Gatcombe Park Primary School

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About Gatcombe Park Primary School

Name Gatcombe Park Primary School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Ian Baker
Address St Barbara Way, Hilsea, Portsmouth, PO2 0UR
Phone Number 02392694412
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 4-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 209
Local Authority Portsmouth
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

This is a happy and friendly community, where pupils develop confidence and enthusiasm for learning.

Pupils consistently demonstrate the school values of 'aim high, respect and teamwork'. They collaborate with each other and complete activities well. Pupils respond positively to teachers' high expectations and, consequently, behaviour is calm around school.

At breaktimes, pupils happily play across different year groups, sharing the trim trail equipment thoughtfully.

Pupils are knowledgeable about how to look after themselves and each other. They understand practical approaches to well-being, such as eating healthy food and taking digital screen breaks.
<>Pupils know how to report any worries they have. They value the 'Help me boxes', which enable them to discretely report concerns to teachers. Pupils feel safe because they know teachers will address any problems.

Bullying is rare, if any does happen it is tackled quickly and effectively by leaders.

Pupils are inclusive and welcoming. This reflects leaders' strong focus on equality and ambition.

For example, following a recent visit by a female footballer they are keen to explain that anyone can play any sport. The close and supportive community is further boosted by experiences for all pupils, such as residential camping trips.

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

Leaders have developed an ambitious and broad curriculum for all pupils.

The curriculum provides a journey which purposefully builds knowledge from early years to Year 6. Knowledge and topics across subjects are carefully re-visited. This means new learning builds on knowledge from earlier learning.

For example, in science, pupils learn how investigate and think scientifically with increasing depth.

Leaders' focus on developing teachers' subject knowledge means it is largely secure. Support is readily available when teachers need it.

This means teachers make appropriate activity choices, which are well resourced to effectively support the learning of all pupils. This includes adaptations made by teachers and teaching assistants which enable pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) to learn well. Staff check pupils' progress through the planned curriculum using mid-topic quizzes and end-of-topic reviews.

However, when teachers introduce new knowledge, they do not consistently check pupils' understanding. This means that some pupils have knowledge gaps which are not identified and addressed.

Reading is well prioritised within the school.

Phonic teaching enables all children, including those with SEND, to become confident, fluent readers. Staff use effective keep-up sessions, so that children who are struggling catch up. Pupils enjoy reading a rich range of texts, which means there is a distinct sense of interest and a growing love of reading when they explore characters and stories with teachers.

Lessons are focused and purposeful. Pupils complete activities enthusiastically and take pride in their work. Most pupils respond willingly to teachers' instructions.

When this is not the case, teachers address it calmly and effectively. Staff help pupils to reflect on their behaviour and consider how their actions affect others. Across the school, pupils are thoughtful and demonstrate respect for others.

Pastoral care is impressive. Staff work closely with families to provide strong support for pupils experiencing challenging circumstances. Many parents and carers are grateful for this help, which helps to ensure pupils have high attendance.

In lessons, pupils use 'regulation stations' to support, so they learn to respond appropriately to their feelings.

The curriculum provides many opportunities for pupils to develop curiosity and creativity. For example, when learning about food miles, pupils consider their own solutions.

They are encouraged to discuss why issues matter and how they can contribute to addressing these. Pupils learn about diversity through a range of opportunities, which enable pupils to explore different religions and cultures. This means pupils are tolerant towards other pupils with different cultures and beliefs in the school community.

Pupils learn about fundamental British values, including through casting votes in the annual Year 6 House Captains election. However, some pupils do not yet have secure knowledge of the difference these values make to life in modern Britain.

The special educational needs coordinator (SENCo) is passionate that pupils with SEND will flourish.

The SENCo works in partnership with teachers, so that bespoke, specific strategies for pupils with SEND enable them to learn well.

Leaders are highly ambitious for all pupils to be successful. They work to instil a can-do attitude in all pupils.

Their accurate view of the school's strengths and areas for improvement inform decisions about change. Most staff feel supported with workload and managing behaviour. Governors and trustees fulfil their responsibilities and provide appropriate challenge and support to leaders.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Staff are knowledgeable about the indicators of potential safeguarding concerns. Staff know how and who to report concerns to.

They follow these procedures to ensure concerns are investigated. The designated safeguarding lead promptly reports concerns to external agencies and follows these up as needed. Leaders regularly review the progress of active cases.

The single central record is compliant with statutory requirements. Safer recruitment practice is adhered to with appropriate pre-employment checks conducted. Governors and trustees meet their statutory safeguarding duties.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• When teachers explain or use resources to introduce new knowledge, they do not always check pupils have securely understood previous learning before moving on to the new information. This means that pupils are sometimes left with misconceptions or gaps in their understanding. Leaders need to ensure that teachers have the knowledge required to use assessment consistently well to inform their planning and teaching.

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