Welton School

Inspection report
Unique Reference Number 112124
Local Authority Cumbria
Inspection number 337846
Inspection dates 12—13 January 2010
Reporting inspector Janette Corlett

This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.
Type of school Primary
School category Community
Age range of pupils 4—11
Gender of pupils Mixed
Number of pupils on the school roll 18
Appropriate authority The governing body
Chair Mr Darren Caldwell
Headteacher Mrs Sue Watson
Date of previous school inspection 2 May 2007
School address Welton
Cumbria CA5 7HE
Telephone number 01697 476377
Fax number 01697 476377
Email address admin@welton.cumbria.sch.uk

Age group 4—11
Inspection dates 12—13 January 2010
Inspection number 337846

The Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills (Ofsted) regulates and inspects to achieve excellence in the care of children and young people, and in education and skills for learners of all ages. It regulates and inspects childcare and children's social care, and inspects the Children and Family Court Advisory Support Service (Cafcass), schools, colleges, initial teacher training, work-based learning and skills training, adult and community learning, and education and training in prisons and other secure establishments. It rates council children's services, and inspects services for looked after children, safeguarding and child protection.

Further copies of this report are obtainable from the school. Under the Education Act 2005, the school must provide a copy of this report free of charge to certain categories of people. A charge not exceeding the full cost of reproduction may be made for any other copies supplied.

If you would like a copy of this document in a different format, such as large print or Braille, please telephone 08456 404045, or email enquiries@ofsted.gov.uk.

You may copy all or parts of this document for non-commercial educational purposes, as long as you give details of the source and date of publication and do not alter the documentation in any way.

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This inspection was carried out by one additional inspector. The inspector visited five lessons and held meetings with the chair of governors, staff and groups of pupils. The inspector observed the school's work, and looked at pupils' written work, the school improvement plan, safeguarding policies and practices, the school's own records of pupils' progress and nine completed parental questionnaires.

The inspector reviewed many aspects of the school's work. She looked in detail at the following:

    • the effectiveness of school leaders in improving the quality of provision and outcomes for pupils in the school
    • standards in pupils' writing, especially those of more-able pupils since this was an area for improvement following the last inspection
    • the quality of learning and progress in lessons
    • the effectiveness of the school's systems to ensure that pupils are safe.

Information about the school

This very small rural school takes pupils from the local village and surrounding areas. Numbers have declined since the last inspection. There are no pupils eligible for free school meals. All pupils are from white British families and they are taught in two mixed-age classes. Children in the Early Years Foundation Stage learn alongside pupils in Key Stage 1. The proportion of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities is average and there are no pupils with a statement of special educational needs.

The school is currently led and managed by an acting headteacher who has a 0.7 full-time equivalent teaching commitment in the Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1. The school holds the Healthy Schools Award.

Inspection grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is satisfactory, and 4 is inadequate
Please turn to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms

Inspection judgements

Overall effectiveness: how good is the school?


The school's capacity for sustained improvement


Main findings

Welton Primary school provides a satisfactory standard of education for its pupils in a warm, welcoming and calm environment. The school has worked hard to enrich the curriculum by providing a range of interesting visits and visitors to the school and has introduced a range of after-school clubs which are well attended and much appreciated by pupils. This is an improvement since the last inspection. There is a real sense that the school is one big family. As a result, pupils behave well and show respect and kindness towards one another, with older pupils looking after their younger friends in a very mature and responsible manner. For example, older pupils serve the whole school with a healthy school meal and this also promotes pupils' clear understanding of the importance of a well-balanced diet as part of a healthy lifestyle. Parents report that the school provides a safe and supportive environment for their children. Children in the Early Years Foundation Stage quickly settle into the routines of the school. There are, however, too few opportunities provided in the indoor and outdoor environment for children in this key stage to learn through play and investigation so as to develop their skills in all six areas of learning.

In such a small school, cohorts vary, but pupils' attainment is broadly average. Standards in mathematics and science were above average in the 2009 end of Key Stage 2 national tests. Attainment in English is consistently lower than in the other subject areas and pupils do not always make enough progress in writing. This is because they do not have enough opportunities to write throughout the curriculum for sustained periods of time. School leaders have introduced a range of strategies to improve writing, particularly that of boys, but the impact of these is limited. Teachers regularly assess pupils' work, but do not always use this information as effectively as they could to move pupils forward quickly in their work. As a result, some tasks and activities in lessons lack challenge, particularly for more-able pupils.

