Farley Hill Primary School


Name Farley Hill Primary School
Website http://www.farleyhillprimary.co.uk
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 12 November 2019
Address Church Road, Farley Hill, Reading, Berkshire, RG7 1UB
Phone Number 01189732148
Type Primary
Age Range 4-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 206 (51% boys 49% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 29.4
Local Authority Wokingham
Percentage Free School Meals 3.9%
Percentage English is Not First Language 8.7%
Persisitent Absence 7.1%
Pupils with SEN Support 8.7%
Catchment Area Information Available Yes, our catchment area data is FREE
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

Outcome

Farley Hill Primary School continues to be a good school.

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils at this school are avid learners. They are eager to gain new knowledge and improve their understanding. Leaders make sure that pupils have plenty to stimulate their interest and curiosity. Staff have high ambitions for all their pupils. They have put together a demanding and broad curriculum.

Pupils and staff describe their school as a close team. Pupils speak about this often. They believe this helps everyone to be kind. Bullying hardly ever happens. Pupils know that they should always treat each other with respect and care. As a result, pupils work and play in harmony. Everyone feels included and valued at the school. Pupils believe that they are safe and secure. As one parent wrote, ‘I could not wish for a more nurturing school, which at the same time challenges my child to always want to do her best.’

A major strength of the school is the wide range of activities it offers. Pupils love the experiences that add to their learning. For example, during the inspection, Year 4 were in full costume for their Viking Day. Pupils were buzzing with what they had learned and were also keen to learn more.

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

Children learn to read from the start of the Reception Year. They are taught phonics systematically. Children quickly pick up the skills they need to read words and sentences. Leaders have given careful thought to how they inspire a love of reading in their pupils. Books are plentiful and varied. Teachers read to pupils with skill and enthusiasm. In Reception Year, the teacher’s torch-lit reading of a spooky story entranced the children. They answered well-judged questions which expanded the depth of their understanding. This combination of strong stimulus and high expectation is consistent in the teaching of reading across the school.

Teachers match books very carefully to the individual pupil’s reading stage. This supports pupils well as they develop their skills. As a result, almost all pupils soon become fluentreaders. Teachers are well trained to provide the right support to those pupils at risk of falling behind.

Leaders have a clear vision for what they want pupils to learn. Teachers have a good understanding of how what they teach fits into the big picture. They plan for the work in their class to build on what has gone before. They make sure that pupils recall past knowledge. Pupils then make connections with what they next learn. Teachers use key strategies to strengthen how pupils gain and retain knowledge. Pupils ask questions and explain what they know to each other. They take pleasure in drawing on the growing bank of what they know. For instance, a pupil in Year 3 reflected on what he had learned in his science lessons. He named different forms of rock, using the right terminology. He did this with ease and pride.

Leaders have crafted a broad curriculum. Teachers have good subject knowledge to deliver it. Together, these provide high-quality learning for all. Pupils’ attitudes towards their learning are also very positive. They achieve very well at all stages in the school. Leaders know that they have a few subjects that still need additional planning. They have this in hand. Leaders understand where they need to improve staff expertise further to complete the curriculum delivery.

Adults give effective support to pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). They are thorough in the way they check on a pupil’s progress. Staff make sure they give the right help. Teachers ensure that pupils with SEND engage in all aspects of the curriculum. This breadth of learning allows pupils with SEND to expand their knowledge well.

Leaders are passionate about broadening pupils’ learning. They have ensured that pupils have a rich array of opportunities. Experts come into school to work with pupils. These have ranged from meteorologists to chefs. Leaders are clear that they want pupils to become caring and responsible citizens. As a result, they ensure that pupils have opportunities to take up posts of responsibility. There are strong links with a local home for the elderly. Through a variety of activities with the residents, pupils show respect, kindness and understanding.

Leaders and governors have achieved a great deal since the last inspection. They are driven by a desire to see each pupil succeed. Staff share this vision. They appreciate the support they receive from leaders. They say this motivates them even more.

Safeguarding

The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Staff know pupils and their families well. This helps them spot early signs that a pupil may need extra support. Staff are well informed about what to do if they are concerned about a pupil’s welfare. Governors and leaders ensure that all employment checks are properly carried out. They also provide relevant training for all staff.

Leaders have created an environment that nurtures pupils. Parents and pupils recognisethis. They value the warmth and care that is given. Pupils know that adults act in their best interest. This security helps them to thrive at school.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

Leaders have made great strides in strengthening the content and the coherence of the curriculum. They need to continue this work and complete the improvement in the few subjects that remain to be updated. In conjunction with this work, leaders should also continue to provide effective training for staff so that all are equally expert in what they deliver.

Background

When we have judged a school to be good we will then normally go into the school about once every four years to confirm that the school remains good. This is called a section 8 inspection of a good school or non-exempt outstanding school. We do not give graded judgements on a section 8 inspection. However, if we find some evidence that the school could now be better than good or that standards may be declining, then the next inspection will be a section 5 inspection. Usually this is within one to two years of the date of the section 8 inspection. If we have serious concerns about safeguarding, behaviour or the quality of education, we will convert the section 8 inspection to a section 5 inspection immediately.

This is the first section 8 inspection since we judged Farley Hill Primary School to be good on 11–12 May 2016.