Arbourthorne Community Primary School

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About Arbourthorne Community Primary School

Name Arbourthorne Community Primary School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Ms Vanessa Langley
Address Eastern Avenue, Sheffield, S2 2GQ
Phone Number 01142398163
Phase Primary
Type Community school
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 460
Local Authority Sheffield
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Arbourthorne Community Primary is a place of joy, inclusivity and learning. Everyone is valued here. Pupils and staff are proud to be part of the 'family'.

Pupils feel safe and know they will be listened to if they have any concerns. Relationships between staff and pupils are warm and positive. Staff expect pupils to behave well.

Any disruptions to learning are dealt with quickly. Bullying is very rare.

The school values are central to learning and life in this school.

Pupils learn to show care and respect for others. This can be seen as they work in their classrooms alongside pupils who have special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), or i...n the additional resourced provision, 'The Hive', for pupils with severe and complex learning needs. Pupils have a mature understanding of difference.

They are determined that everyone is treated equally. Pupils say everyone is special at Arbourthorne.

Leaders have a clear vision about the importance of working with the wider community.

For example, parents have opportunities to grow food for home, and school, or exchange surplus food at the community fridge. Leaders actively seek opportunities to create partnerships to improve the school and support families.

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

The headteacher has a relentless focus on ensuring her vision for pupils to gain the best possible start in life is realised.

Leaders and staff focus on developing pupils' academic success, but also on ensuring that pupils have opportunities to build life skills. Each year, all pupils visit the school 'home-base' in Red Robin House. They undertake challenges such as learning to grow and cook food, make beds, or ring doctors or emergency services.

Families are welcomed to learn with their children here.

Leaders have developed the curriculum thoughtfully over time. They recognise that pupils in the school have a wide variety of needs.

They ensure that all pupils, including those with SEND, have equal opportunities to access rich and varied learning opportunities. Staff skilfully adapt the curriculum to ensure that all pupils can make progress. Examples of this can be seen with the 'artist in residence', who promotes language skills through art teaching or in The Hive, where pupils learn in smaller groups.

Developing pupils' language and communication skills is a priority in this school. Staff focus on talk with children in Nursery and Reception classes. They effectively model speaking and listening skills to children.

They link exciting learning opportunities to stories and rhymes. Children are encouraged to talk about their learning. Leaders are developing assessment systems further to check that all children access learning in all areas of the classroom.

This is needed to ensure that all children make progress as they play.The focus on pupils' language development continues throughout the school. Leaders recognise that historical outcomes in reading were not good enough.

Some older pupils still have gaps in their knowledge. Therefore, reading is prioritised now. A well-structured phonics programme has been introduced.

Leaders have trained all staff to follow this programme. Extra support is given to staff, when it is needed, to ensure that the programme is followed consistently. Pupils practise reading with books that match the sounds they are learning.

Pupils who find reading more difficult are quickly spotted and given help to catch up. Pupils across school listen to and read books daily. They talk with confidence about stories.

The teaching of mathematics is a strength. Leaders check that the well-planned curriculum is used effectively. Important vocabulary is reinforced within lessons.

Pupils enjoy and remember their learning in mathematics. Leaders of other subjects are ambitious. For example, links with Sheffield University have been made to enable pupils to learn about robotics.

However, sometimes pupils remember 'doing' the activity but not the important learning linked to it. In some subjects, leaders still need to clarify the specific knowledge they want pupils to know and remember.

The work that leaders do to prepare pupils for life beyond Arbourthorne is exemplary.

Pupils are taught to have a positive attitude towards others. They show respect and kindness. Pupils talk about the importance of shaking hands and applauding the opposition in sports tournaments, whatever the result.

The curriculum supports them to develop a mature understanding of prejudice around race, sexuality and gender. Pupils recognise the needs of disabled pupils in the school and identify the importance of treating people equally. They are proud to take on roles such as anti-bullying ambassadors or peer mediators.

Staff are proud to work at the school. They feel well supported by leaders. There is a team approach across the school.

Some experienced governors work closely with the headteacher to ensure that the school continues to develop and improve further. The local authority recognises how further support can be given to other governors, who are newer to the role.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders have a deep understanding of the risks pupils may face in the local area. Consequently, they have created a strong culture of safeguarding in the school. All staff know that it is everyone's responsibility to keep pupils safe.

They are trained to identify any signs of harm. Pastoral leaders ensure that this training is updated regularly. Systems to record concerns are rigorously kept, and robust action is taken when issues are raised.

Leaders are passionate about helping families in times of need.

Pupils have effective understanding of online safety. Leaders ensure that role models, such as the police, are used well to inform pupils about dangers in the local area.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• In some subjects, curriculum plans do not outline the essential knowledge leaders want pupils to know and remember. This means that teachers cannot assess what individual pupils have learned, and pupils learning is not always planned effectively to build over time. Leaders should ensure that important subject knowledge is clearly identified in all subjects and ensure that teachers use assessment effectively to plan subsequent learning.

• Leaders' monitoring, in some subjects, does not identify where areas of the curriculum require more development or where teachers' subject knowledge isn't sufficient to support learning effectively. As a result, leaders do not know precisely if the curriculum is being taught as they intended or if pupils' learning is secure in these subjects. Leaders should ensure that monitoring supports staff to teach all subjects to the same high standards.

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