Ofsted Report 2014

School report: Walton Holymoorside Primary School
Holymoor Road, Holymoorside, Chesterfield, S42 7DU
Inspection dates                                       15–16 January 2014

  Overall effectiveness Previous inspection: Good

2

This inspection: Good

2

Achievement of pupils Good

2

Quality of teaching Good

2

Behaviour and safety of pupils Outstanding

1

Leadership and management Good

2

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a good school.

Most children begin school with skills appropriate to their age, but leave at the end of Year 6 with standards above the national average in reading and writing. More-able pupils achieve highly in mathematics.
The quality of teaching is good and this enables pupils to make rapid progress. Teachers understand what good lessons look like and provide interesting tasks that make learning enjoyable.
The behaviour of pupils is outstanding. Pupils enjoy school. They want to learn, often help each other during activities and have lots of opportunities to take part in the life of the school.

The school’s work to keep pupils safe and secure is outstanding. Parents say their children are looked after extremely well. Staff are rigorous when dealing with pupils’ safety.
Leadership and management are effective in maintaining good-quality teaching and accelerating pupils’ progress. The headteacher’s rigorous analysis of school data leads to measures that are quickly taken to ensure that no child gets left behind with their learning.
Governors bring much expertise to their role and set appropriately high expectations for the quality of teaching and for pupils’ achievement.

It is not yet an outstanding school because

Teaching is not yet outstanding. Sometimes, pupils are given work that is too easy.
Pupils do not have enough opportunities to develop their skills is using information and communication technology (ICT).

More-able pupils do not achieve as well in English as they do in mathematics.

Information about this inspection

Inspectors observed 20 lessons or parts of lessons, two of which were observed jointly with senior leaders.

Inspectors listened to pupils read and looked at the work in their books.
Meetings were held with the headteacher and different groups of people involved with the school. These included pupils, parents, members of the governing body, members of the teaching staff and a representative from the local authority.

Inspectors took into account the results of the school’s recent parental surveys, the 76 responses to the online questionnaire (Parent View), letters from parents and 46 staff questionnaires.

Inspectors looked at a range of documents, including plans for improvement, records of the school’s checks on pupils’ and teachers’ performance, safeguarding and attendance documents, minutes of meetings of the governing body and school policies.

Inspection team

Faheem Chishti, Lead inspector                     Additional Inspector
Allison Dawes                                            Additional Inspector
Mark Cordell                                              Additional Inspector

Full report

Information about this school

Walton Holymoorside Primary School is a larger than average-sized primary school.

Most pupils are of White British heritage. The proportion of pupils from minority ethnic groups and who speak English as an additional language is below average.

The proportion of disabled pupils and those with special educational needs supported through school action is below average. The proportion of pupils supported at school action plus or with a statement of special educational needs is also below average.

The proportion of pupils known to be eligible for the pupil premium is below average. The pupil premium is additional funding for those pupils who are known to be eligible for free school meals, children from service families and those children who are looked after by the local authority.

The school meets the government’s current floor standards, which set the minimum expectations for pupils’ attainment and progress in English and mathematics.

The headteacher was appointed in September 2013.

What does the school need to do to improve further?

Raise the already good-quality teaching to outstanding by: ensuring that pupils are not given work that is too easy for them

giving pupils more opportunities to use computers.

Increase the proportion of pupils that make faster than expected progress, particularly in English, by making sure that:

teachers with subject leadership responsibilities check the progress of more-able pupils more carefully

all subject leaders meet with class teachers regularly to share the findings of their monitoring of the progress of more-able pupils and to check on the action taken to accelerate their learning.

Inspection judgements

The achievement of pupils                               is good

Children start in the Nursery with skills and knowledge that are expected for their age. They make good progress in the Early Years Foundation Stage and, by the time they join Year 1, are well prepared for their future learning.

Good progress continues in Key Stage 1 resulting in generally above-average attainment at the end of Year 2. A similar pattern continues across Key Stage 2, with very little variability in the progress pupils make, so that by the end of their time in school, pupils’ attainment is above the national average.

