Dickens Heath Community Primary School

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Dickens Heath Community Primary School


Name Dickens Heath Community Primary School
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 03 July 2012
Address Three Acres Lane, Dickens Heath, Solihull, West Midlands, B90 1NA
Phone Number 01217338359
Type Primary
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 447 (50% boys 50% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 20.3
Local Authority Solihull
Percentage Free School Meals 8.3%
Percentage English is Not First Language 20.8%
Persisitent Absence 5%
Pupils with SEN Support 17.2%
Catchment Area Information Available Yes, our catchment area data is FREE
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

Information about the school

The school is larger than the average–sized primary school and serves the village of Dickens Heath, although a minority of pupils travel from further afield. The proportion of pupils known to be eligible for free school meals is well below average. A higher than average proportion of pupils are from minority ethnic backgrounds. Few pupils are at the early stages of learning English. The proportion of disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs who are supported at school action plus, or have a statement of special educational needs, is broadly average. The school meets the government’s current floor standards, which set the minimum expectations for pupils’ attainment and progress. The school was opened in 2002 and the number of pupils has increased year-on-year since then; hence there are currently many more pupils on roll than at the time of the last inspection. Since the last inspection there have been signficant changes to staffing, particularly at senior management level; the current headteacher took up post in September 2010. The Acorns Childcare setting, which provides before–school and after–school care for children aged 3–11 and is managed by the governing body, was included in this inspection.

Key findings

This is a good school that provides a wide variety of rich learning opportunities for its pupils. It is not outstanding because learning occasionally slows when staff do not check pupils’ progress frequently enough during lessons. In addition, although the school’s improvement planning reflects the leadership’s clear awareness of areas for development, plans are not tightly focused on the most important priorities. Pupils achieve well. They make good progress from their individual starting points and overall attainment is above average by the end of Year 6. A particular strength is pupils’ achievement in reading, which enhances their progress across the curriculum. Teachers plan lessons very carefully and pay close attention to matching work to pupils’ individual needs. There are numerous opportunities in all lessons for pupils to develop independent learning skills. Marking of pupils’ work is of consistently good quality. In Acorns, planning is well structured, experienced and qualified staff work exceptionally well with children and pupils, and relationships are very positive. Pupils’ behaviour is exemplary and they have an excellent awareness of how to stay safe. Pupils have excellent attitudes to learning and are polite and courteous to each other and to adults. The very small minority of pupils who have difficulties in managing their own behaviour are dealt with sensitively and effectively by staff. Senior leaders have successfully driven improvements to provision and outcomes. Teaching and staff performance are managed well. The curriculum is outstanding, as is the school’s promotion of spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. There is a strong focus on creativity and pupils’ personal development as well as academic achievement. The Acorns Childcare provision is outstanding. It provides a wide range of activities for children and pupils to enjoy before and after school.