The school provides good care, guidance and support for its pupils. Pupils know that the adults in the school care for them well and pupils are unafraid to ask for their help and support. As a result, pupils are confident and increasingly independent learners. Attendance is well above average because pupils enjoy coming to school. Those pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities receive good support and make good progress in their learning and personal development. The school has appropriate strategies in place to evaluate its performance but its judgements on attainment and pupils' learning and progress are overly generous. Governors are very supportive and know the school well. They visit regularly and support the school in giving sound value for money within the external constraints of a limited budget. All this demonstrates that the school has satisfactory capacity to sustain the improvements it has already made and to improve further.

What does the school need to do to improve further?

  • Improve pupils' progress in writing throughout the school so that their achievement, based on their individual abilities and starting points, is at least good by the end of Key Stage 2 by:
    • providing more opportunities for sustained writing throughout the curriculum.
  • Improve the quality of provision in the Early Years Foundation Stage by:
    • ensuring that children have continuous access to high-quality activities and resources to support their learning in all areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum in both the indoor and outdoor environments.
  • Ensure that teachers provide appropriately challenging activities which secure good progress for all groups of pupils, and particularly for more-able pupils by:
    • making more effective use of assessment and marking to plan for the next steps in learning on an individual basis.
    • About 40% of the schools whose overall effectiveness is judged satisfactory may receive a monitoring visit by and Ofsted inspector before their next section 5 inspection.

    Outcomes for individuals and groups of pupils


    From their broadly expected levels of development on entry to the Reception year, pupils' achievement is satisfactory overall and sometimes good in mathematics and science. Generally pupils are keen to learn, but learning and progress in lessons is not always as rapid as it could be because pupils are occasionally given tasks which do not focus sufficiently on the intended outcomes for learning. For example, while pupils often make good use of information and communication technology (ICT) to support their learning, the programs and internet websites they access are not always selected with their individual needs and abilities in mind and the learning experience is thus not as effective as it might be. Targeted support for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities means they are fully included in the life of the school and make good progress.

    Focused circle-time activities help pupils understand how to keep themselves safe from harm and healthy. Members of the school council recently contributed their own ideas on circle-time activities and school staff have incorporated these into their forward planning. Pupils say that there is no bullying in school — occasionally they 'have a bit of a falling out' but they soon make friends again and play together very happily. Pupils and staff trust one another, celebrating individuality while recognising the strength of the school community as a whole. The school ensures that physical activity is a major part of every school day and youngsters really enjoy taking part and improving their fitness. Pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural awareness is good. They clearly understand the difference between right and wrong, treat each other fairly and have a developing understanding of other cultures. The school day provides opportunities for quiet spiritual reflection. Pupils help raise money for charities and take part in a range of local events. Recently, they organised a Christmas Fair, running a selection of stalls, making sure that customers were well looked after and given the correct change. This, together with their excellent attendance, supports them in developing good skills for future adult life.

    These are the grades for pupils' outcomes

    Pupils' achievement and the extent to which they enjoy their learning
    Taking into account:
              Pupils' attainment¹
              The quality of pupils' learning and their progress
              The quality of learning for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities and their progress
    The extent to which pupils feel safe 2
    Pupils' behaviour 2
    The extent to which pupils adopt healthy lifestyles 2
    The extent to which pupils contribute to the school and wider community 2
    The extent to which pupils develop workplace and other skills that will contribute to their future economic well-being
    Taking into account:
              Pupils' attendance¹
    The extent of pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development 2

    1 The grades for attainment and attendance are: 1 is high; 2 is above average; 3 is broadly average; and 4 is low

    How effective is the provision?

    Teaching in lessons is satisfactory and sometimes good. Teachers have good subject knowledge and use their individual skills and experience to enrich pupils' learning, for example by teaching Spanish, French and music throughout the school. In some lessons the pace of learning is too slow; pupils are not fully engaged in learning and do not make as much progress as they could. Pupils' work is conscientiously marked, school leaders track progress based on regular assessments and individual targets for improvement are set. However, these do not consistently result in effective planning for appropriately challenging activities and pupils sometimes repeat prior learning unnecessarily. Teachers have begun to make effective links between different subject areas, giving the learning a real purpose and relevance to pupils. This is beginning to help pupils to develop further their skills in reading, writing, mathematics and ICT, although they still need more opportunities for writing.

    The school cares for its pupils well and ensures their safety in school. Pupils respond with good attitudes to learning, developing confidence and independence.

    The school uses effective links with other local schools to broaden pupils' experiences, joining them for educational visits, sporting events and residential trips which pupils anticipate with great enthusiasm. This is particularly important in a small rural school and supports pupils in their move to the next phase in education.

    These are the grades for the quality of provision

    The quality of teaching
    Taking into account:
              The use of assessment to support learning
    The extent to which the curriculum meets pupils' needs, including, where relevant, through partnerships 3
    The effectiveness of care, guidance and support 2

    How effective are leadership and management?

