|Name||Beechwood Primary School|
|Ofsted Inspection Rating||Good|
|Inspection Date||11 September 2019|
|Address||Linden Road, Luton, LU4 9RD|
|Religious Character||Does Not Apply|
|Number of Pupils||849 (51% boys 49% girls)|
|Percentage Free School Meals||15.3%|
|Percentage English is Not First Language||83%|
|Pupils with SEN Support||13.5%|
|Catchment Area Information Available||Yes, our catchment area data is FREE|
|Last Distance Offered Information Available||No|
Highlights from Latest Inspection:
What is it like to attend this school?
Pupils are proud to be part of Beechwood Primary School. The school is a welcoming community, where people’s differences are accepted and respected. Pupils are polite and friendly to staff and visitors. When working or playing, pupils cooperate sensibly and take care of each other. Pupils have positive attitudes towards their learning and try hard.
Leaders have high expectations for all pupils to be the best they can be. Staff know pupils well and ensure that they are well cared for. Relationships between staff, pupils, and parents and carers are strong. School events are well attended. Parents come into school to hear about leaders’ actions to improve the school, and to work and learn alongside their children. Parents are very positive about these occasions, which they say help them to support their children’s learning.
Pupils benefit from the broad range of extra-curricular clubs, particularly related to sports and the arts. Many pupils take part. Pupils aspire to achieve their best through understanding and keeping the school’s values, such as ambition and perseverance. They speak positively about not giving up when they find something challenging and say that their talents are recognised and celebrated.
Pupils feel happy and safe in school. They know that if they have concerns, there are adults they can talk to and trust to take appropriate actions. Bullying is rare, and when it does happen, staff deal with it effectively.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
The curriculum has clearly defined aims and is ambitious. Many pupils speak English as an additional language and the curriculum focuses successfully on extending pupils’ vocabulary across all subjects. The well-designed curriculum provides most pupils with the knowledge and skills to achieve well in English, mathematics and physical education (PE). Leaders have identified what pupils need to learn so that they build on previous learning. However, in other subjects, such as geography and design and technology, teachers do not clearly identify what pupils need to know to understand new ideas. Equally, in some subjects, leaders have not thought carefully enough about how learning is organised. Leaders do not know enough about how well their subjects are taught in the early years.
Since the previous inspection, leaders have successfully raised standards in pupils’ reading, writing and mathematics. Staff have a strong grasp of pupils’ individual needs, particularly those who are most vulnerable. Disadvantaged pupils and those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) achieve well because staff identify any barriers to learning quickly and put the right support in place. The most vulnerable pupils are involved in all aspects of school life, including after-school clubs.
The development of early reading skills is a priority in this school. Leaders have a well-developed understanding of how to teach pupils to read. Phonics lessons are structured well, and most pupils successfully apply letter sounds to their reading and writing. Pupils read widely, and most enjoy reading. Reading books are well matched to pupils’ abilities, which helps develop their reading skills effectively, including understanding the texts. Pupils who are struggling to read get the right support from their teachers and well-trained teaching assistants. They catch up quickly.
Pupils behave well in lessons, at breaktimes and when moving around the school. Learning is rarely interrupted. Pupils like to help each other, especially when someone is new to the school. Staff provide appropriate support for the few pupils who find it difficult to behave well. As a result, their behaviour improves. Since the previous inspection, pupils’ attendance has improved, and most pupils attend regularly.
Pupils are well prepared for life in modern Britain. Staff encourage pupils to be welcoming and respectful to everyone. Pupils have a good understanding of different backgrounds and cultures. Pupils relish opportunities to contribute to the life of the school, for example as house captains, sports leaders, junior road safety officers and members of the school council.
Leaders know the school well, they are reflective and continually seek to improve the school. The headteacher has built a well-trained and motivated staff team. Staff value the training they receive. Leaders make sure that teaching is consistently good across the school. Staff are pleased with leaders’ actions to reduce their workload and improve their work–life balance.
Governors share leaders’ vision that every pupil can and will achieve. They hold leaders to account, which helps leaders to focus on the school’s priorities. For example, governors challenge leaders about pupils’ achievements and make sure that additional funding is spent effectively.
Children get off to a good start in early years. Most children leave the Reception classes well prepared for Year 1. Staff are calm and friendly with the children. The clear routines help children settle quickly. Although only in their first full week at school, children were seen happily learning both indoors and outside. Staff are good at supporting children’s learning. Staff develop children’s speaking and listening successfully, which particularly helps those who speak English as an additional language.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Staff take pupils’ safety and well-being seriously. Safeguarding procedures are well understood by staff and applied consistently. All concerns are logged and carefully monitored. Staff undertake regular training to keep up to date with current guidance and any issues within the local community. Appropriate checks are made on all adults who work in the school, including volunteers. Leaders ensure that vulnerable pupils are well supported, especially by the school’s family workers, and that external agencies provide timely support to pupils and their families. Pupils feel safe in school and are taught how to keep themselves safe, including when online.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
The school’s curriculum is not yet sufficiently well planned and sequenced in some foundation subjects. However, it is clear that leaders are in the process of putting this in place. Leaders are moving forward with clear actions to develop curriculum plans further in subjects other than English and mathematics. . Curriculum leadership teams work together effectively to develop and improve the curriculum of their subjects across the school. However, not all curriculum leaders know or understand how their subject is taught in early years. This said, curriculum leaders are already working with early years staff to increase their understanding and strengthen curriculum links between early years, key stage 1 and key stage 2.