IQRA Judged as GOOD with Outstanding features
– OFSTED,October 2016.
Summary of key findings for parents and pupils
The headteacher, leaders and governors have worked tirelessly to ensure that the school meets pupils’ needs well.
Pupils’ personal development and welfare are outstanding, reflecting the very effective teaching and high priority leaders give this aspect of school life. Pupils are very articulate and self-aware; they demonstrate tolerance and respect towards others.
Senior leaders are ambitious for the school. Their drive to raise standards of teaching and learning has brought about improved results and ensured that teaching is good.
Almost all pupils make expected progress and many make more than expected. Attainment is in line with or above other schools nationally.
Behaviour is good. Pupils behave well in lessons and around the school; they have lovely manners.
Teachers give clear explanations and ensure that lessons motivate pupils to learn.
Pupils enjoy school and are proud to be pupils of Iqra school. They say that they feel safe and parents rightly believe adults keep them safe.
Support for pupils who have special educational needs and/or disabilities is a strength; as a result, these pupils make very good progress.
Leadership and Management
The headteacher provides strong direction and clear leadership for the school community. He is ably supported by the two deputy headteachers in creating an environment where everyone is valued. Leaders have worked with commitment and passion to embed consistency and drive further improvements. As a result, the school provides a good standard of education and is well placed to become even more effective.
Pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is supported extremely well. As a Muslim school, faith is embedded in school life. The beliefs are taught explicitly, then threaded through their learning about community, moral issues and other faiths and cultures.
Governors provide useful support and challenge to school leaders. They are passionate about the school’s role in the local and wider community and are proud of all the school has achieved in meeting the needs of families from different ethnic groups.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective. Rigorous assessments are carried out to ensure that staff are safe to work with children, through detailed references and relevant police checks.
Teaching, Learning and Assessment
Teaching across the school is good. The consistency of approach seen across classes and year groups reflects leaders’ work to improve teaching and raise standards. Teachers identify clearly what they want pupils to learn and make sure that pupils know what they need to do to be successful. Teachers’ explanations are clear and enable pupils to understand the learning and activities. Pupils are confident about what they have to do and why they are doing it.
PSHE (Personal, Social, Health Education) lessons are very effective and help to support pupils’ personal development and welfare very well.
Reading is taught well. In the younger year groups, phonics lessons enable pupils to develop a good understanding of letters and sounds and how to decode simple words. These effective skills are built upon as pupils move through the school.
Mathematics teaching is effective, with number being a particular strength. Pupils build up their skills and understanding of mathematics effectively from the early years, using practical equipment to embed concepts. The problem-solving opportunities provided are useful at deepening pupils’ number skills.
Writing is taught well. There has been a successful focus on increasing opportunities to write across the curriculum. Pupils now write more frequently and at greater length. Grammar and punctuation skills are taught effectively alongside other aspects of writing. As a result, pupils achieve well.
Teachers check work during and after lessons, providing useful feedback to enable pupils to improve their work.
Personal development, behaviour and welfare
The school’s work to promote pupils’ personal development and welfare is outstanding.
Pupils have a detailed understanding of how to keep themselves safe.
Pupils are able to explain their thoughts and feelings extremely well; they are very articulate and self-aware. This is encouraged from a very early age; even the youngest children are able to explain how they feel at a basic level.
All pupils spoken to were confident that they could speak to staff if they were worried. Several pupils mentioned the pastoral support available at lunch and breaktimes.
Pupils’ understanding of being healthy and taking exercise is similarly very strong.
Pupils take extremely good care of their environment; learning spaces and outside areas are immaculate.
Pupils say bullying is very rare and, if it does happen, it is stopped quickly by staff. The quality and quantity of supervision is very high and ensures that pupils feel safe and happy.
Pupils talk with conviction about how all at the school respect each other. They explain in detail what tolerance is and how it is an essential part of their everyday life in school.
