Our Most Recent Ofsted Report March 2013

School report

Biscovey Nursery and Infant

Community School

Lamellyn Road, Par, PL24 2DB

Inspection dates 5–6 March 2013

Overall effectiveness

Previous inspection: Satisfactory 3

This inspection: Good 2

Achievement of pupils Good 2

Quality of teaching Good 2

Behaviour and safety of pupils Good 2

Leadership and management Good 2

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a good school.

The school has improved since the last

inspection because senior leaders have

successfully improved the quality of teaching.

Across the school all groups of pupils make

good progress.

Attainment in reading and mathematics is

now above the national average. Attainment

in writing is improving rapidly.

Additional adults give very good extra support

to children who need it.

The curriculum is carefully focused on pupils’

needs, and provision for pupils’ spiritual,

moral, social and cultural development is


Behaviour is good across the school. Pupils are

polite and well mannered. They feel safe in

school and know who to turn to if they have a

problem. Bullying is rare.

The school’s very good professional

development for all staff is a fundamental

reason for raising standards of teaching and


The governing body is a challenging and

supportive friend to the school. Governors are

well informed, know their responsibilities well,

and successfully fulfil their role in holding

senior leaders to account for the school’s


It is not yet an outstanding school because

In a small number of lessons pupils are not

sufficiently challenged to ensure that they

make rapid progress.

Pupils’ behaviour is not outstanding because

when they become disinterested in lessons

they sometimes lose focus on their work and


Inspection report: Biscovey Nursery and Infant Community School, 5–6 March 2013

Information about this inspection

Inspectors visited 19 lessons. Five lessons were observed jointly with either the headteacher or

the deputy headteacher. Inspectors also made short visits to sessions where small groups of

children, or individuals, are given extra support with their learning.

The inspectors heard pupils read, examined pupils’ work in their books, and observed pupils’

activities in the playground and in the dinner hall.

Inspectors held discussions with pupils, the headteacher, deputy headteacher and other senior

leaders, members of the governing body, support staff and a representative of the local


Inspectors examined a range of documents, including minutes of governors’ meetings, a

summary of the school’s self-evaluation, the school improvement plan, the school’s information

on pupils’ progress, and records relating to pupils’ safety, behaviour and attendance.

Inspectors spoke informally to parents to seek their views about the school. The number of

responses to Ofsted’s online questionnaire (Parent View) was too few to be taken into account;

however, the school had recently undertaken its own questionnaire for parents and the

inspection team considered the results from this survey.

The views expressed by 19 staff who returned a questionnaire were also considered.

Inspection team

Chris Chamberlain, Lead inspector Additional Inspector

Alan Jones Additional Inspector

Inspection report: Biscovey Nursery and Infant Community School, 5–6 March 2013 



Full report

Information about this school

Biscovey Nursery and Infant Community School is an average-sized primary school.

Almost all pupils are White British.

The proportion of pupils known to be eligible for the pupil premium is below average. The pupil

premium provides additional funding for pupils known to be eligible for free school meals,

children in local authority care, and children of service families.

The proportion of disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs supported at

school action is average.

The proportion of pupils who are supported at school action plus, or who have a statement of

special educational needs is lower than in most other schools.

The school makes use of a local authority nurture unit for one of its pupils. There is no other

alternative provision.

What does the school need to do to improve further?

Improve teaching so that more is outstanding by making sure that all teachers:

− accelerate the rate at which pupils learn by always providing an effective level of challenge to

meet the wide range of pupils’ needs

− ensure that pupils are fully engaged in their learning by providing activities that stimulate

pupils’ focus and concentration

− make sure that learning activities are more closely matched to pupils’ interests and levels of


Inspection report: Biscovey Nursery and Infant Community School, 5–6 March 2013 

Inspection judgements

The achievement of pupils is good

Due to improvements in teaching, pupils are making good progress in their learning at all stages

throughout the school. A very large majority of parents agree that their children are making

better progress. Attainment at the end of Key Stage 1 is now above the national average in both

reading and mathematics, and although attainment in writing is in line with national averages it

is improving.

Pupils join the Nursery with skills and aptitudes that are broadly in line with the levels that would

normally be expected for their age, although their literary skills are often below age-related

expectations. Due to good teaching they make good progress, and leave the Nursery with

literacy skills that are in line with average expectations.

Daily phonics sessions, where pupils are grouped by ability, have been important in accelerating

pupils’ progress.

