Ash Grove Primary Academy

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About Ash Grove Primary Academy

Name Ash Grove Primary Academy
Ofsted Inspections
Mrs Kate Gawthorp
Address Ash Grove, South Elmsall, PONTEFRACT, WF9 2TF
Phone Number 01977640625
Phase Academy
Type Academy sponsor led
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 295
Local Authority Wakefield
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils are proud of their school. They are polite and well mannered.

Pupils understand the school values of respect, responsibility, appreciation and aspiration. They welcome the rewards they receive for showing the values in and around school.

Pupils behave well because leaders have set clear expectations.

They follow the rules of ready, respectful and safe. Pupils understand the difference between bullying and falling out. They learn how to recognise bullying and tell adults should it occur.

Pupils know that trusted adults are there to help with any concerns that they have. As a result, pupils feel safe. Pupils are aware of the possible dangers in ...the community and know how to deal with issues should they arise.

Pupils value the opportunity to take on leadership responsibilities, such as anti-bullying ambassadors, well-being ambassadors, playleaders and librarians. They are proud to be selected by their peers. Pupils learn about fundamental British values through assemblies.

They recognise difference. These differences are celebrated at key points in the year, for example on International Women's Day.

Parents and staff care about the school and the local community.

They want the best possible outcomes for pupils. Pupils say the best aspect of school life is their teachers because, 'they look after us and they are kind to us.'

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

The curriculum is well organised.

In most subjects, the curriculum sets out what pupils will learn. In subjects where teachers have received more effective training, for example in mathematics, curriculum delivery is stronger. In most subjects, the curriculum is well planned and sequenced.

In a small number of subjects, for example history and science, the knowledge that pupils should learn is not set out precisely.

Leaders have ensured that there are effective systems in place to identify the needs of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) accurately. Teachers successfully make adaptations to the delivery of the curriculum, so that pupils with SEND learn well alongside their peers

Leaders have prioritised reading across the school.

From the early years, children learn phonics. Staff are well trained to support pupils to use the best strategies to help pupils read unfamiliar words. Pupils read books that are well matched to the sounds that they know.

Leaders have chosen books for the school library that promote an awareness of different cultures and backgrounds. Parents and carers are offered support to help with reading at home. Pupils who fall behind with their reading receive targeted support to help them to catch up.

The early years curriculum places a strong focus on early language and communication. The curriculum develops children's knowledge from Nursery to Reception, so that they are ready for key stage 1. The early years environment is inviting and well resourced.

There are lots of books to promote a love of reading. Children have opportunities to work independently and with their peers. They are happy to share resources and play well together.

Staff in the early years engage well with children. They model and develop children's language and communication. Parents are invited to stay-and-play sessions to develop cooperative relationships between school and home from the start.

Staff provide information about learning and activities for parents to use at home.

Pupils behave well in class and around school. The new behaviour policy is understood by staff and pupils.

Pupils' behaviour is improving. If pupils become distracted in class, staff help pupils to refocus quickly. As a result, the behaviour of pupils does not disrupt learning.

Leaders have developed a clear programme for personal, social, health and economic education from the early years to Year 6. Pupils learn to keep themselves safe in school and in the local community. There is a focus on equality which encourages both boys and girls to be involved in sports.

Pupils develop an understanding of mental health and well-being through activities, such as the daily mile and mindfulness sessions.

Leaders, including trust leaders and governors, are very aware of the ongoing issues with attendance. Although pupils' attendance is improving overall, some pupils do not attend school as often as they should.

Recently, leaders have put systems in place to further improve pupils' attendance and to reduce the number of pupils who are persistently absent.

Although the majority of parents are happy with the work of the school, a small number are not satisfied with the way that their concerns and worries are handled. These parents would like communication between school and home to improve.

Leaders recognise there is work to do to improve the school's standing in the local community.

Members of the governing body are well supported by the trust. Governors visit the school regularly to check on aspects of the school's work.

They hold leaders to account well for the quality of their work. The majority of staff feel they are supported by leaders and that their workload is taken into account well. Leaders have not won the hearts and minds of the whole staff team.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders have ensured that safeguarding is the school's highest priority. Staff are knowledgeable and have accessed safeguarding training recently.

The school's systems for reporting concerns are effective. Safeguarding records are detailed.The school's single central record of staff recruitment checks is accurate.

Governors, who visit the school regularly, have a detailed overview of safeguarding systems. Staff and governors are trained in safer recruitment practices. The school makes prompt and effective referrals to local agencies.

Pupils are well supported in school by well-trained pastoral staff. Pupils are taught about online safety. They understand how to keep themselves safe when working online and using different apps.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Some parents and staff are not happy about leaders' communication with them, including the way that their concerns are dealt with. This has resulted in low staff morale and parental dissatisfaction. Leaders, including those responsible for governance, should prioritise improving communication and engagement with staff and parents.

• In some subjects, for example history and science, teachers do not have clear enough guidance about the specific knowledge that pupils need to be taught. This means that pupils do not remember or build on key concepts from the planned curriculum. Leaders should ensure that the curriculums identify the precise content that pupils need to know and remember.

• Some pupils do not attend school often enough. These pupils miss out on important learning and do not make the progress of which they are capable. Leaders should continue to develop the recently implemented systems to ensure that parents understand the importance of regular attendance and its impact on their children's outcomes.

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