Applecroft School

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About Applecroft School

Name Applecroft School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs Lisa Withe
Address Applecroft Road, Welwyn Garden City, AL8 6JZ
Phone Number 01707323758
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 454
Local Authority Hertfordshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils are happy and safe within their 'Applecroft family'. They make meaningful and valuable contributions to the school and to the broader community. For example, they are currently designing a stained-glass window for a local church.

Pupils see themselves as leaders. They write letters and petition school leaders to encourage them to make the school more sustainable.

The school expects all pupils to achieve well.

Pupils learn an ambitious set of vocabulary in all subjects. They are excited when they locate these words during their learning. They feel proud that they understand them.

Pupils are caring towards each other. Older pupils look after the... younger ones. They make sure the younger pupils get the help they need.

Pupils are confident that the school deals with any rare bullying incidents so that they do not recur.

Pupils know how to keep themselves safe both online and offline. They learn, for example, about the risks around water and train lines because these are dangers they may encounter in the local area.

Pupils learn about the lives of people who are different to them. They talk maturely about the importance of mutual respect and understanding. Visits to local places of worship support and embed this learning.

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

The school has made significant changes to the curriculum in the last 18 months. The curriculum it has adopted is ambitious. Generally, in most subjects, pupils are learning it well.

The school prioritises teaching pupils to read. Leaders have chosen a well-sequenced phonics curriculum. This ensures that pupils learn the letter sounds quickly.

Typically, the teaching of phonics is effective. Sometimes, the opportunities for pupils to practise and rehearse sounds during lessons do not happen as leaders intend. However, effective checking procedures identify pupils who have fallen behind.

Additional teaching, often led by a specialist reading teacher, supports pupils to catch up. As a result, many pupils learn to read with confidence. Older pupils are passionate about reading and read for pleasure daily.

Teachers read to pupils daily as part of an effective reading curriculum. Teachers model how to read with expression. This curriculum ensures that pupils typically attain well and read a range of high-quality texts.

The school has ensured that the new curriculum is well sequenced in all subjects, starting in the early years. Pupils learn key knowledge for each subject. As a result, they remember what they have been taught and are generally achieving well.

In some subjects, teachers lack the expert subject knowledge they need to adapt their teaching. Where this happens, a few pupils are unable to recall the key knowledge that they have been taught.

The school has high expectations for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).

Teachers adapt their lessons carefully. This ensures that pupils with SEND learn well. For example, additional adults anticipate sensory needs, which helps pupils to regulate their emotions.

This realises the school's aim that pupils with SEND should not stand out from their peers as they learn.

Pupils are polite, friendly and confident. They open doors for visitors and enquire as to how they are.

Pupils behave well in lessons. Low-level disruption is very rare. A small number of the younger children need frequent reminders of the expectations.

Older pupils are motivated and resilient learners who focus on the task at hand. These pupils quickly settle to focus on their learning in response to staff's instruction.

The school takes effective action to ensure that pupils attend regularly.

As a result, attendance is strong and improving.

The school caters exceptionally well for the personal development of pupils. Leaders have carefully planned a wide range of additional opportunities for pupils.

These opportunities are available to all, and participation levels are high. There are several strands which weave together to create an impressive offer. For example, pupils play a central role in the leadership at lunchtime.

They perform eight separate leadership roles. This includes using radios to control the flow of pupils into the lunch hall. Lunchtimes are calm and happy as a result.

There is an extensive range of extra-curricular activities. The school carefully tracks all pupils to ensure that everyone benefits from what is on offer.

The knowledgeable governing body understands its statutory and broader responsibilities.

Governors support the school well. Governors help leaders to ensure that the school continues to improve.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Some teachers do not have the precise subject knowledge to teach the more specialised aspects of the new curriculum confidently and well. As a result of this, a few pupils do not remember what they have been taught as well as they should. Leaders should provide teachers with the training and support they require so that they implement all areas of the new curriculum effectively.

Leaders do not yet have a precise understanding of the relative strengths and weaknesses in the newly introduced curriculum. As a result, they cannot accurately prioritise training and support for staff. Leaders should make further use of assessment, alongside rigorous monitoring and evaluation, to ensure they have an accurate picture of how effectively the newly designed curriculum is being implemented.

Also at this postcode
Jousters At Applecroft FCL Welwyn (Applecroft School)

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