for EYFS. During a recent review of Early Years, Mrs Rowley was told there was not much more to do to achieve ‘outstanding’ so she is well on her way to implementing those next steps. I know that the parents of the children in Owls Class have made so many positive comments on the provision for their children that have added to this overall grading. I would personally like to thank you all for your positivity and support.
Unfortunately, for us, change in schools takes time and this was always of short supply within the period leading up to our next full 2-day inspection. The Inspector recognised this in our report, ‘it is too soon to measure the impact of leaders’ actions on outcomes for pupils’. Our overall judgement feels very raw at the moment after the huge amount of dedication and sheer hard work this team puts into our school. However, we must focus on all of the positives in this report: in our opinion, this does not read like a school in Requires Improvement, but a school in the middle of a long and extremely focused journey routed in a commitment to strive for rapid, accelerated and sustained progress for all of our pupils, no matter what their needs.
To that end, the Governors and I held a parents evening on Tuesday 12th February to go over the outcomes of the inspection. The presentation I prepared can be found in a link at the bottom of this page.
The Senior Leadership Team and I would like to thank you all for your continued support and collaboration and hope to see you next Tuesday evening.
Alison Bellingham, Headteacher
Why is LWPS the school of choice for our families?
'I just wanted to say that...the work you have put into LWPS generally, your collaborative and proactive approach to school leadership is exemplary! There were moments where I felt proud and felt I should feed this back to you directly.' Parent Governor. 19.1.19
'This whole Ofsted process has actually enhanced my high opinion of Long Wittenham School! The process of filling in the Ofsted Parentview survey focused my mind on specifics, the comments section made me think about - and put into words - some of the things we like best about our school. Then, reading the report itself was just so disappointing because it seemed so unjust and unrepresentative of what we experience day in, day out as a family. I came to the meeting this evening in the spirit of support for the school and concern about the effect of the report, rather than its content. Having listened to you speak so professionally, passionately and genuinely about our school, I left the meeting with even more optimism and enthusiasm for the future - all thanks to the RI Ofsted report! We’re lucky to be part of this school. I thought so a month ago, and I know so now!' Parent 13.2.19
'Just wanted to thank you and all the teachers and staff at LW for providing an awesome school for our children! The ofsted report was very clear and I totally accept the school is going through a transition and incorporating changes etc. all takes time. I’m so pleased our children feel safe and are being well looked after too! I’m really happy with the communication and the teaching in Eagles class. I was worried about having a job share teacher arrangement but they work well together and the homework is consistent, feedback is always given and I know XXX is making progress. Both very approachable teachers. I’m happy! I hope everyone is not being too hard on themselves, because they don’t need to be. Really wish you had been at school for more of XXX's schooling..... sigh xx ' Parent 11.2.19
My husband and I wanted to drop you a brief note to say how we support you and really feel for you at this very tricky time. We both read the report fully and concluded the positives, and we both agree that your letter was very well written and to the point. We believe that both our boys are getting a really good education and are so pleased that you are steering the school so well. We have no concerns and really do appreciate all your hard work. So thank you, and please keep improving our wonderful school, but have a very relaxing half term, as you certainly deserve it.' Parent 12.2.19
New data protection regulations
On 25th May 2018 there are some changes to the current data protection regulations called the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). The school, and The Oxford Diocesan Schools Trust, regards the protection of personal data relating to children and parents/carers as a very important matter.
On the school website, in accordance with best practice, we have published our updated data protection policy and Pupil Privacy notice. The Pupil Privacy notice outlines the pupil information that we collect, hold and share including the lawful basis about how we use this information.
If you would like a printed copy of the data protection policy and privacy notice please do not hesitate to contact the school office.
Welcome back to Twitter LWPS! We are currently revamping our website to make it more easily navigable (thankfully)… https://t.co/rjizSYyQG4
Wishing everyone a fabulous Bonfire Night week end and hope to see you all tomorrow evening. Stay safe!
2/2 my very best wishes to our fabulous children,their families & all our great team who will continue to thrive under Mrs Mountain's care.
1/2 My last day & so my final tweet,thank you Long Wittenham for giving me such fabulous memories & my gorgeous painting is so special
Our new playground equipment now has its special surface!Have to wait 48 hours until it can be used- it has to "set"!
Hopefully the structure will be completed today and the safety flooring next week!
The new equipment steadily takes shape!