    The headteacher provides sound leadership and educational direction for the school and works effectively with a range of other agencies and partners, including parents. Teamwork is strong and a 'hands-on' approach to the day-to-day management of the school supports the headteacher in the difficult task of fulfilling her leadership role while maintaining a high-level teaching commitment. There are systems in place for self-evaluation leading to actions for improvement focused on raising achievement. The school acknowledges that there is not always sufficient focus on evaluating the impact of interventions to improve pupils' progress, and that there is a need to use the systems in place to track progress more effectively and ensure that teachers take swift action to address underachievement. Procedures to monitor the quality of teaching and link teachers' professional development needs to school improvement priorities are becoming embedded in the school. The impact of this is seen in the recently improved standards in mathematics and science. Parents are appreciative of the school's work, and say that their views are listened to and any concerns are addressed.

    The school's effectiveness in promoting community cohesion is satisfactory. While staff and pupils have a good understanding of the local community and are developing links with Kenya, less is done to promote pupils' understanding of the range of cultures and socio-economic circumstances in Britain. Governors are very supportive and successfully carry out their statutory duties in relation to safeguarding pupils and staff. They are very much involved in the sound financial management of the school, but not quite as effective in tackling school leaders on weaknesses in relation to improving pupils' progress.

    The school is inclusive and racist incidents are extremely rare. However, the adequate quality of provision for children in the Early Years Foundation Stage and the lack of suitable challenge in lessons for some of the more able pupils mean that the effectiveness of the school's promotion of equal opportunities is satisfactory overall.

    These are the grades for leadership and management

    The effectiveness of leadership and management in embedding ambition and driving improvement
    Taking into account:
              The leadership and management of teaching and learning
    The effectiveness of the governing body in challenging and supporting the
    school so that weaknesses are tackled decisively and statutory responsibilities met
    The effectiveness of the school's engagement with parents and carers 2
    The effectiveness of partnerships in promoting learning and well-being 2
    The effectiveness with which the school promotes equality of opportunity and tackles discrimination 3
    The effectiveness of safeguarding procedures 2
    The effectiveness with which the school promotes community cohesion 3
    The effectiveness with which the school deploys resources to achieve value for money 3

    Early Years Foundation Stage

    Children entering the school in the Reception class reach a good level of achievement by the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage and are well prepared for moving into Key Stage 1. The family atmosphere in the school ensures that they happily settle into school life, joining in confidently with the older pupils — who love to look after them — and developing independence. Some good teaching ensures that they rapidly develop good skills in relation to reading, writing and mathematical problem solving, but there is limited provision for their needs in relation to learning through play and exploring the outdoors. The school has plans in place to improve the outdoor learning environment, but the indoor classroom is equally in need of improvement in order to provide continuous access to suitable and stimulating learning activities for these young children. Satisfactory leadership and management of this key stage secure good links with parents and a safe environment for children.

    These are the grades for the Early Years Foundation Stage

    Overall effectiveness of the Early Years Foundation Stage
    Taking into account:
              Outcomes for children in the Early Years Foundation Stage
              The quality of provision in the Early Years Foundation Stage
              The effectiveness of leadership and management of the Early Years Foundation

    Views of parents and carers

    Parents are very supportive of the school and comment that their children love coming to school where they develop confidence and self-esteem in a warm and friendly environment.

    Responses from parents and carers to Ofsted's questionnaire

    Ofsted invited all the registered parents and carers of pupils registered at Welton School to complete a questionnaire about their views of the school.

    In the questionnaire, parents and carers were asked to record how strongly they agreed with 13 statements about the school.

    The inspector received 9 completed questionnaires by the end of the on-site inspection. In total, there are 18 pupils registered at the school.

    Statements Strongly
    Agree Disagree Strongly
    Total % Total % Total % Total %
    My child enjoys school 9 100 0 0 0 0 0 0
    The school keeps my child safe 7 78 2 22 0 0 0 0
    My school informs me about my child's progress 9 100 0 0 0 0 0 0
    My child is making enough progress at this school 7 78 2 22 0 0 0 0
    The teaching is good at this school 8 89 1 11 0 0 0 0
    The school helps me to support my child's learning 7 78 2 22 0 0 0 0
    The school helps my child to have a healthy lifestyle 8 89 1 11 0 0 0 0
    The school makes sure that my child is well prepared for the future (for example changing year group, changing school, and for children who are finishing school, entering further or higher education, or entering employment) 6 67 2 22 1 11 0 0
    The school meets my child's particular needs 4 44 5 56 0 0 0 0
    The school deals effectively with unacceptable behaviour 3 33 6 67 0 0 0 0
    The school takes account of my suggestions and concerns 5 56 4 44 0 0 0 0
    The school is led and managed effectively 5 56 4 44 0 0 0 0
    Overall, I am happy with my child's experience at this school 5 56 4 44 0 0 0 0

    The table above summarises the responses that parents and carers made to each statement. The percentages indicate the proportion of parents and carers giving that response out of the total number of completed questionnaires. Where one or more parents and carers chose not to answer a particular question, the percentages will not add up to 100%.


