|Name||Abbots Hall Primary School|
|Ofsted Inspection Rating||Good|
|Inspection Date||10 December 2019|
|Address||Abbotts Drive, Stanford-le-Hope, Essex, SS17 7BW|
|Religious Character||Does not apply|
|Number of Pupils||228 (46% boys 54% girls)|
|Number of Pupils per Teacher||22.8|
|Academy Sponsor||Abbots Hall Primary Academy|
|Percentage Free School Meals||11%|
|Percentage English is Not First Language||3.1%|
|Pupils with SEN Support||10.1%|
|Catchment Area Information Available||Yes, our catchment area data is FREE|
|Last Distance Offered Information Available||No|
Abbots Hall Primary School continues to be a good school.
What is it like to attend this school?
Pupils are proud of their school. In keeping with the school values, many behave with compassion and respect. Adults, too, model these values. Leaders provide thoughtful support for pupils’ and staff’s well-being. Pupils understand the school’s message that ‘it is ok, not to be ok’. Individuals who need extra help receive high-quality support.
Learning takes place in happy, productive classrooms. Pupils enjoy their lessons and say they learn a lot in many subjects. This is because learning is organised and taught well. Leaders are making improvements in the very few subjects where learning is not as effectively ordered or delivered.
Pupils told me that they feel safe. Parents agree. Pupils understand that bullying is unpleasant and wrong. They told me that there is very little bullying at their school. Any that takes place is sorted out quickly by adults.
The school has grown in size and popularity. A significant minority of pupils join midway through the school year. This is giving leaders new challenges in maintaining the good quality of education. They continue to make changes so that all pupils who are new to the school make the best possible start.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
Leaders have made well-thought-out changes to the curriculum in many subjects. Curriculum leaders have been appropriately trained to develop subject plans. These plans lay out what pupils will learn in a logical order. Teachers deliver the curriculum skilfully. They know what needs to be taught and the best order in which to teach it. For example, in geography, teachers give pupils plenty of chances to remember previous learning. Pupils pick up and discuss new knowledge with confidence.
Teachers have a good knowledge of most subjects that they teach. They make effective use of well-chosen resources. Teachers use assessment well. They quickly spot whenpupils need extra help. Pupils respond with enthusiasm to their teachers’ guidance. These strengths are evident in mathematics, which is capably taught. Pupils know what is expected of them. They gain confidence in their understanding and use of important mathematical knowledge. Pupils’ work is of good quality, and they achieve well. The curriculum in modern languages is not as carefully planned and taught as other subjects.
Reading is central to pupils’ learning. Children learn to read from the start of Reception. Adults emphasise sounds, letters and words as they work with children. The children are very interested in words and stories. Teachers teach reading well in key stages 1 and 2. Pupils enjoy the enthusiasm with which teachers read to them. Pupils in key stage 2 retain their passion for reading. Pupils who fall behind get the help that they need to become more confident readers. Leaders are taking action so that they can establish more quickly how well pupils who join the school mid-year can read.
Adults adapt learning so that pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) have access to the full curriculum. Staff have high expectations for all pupils. Work is suitably demanding. Pupils with SEND make strong progress.
Pupils enjoy their lessons and each other’s company. This means that learning takes place in calm, happy classrooms. Pupils like the fact that adults notice and reward good behaviour. A small number of pupils, some new to school, show less enthusiasm for their learning. While the attendance of many pupils is high, that of a small number is low.
The early years provides children with a great start to their education. The learning areas are well organised. The good range of resources help children develop their skills in literacy and numeracy. Adults model the behaviour and routines that they expect of children. Children respond splendidly. They get along happily in learning and play.
Pupils and parents praise the variety of extra activities that the school offers. Pupils develop confidence and resilience through creative, computing, sports and outdoor activities. Pupils understand the diverse nature of British society. They are respectful of different beliefs and cultures. One pupil summed up the views of many, saying, ‘We are all human and should be treated equally.’
Leaders and governors work effectively together. They know where the school’s strengths are and what could be better. All staff who responded to the online survey agree that leaders are considerate of their workload and well-being. The view expressed by one member of staff reflects those of others: ‘Leaders are constantly striving to ensure we have a good work-life balance, whilst not jeopardising the children’s chances to succeed.’
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Pupils are safe and know how to stay safe. Leaders provide pupils with age-appropriate information to help them stay safe when online and in other environments.
Staff are well trained and know what signs may indicate that a pupil is at risk. Adultsunderstand the importance of passing on concerns accurately and promptly. Records show that leaders provide appropriate support when a pupil or their family is in need of additional help.
Governors make sure that the school carries out the necessary checks on staff who work with pupils. The record of these checks is accurate and well maintained.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
Over the past two years, leaders have carefully redesigned the curriculum in many subjects. Curriculum leaders have been given appropriate training so that they have the skills and knowledge that they need. The headteacher, with the support of governors, has made sure that this work has been done thoroughly and to a realistic timetable. Leaders now need to put into practice their plans to develop the curriculum in languages so that it is as carefully sequenced and capably delivered as learning in other subjects. . The number of pupils at Abbots Hall Primary School is growing. Higher proportions of pupils are joining the school at times other than the start of the school year. Leaders need to further review the school’s processes to establish what pupils know and can do when they join the school so that these pupils make the best possible start, quickly adapt to leaders’ high expectations for pupils’ attendance and behaviour, and make rapid gains in their reading where needed.
When we have judged a school to be good we will then normally go into the school about once every four years to confirm that the school remains good. This is called a section 8 inspection of a good school or non-exempt outstanding school. We do not give graded judgements on a section 8 inspection. However, if we find some evidence that the school could now be better than good or that standards may be declining, then the next inspection will be a section 5 inspection. Usually this is within one to two years of the date of the section 8 inspection. If we have serious concerns about safeguarding, behaviour or the quality of education, we will convert the section 8 inspection to a section 5 inspection immediately.
This is the second section 8 inspection since Abbots Hall Primary School converted to be an academy in May 2013. We judged the predecessor school to be good in November 2010.