Halifax Primary School


Name Halifax Primary School
Website http://www.halifaxprimary.net
Inspections
Ofsted Inspections
Address Prince of Wales Drive, Ipswich, IP2 8PY
Phone Number 01473683932
Type Academy
Age Range 4-11
Religious Character Does Not Apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 412 (52.7% boys 47.3% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 16.6
Academy Sponsor Orwell Multi Academy Trust
Local Authority Suffolk
Percentage Free School Meals 21.4%
Percentage English is Not First Language 11.9%
Persistent Absence 7.9%
Pupils with SEN Support 8.5%%
Catchment Area Indicator Available Yes
Last Distance Offered Available No
Highlights from Latest Inspection

Outcome

Halifax Primary School continues to be a good school.

What is it like to attend this school?

‘Team Halifax’ reflects the character of the school.

There is a strong sense of a community where pupils are encouraged to work and play together. Pupils speak highly about the things they learn and the clubs that they enjoy. They say that this is because of the staff who help them.

They told me that teachers make school fun and interesting. New topics are introduced with exciting starts that help to ‘hook’ pupils into their learning.

Leaders have high expectations of pupils’ behaviour and learning.

Pupils understand how the ‘four Bs’ – be caring, be respectful, be safe, be responsible – help them to get along together. Behaviour is good. Pupils respond quickly to adults’ instructions and they listen to what teachers have to say.

This ensures that pupils work hard in lessons.

Pupils understand the different forms bullying can take. They told me that this was rare in their school.

They know that adults would sort it out immediately if it were to happen. Parents and carers agree that their children are well cared for. As one parent wrote on Ofsted’s Parent View questionnaire, ‘They are a very caring staff and I feel that my child is always in safe hands’.

This reflected the view of others.

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

Leaders have revised the content of their curriculum. Their plans show what pupils need to know across each year group and in every subject.

For example, in science, I saw pupils using what they had learned about different animal features to help with ideas of evolution. However, some subject plans do not always make clear the things pupils have learned previously. These plans do not consider the knowledge children have gained in early years.

This means that teachers do not always know how their plans build on what pupils have learned.

Teachers check pupils’ understanding during lessons. Pupils’ responses to specific questions help teachers to plan the next steps.

Leaders have not yet developed how they will check pupils’ achievement in the foundation subjects. This means that leaders do not know how well their subject plans are working.

Reading is well taught across the school.

Leaders ensure that younger pupils learn the different sounds that letters represent. Additional lessons are provided for those pupils who need to keep up with their peers. The books pupils read are well matched to the sounds they are learning.

Pupils read fluently and with increasing confidence. Regular storytimes provide pupils with enjoyable opportunities for sharing books. Leaders help pupils understand the importance of books.

For example, books are awarded to pupils as prizes for pupils’ achievements.

Leaders ensure that pupils develop their confidence in mathematics. Daily sessions called ‘jump start’ help pupils to practise and recall their times tables.

Pupils are encouraged to ‘prove it’ by explaining their reasons for solutions to mathematical problems. There is still more work to do. Plans do not identify the things pupils that should know for all the things they learn about in mathematics.

For example, pupils could not answer questions about time because they did not understand the 24-hour clock.

The special educational needs coordinator (SENCo) provides good support for teachers. She ensures that support plans for pupils with special education needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are effective.

Teachers use these plans well so that pupils are meeting their personal targets.

Leaders provide additional experiences to enrich the curriculum. Leaders particularly encourage disadvantaged pupils to take part in clubs and activities.

This is helping to develop the interests and talents of disadvantaged pupils. Pupils learn about being good citizens. They have opportunities to be a school councillor or work as a ‘rota kid’.

Learning how to be part of a team is important at Halifax Primary.

The early years environment is a busy and happy place. Children are engrossed in their activities, working independently and confidently.

Adults ensure that children use activities to play purposefully to develop their creativity and curiosity. I watched children as they used junk materials to construct space rockets, and were thinking how they could stick tubes together and decorate their models.

Children take care of one another.

They learn to collaborate by sharing their play. Outdoors, a group of children constructed an obstacle course and then invited others to join them. Well-constructed plans for children’s development ensure that they are well prepared for Year 1.

Leaders have established a strong team ethic. Staff say that leaders offer an ‘open door’ to address any issues with workload. The trust has played an important role in helping to train new teachers.

This has contributed well to the stability of staffing.

Safeguarding

The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders provide staff with regular training about keeping pupils safe.

Staff know how to recognise signs that a pupil may be at risk of harm. Staff are encouraged to report their concerns, no matter how small. Leaders have introduced an efficient system for making referrals.

This enables those who are responsible to act promptly when raising concerns. The arrangements to recruit new staff and for those who visit the school are secure and well maintained.

Pupils know how to keep themselves safe.

They have lessons about using the internet safely and reporting any concerns to adults.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

Leaders’ curriculum plans identify the key knowledge and skills that pupils will learn in every subject. They do not show the prior knowledge that pupils need to use to build their understanding.

This means that some pupils do not embed the new things that they learn into their long-term memory. Leaders must ensure that curriculum plans include all the component knowledge pupils need to help them remember, including what they have learned in early years. .

Leaders do not have any ways of checking what pupils know and understand across the foundation subjects. This means that leaders do not know whether their curriculum plans are working. Curriculum leaders should ensure there is a consistent approach to check what pupils have learned so that they can evaluate the effectiveness of their plans.

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 the predecessor school, Halifax Primary School, to be good in October 2015.