Heron Way Primary School

Name Heron Way Primary School
Website http://www.heronway.w-sussex.sch.uk/
Ofsted Inspection Rating Outstanding
Address Heron Way, Horsham, RH13 6DJ
Phone Number 01403261944
Type Primary
Age Range 4-11
Religious Character Does Not Apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 418 (49.3% boys 50.7% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 23.3
Local Authority West Sussex
Percentage Free School Meals 5%
Percentage English is Not First Language 6.4%
Persistent Absence 2.5%
Pupils with SEN Support 7.1%
Catchment Area Indicator Available Yes
Last Distance Offered Available No
Highlights from Latest Full Inspection (18 October 2011)
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Information about the school

Heron Way is an above average size primary school that takes pupils from across the town of Horsham. The vast majority of pupils have White British heritage. The proportion of pupils known to be eligible for free school meals is below the national average. The number of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities is broadly average. These needs include behavioural, emotional and social difficulties. Children in the Early Years Foundation Stage are taught in a Reception class, and a combined Year 1/Reception class. The headteacher, was promoted from within the staff at the school, and took up the post in September of this year. The school has a number of awards, including ArtsMark Gold.

Main findings

Heron Way is an outstanding school. This success is due in particular to the highly effective management, the inspiring curriculum and the outstanding quality of pastoral care. The headteacher, senior leaders and governors know the school’s strengths and what needs to be refined further very well. Their rigorous monitoring and clear self-evaluation, and a track record of employing initiatives to inspire pupils and treat them all as individuals, have also contributed to pupils’ excellent progress. These factors illustrate the school’s excellent capacity for continuing its improvement. Reflecting the very positive views expressed by almost all parents and carers, one parent wrote: ‘There is a strong sense of teamwork amongst staff, and a real sense of a school community. I am impressed at how far my children have progressed both academically, and in their confidence, independence and social skills.’ Pupils’ personal development and their wider educational outcomes in art and music, for example, are excellent, while sporting activities are extensive and much enjoyed by pupils. Throughout the school, pupils are enthusiastic learners. They acquire a detailed understanding of safe and healthy choices and make an exceptional contribution to the school community. Attendance is high, as pupils enjoy all their time at school. Pupils’ behaviour and their keen appetite for teamwork, together with their outstanding skills in English, mathematics, science, and information and communication technology, prepare them exceptionally well for the next stage in their learning. Very effective organisation and careful assessments enable children to make excellent progress immediately in the Early Years Foundation Stage. This outstanding start is built on extremely well, and national test results for pupils in Year 6 have been high for the last five years, and these results show that the school consistently reaches its carefully formulated and challenging targets. Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities, and those assessed as gifted and talented, make excellent progress. This is due to the high priority the school gives to meeting every pupil’s identified needs. This exemplary level of commitment is founded on creating a friendly and calm environment where individuality is celebrated. As a result of the setting of effective short-term targets for improving language, literacy and numeracy skills, pupils who had previously struggled to learn achieve extremely well. All staff work hard to create attractive classrooms with imaginative displays, and therefore provide a very positive learning environment. A huge range of additional activities, visits and visitors enhances the outstanding curriculum. Although there are minor variations, the overall quality of teaching is outstanding. Lessons are planned to make sure that all pupils enjoy learning. Planning is thorough and based on the careful use of rigorous assessments. The school does much to promote its place in the local community and works effectively with many local nurseries, playgroups and local businesses. Its audit of community cohesion, undertaken by governors and staff, is underpinned by a careful analysis of the school’s context. While the links with the local community are excellent, and those with schools abroad are developed well, pupils’ awareness of, and preparation for, living and working in a culturally diverse United Kingdom are not yet developed sufficiently well.