In the lunch hall, the atmosphere is calm and harmonious. Pupils wait patiently for their turn and are unfailingly polite to the staff.
Across the school pupils demonstrate very positive attitudes to learning and they value greatly the opportunities the school gives them. This is reflected in the pride with which they wear their uniforms. They have an excellent understanding of the importance of education and this drives them to try hard and do well. They make the most of every learning opportunity provided.
Outcomes for pupils
Pupils do well and achieve at least in line with other schools across the country. From the time children join the school to the time they leave, the majority make at least good progress.
All ethnic groups do as well as each other.
Pupils who have special educational needs and/or disabilities achieve very well, reflecting the high-quality provision and carefully targeted teaching they receive. In lessons, these pupils make the most gains and this was reflected in the significant progress made by many individuals.
Pupils take pride in their work and presentation is of a high standard. Generally, handwriting is fluent, cursive and legible.
Early years provision
Structured routines and high expectations ensure that children settle quickly.
The indoor and outdoor learning spaces are well organised and the outdoor environment is particularly appealing for children to learn and play. The activities are well planned to support children’s play and develop their knowledge, understanding and skills.
Children are well cared for and their needs are met very well. They learn about hygiene routines as soon as they join the school and are supported well during lunch and snack times.
The children play well together and share their thoughts and ideas articulately.
IQRA Section 8 Visit by Ofsted (July 2015):
Safeguarding at IQRA:
The school’s safeguarding arrangements meet requirements.
You and other leaders, including governors, place a very high priority on keeping pupils safe. As a result, the school’s arrangements to safeguard pupils are tight. You have made sure that policies are detailed and that they meet requirements. Checks on staff, volunteers, governors and visitors are thorough. Staff are trained well and regularly in all aspects of safeguarding, including keeping pupils safe from the risks of radicalisation and extremism.
While the vast majority of pupils’ attendance is good, leaders are taking effective action to improve the attendance of a minority of pupils who are more regularly absent from school. Rates of exclusions are low.
Pupils say they are very happy at school and that they feel safe. The vast majority of parents agree.
Pupil Development at IQRA:
Pupils’ behave sensibly without stifling their enthusiasm and their enjoyment of being at school. They fully understand and greatly value the school’s ‘four golden rules’: respect, cooperation, honesty and compassion. Initiatives such as ‘playground pals’ and ‘peer mentors’ involve pupils in promoting sensible, safe, good behaviour.
While pupils know about the different types of bullying, however, bullying is very rare and is dealt with swiftly and effectively on the odd occasions that it happens. As one pupils said, “we are taught to tolerate and respect all different kinds of people”.
Pupils are taught how to keep themselves safe, for example when using the internet, through PSHE lessons. They are also given regular opportunities to talk about anything that might worry them, for example through weekly ‘circle time’.
You have taken steps to ensure that pupils can only access appropriate content when using the internet at school, and you provide parents with useful information about e-safety that they can use with their children at home.
Governors at IQRA:
Governors take their responsibilities regarding safeguarding very seriously. Ensuring pupils’ safety is regularly discussed during governing body meetings and governors provide effective challenge and support to leaders.
Governors visit the school frequently to monitor the effectiveness of safeguarding arrangements. They have regular training sessions about safeguarding. They also review policies very regularly to make sure that they are up-to-date and fully compliant. They are committed to preventing pupils being exposed to the dangers of radicalisation and extremism, and they check that the school’s work to prepare pupils for life in modern Britain is effective.
Leaders at IQRA:
Leaders make excellent use of external support. They liaise promptly and effectively with local authority officers over any safeguarding concerns. Cambridge Education conducted a full review of the school in November 2014 on behalf of the local authority, including looking at pupils’ safety. Additionally, leaders have arranged for other external consultants to visit the school to evaluate its effectiveness in 2015, including looking at arrangements to safeguard pupils.
Leaders have acted swiftly on the very positive findings of these external reviews to improve safeguarding arrangements even further.