Gorse Hill Primary School

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About Gorse Hill Primary School

Name Gorse Hill Primary School
Website https://gorsehill.swindon.sch.uk/
Ofsted Inspections
Mrs Candida Hutchinson
Address Avening Street, Gorse Hill, Swindon, SN2 8BZ
Phone Number 01793523800
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 2-11
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 461
Local Authority Swindon
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils enjoy coming to this inclusive and diverse school. The school's CARE values of courage, appreciation, respect, responsibility and excellence lie at the heart of the school's work.

This helps pupils make the right choices on how everyone should treat each other. It also raises pupil aspiration and develops their confidence and resilience.

Leaders have high expectations of what all pupils can achieve.

Pupils develop positive attitudes to their learning. Staff provide strong pastoral support. They work together to create an environment in which all pupils feel wanted and respected.

Pupils enjoy learning. They gain a strong understanding of tolera...nce.

Pupils build effective relationships with adults and their peers.

They behave well in lessons and around the school site. Low-level disruption is rare. Pupils understand what bullying is.

They are adamant that bullying does not happen. They know it would be dealt with quickly and sensitively if it did.

The majority of parents and carers are positive about the care and support their children receive.

One parent commented that leaders and staff are 'very supportive to all children; they talk to them with respect and treat them as equals, which is very refreshing to see.'

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

Leaders are ambitious for all pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). Staff appreciate the collegiate approach and culture shift in the school since the appointment of the current principal.

Those new to the profession value the guidance provided.

Leaders prioritise reading. From the moment they start in the Reception Year, children learn phonics.

In Nursery, adults support children's language development through the use of rhymes, stories and songs. Books match the sounds pupils are learning. Staff use their phonics training well to take every opportunity to support and check pupils' phonics knowledge.

Careful assessment ensures that those who are in danger of falling behind receive the necessary support to catch up quickly. Most older pupils enjoy reading. Investment in a wider range of texts is beginning to enhance pupils' enjoyment of reading for pleasure.

The mathematics curriculum is sequenced well to ensure pupils build effectively on previous knowledge over time. Adults model the use of mathematical vocabulary across all year groups. This starts in the Nursery where adults use repetition to support children's understanding of key mathematical words.

Pupils enjoy mathematics. They talk knowledgably about what they have learned.

Leaders have thought carefully about what knowledge they want pupils to know in most subjects across the wider curriculum.

In history and physical education (PE), pupils can explain and recall their prior learning, showing how their understanding has developed over time. However, in some other subjects such as design technology, the curriculum does not build sequentially on what pupils have learned before. As a result, pupils do not develop the same level of knowledge over time.

Some teachers do not use assessment well enough to identify where pupils may have gaps in their learning. Consequently, they do not always have an accurate picture of what pupils already know and can do.

Staff know pupils well.

They have a strong understanding of the needs of pupils with SEND. Careful identification of pupils' needs enables staff to provide tailored support. Learning is adapted, so that pupils with SEND receive the same curriculum as their peers.

Those pupils with more complex needs benefit from effective specialist support.

Pupils behave well. They understand what is expected of them.

Pupils are polite and well mannered. As a result, the school is a calm and purposeful place to learn. Pupils of all ages play well together in unstructured times.

Where some pupils struggle with their behaviour, staff deal with it appropriately.

Leaders provide pupils with opportunities beyond the curriculum to extend their broader development. Pupils understand that everyone is equal and that it is alright to be different.

They can talk in detail about the school's values and how they should treat and care for others. The taught curriculum supports pupils in developing a good understanding of how to stay safe and the importance of healthy relationships.

Governors and the trust share the ambition of school leaders.

Staff speak highly of the training and support the trust provides. Teamwork is a strength of the school. Leaders are mindful of teachers' workload, and staff know decisions are made in the best interest of pupils.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders ensure there is a strong culture of keeping children safe. Staff are knowledgeable and have regular up-to-date training.

Consequently, staff are confident in reporting concerns. Leaders actively engage with external agencies to support vulnerable children.

Leaders carry out the necessary employment checks on staff to ensure they are safe to work with children.

Pupils and parents agree the school is a safe place to be. Pupils know who to go to if they are worried. Leaders ensure that the curriculum supports pupils' understanding of risk, including how to stay safe online.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Some subjects within the wider curriculum are not as coherently designed as others. As a result, pupils do not develop the same level of knowledge that they should across the curriculum. Leaders need to ensure that the key knowledge pupils need to know is identified clearly and sequenced effectively across all subject areas, so that pupils know more and remember more over time.

• In subjects other than English and mathematics, systems to assess what pupils know and can do are underdeveloped. As a result, some pupils do not consistently build on prior knowledge, which can lead to gaps in learning. Leaders need to secure the use of assessment, so they know how well pupils are learning the curriculum in all subjects.

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