The Context of the School
The Oaktree is located on the Hermitage estate, which is an area just outside Woking with a mixture of private and local authority housing. There are several schools serving this community, in close proximity to one another. Parents are overwhelmingly positive about the high quality of education provided and as a result our school is always full and oversubscribed.
Since the change in admissions procedures the school catchment is now much closer to the school; this year 0.8 of a km. This change means that over the past four years the schools catchment has changed significantly.
Our school community is predominately of White British origin although there are a growing number of children from a variety of other backgrounds. As a leadership team we acknowledge the need to widen our children’s cultural understanding so that they learn to live in a multi-cultural society. To this end we work closely with our local Muslim community to organise visits and talks and celebrate within school the special events of our ethnic minority children.
We have a small number of children eligible for Pupil Premium compared to national data. Our families tend to only meet the criteria because there has been a traumatic change in their lives such as a death in the family or a family break up. These families need a lot of support to enable the children to access learning and make progress. Looking at National data for EYFS and KS1 children in the PP category our children underachieve but in fact most children make good to outstanding progress.
The leadership team of the school recognise that the children come to school eager to learn. There has been a rise in the level of attendance since the last inspection due a number of measures introduced by the school. Our attendance figures are now good and we are working towards improving this. Over the last 6 years the school absence levels have been below Surrey and National (2nd percentile. The school persistent absence level is lower than Surrey and national. FSM children absence level is also below the Surrey and national level. With so many working parents on low incomes one of our on-going concerns is the amount of holiday taken in term time. We are working closely with our parents to ensure they understand the importance of their children not missing school.
98% of our children have attended a preschool setting and therefore should show a high degree of school readiness. There are close links with pre-schools and nurseries to ensure smooth transitions. As a result the provision for our youngest children has undergone considerable changes since 2011 in order to meet the specific needs and preferred learning styles of the children. We are confident that, due to the provision, our reception children now leave their first year as confident and independent learners, with their needs identified and targeted in order to allow continued progress as they move through the school.
The proportion of children in the school who come from minority ethnic backgrounds has risen slightly this year by 1. Many of these children are speaking English as their first language and consider themselves to be bilingual as opposed to having English as an additional language. Despite this the school has always valued the rich learning opportunities which can be derived from a celebration of cultural diversity; this is reflected in much of the school’s topic, lesson and special event planning.
The school has been working on the learning needs of gifted and talented children in core curriculum subjects through the setting of groups of children for lessons, intervention sessions and the administering of home learning challenges which target an extension of creative thinking skills. The school will also be prioritising the identification of gifted and talented students in other areas of the curriculum during this academic year. This year the SLT has restructured the organisation of curriculum leadership in order to ensure this enhancement of provision is being made.
There are low levels of pupil mobility at the school. Many of our children move on to our partner junior school, The Hermitage. We are working closely together to ensure that identified groups of children continue to be targeted throughout their primary education. Transition projects are currently being carried out in Maths and Literacy to ensure that the provision children receive at The Oaktree is complimented as they move into Year 3.
The leadership team has defined a series of visionary aims for the school, based on the overall mission of ‘Learning Together to Achieve Excellence’. These aims are concerned with the holistic development of the child. We strive to establish both a love for and an understanding of how to learn; consolidate basic skills in reading, writing, maths and science; enable the development of positive life skills and ensure that every child is reaching their full potential. We also believe that it is essential for staff who work with our children to be lifelong learners. Based on the success in delivering our core values and the high academic achievement the school converted to Academy status in September 2013.
Our school sets high expectations for behaviour and we work hard to ensure that our children learn the skills to become responsible citizens. We consider our children to be caring, courteous and polite and have respect for our school community and beyond.
The school has been awarded:
v Basic Skills 10 year Award – plus renewal this year.
v Healthy Schools’ Award
v Sports’ Active Mark
v Eco Schools Green Flag 4th time.
v International Silver Award
v Green Ambassadors Award 2015
Outomes for pupils
Outcomes overall are still considered to be good because of the exceptional circumstance in national data this year. Before this year Raiseonline showed the achievement of our children to have been significantly above national for the last 10 years. The curriculum was reviewed last year and again this year in light of changes in assessment and new topics incorporated where necessary to meet the new NC expectations. The changes to the end of key stage assessment has been changing during the year but we have in place a system for monitoring progress and feel that we have been able to plan interventions to support all children. The key priority for 2016-17 mathematics and writing and have in place plans to ensure that all children achieve the highest level they can.
The Quality of teaching, learning and assessment
Although the teaching is good or better overall at the present time we are working hard to ensure that teaching continues to improve. The achievement of pupils has historically been outstanding with a drop this year. The key priority in the schools’ CPD plan is to eradicate the inconsistencies in teaching so that majority of teaching is outstanding, which will take the quality of teaching to the next level of performance. To improve teachers subject knowledge in mathematics.
Personal Development, Behaviour and Welfare
Our self-evaluation shows this to be an area in which we excel. This has always been part of our holistic approach to education and we therefore teach what we consider to be ‘Life Skills’. The children are taught these skills directly during using SEAL materials, life skills assemblies, circle time activities and incidentally by adult modelling. The whole school team ensure that 'The Oaktree Way' is always followed. The children have an excellent attitude to learning across all subjects and make good progress in lessons. They are engaged and excited about their learning and behaviour and safety is outstanding across the school. This year we are working with the 'Be the Best You Can Be' programme and the children enjoyed a visit from Ian Rose an Olympic Paralympic.
Quality of Leadership in and Management of the school
The school judge leadership and management to be solidly good with many aspects of outstanding. The quality of leadership and management is not yet outstanding as teaching and outcomes are not 100% outstanding. The strong personnel monitoring system ensures that all members of staff are effective and ensures that the quality of service is high. The school provides an overall good standard of education. The school community is committed to continuous improvement and to this end we work hard to reach outstanding levels in all areas. The leadership and management have a clear understanding of the needs of the school community and are able to put in place plans to achieve the highest standards. There is a record of school improvement which delivers improvement on time and within budget. The outstanding progress made by our children is due to the dedicated school teams who are continually looking for ways to improve teaching and learning. Assessment underpins all learning opportunities and children and parents are encouraged to work towards agreed targets. Pupils learn in a safe and supportive environment and as a result of good or better teaching engage well with learning.
Children benefit from an enriched curriculum which integrates art, music and drama with the core subjects. The curriculum is enhanced by visiting places of interest and welcoming visitors to the school. Children are encouraged to take responsibility for their learning and to become independent learners. Our hands-on- learning approach ensures that children learn through experience and quickly become independent learners.
The spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of our pupils is outstanding. PSHE and PSED are known by the children as ‘Life Skills’ and as such have a high profile in the school. Children are taught the skills to become lifelong learners throughout their time at the school. The children are proud of the school and strive to achieve ‘The Oaktree Way’ to care for everyone and everything which results in excellent behaviour in and around the school. The RE curriculum develops children’s understanding of spirituality, other cultures and the celebration of diversity. There is a close relationship which the local church which results in the children visiting the church and members of the church family visiting the school on a weekly basis.
As children move through the school they are encouraged to take on more responsibility for the smooth running of the school by becoming Friendship Friends, door monitors, Eco monitors, members of the School Council or Eco Committee. The School Council and Eco Committee enable children to understand the principles of democracy first-hand. The school provides a opportunities for children to take part in community, artistic, sporting and cultural events.
The school’s overall provision ensures that pupils are very well prepared for the next stage of their education. The school team work hard with parents to support children to meet their personal, social and academic potential.