    What inspection judgements mean

    Grade Judgement Description
    Grade 1 Outstanding These features are highly effective. An oustanding school provides exceptionally well for all its pupils' needs.
    Grade 2 Good These are very positive features of a school. A school that is good is serving its pupils well.
    Grade 3 Satisfactory These features are of reasonable quality. A satisfactory school is providing adequately for its pupils.
    Grade 4 Inadequate These features are not of an acceptable standard. An inadequate school needs to make significant improvement in order to meet the needs of its pupils. Ofsted inspectors will make further visits until it improves.

    Overall effectiveness of schools inspected between September 2007 and July 2008

    Overall effectiveness judgement (percentage of schools)
    Type of school Outstanding Good Satisfactory Inadequate
    Nursery schools 39 58 3 0
    Primary schools 13 50 33 4
    Secondary schools 17 40 34 9
    Sixth forms 18 43 37 2
    Special schools 26 54 18 2
    Pupil referral
    7 55 30 7
    All schools 15 49 32 5

    New school inspection arrangements were introduced on 1 September 2009. This means that inspectors now make some additional judgements that were not made previously.

    The data in the table above were reported in the Annual Report of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Education, Children's Services and Skills 2007/08.

    Percentages are rounded and do not always add exactly to 100. Secondary school figures include those that have sixth forms, and sixth form figures include only the data specifically for sixth form inspection judgements.

    Common terminology used by inspectors


    the progress and success of a pupil in their learning, development or training.


    the standard of the pupils' work shown by test and examination results and in lessons.

    Capacity to improve:

    the proven ability of the school to continue improving. Inspectors base this judgement on what the school has accomplished so far and on the quality of its systems to maintain improvement.

    Leadership and management:

    the contribution of all the staff with responsibilities, not just the headteacher, to identifying priorities, directing and motivating staff and running the school.


    how well pupils acquire knowledge, develop their understanding, learn and practise skills and are developing their competence as learners.

    Overall effectiveness:

    inspectors form a judgement on a school's overall effectiveness based on the findings from their inspection of the school. The following judgements, in particular, influence what the overall effectiveness judgement will be.

    • The school's capacity for sustained improvement.
    • Outcomes for individuals and groups of pupils.
    • The quality of teaching.
    • The extent to which the curriculum meets pupils' needs,  including, where relevant, through partnerships.
    • The effectiveness of care, guidance and support.

    the rate at which pupils are learning in lessons and over longer periods of time. It is often measured by comparing the pupils' attainment at the end of a key stage with their attainment when they started.

    This letter is provided for the school, parents and
    carers to share with their children. It describes Ofsted's
    main findings from the inspection of their school.

    14 January 2010

    Dear Pupils

    Inspection of Welton School, Carlisle, CA5 7HE

    Thank you all for giving me such a warm welcome when I visited your school to see how you are all doing in your lessons. It was especially good to be able to talk to every single one of you and hear how much you enjoy coming to school to learn and play together. Lunchtime was a real highlight for me. We all shared a delicious and healthy meal which some of you helped to serve and I was very impressed by your good manners and courtesy, not just with me, but with one another.

    You told me that you feel safe in school and know how to keep yourselves fit and healthy. I really enjoyed reading the newsletter you prepared for your parents at the end of last term — I bet they were all really impressed.

    Inspectors have to make some judgements about what they find in school and try to suggest some things which might make it even better for you. I found that your school is satisfactory. This means that there are many good things happening, but also some improvements needed to make sure you learn as much as you possibly can. I have asked your teachers to do these things.

      • Give you more opportunities to spend a good chunk of your time writing.
      • Provide more activities for the youngest children in the school to learn and play both indoors and outdoors.
      • Make sure that the work they give you always challenges you to do the very best you can and that you do not repeat work which you can already do.

    You can help too. I read the book of poems you published last year and know what good writers you are. If you really concentrate on your written work, I know that many of you can reach the highest possible standards — not just in poetry but also in stories and longer pieces of writing. Please continue to do your best and to look after each other as well as you do now. Good luck and thank you again for your welcome.

    Yours sincerely

    Mrs Janette Corlett

    Any complaints about the inspection or the report should be made following the procedures set out in the guidance 'Complaining about inspections', which is available from Ofsted's website: www.ofsted.gov.uk. If you would like Ofsted to send you a copy of the guidance, please telephone 08456 404045, or email enquiries@ofsted.gov.uk.

Annual Report 2012/13