Estyn report praises Cardiff school’s ‘caring and inclusive’ community



Inspectors have described a Cardiff primary school as a “caring and inclusive community that values all pupils and adults”.

In its latest report, carried out in July, a team from Estyn – which monitors education and training in Wales – said Llanedeyrn Primary School placed a strong emphasis on its core values which had a positive influence on pupils’ attitudes and behaviours.

But overall, the report said the school is in need of “significant improvement” and has made a series of recommendations for the school’s leaders to follow, including:

  • Ensure all pupils make effective progress in numeracy and reading
  • Improve the quality of teaching to ensure all pupils make effective progress
  • Ensure that pupils from nursery to Year 2 develop their creative and problem-solving skills through effective opportunities for exploration and play.

At the time of the inspection, the school had 435 pupils, almost 40% of whom were eligible for free school meals. More than 22% had additional learning needs (ALN) and almost 20% did not have English as their first language.

The report found that the school is a happy, inclusive place and places a high priority on its pupils’ wellbeing. They show suitable levels of interest in their lessons and most make good progress in their speaking, listening and writing skills.

But, it added: “Pupils do not always make effective progress in their reading or numeracy skills. Individual targets for pupils with ALN are not always clear enough and a minority are not reviewed effectively enough.”

The school’s website says it places great emphasis on speaking skills and the inspection found that most pupils make good progress in this area. “Higher up the school,” said the report, “many pupils communicate clearly and vary their tone and language for different audiences.

“They explain their thinking using subject-specific vocabulary and use an adventurous range of adjectives for effect.”

There is also a strong emphasis on providing trips to broaden pupils’ experiences. Sites visited include Hampton Court Palace, a monkey sanctuary, Cardiff Castle, Big Pit mining museum and the Eisteddfod, while the school choir – which practises twice a week – took part in the Voice in a Million festival at Wembley Stadium.

The report pointed out that the teaching of younger pupils is often heavily directed by adults. “This results in limited opportunities for pupils to develop their creative and problem-solving skills,” it said, while “teachers throughout the school encourage children and praise pupils for their achievements… overall, feedback during lessons does not support pupils learning effectively enough.”

Bev Knuckey, Llanedeyrn’s newly appointed head, said: “We are delighted that Estyn recognised we are a happy, inclusive school that places a high priority on the wellbeing of its pupils. We are particularly proud that we have developed a clear vision for our future within the new Curriculum for Wales, based on our Core Values, that is shared and understood by our children, their families, our staff and our governors.”

‘’We shall continue to work with Cardiff Council and the Central South Consortium to secure ongoing improvement.”

Alex Ingram, Chair of governors, said: ‘’The governing body recognises the many strengths of our school that Estyn found during its inspection, including pupils’ positive attitudes to learning and good behaviour. Our priority in the coming months will be to lead and support the school in addressing the important recommendations for improvement that Estyn has made, so that our children continue to get the best education and learning experience possible.”

Cllr Sarah Merry, Cardiff Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, agreed that the school had areas where improvements could be made but said the new headteacher was leading by example and providing a good role model. “There are many areas where the school is making good progress, especially in its development of pupils’ speaking skills, but we will support the school in areas that need improvement and the steps needed to achieve them.”