Farnworth Church of England Controlled Primary School

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About Farnworth Church of England Controlled Primary School

Name Farnworth Church of England Controlled Primary School
Website https://www.farnworthcofeprimary.co.uk/
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs Heather Whitfield
Address Pit Lane, Widnes, WA8 9HS
Phone Number 01514243042
Phase Primary
Type Voluntary controlled school
Age Range 4-11
Religious Character Church of England
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 419
Local Authority Halton
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Farnworth is not just a school. It is a family. Pupils feel that they are well cared for and the relationships between pupils and staff are positive and respectful.

This was summed up by some Year 5 pupils who shared with inspectors that they wanted to take their teachers with them to high school.

Pupils said that staff provide timely help if they feel worried or upset. Staff make sure that they address any incidents of unkindness between pupils, including bullying, thoroughly and swiftly.

This helps pupils to feel safe. Those pupils who take on leadership roles, such as being a member of the school council, make a valuable contribution to the school communit...y.

Leaders have high expectations for what pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), should achieve.

Pupils achieve well across the curriculum.

Staff expect pupils to be well behaved. Pupils respond positively to these high expectations, and they are attentive in their lessons.

Pupils move calmly and sensibly around school and play together well at social times.

Pupils enjoy, and benefit from, the rich curriculum on offer at Farnworth. Pupils were very proud to share examples of their learning and sporting achievements.

Pupils are afforded opportunities to learn to play different musical instruments, such as the drums and keyboards. They also enjoy gospel singing.

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

Leaders, governors and staff have a shared ambition that all pupils, including those with SEND, will achieve their very best.

Leaders have found the right balance between academic success and developing pupils as well-rounded citizens. Parents and carers expressed overwhelmingly positive views about the school.

Through the school's well-designed curriculum, leaders have ensured that there is a suitably broad range of subjects on offer for pupils from the early years to Year 6.

Leaders have identified what pupils need to know. They have broken learning down into small steps that help pupils to successfully build their knowledge over time.

Leaders have ensured that staff teach important subject content in a logical order so that pupils gradually develop a rich body of subject knowledge.

Teachers use assessment strategies well to identify what pupils know and what they need to learn next. Staff use assessment information skilfully to help them to meet the needs of children and pupils.

Children in the early years get off to a positive start.

They settle into school life well. Children across the early years join in enthusiastically with the wide range of activities that help them to gain a secure foundation in readiness for their move to Year 1.

Leaders ensure that staff are equipped well to identify the needs of pupils with SEND in a timely manner.

Staff adapt their delivery of the curriculum well for this group of pupils. Pupils with SEND access the same ambitious curriculum as their classmates and they achieve well.Almost all pupils become confident and fluent readers by the end of Year 2.

Leaders have trained staff so that they are confident to deliver the phonics programme. In the main, staff deliver this programme skilfully. However, some staff are still honing their expertise to deliver aspects of the phonics programme as leaders intend.

This means that, from time to time, some staff do not ensure that pupils read books that are matched closely enough to their phonics knowledge.Staff are quick to identify, and then support, those pupils at risk of not keeping up in reading. This helps these pupils to catch up quickly.

A love of reading is evident across the school. Staff inspire pupils to read in creative ways, including through visits from authors and bringing texts to life through drama.Pupils' wider development is prioritised by staff.

Pupils learn about different faiths and cultures. Pupil groups, such as the school council, the safety team and Year 6 buddies, take their roles and responsibilities seriously. Pupils have opportunities to debate and discuss a range of issues.

They also access a wide range of activities, including sport, drama, computer coding, gymnastics, art, dance and times tables clubs. Leaders provide other experiences such as residential visits and school trips. They also invite visitors and specialist teachers to broaden pupils' horizons and enrich the curriculum further.

Pupils, and children in the early years, help to keep the atmosphere during lessons calm and purposeful. Staff use leaders' behaviour system consistently well. This means that pupils know what staff expect of them, and as a result, pupils behave well.

Low-level disruption is extremely rare. Pupils attend school regularly.

Governors know the school well.

They offer an appropriate balance of support and challenge to leaders, with a particular focus on the quality of education.

Staff are overwhelmingly positive about leaders' actions to create a positive working environment. There is a strong sense of team spirit.

Staff feel well supported by leaders and by their colleagues. Leaders are considerate of staff's workload and well-being. As a result, staff morale is high.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders and governors understand their responsibility to keep pupils safe. Consequently, leaders make sure that all staff are trained well to identify and address any safeguarding concerns quickly.

Staff have a clear and consistent understanding about what to do to report any concerns that they may have about pupils' welfare. Leaders take swift action to support pupils, including working closely with external agencies. They place great importance on open communication with families.

Pupils understand the need to keep themselves safe. They described with ease the many ways that they can do this. For example, pupils know how to stay safe while they are online.

They learn who they can trust. Pupils know what action to take if they feel unsafe.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Some staff are still honing their expertise to deliver aspects of the phonics programme as leaders intend.

This means that, from time to time, some staff do not ensure that pupils read books that are matched closely enough to their phonics knowledge. This hinders a very small number of pupils in becoming fluent and confident readers as quickly as they should. Leaders should ensure that staff receive ongoing training and support so that they can deliver the phonics programme consistently well.

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