Ackton Pastures Primary Academy

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About Ackton Pastures Primary Academy

Name Ackton Pastures Primary Academy
Ofsted Inspections
Head of School Mrs Katie Mason
Address College Grove, Whitwood, Castleford, WF10 5NS
Phone Number 01977802322
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 353
Local Authority Wakefield
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Leaders are ambitious for all pupils in the school. They place pupils at the heart of all that they do. Leaders want pupils to know and believe that they can achieve.

Leaders have used their knowledge of the local area to inform the development of the curriculum. The school's '3R' values of being responsible, respectful and resilient support pupils to show positive attitudes towards learning. Pupils work hard in all lessons.

They are cheerful, polite and courteous. Positive relationships between pupils and staff make this school a happy place to be.

Leaders have implemented new systems to promote positive behaviour.

This has led to improvements. Lead...ers give pupils appropriate support if they struggle with their emotions or behaviour. The school is a calm and inviting place to be.

Pupils understand what bullying is. They say that bullying is very rare and that when it does happen, adults sort it out quickly. Pupils have a mature sense of equality and inclusion.

One pupil commented, 'No one should feel unhappy because they feel different, and a disability is just a different ability.'

What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?

Leaders have developed a curriculum that identifies what pupils should know in each subject. Leaders have made sure that the content of the curriculum is well sequenced.

For example, in geography, pupils learn about weather and climate in key stage 1, before moving on to more complex learning about biomes in key stage 2. Subject leaders know their subjects well. This is because leaders ensure that staff have good subject knowledge and are well trained.

Teachers use consistent strategies to support pupils' learning in most lessons. Pupils revisit what they have learned previously before starting something new. This helps them to remember prior learning.

Leaders have prioritised teaching pupils to read. Phonics teaching is effective. Staff are skilled and support pupils to become fluent readers.

Leaders provide diverse and ambitious texts for pupils to read. Reading areas across school are purposeful and inviting. Leaders plan creative incentives to encourage pupils to read.

For example, all staff have selected a range of books that interest them personally. Pupils are encouraged to borrow these books and talk to staff about the stories. Leaders have introduced a new, whole-class approach to teaching reading in key stage 2.

This is starting to support pupils to improve their reading skills. However, this is not yet reflected in the achievement of pupils at the end of Year 6.

Children in early years are happy.

Staff and children form positive relationships. Staff help children to manage their feelings and emotions. Leaders make sure that children learn to communicate with each other and use a wide range of vocabulary in their speech.

The teaching of early reading and mathematics is effective. Leaders have created a curriculum that identifies what children should know by the end of Nursery and Reception. However, this needs further clarification to ensure that planned activities support children to learn more over time.

Teachers do not always adapt learning to support pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) to learn independently. Leaders support teachers to identify pupils' needs. However, the help identified does not always match pupils' needs, and therefore some pupils do not do as well as they might.

Leaders are working with families to improve attendance. As a result, the number of pupils with poor attendance is now decreasing. Where necessary, leaders are beginning more formal methods to improve attendance.

Leaders are ambitious to support pupils' personal development. They plan a range of opportunities to give them new experiences. As a result, pupils are becoming more prepared for life in modern-day Britain.

However, pupils have a limited understanding of different religions and cultures. Leaders invite visitors into school to raise pupils' aspirations. For example, the Royal Navy visited during mental health week and supported pupils to experience leadership roles.

Pupils in Year 6 enjoyed taking part in a police Junior Cadet programme. This supported them to learn about the rule of law. Pupils have roles of responsibility, such as being school councillors or reading ambassadors.

Trust leaders and governors are well informed about the school's developments. They provide challenge, support and professional development opportunities to help leaders to continue to drive improvement. Staff benefit from the collaborative opportunities they are given to develop their expertise.

As a result, staff morale is high.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders ensure that there is a sharp focus on safeguarding.

Staff are well trained and fully understand their responsibilities. There is a culture of vigilance. Leaders ensure that there is a systematic approach to how concerns are recorded.

This enables them to use data to analyse any trends or patterns that may either influence curriculum decisions or need to be considered by governors. Leaders work with a range of external agencies to make sure that pupils and families get support if they need it.

Leaders use the curriculum effectively to provide opportunities for pupils to learn about how to keep themselves safe, for example when learning about mental health and online safety.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Pupils with SEND are not always able to complete the work given to them independently. This is because they do not always have the necessary prior knowledge to complete the task. Leaders must help teachers to check that pupils have a secure understanding of prior learning before moving on to more complex tasks and ideas.

• The curriculum in early years is not detailed and precise enough. This means that some children do not have the necessary understanding or skills for the next stage in their education. Leaders must review the early years curriculum so that it is coherently planned and sequenced to prepare children for the demands in Year 1 and beyond.

• Pupils do not have a good understanding of different religions and cultures. This means that they do not understand, appreciate and respect religious differences as well as they might. Leaders need to review the curriculum and develop opportunities for children to learn about and remember different religions and cultures.

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