Gayhurst Community School

Name Gayhurst Community School
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 03 December 2019
Address Gayhurst Road, Hackney, London, E8 3EN
Phone Number 02072546138
Type Primary
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 575 (52% boys 48% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 18.3
Local Authority Hackney
Percentage Free School Meals 21.6%
Percentage English is Not First Language 31.8%
Persisitent Absence 2%
Pupils with SEN Support 6.4%
Catchment Area Information Available Yes, our catchment area data is FREE
Last Distance Offered Information Available Yes


Gayhurst Community School continues to be a good school.There is enough evidence of improved performance to suggest that the school could be judged outstanding if we were to carry out a section 5 inspection now.

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils enjoy coming to this school. They are respectful and considerate to each other. They concentrate in lessons and work hard. This is because teachers understand how to teach subjects in an interesting way. Staff know how to move pupils’ learning on.

Pupils talked enthusiastically about the exhibitions of their work in the school art gallery and about their cookery lessons. Parents, carers and pupils are positive about the range of activities on offer. These activities help pupils understand the wider world. Leaders make sure everyone has a wide education and can find their talents, including disadvantaged pupils and those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

Staff expect pupils to behave well and pupils rise to their expectations. At breaktimes, everyone plays well together. Pupils told me that they feel safe at school because they know who to tell if they have a problem. They said the teachers help them to sort out any difficulties. Parents feel confident that the school cares well for their children and keeps them safe. Pupils in Years 3 to 6 talked confidently about what they had learned about bullying. Those in Years 1 and 2 knew who to go to for help but were less certain explaining what bullying looks and feels like.

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

Teachers plan learning with care. Leaders make sure that teachers understand every curriculum subject and know what pupils might find difficult. Subject leaders give clear guidance about the key information and vocabulary to be learned. This ensures that teachers teach well and helps pupils to remember more and achieve highly.

Leaders make sure that pupils learn to read as quickly as possible. Their approach is systematic and makes sure that nobody falls behind. Staff use assessment well to plan what children need to know next in phonics. Pupils practise with books that are matched well to the sounds they have learned. Pupils who fall behind are helped to catch upquickly. Teachers often use books that link to other subjects. This supports pupils’ understanding across the curriculum. Throughout the school, pupils read very well.

Staff take a consistent approach to teaching mathematics. Across the school, teachers explain areas of learning, such as calculation, in the same way. This helps children learn well. Teachers routinely give pupils opportunities to practise number skills and problem solving. They make sure that pupils use mathematical vocabulary correctly.

Pupils enjoy learning about science. They told me they like carrying out experiments. I saw Year 4 pupils confidently planning and carrying out an investigation on changing the shape of shadows. Teachers enhance the science curriculum with a yearly science and technology week to immerse children in the subject.

The teaching of history is carefully sequenced from Reception to Year 6. Teachers take care to build on what pupils have learned before. By Year 6, children have a good understanding of the order of events in British and world history, for example comparing Anglo-Saxons with the Kingdom of Benin.

Leaders make sure that staff understand how to support all pupils, particularly those with SEND. They carefully consider when pupils need activities planned just for them and when they can learn best from taking part in larger class lessons. All staff are well trained and supported to help the pupils they work with learn.

There is little disruption in lessons because lessons are well planned and interesting. Those children who need more support with their behaviour are well managed.

The school has developed a wide range of activities and key experiences that build pupils’ understanding of the world. These are organised into strands, such as ‘experiencing the city’, ‘experiencing the natural world’ and ‘contributing to our community’. These contribute effectively to pupils’ personal development.

School leaders and governors truly want the school to include all pupils. They want the school to improve the life chances of all pupils, especially the most disadvantaged. They carefully evaluate the school’s work. Governors understand the school well and know when and how to challenge leaders.

Children in Nursery and Reception are settled and happy. Staff plan activities which interest them and help them learn in all areas. Stories are at the centre of the curriculum and support children to develop their English vocabulary and understanding of mathematics. For example, I saw staff using the story of ‘The Three Little Pigs’ to help children understand the concept of ‘first, second, third’. Leaders make sure that learning in Years 1 and 2 builds on what is taught in Nursery and Reception.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Keeping children safe is at the centre of the school’s work. Staff have been thoroughly trained in the school’s policies and procedures. They understand what to do if they areworried about a pupil. Leaders understand what the local risks to pupils might be and how they need to adapt the work of the school to protect children. School staff work well with outside agencies to support children and families.

Pupils told me they feel safe at school. They were able to explain what school teaches them to help them stay safe online and in their local community.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

Younger children know who to go to for help if they are worried or unhappy. However, they find it difficult to articulate what bullying looks or feels like. Leaders should review the anti-bullying work in Years 1 and 2 so that these pupils better understand what bullying is and what it is not.


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/outstanding. 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 the school to be good on 2–3 February 2016.