Hellingly Community Primary School

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About Hellingly Community Primary School

Name Hellingly Community Primary School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Michelle McKay
Address North Street, Hellingly, Hailsham, BN27 4DS
Phone Number 01323844346
Phase Primary
Type Community school
Age Range 4-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 198
Local Authority East Sussex
Highlights from Latest Inspection


Hellingly Community Primary School continues to be a good school.

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils love coming to Hellingly Community Primary school to learn and play alongside their good friends. Parents fully appreciate how well staff know and understand their children. This small, nurturing school is the heart of the community.

When the school was closed before Christmas due to an outbreak of COVID-19 (coronavirus), the Christmas tree was placed outside the door, festooned with lights as a beacon of hope.

Leaders work with determination to ensure pupils achieve their very best. Teachers provide pupils with interesting, engaging activities that bring learnin...g to life.

They have worked hard to continue this throughout the last year, despite COVID-19 restrictions, for example the winter games and 3D art sculpture competitions. When needed, pupils receive carefully planned extra support which helps them keep up with their learning.

Pupils are polite and eager to learn.

They talk proudly of the school's core values of 'respect, achievement and perseverance'. They say they feel safe at school because adults look after them well. They are certain that any rare incidents of bullying are dealt with quickly by staff.

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

Since joining the school in March 2020, the interim head of school and executive headteacher have made many necessary improvements. English and mathematics have really improved, and other subjects are improving quickly too. Leaders have focused on ensuring English and mathematics are coherently sequenced and planned, and that learning activities suit what pupils need to focus on.

For example, regular, structured times table repetition helps pupils develop their mathematical fluency. Teachers have strong subject knowledge as a result of thorough training and support from subject leaders. Teachers have worked closely together and now have a very good understanding of what pupils learn in other year groups, not just the year they teach.

This helps them to make sure pupils are fully prepared for when they move on to a new class.In some subjects other than English and mathematics, the curriculum is not yet as coherently planned and sequenced as it could be. However, leaders are well on their way to addressing this.

All subjects are now well planned in terms of how pupils will develop skills effectively over time. However, how pupils will develop subject-specific knowledge as they move through the school is not always as clear.

Pupils thoroughly enjoy reading.

They explain articulately about the school's system to choose books that match their reading level precisely. They describe with pride how this colour-coding system has really helped to improve their reading. Pupils read often, to a variety of people, and sometimes to a bigger audience.

This helps to develop their confidence, as well as giving them practice with their reading. All teachers now have strong phonics knowledge because of recently received training. Story times are engaging, exciting and pupils look forward to the next part of their class book.

Pupils who struggle with their reading are given lots of carefully planned support to 'keep up not catch up'. Children in the early years foundation stage regularly experience a wide variety of rhymes, songs and stories that develop their communication skills and vocabulary well.

Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) benefit from carefully and thoughtfully planned activities.

Knowledgeable, well-trained teaching assistants work creatively with pupils. This results in these pupils getting what they need to learn and achieve well. For example, pupils who find it difficult to concentrate and access their learning benefit from using sensory circuit equipment.

The recent addition of the nurture room provides a calm environment for those pupils who need extra support. Wherever possible, pupils with SEND benefit from learning alongside their friends in class. This works well because teachers have excellent knowledge about pupils with SEND and how to meet their learning needs successfully.

Leaders have introduced clear, consistent behaviour systems. As a result, the school is a calm and friendly environment. Pupils get along together extremely well.

They listen attentively in lessons and enjoy playing together at breaktimes. Knowledgeable staff effectively support any pupils who sometimes struggle to manage their own behaviour.

Pupils benefit from a wealth of wider curriculum opportunities.

For example, Year 3 pupils are learning the ukulele. Where possible, these opportunities continued throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, the pupil leadership team worked hard to produce a school newsletter.

Pupils understand that trips to inspire awe and wonder, such as a previous planetarium visit, were not able to happen last year. However, now that COVID-19 restrictions are easing, pupils are excitedly looking forward to the upcoming Year 6 residential, the leavers' service and the school show.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Staff know pupils and families extremely well. Leaders have ensured that systems used to make referrals and share vital information are clear and helpful. These systems are used well by staff.

Consequently, any concerns are dealt with quickly and record-keeping is comprehensive and up to date.

Pupils learn how to keep safe, including when online, in a variety of interesting ways. Leaders provide parents with useful safeguarding updates through the termly school newsletters and additional emails.

The content of these are very relevant to current issues. These newsletters help to ensure parents, as well as staff, remain aware of any possible risks to their children's safety and well-being.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• The strengths seen in English and mathematics are not yet matched in all foundation subjects.

Subject leaders have already begun to address this, and the progression of skills in all subjects is well planned. In some foundation subjects, such as art and physical education, the knowledge content is also sequenced well. However, in other foundation subjects, this is not as developed.

Consequently, pupils' learning in these subjects does not build sufficiently on prior knowledge. Leaders should ensure that the knowledge, as well as the skills, in all subjects is carefully sequenced, so that pupils build their knowledge over time.


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 or outstanding school. We do not give graded judgements on a section 8 inspection. However, if we find some evidence that a good 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 school to be good on 16 and 17 June 2016.

Also at this postcode
Hellingly Preschool

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