Ackworth Howard Church of England Voluntary Controlled Junior and Infant School

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About Ackworth Howard Church of England Voluntary Controlled Junior and Infant School

Name Ackworth Howard Church of England Voluntary Controlled Junior and Infant School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mr Michael Walker
Address Station Road, Low Ackworth, Pontefract, WF7 7HH
Phone Number 01977612124
Phase Primary
Type Voluntary controlled school
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Church of England
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 230
Local Authority Wakefield
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

The school's Christian vision underpins all aspects of school life. Most pupils enjoy school.

They attend well and wear their uniforms with pride. Pupils feel safe. Bullying is rare.

When it does happen, the vast majority of pupils are confident that bullying is dealt with promptly by staff.

Pupils behave well. They are polite, well mannered and articulate.

Pupils have positive attitudes towards their learning. Many pupils enjoy and take part in the wide range of clubs, trips and visits that the school offers.

Many pupils have leadership roles.

They relish taking on extra responsibilities such as those of digital leaders, ambassadors and eco leaders. Pupils enjoy 'family dining' where they eat lunch with other year groups.

The school has strong links with a school in Tanzania.

This helps pupils to understand life beyond their own community. Pupils have raised funds to help build a classroom at their partner school. Pupils contribute to their local community.

Pupils are involved in litter picking as part of the school's eco council.

Children achieve well in the early years. However, teachers' expectations of what pupils can and should achieve are not high enough in key stages 1 and 2.

Pupils do not achieve as well as they should across the curriculum.

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

Leaders are in the process of reviewing the curriculum. They have checked that curriculum plans cover the scope of the national curriculum.

However, leaders have not ensured that these plans show the crucial knowledge, understanding and skills that pupils must learn. The curriculum has not been planned carefully enough. The order in which topics are taught in some subjects, such as history, do not help to build pupils' knowledge so that they remember more over time.

In mathematics, pupils do not achieve as well as they should. The curriculum is not ambitious enough. Teachers' expectations are not high enough.

Sometimes, problem-solving and reasoning activities are not completed or attempted by pupils. Teacher's do not check sufficiently for gaps in pupils' knowledge.

The teaching of early reading is effective.

Leaders ensure that the books that children learn to read match the sounds that they know. The school runs workshops for parents so that they can support their children at home. Leaders identify swiftly any pupil who is falling behind.

They put support in place so that these pupils can catch up quickly. Reading is taught from the beginning of Reception. Teachers read daily to pupils.

Pupils enjoy reading. Leaders ensure that all staff follow the school's phonics programme. However, in key stage 1 and key stage 2 the reading curriculum is not well planned and thought out.

As a result, pupils do not achieve as well as they should in reading by the end of key stage 2.

Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are mostly supported well. Yet, a few parents who responded to Ofsted's parent survey, Parent View, do not feel that their children are well supported.

Targets on some plans for pupils with SEND are not precise enough in identifying the small steps that pupils need.

Children in the early years are happy and well cared for. Adults are skilful at developing children's language skills.

Staff are passionate and committed to supporting children's learning effectively. Most children are well prepared for the demands of Year 1.

Most pupils enjoy school.

They attend well and are punctual. Pupils are very clear about the school's rewards and sanctions system. They are keen to receive the many rewards on offer.

Low-level disruption is not tolerated by staff.

Pupils show respectful and tolerant attitudes. They learn about different religions and cultures.

Pupils understand the importance of British values. They know about democracy and justice. They are clear about the difference between right and wrong.

Pupils learn about some of the risks within the local community. They know about road and online safety. However, they have a very limited understanding of the dangers of radicalisation and extremism.

Governors have a range of skills. They are committed to the school and visit the school regularly. However, governors have an over-generous view of the quality of education.

They have not challenged leaders enough to improve the education that pupils receive. Governors are too accepting of what leaders tell them.

Staff are proud to work at the school.

They are clear that leaders consider their well-being and workload. Staff morale is high.

The vast majority of parents hold positive views about the school.

One parent reflected the views of many when describing the school as 'warm and friendly'.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders ensure that staff training is up to date.

Leaders test out staff's understanding of the training they have received through quizzes. Staff understand the risks that pupils may face in the local community. Staff know how to report any concerns.

The school works with the local police to run workshops for pupils, staff and parents.

However, some aspects of the school's safeguarding processes are not as tight as they should be. For instance, pupils are not supported to be aware of all the risks to their safety in the locality.

Pupils do not know about the dangers of radicalisation and extremism, grooming or county lines gangs.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

Leaders have not thought carefully enough about the crucial content that pupils must learn in each subject. In too many subjects, the curriculum is not well sequenced or coherently planned.

Consequently, pupils do not remember the crucial content required for future learning. Leaders should ensure that plans make clear the substantive and disciplinary knowledge that pupils should learn in each subject. Senior leaders should also ensure that curriculum leaders have the subject-specific expertise to check the implementation and impact of the curriculum.

. The mathematics curriculum that leaders have planned is not ambitious enough. Teachers' expectations of pupils are not high enough.

Teachers do not have clear enough understanding of where pupils have gaps in their learning. Pupils do not achieve as well as they should in mathematics. Leaders should ensure that curriculum plans in mathematics are more ambitious.

Leaders should make sure that teachers identify gaps in pupils' learning, and take the right steps to address them, so that pupils can apply their mathematical knowledge to increasingly more complex problems. . Some pupils with SEND do not achieve as well as they should.

The targets on some plans are not precise enough about addressing the small steps that pupils need. Leaders should ensure that the targets for pupils with SEND are precise and understood by staff so that all pupils with SEND are supported to achieve well. .

Although pupils are supported to identify a range of risks to their safety, they do not learn about the dangers of radicalisation or county lines gangs. This is because leaders do not ensure that this is covered as part of the school's personal development curriculum. Leaders should ensure that pupils are aware of, and understand, all of the local risks that they may face.

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