Heather Garth Primary School Academy

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About Heather Garth Primary School Academy

Name Heather Garth Primary School Academy
Website http://www.heathergarth.org
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs Jayne Winnard
Address Billingley View, Bolton-on-Dearne, Rotherham, S63 8ES
Phone Number 01709894149
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 243
Local Authority Barnsley
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils, parents and carers, staff and trustees all feel part of the welcoming school family at Heather Garth Primary School Academy.

Pupils are happy and safe in school. They agree with the headteacher's statement, 'We care for the children and they know we care for them.'

Pupils are friendly, respectful and polite.

They are well behaved in lessons and around the school. Pupils have a thorough understanding of equality, recognising that 'you're special in your own way'. Pupils and staff say that bullying is rare.

Pupils are confident that staff will sort out their problems. Pupils say that staff are 'approachable, helpful and kind'.

Leaders... have high expectations for all pupils both academically and socially.

Pupils particularly enjoy their weekly citizenship lessons and recall their learning enthusiastically. Reading is celebrated and cherished. Pupils love reading, especially to Star, the school dog, or in the new school library.

Pupils are keen to discuss their reading with each other and adults in school. They read a wide range of books and authors.

Leaders recognise that there is further work to be done in the early years.

The new early years leader has started to make improvements, such as developing the range of equipment the children use. This leader has also started to develop the curriculum. Currently, curriculum planning does not contain enough detail about what the children should be taught and what they should know to ensure that they are prepared well for the demands of key stage 1.

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

Leaders are providing a good education for pupils at Heather Garth. There is a well-planned curriculum, which sets out the broad knowledge that leaders want pupils to remember over time. However, in some subjects, further detail is needed to show the small steps of learning for pupils.

Teachers are well supported by knowledgeable subject leaders and effective training. Leaders are keen to promote every subject. They have appointed pupils as subject ambassadors.

These ambassadors 'shine' in a subject and share their positive messages with pupils and parents.

During lessons, teachers ensure pupils have regular opportunities to recall and practise key concepts. For example, pupils complete a 'daily practice' session at the start of each mathematics lesson.

Teachers check and correct pupils' understanding during lessons as a matter of course. Teachers model appropriate vocabulary and help pupils to remember this. In music, for example, each lesson starts with a slide showing the elements of music to be covered, such as pitch and rhythm.

However, end-of-unit assessments, across the wider curriculum, need further development. Currently, they are not linked to the small steps of learning that pupils need to know. Pupils recall and apply their prior learning well.

For example, in a Year 5 music lesson, pupils used their knowledge of notation to write down their own compositions. These were then performed enthusiastically by the whole class on glockenspiels.

Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are identified early.

The special educational needs coordinator works closely with both class teachers and parents to support the pupils. Effective plans are put in place and adhered to consistently. Pupils with SEND achieve well against their challenging targets.

The early years curriculum does not set out the knowledge and skills that children need to learn in the different areas of learning. As a result, staff's expectations of what children should achieve are variable and not always high enough. The new early years leader has evaluated the provision and planned the improvements necessary.

The leader has begun to take action; for example he has delivered training and support to staff on organising the early years environment. Most children access indoor activities calmly and purposefully. For example, a small group of children produced well-sequenced work showing the life cycle of a butterfly.

The outdoor activities are less structured and less effective. Some staff help children to develop their language and vocabulary well, but some do not. There is no planning in place showing the vocabulary children need to learn.

Procedures, such as those for intimate care and supervision numbers, are in place to keep children safe. During the inspection, leaders took assertive action to ensure a fire exit was clear of hazards.

Leaders introduced a new scheme for phonics in January 2022.

All staff have received training. There is consistency across the school. Leaders have invested in books that correspond to the scheme.

These books are carefully matched to the sounds that pupils have been taught and know. Adults support children skilfully. Any pupil with gaps in their phonic knowledge is quickly identified.

Support is put in place immediately to help them catch up.

Leaders have put a well-structured curriculum in place to support pupils' wider development. As a result, pupils are well-informed, responsible citizens.

Pupils have a good understanding of the fundamental British values and recall their work on the rule of law well. Pupils enjoy carrying out a wide range of responsibilities in school. These include membership of the school council, helping in the dinner hall and assisting in the library.

Every class starts the day with breakfast together, assisted by the milk and toast monitors. This social and caring experience sets the tone for the whole school day.

Leaders, including trustees, have a strong vision for school improvement.

They have recognised the need for further work in early years. Trustees visit the school regularly and also know the school well. Parents speak very highly of the school.

As one parent said, 'The school goes above and beyond for my child.'


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders have robust policies and procedures in place, including checks to ensure that adults are safe to work with pupils in school.

Leaders ensure staff are well trained. As a result, staff are aware of the signs of abuse and report any concerns. Leaders monitor all incidents and ensure they are followed up effectively.

Vulnerable pupils are identified quickly and receive the help they need. Pupils feel safe in school and are taught how to stay safe online. Staff, including the family engagement officer, build good relationships with the pupils and their families and provide effective support.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• In the early years, leaders have not defined what children need to know in each area of the curriculum, nor have they identified the key vocabulary children need to learn. As a result, some staff are not clear about what they should expect children to know and remember, so do not provide sufficient support for learners. Leaders need to outline clearly what children need to know in each area of the curriculum, including the vocabulary they expect children to know.

• In some subjects, for example in computing and music, curriculum planning is not detailed enough. It is not broken down into small enough parts, so teachers are not clear about what they must make sure pupils learn and remember. As a result, learning is not well sequenced for pupils.

Leaders should make sure that they precisely identify the key concepts and knowledge they want pupils to learn, from early years onwards, in all subjects. ? In some of the wider curriculum subjects, such as music, assessment procedures are in the early stages of development. In these subjects, teachers do not have a clear understanding of whether pupils have acquired the essential knowledge needed for future learning.

Leaders must ensure assessment systems are linked to the crucial knowledge pupils need, once it is identified in curriculum plans. Leaders then need to ensure this approach is consistently implemented and embedded.The school's curriculum is not yet sufficiently well planned and sequenced in some subjects.

However, it is clear from leaders' actions that they are in the process of bringing this about. Leaders need to complete the process of reviewing the curriculum in all subjects within their identified timescale. For this reason, the transitional arrangements have been applied.

Also at this postcode
Dearne Family Centre

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