This series of articles looks at the Ofsted inspectors’ comments on 80 “good” schools. This article looks at their comments for Key Stage 1.

A lot of inspectors comments focus on Phonics, particularly in Year 1. Please see our article on Phonics for a further analysis of these comments.

The Expected Standard

Unlike previous years, where inspectors could look at specific progress from Early Years for Emerging, Expected and Exceeding pupils, inspectors only have quantified data for all pupils and disadvantaged pupils.

For most of these schools, the school was at or above the National Average:

The proportions of pupils reaching the expected and greater-depth standards are broadly in line with national averages.

Standards at the end of key stage 1 in reading, writing and mathematics are above the national averages.

Pupils attained above the national average at the expected standard in 2018 at key stage 1 … in national tests.

When standards were below the National Average, inspectors highlight it, together with any actions to change it:

The turbulence in staffing arrangements and variability in the quality of teaching affected pupils’ attainment and progress in key stages 1 and 2 in recent years. Some pupils were poorly prepared for the next stage of their education. Leaders and staff have halted the decline and turned this situation around.

Provisional data shows that outcomes at the end of key stage 1 declined in writing and mathematics in 2018. Leaders have identified the reasons for this and have a clear plan in place to ensure that this is not repeated. A more settled teaching staff has led to stronger progress in key stage 1.

After two years of improvement, provisional 2018 results show that the proportion of pupils reaching the expected standard at the end of key stage 2 dipped again to below the national average. Leaders have identified mathematics for focused improvement.

The Greater Depth Standard

In a lot of these schools, attainment at the greater depth standard was at or above the National averages. However, attainment at the greater standard for Key Stage 1 does not seem to have commented upon as frequently as it is for Key Stage 2.

The proportion of pupils demonstrating greater understanding in reading, writing and mathematics was also broadly in line with national averages.

Pupils also attained above the national average at key stage 1 … at greater depth…

The proportions of pupils working at greater depth in key stage 1 have improved to be much closer to national averages in 2018.

Importantly, the number of pupils achieving at the highest standards increased, most notably in reading and mathematics.

Inspectors do comment sometimes on a lack of focus on the greater depth standard at the end of Key Stage 1, but include school’s attempts to increase it:

Although pupils make good progress, leaders are now taking steps to ensure that a larger proportion of pupils make greater progress towards the higher standards. This is because the proportions of pupils working at greater depth at the end of key stage 1 … have not compared favourably with national averages in recent years.

However, the most able pupils in key stage 1 did not make the strong progress of which they were capable in writing.

In 2017, a lower-than-average proportion of pupils attained greater depth in reading and mathematics. Provisional results for 2018 show that this proportion has risen to above the national average for both subjects and is in line with the national average in writing.

Cohort groups

The performance of individual cohort groups, such as disadvantaged pupils, at Key Stage 1 was not frequently remarked by Ofsted Inspectors.

There were only 4 Ofsted Inspection reports which had specific comments regarding disadvantaged pupils’ performance at Key Stage 1:

At key stage 1, disadvantaged pupils make good progress. This is because leaders ensure that this group of pupils benefit from well-planned, bespoke support and can catch up with their peers.

Across all three subjects, more boys than girls achieved at the higher standard [for Key Stage 1].

Few disadvantaged pupils attained greater depth.

Additionally, disadvantaged pupils attained less well than other pupils at the end of key stage 1 and key stage 2 in each subject. However, assessment information shows that these differences are reducing, and, in some classes, disadvantaged pupils are now making strong progress in some subjects.

Do you know your school’s results by cohort for Key Stage 1?

Could you highlight your disadvantaged results to your Ofsted inspector?

Our ASaP report breaks your results down with clear graphs, charts and performance statements. It includes Time Saving Forensic Analysis of all the many different cohort groups throughout your school.

We hope that you have enjoyed this article.

This series examines the comments of Ofsted Inspectors from 80 full inspections of schools which were deemed to be “good”.

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