Pupil premium funding is used well to provide extra help on a one-to-one basis for individual

pupils or in small groups with well-trained teaching assistants. The average point scores (APS)

for pupils entitled to free school meals show that their attainment in both English and

mathematics is lower than that of other pupils at the school, but because of the additional

support to improve their attainment, the gap between these groups of pupils and their peers is


Disabled pupils and those with special educational needs make progress at similar rates to their

classmates, the result of effective one-to-one sessions and well-targeted support in class.

Pupils make rapid progress in reading because of the good teaching of phonics (the sounds that

letters and words make) and the additional, more focused support given to pupils who find

reading difficult. Pupils confidently use their knowledge of phonics to read words they do not

know. The strong link between home and school begins in Nursery, where parents are

encouraged to stay in the classroom for the first part of the day to support their child’s learning.

This continues throughout the school, where pupils benefit from being supported by their

parents who regularly read with their children at home.

The school’s improved, topic-based curriculum gives pupils exciting opportunities to apply their

skills and knowledge to a wide range of subjects such as designing fabrics during a project

focusing on China or celebrating traditions during a focus on the history of Cornwall.

The quality of teaching is good

Since the last inspection senior leaders have provided an intensive programme of support and

training to improve the quality of teaching. Most teaching, including that of disabled pupils and

those with special educational needs, is now good and some is outstanding. All parents spoken

to during the inspection and those who completed the school’s own questionnaire agreed that

teaching is good.

Teachers usually have high expectations. By asking probing questions, they develop the pupils’

learning, building on the answers they give to questions and drawing out their understanding of

the topic under discussion. In a Year 2 mathematics lesson, for example, the teacher organised

different tasks for pupils depending on their level of understanding. Using a range of measuring

equipment and a variety of different tasks, the teacher organised interesting activities well

matched to the pupils’ needs. For example, a group working outside independently chose their

own equipment and worked out their own methods to measure the gaps between randomly

placed plastic counters. The adult supporting the group used effective questioning to develop

pupil’s skills and extend their knowledge.

Learning environments are well resourced. They support pupils’ development through the use of

computer activities to reinforce learning in numeracy, and display words that help pupils to

progress in their reading and writing.


Teachers help pupils learn through providing a range of exciting projects and focused weeks

including looking at a range of religious festivals. This has included projects on ‘Light and Dark’,

exploring music, and looking at the different ways people live during a week learning all about

Africa. In this way teaching also promotes pupils’ spiritual, moral, cultural and social


In the Early Years Foundation Stage a wide range of opportunities helps children to learn

through play and investigation, both inside and outside the classroom. Children engage in

activities designed to improve their coordination, such as in working with their friends to

construct a balancing trail around the outdoor area. Through skilful questioning and

encouragement from a teaching assistant supporting learning outside, pupils discovered that

colours change when mixed.

Adults establish positive relationships with pupils. Teachers methodically track pupils’ progress

and carefully plan for each individual pupil’s next step in their learning, ensuring that no pupil is


The school’s methodical approach to marking ensures that pupils understand how they can

improve. Marking is detailed and supports the planning of the pupils’ next learning activity. For

example when marking pupils’ writing, teachers use detailed success-criteria grids to enable

them to identify gaps in pupils’ knowledge and skills. In the most effective lessons pupils are

encouraged to read the teacher’s comments and apply the feedback to their next piece of work.

Teachers check on pupils’ learning during lessons and readily adapt tasks to pupils’ needs.

Teaching is not yet outstanding because in a small number of lessons there is not enough

challenge for all pupils and therefore progress is not always rapid enough.

The behaviour and safety of pupils are good



The school positively emphasises the importance of high standards of behaviour. As a result

pupils are well behaved and keen to learn. They are polite and well mannered during lessons as

well as in other school activities. Parents, pupils and staff all agree that behaviour is typically


Pupils’ movements around the school are orderly because they take full responsibility for their

own behaviour as well as encouraging each other to behave well.

The school has improved play at break times by giving pupils more activities that interest them.

This has ensured that pupils are happy and busy. For example, in the Year 1 playground, staff

give pupils a wide range of activities, such as acting as chefs in the role-play area, and

encourage them to use books to identify birds. Model construction equipment is used well to

encourage pupils to learn through play, and adults lead sessions and games such as ‘Wake and

Shake’ to encourage pupils’ fitness and develop cooperative play skills.

Pupils feel safe in school, understand the importance of e-safety and are confident that any

instances of poor behaviour, including bullying, will be dealt with appropriately by adults in

school. They are aware of the different forms in which bullying can take place.

