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At Bantock Primary School, pupils are happy and safe. Pupils are incredibly proud of their school.
Leaders want the best for all of the pupils. They have high expectations for pupils' behaviour in lessons and around school. Pupils live up to these expectations.
New pupils are warmly welcomed. Those who do not speak English are paired with 'young interpreters' to help them settle in. This helps all pupils to value and understand difference.
Pupils show tolerance and understanding of others, including those who might live in families or cultures different to their own. For example, one pupil, reflecting the views of many, said, 'We all fit in here.'
P...upils understand what bullying is.
They know it is different to falling out with friends. If bullying does occur, leaders address it well. Pupils enjoy the opportunities on offer.
For example, younger pupils have visited a local museum and older pupils enjoyed a recent residential visit to an outdoor activity centre. Some pupils take on roles such as sports or digital ambassadors.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
Leaders have developed a curriculum where pupils learn some subjects in 'themes'.
Where this is stronger, leaders and teachers understand what they are teaching when, and why. As a result, pupils are able to build on their learning. For example, in physical education (PE), pupils use previous learning about mirroring when working in groups to make letter shapes with their bodies.
However, in a small number of subjects, subject leaders are less sure about how the key content has been identified. They do not always pick up on instances where teaching does not help pupils build on what they have learned before.
Leaders prioritise reading.
A new phonics scheme has been introduced. Staff have been trained to deliver it well. Leaders ensure that the learning of pupils who are in the early stages of learning to read is regularly checked.
Pupils begin learning to read as soon as they start school. For example, some pupils in Nursery enjoy going on a sound hunt. Others match picture cards to letter sounds.
Leaders have purchased dual-language books and story sacks so that pupils can develop a love of stories, including when English is not their first language. However, a small number of pupils do not practise their reading using books containing words with sounds that match the sounds they know. Leaders are aware of this and are purchasing books to match the sounds pupils are learning.
Pupils who join the school quickly settle in. Whether pupils join in Nursery, Reception or later year groups, they learn the school's routines and expectations. In the Nursery and Reception classes, children listen to their teachers and follow instructions carefully.
They enjoy playing and learning in their newly refurbished environment, both indoors and out. Teachers carefully plan activities which help pupils learn the skills they need.
Leaders make sure that pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are identified quickly.
Teachers adapt the curriculum so that most pupils with SEND learn alongside their classmates. Pupils receive personalised support, for example to help with their sensory needs or speech and language targets.
Leaders place a particular focus on pupils' mental health and well-being.
Pupils appreciate this. They know that there is always a trusted adult to talk to either in school or via the online 'worry' and 'happy' boxes. Pupils learn to understand and regulate their emotions using the 'emoji' boards in school.
They appreciate being able to visit the calm environment in the 'Hippo Hub' if they need a quiet moment.
Pupils model the values they are taught. They show that they are, 'respectful, responsible and ready'.
Pupils moving around school do so quietly and sensibly. Pupils are well-mannered and confident when talking to visitors.
There is a range of opportunities on offer.
These include clubs such as digital art and hockey. Pupils also take on roles and responsibilities, such as sports ambassadors, digital ambassadors and school councillors. However, some of these opportunities are only open to a few pupils.
Staff are very proud to work at the school. They feel well supported by the leadership team and the knowledgeable headteacher.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Leaders make sure that safeguarding is a high priority. They ensure that all staff receive regular training. Leaders and staff know the pupils and their families very well.
Staff are vigilant and know how to spot any signs that a pupil might need support. Staff use the robust systems in place to quickly report any concerns. Leaders follow up all concerns thoroughly.
Leaders engage external agencies to ensure that pupils and their families get the support they need.
Pupils are taught to keep how to keep themselves safe, including when they are online.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
• In a small number of subjects, subject leaders are not clear about how key knowledge has been identified or in what order it should be taught.
As a result, opportunities to make connections with prior learning are missed. This means that, in these subjects, pupils are not building their knowledge well over time. Leaders should ensure that exactly what will be taught and when it will be taught is clear in all subjects.
• A few pupils in the early stages of learning to read are given reading books that include words containing sounds they do not know. As a result, some pupils are not learning to read as efficiently as they might. Leaders should ensure that pupils practise reading using books where the content is carefully matched to the sounds they are learning.
• Some of the opportunities that the school has to offer are limited to a few pupils. This means that some pupils do not have the chance to take on responsibilities. Leaders should broaden the availability of opportunities so that they are open to more pupils.
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