Although attainment is above average in reading, writing and mathematics across the school, attainment in mathematics is particularly strong with a greater number of more-able pupils attaining the highest levels at the end of Key Stage 2 than in English because of their accelerated progress in Years 5 and 6.

Reading skills are taught well using phonics (learning letters and the sounds they make) and pupils use these acquired skills successfully in their initial efforts in reading and writing. As a result, pupils perform well in the reading check in Year 1 with an above-average proportion reaching the required standard. Older pupils read with confidence, infer judgements and can make predictions about the text. Most pupils show good enthusiasm for reading.

Younger pupils enjoy writing for different purposes. Writing is creative, lively, grammatically accurate, well presented and is of a high standard in most books in upper Key Stage 2. As with reading, standards are above expected levels due to the good progress pupils make in lessons.

The pupils who benefit from the pupil premium funding make similar progress to other pupils in the school. Because the numbers are small, it is not possible to comment on the attainment of these pupils at the end of Year 6 without risk of identifying individual pupils.

Disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs receive effective support so that they make good progress. Those entitled to extra support to meet individual education targets make rapid progress and grow as confident learners.

The achievement of more-able pupils in English is not yet as consistently good as other groups.

The quality of teaching                                     is good

Teaching was good in the large majority of lessons observed by the inspectors. In some lessons, teaching was outstanding, enabling pupils to make excellent progress. This largely matches the school’s own recent view from monitoring teaching standards and also mirrors what inspectors found when they scrutinised pupils’ workbooks.

Teachers create an excellent climate for learning in which the school’s values are positively and consistently promoted. Expectations of behaviour, application and perseverance are high, and pupils respond exceptionally well to this. For example, in a high-quality mathematics lesson in Years 3 and 4, involving number problems, a pupil identified for himself the importance of learning his four times table by commenting, ‘It’s much easier to learn your times tables than to struggle working the problem out.’

Teachers often draw on imaginative ideas to interest pupils in their learning. For example, in an outstanding lesson in a Reception class, children were shown lots of exciting examples of everyday life and asked to think deeply and share ideas about how to create a shared fantasy land. They worked very successfully, drawing well on their phonics knowledge, to label their wonderfully original designs, and used their knowledge of science well to explore magnetic and non-magnetic materials.

Teachers have good subject knowledge and use a wide range of teaching techniques as a result of good training and positive role modelling within the school. Teachers with expertise in mathematics successfully extend more-able mathematicians well in Years 5 and 6 by setting them suitably challenging work.

The activities for more-able pupils, however, are not always pitched at the appropriate level. As a result, work is sometimes too easy. For example, in a mathematics lesson in Key Stage 1, more-able pupils clearly found their task too easy and yet they continued with the same work as others in their class.

Little use also is made of the ICT, other than by the teacher demonstrating to the class. For example, pupils do not have easy access at their own desks to researching information using the internet.

The teaching of disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs is good because all adults, and particularly skilled teaching assistants, ensure that pupils receive support which is well matched to their needs.

The vast majority of parents who responded to questionnaires or met with inspectors are very happy with the quality of teaching experienced by their children and feel that all children at Walton Holymoorside are treated as individuals and helped to do well.

The behaviour and safety of pupils               are outstanding

Pupils at this school love learning. Their maturity and responsiveness is evident even in the Nursery and Reception classes, where visitors are greeted with a smile and children are keen to explain what they are learning. Pupils readily reflect on how they need to improve their own learning and what next steps, are required, often without an adult prompting them.

Pupils respond exceptionally well to the school’s calm atmosphere. Their behaviour is outstanding, and pupils are extremely polite and well behaved at all times. Any minor tiffs or disagreements are usually sorted out expertly by pupils themselves, or through the measured approaches such as those used by ‘Playground Buddies’.

Pupils behave very well in all lessons. In a good lesson in Key Stage 2, pupils showed their appreciation of each other’s work by breaking out into spontaneous applause.