Although attendance is lower than the national average, the school is working hard with families

to reduce absence, and has appropriate systems in place, such as through telephone calls to

families, to follow-up absences.

Behaviour is not outstanding because, on a small number of occasions, when pupils are not

challenged fully by their activities and become disinterested, they tend to lose focus on their

work and sometimes misbehave.

The leadership and management are good

Senior leaders have successfully improved teaching, which is now good. Pupils know what they

have to do to enhance their work, and their writing skills have improved.

There is a strong ethos of continuous school improvement that is shared by all staff.


Good leadership has led to more detailed teaching plans which are focused clearly on pupils’

next steps in their learning. Pupils understand how to improve their work and are keen to make


The curriculum is well designed to promote the spiritual, moral, cultural and social development

of all pupils. It is broad, balanced and designed to promote equal opportunity for all pupils;

senior leaders work hard to ensure there is no discrimination. Weekly assemblies strengthen

pupils’ knowledge about the wider world by sharing music, artwork and stories from countries

such as Australia and India.

The school has improved its tracking of pupils’ progress since the last inspection. Combined with

regular work scrutiny and moderation of pupils’ work, this gives senior leaders an accurate

picture of pupils’ progress. Discussions are regularly held with teachers to agree the best

teaching strategies for pupils who are making slower progress and who need additional support.

For example, pupils who are not making rapid enough progress are given support with their

learning in small groups or work on a one-to-one basis with an experienced teaching assistant.

Teaching is very well monitored by senior leaders. Performance management is robust and is

clearly linked to improving the quality of teaching, accelerating pupils’ progress in writing, and

reviewing and continuing to improve the curriculum. Training, linked to the school improvement

plan and performance management objectives, is regularly provided for all staff.

Senior and middle leaders produce effective development plans with clear success criteria.

Regular monitoring focuses the whole school on a cycle of continuous self-improvement.

The school’s arrangements for safeguarding pupils fully meet statutory requirements.

The local authority has given support to this good school, including helping to improve the

quality of teaching and accelerating progress in writing.

The governance of the school:

− Governors are aware of the school’s strengths and areas for improvement and understand

how the school’s performance compares to that of other schools nationally. They have been

fully involved in the improvements that the school has made since the last inspection, and

have spent time in school, working with pupils and undertaking learning walks. They have

talked to adults so that they understand fully how the school works, and how successfully

initiatives have led to school improvement. Governors undertake their own professional

development to help them hold the school to account, and set challenging performance

management objectives for the headteacher based on pupil tracking data. They have an

overview of standards of teaching, know how performance management is used to improve

the quality of teaching and monitor salary progression for other staff. They understand how

pupil premium funding is being used and the impact of this on pupils’ progress.

Inspection report: Biscovey Nursery and Infant Community School, 5–6 March 2013 


What inspection judgements mean



Grade Judgement Description

Grade 1 Outstanding An outstanding school is highly effective in delivering outcomes

that provide exceptionally well for all its pupils’ needs. This ensures

that pupils are very well equipped for the next stage of their

education, training or employment.

Grade 2 Good A good school is effective in delivering outcomes that provide well

for all its pupils’ needs. Pupils are well prepared for the next stage

of their education, training or employment.

Grade 3 Requires


A school that requires improvement is not yet a good school, but it

is not inadequate. This school will receive a full inspection within

24 months from the date of this inspection.

Grade 4 Inadequate A school that has serious weaknesses is inadequate overall and

requires significant improvement but leadership and management

are judged to be Grade 3 or better. This school will receive regular

monitoring by Ofsted inspectors.

A school that requires special measures is one where the school is

failing to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education and

the school’s leaders, managers or governors have not

demonstrated that they have the capacity to secure the necessary

improvement in the school. This school will receive regular

monitoring by Ofsted inspectors.

Inspection report: Biscovey Nursery and Infant Community School, 5–6 March 2013

School details

Unique reference number 111903

Local authority Cornwall

Inspection number 405361

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 3–7

Gender of pupils Mixed

Number of pupils on the school roll 215

Appropriate authority The governing body

Chair Fiona Edgington

Headteacher Richard Hope-Pears

Date of previous school inspection 2–3 February 2011

Telephone number 01726 812006

Fax number 01726 813436

Email address head@biscovey-inf.cornwall.gov.sch

Any complaints about the inspection or the report should be made following the procedures set out in the

guidance ‘raising concerns and making complaints about Ofsted', 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 0300

123 4234, or email enquiries@ofsted.gov.uk.