Alma Primary School

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About Alma Primary School

Name Alma Primary School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Helen Thomas
Address Alma Road, Ponders End, Enfield, EN3 4UQ
Phone Number 02088043302
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 2-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 493
Local Authority Enfield
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils and staff reflect the school's values in all aspects of life in school.

Pupils are friendly. They work and play together cheerfully. They feel proud to take on responsibilities in the school community, wearing different coloured sweatshirts to indicate their roles.

Pupils said that the pupil mental-health ambassadors look out for anyone who might be feeling sad. Sports ambassadors encourage physical fitness and pupils' participation in varied sports and activities. Pupils are kept safe in school because the adults look after them well.

Staff nurture positive relationships with and between pupils right from the start of Nursery. Pupils work and play tog...ether, showing great respect and care. Children in early years, including the two-year-olds, settle rapidly into well-established routines and are keen to join in and help others.

Their speech and communication skills develop substantially.

Leaders work with parents and carers to help them to support their child's learning at home. Staff organise workshops and café events and provide parents with guidance on themes such as reading, well-being and e-safety.

Leaders have high expectations that all pupils will have a happy and successful time at school. They provide pupils with valuable experiences so that pupils are well prepared for their next stage.

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

Senior and subject leaders have thought through clearly what they expect pupils to learn in every subject.

Leaders have identified the key facts and skills that pupils are taught from early years to Year 6. Teachers know and fulfil leaders' expectations. Teachers regularly check that pupils remember what they have learned previously.

They reinforce pupils' knowledge before moving on to more ambitious and demanding content.

Teachers use their strong subject knowledge to provide clear explanations and useful examples to help pupils learn. Leaders are developing teachers' subject knowledge where it is less strong so that all staff anticipate common errors to support swift improvement of pupils' understanding and skills.

Leaders are very clear about the areas that they want to develop further in each subject. Their work to support staff with training needs is ongoing and effective. In a very few cases, subject leadership is in its early stages so that the precise content and the order in which it should be taught and staff training opportunities are continuing to be developed.

Leaders prioritise the teaching of early reading to children in early years and pupils in Years 1 and 2. Staff have received training and have a high level of expertise in delivering the school's chosen phonics scheme. Pupils swiftly learn to read.

Those who need extra help, including pupils who join the school part-way through their primary education, are given the support they need to quickly catch up. In Years 3 to 6, leaders make sure that pupils read regularly, with a focus on developing reading comprehension skills. Although pupils learn to decode words accurately, they do not spend regular time on reading practice to ensure that they all become fluent and confident readers who are ready for secondary school.

Leaders ensure that staff are trained to identify pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). Staff work closely with specialist outside agencies to provide each pupil with SEND with support to meet their needs.

Leaders have very carefully planned a programme of personal, social and health education (PSHE) that includes relationships and sex education.

Children are taught about key themes in an age-appropriate way from early years onwards. Staff provide plenty of opportunities to promote pupils' physical fitness and mental health.

Pupils behave very sensibly in lessons and around the school at social times.

From the earliest opportunity, staff set a very strong example of the calm and thoughtful attitudes that they expect of their pupils. In early years, children's personal, social and emotional skills develop rapidly as they are taught to share, politely wait their turn, persevere and celebrate each other's successes.

Pupils broaden their experiences through a wide variety of activities and clubs.

Pupils have swimming courses at the local Olympic Park, attend singing events with pupils from other local schools and visit places of historical interest to enrich their subject learning. Leaders offer a great variety of clubs, including for coding, journalism, glee-club and various sports. They make sure that all pupils have the chance to attend.

The trustees and local governing body have a strong understanding of the school's strengths and priorities for development. Staff value links with colleagues from across the trust for training and to share ideas.

Staff feel very well supported in their roles.

Leaders regularly consult with staff to inform training and communicate any changes to policy and practice. Staff appreciate the steps leaders take to help with workload and their well-being.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders ensure that they and all staff receive safeguarding training, know what to look out for to identify whether a pupil might be at risk, and how to report their concerns.

Leaders provide staff and parents with regular updates and reminders, giving helpful guidance on protecting pupils from safeguarding risks, including in the local community and when using online resources.

Leaders work closely with outside agencies to support pupils and their families when there are safeguarding concerns.

Safeguarding pupils is included in the curriculum, such as e-safety in computing and PSHE.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• In a very few subjects, curriculum content is being developed and is not as explicitly thought through as it is in most other subjects. Leaders should ensure that subject leaders receive the support and guidance they need to refine their curriculum thinking and oversee effective subject delivery, providing staff training as needed.

• In Years 3 to 6, pupils do not spend enough time practising reading. Leaders focus on developing pupils' reading comprehension, which means that some pupils do not acquire reading fluency and automaticity as swiftly as they are capable of doing. Leaders should continue with their plans to provide pupils in Years 3 to 6 with reading practice routinely.

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