Pupils have a wide array of leadership roles they enjoy such as Eco-group, School Council members, or as audio-video technicians. They enthusiastically apply for these ‘jobs’ through a procedure of job applications and interviews. For example, ‘Mini-Leaders’ are able to teach sports activities to other pupils, having applied for this position and having undergone formal training in school and with outside agencies.

Pupils also have opportunities to plan and deliver parts of the school curriculum. For example, pupils in Years 5 and 6 often plan and run whole-school sports days, take part in business challenges and regularly run their own clubs.

The school’s work to keep pupils safe and secure is outstanding. Pupils have a good understanding of different types of bullying, including those posed by using the internet. Pupils say they feel safe, well cared for and feel that staff are ‘always on our side’. This was typified by a comment from one pupil who said, ‘There is always someone there for you, whether it’s about school work or problems at home.’

The leadership and management                   are good

The headteacher has had a positive impact on the school’s work to accelerate pupils’ progress in reading, writing and in mathematics. This is due to the rigorous analysis and use of data to pinpoint exactly how much progress is being made by individuals and groups. Both the headteacher and deputy headteacher provide clear and purposeful leadership. As a result, staff have clear expectations and work well together as a team in raising achievement.

Teachers’ performance is carefully monitored and personal targets are closely linked to accelerating pupils’ progress. Monitoring of teaching is rigorous and any aspects of teaching that are not good are typically followed up, in further observations and scrutiny of pupils’ work, to make sure that improvements are quickly made.

Leaders of subjects, some of whom are new, work well in teams of two for each subject. The use of data to help leaders get to grips with rates of progress is increasing. However, although some work is being done to close identified learning gaps more remains to be done to ensure that more-able pupils maximise their achievement, especially in English. Subject leaders do not all do enough to check teachers’ planning, scrutinise books and observe lessons regularly to see standards in teaching and the quality of learning across the school so that they can play a stronger role in moving the school forward.

The rich curriculum includes a range of imaginative links between different subjects which makes learning meaningful and exciting for pupils. It has equality at its centre and places a high emphasis on promoting pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and nurturing their leadership and enterprise skills.

The school has traditionally provided funds for extra sporting activities, often raised by parents or the Parents Association. The new primary sports funding is supplementing this and is being used effectively to provide specialist sports coaches to teach physical education lessons alongside school staff, to enable regular competition with other local schools and to provide extra clubs and activities in school.

The school is highly thought of by the local authority. They provide a ‘peer’ headteacher to work alongside the school’s leaders to give support and critical challenge.

 The governance of the school:

The governing body knows the strengths of the school and works effectively with leaders to address areas for improvement. Governors have a clear vision and are working closely with  the headteacher to set high expectations for the whole school community. They are keen to develop pupils as high-achieving, rounded individuals who are ready for the next stage of education. The governing body is largely made up of a range of professional backgrounds and so has a very good range of skills, enabling the school to benefit from its members’ advice and support. The Chair and Vice-Chair have recently been appointed but have a good understanding of the school as experienced governors and active parents. Governors ask searching questions of the headteacher and other senior leaders to ensure robust financial and legal management and that safeguarding arrangements are fully met. They are developing their role of challenging the school over the progress made by all pupils. They make appropriate use of information to plan the use of funding such as the pupil premium. They make sure that such funding is having a positive effect on eligible pupils’ learning by comparing their progress with that of other pupils. Governors have a sound knowledge of the quality of teaching in school, often visiting lessons regularly. They ensure that the school’s performance management systems are used to reward good teachers and to tackle weaker teaching.

What inspection judgements mean

School
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 improvement 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.

School details

Unique reference number                         112645

Local authority                                             Derbyshire

Inspection number                                      431198

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 3–11
Gender of pupils Mixed
Number of pupils on the school roll 357
Appropriate authority The governing body
Chair Helen Frith
Headteacher Jane Palmer-Coole
Date of previous school inspection 5 May 2009
Telephone number 01246 566502
Fax number 01246 566503
Email address info@waltonholymoorside.derbyshire.sch.uk

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