A collaborative affair at Pelham

Three things that may benefit others around our recent Ofsted inspection:

  1. The initial telephone conversation was simply that – a conversation as opposed to an interrogation. With the deep dive into reading being a non-negotiable, the remaining two threads of the inspection were ours to suggest and, after a short discussion, these were adopted.
  2. Subject leaders were fully involved in every aspect of the deep dives into Reading, Maths and Geography. Evidence of our curriculum intent, implementation and impact across the phases was analysed and staff were invited to explain the rationale behind curriculum decisions made. Improvements made since the last inspection were recognised, as was the respect staff and children had for each other. The fact that all the hard work done by staff and pupils was also praised during the inspection, went a long was to make the whole experience feel like a collaborative affair.
  3. Expectations for all pupils were examined and pupils were asked to talk about their learning experiences both inside and outside of the classroom. A high percentage of the inspection time was spent in classrooms asking children to explain the work they were undertaking, the learning that had gone before and where they thought the next steps would take them.

The areas of strength identified by the inspectors were:

  • Mathematics
  • that pupils’ learning in all subjects is challenging and interesting
  • the achievement of SEND children.

Aspects that made these strengths stand out were:

  • Teachers receive excellent training and support from leaders
  • Pupils work well together and teachers ensure that they plan a range of interesting activities that the children will enjoy
  • Leaders and staff show a depth of understanding of pupils’ needs and ensure that all pupils experience success in their learning
  • Leaders have worked hard to reduce workload.

Inspectors were able to identify these strengths because:

  • Senior leaders were given regular updates throughout the inspection and were able to fill in any information that was not readily obvious.
  • Subject leaders were given the opportunity to discuss their areas with the inspector and were encourage to present evidence to augment those discussions.
  • Pupils were confident and eager to discuss the school, the staff and their work with the inspector.