Downside Primary School

Name Downside Primary School
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Address Chaul End Lane, Luton, LU4 8EZ
Phone Number 01582587160
Type Primary
Age Range 4-11
Religious Character Does Not Apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 986 (51.6% boys 48.4% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 23.4
Local Authority Luton
Percentage Free School Meals 19.7%
Percentage English is Not First Language 69.6%
Persistent Absence 9.3%
Pupils with SEN Support 13%
Catchment Area Indicator Available Yes
Last Distance Offered Available No
Highlights from Latest Full Inspection (06 May 2015)
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Information about this school

Downside Primary School is much larger than the average-sized primary school. Children attend the Early Years Foundation Stage provision in the Reception class on a full-time basis. A large majority of the pupils are from Pakistani or Bangladeshi heritages. A growing number of pupils are joining the school from Eastern European countries. Around three quarters of the pupils are learning English as an additional language. The proportion of disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs is broadly average. An average proportion of pupils are disadvantaged and supported by the pupil premium, which provides additional funding for pupils who are known to be eligible for free school meals or who are looked after by the local authority. In 2014, the school met government?s floor standards, which set the minimum expectations for pupils? attainment and progress in reading, writing and mathematics by the end of Year 6. The school runs breakfast and after-school clubs. The school hosts a privately-run pre-school. This is inspected and reported on separately. A small number of pupils attend alternative provision at the New Horizon Unit for pupils with emotional and behavioural needs at a local primary school on a flexible and part-time basis.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a good school. The school has been very well led by the headteacher, governing body and senior leaders since the last inspection. This strong leadership has improved the quality of teaching and raised pupils? achievement to good. The development of a strong tier of middle leaders had had a positive impact, especially on the quality of teaching. Because of this the school is continuing to improve. Pupils? attainment has risen steadily for the last three years. By the time pupils leave the school, their attainment is broadly in line with the national average in reading, writing and mathematics. This represents good progress from their different starting points. Strong spiritual, moral, social and cultural development ensures pupils are growing up with a clear appreciation of British values and how these are based on respect for, and tolerance of, others. The school is rigorous in ensuring pupils are kept safe. Behaviour is good in lessons and around the school. Teaching is good because the leaders have robust systems for checking on teachers? work and this has had a very positive impact on addressing any existing weaker teaching. The good use of a wide range of extra training has had a positive impact on the development of leaders? skills and teachers? knowledge and expertise. The governing body provides a good level of challenge and support for school leaders. Governors have a good understanding of the school?s strengths and challenges it faces. Children in the early years are well taught and have a very positive start to their schooling. They are well prepared for their future education through the development of positive attitudes towards school and a love of learning. It is not yet an outstanding school because : A smaller proportion of most-able pupils than is the case nationally make progress that is better than that expected in reading, writing and mathematics. Pupils do not develop good handwriting skills with well-formed letters and an appropriately mature style.