Elm Wood Primary School

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About Elm Wood Primary School

Name Elm Wood Primary School
Website http://www.elmwoodps.co.uk
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs Gemma Holt
Address Elm Street, Middleton, Manchester, M24 2EG
Phone Number 01612870607
Phase Primary
Type Community school
Age Range 2-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 431
Local Authority Rochdale
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), enjoy being part of this caring and welcoming school. They arrive at school each morning with smiles on their faces, happy to see their friends and staff. Pupils trust staff.

They know that staff look after them and inspire them to achieve well.

Pupils typically behave well during lessons. The school's expectations of being ready, respectful and responsible lead to pupils striving to be their best.

Pupils are polite and well mannered. Most classrooms are calm and purposeful.

The school has high expectations for pupils' academic achievement and for their wider developme...nt.

Most pupils, including those with SEND, achieve well and enjoy their learning. The 'happiest minute of the week' during an assembly is a particular highlight for pupils, where their achievements are celebrated.

Pupils relish the variety of opportunities that are on offer.

They spoke highly of the experiences that they can take part in, such as the recent 'rock band' day. The school provides an abundance of clubs. These include activities such as choir, art, reading and dance groups.

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

Pupils, including those with SEND, benefit from an ambitious curriculum that is meaningful and interesting to them. Starting from the beginning of the early years, the school has carefully considered what pupils should learn. As pupils get older, subject curriculums are suitably designed to build on their previous knowledge.

Pupils explained to inspectors that recent changes to the curriculum mean that they are learning more. Due to some weaknesses in a few previous subject curriculums, pupils have gaps in prior learning. This means that some pupils do not make the progress through the curriculum that they could.

Teachers typically present information clearly and select appropriate activities that help pupils to consolidate their learning. In the main, staff use assessment strategies effectively to skilfully check what pupils know and can remember. They use the information from these checks to design and shape future learning.

Strong staff expertise in the early years means that the curriculum is designed and delivered extremely effectively. Staff know children and their families remarkably well. In the provision for two-year-old children and the nursery class, staff encourage children to interact positively with each other, to take turns and to develop their speaking skills.

Children are taught to follow adults' instructions and classroom routines exceedingly well. They help each other in their learning and at play.

The school has prioritised early reading.

There is a rigorous approach to teaching pupils how to read. Staff begin teaching children letter sounds as soon as they join the Reception Year. Pupils quickly become fluent, confident readers.

Children in the early years and pupils in key stage 1 read from books that are matched to the sounds that they already know. Pupils who need additional support receive help quickly from staff who specialise in early reading. Pupils are proud of the school library and the reading opportunities that this offers them.

Children in the early years settle into school quickly. They form secure relationships with adults and with their friends. Pupils in key stage 1 build on this positive start.

On the rare occasion that pupils forget to follow school rules, staff quickly and sensitively remind them of behaviour expectations. Pupils talk fondly of the 'gem jars' that they endeavour to fill to earn whole-school rewards. Through carefully designed learning opportunities, pupils are given the tools to express how they feel.

The school has a well-organised provision for pupils with SEND. This facilitates pupils with more complex needs to access the curriculum well. The school ensures that staff are equipped to identify the additional needs of pupils with SEND swiftly.

Staff use a range of suitable strategies to support these pupils effectively. This enables pupils with SEND to learn successfully.

Attendance is a high priority.

Pupils understand the importance of attending school each day. When attendance is at risk of becoming low, the school works in partnership with external professionals and with families. As a result, pupils' levels of attendance show positive improvements.

The school ensures that pupils are well prepared for life in modern Britain. Pupils value diversity and they celebrate the many differences that people have. They are tolerant of opinions that differ from their own.

Pupils learn how to keep safe when they are online and beyond the school gates. They are proud of the leadership roles that they have. These include being school ambassadors and digital leaders.

Governors share staff's ambition and commitment. They carry out a range of activities to assure themselves that the school's systems are working well. This has helped them to ensure that the quality of education continually improves.

When making decisions, the governing body and the school consider the possible impact on staff's workload. Staff are proud to be part of the Elm Wood team. They said that the recent period of change has been needed to ensure that the provision across school improves.

Staff told inspectors that these changes had been well designed to consider their workload and well-being.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• In some subjects, the curriculum has recently been revised or introduced.

Due to the previous weaker curriculums, there are gaps in some pupils' knowledge. This results in some pupils not having strong foundations on which to build new learning. The school should embed the more recent curriculums so that they are fully delivered as intended.

Also at this postcode
Elm Street Pre-School Community Interest Company

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