Highbury Primary School

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About Highbury Primary School

Name Highbury Primary School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs Joanne Watson
Address Dovercourt Road, Cosham, Portsmouth, PO6 2RZ
Phone Number 02392375404
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 4-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 406
Local Authority Portsmouth
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Parents welcome the emphasis that staff place on pupils' personal development and being a good citizen at Highbury. As one parent commented, 'The school really focuses on building the children as good people.'

Staff use animal heroes linked to the school values, such as 'confident Clyde', to help pupils understand how they are expected to behave. Even the youngest children talk knowledgeably about these values as they are an integral part of school life. As one Year 6 pupil explained, 'The headteacher encourages us to live these values.'

Pupils learn to treat everyone with respect. As one pupil commented, 'I like the huge diversity of children. W...e are all inclusive.'

They understand how important kindness is. Pupils know that adults will help them to resolve any problems, including the rare occasions that bullying happens. This helps pupils to feel safe and happy.

Pupils are enthusiastic about school and speak proudly about their learning. They work hard in lessons, rising to leaders' expectations that they will be resilient and aspire to achieve well. Pupils work hard and relish the different opportunities provided by the school.

For example, they enjoy their pond-dipping experiences in forest school.

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

Children get off to a strong start in Nursery. Leaders ensure that all staff prioritise developing children's communication skills.

Staff give children opportunities to listen to songs and rhymes and to play games. This helps to improve their listening skills so that they are ready to learn to read. From the very start of Reception, staff teach phonics in a well-ordered way.

Pupils read books that are matched to the sounds they have learned. This helps them to develop confidence and fluency when practising their early reading skills. Weaker readers are all given support and practice to help them catch up.

Leaders know that this needs further strengthening.

Teachers successfully help older readers to develop their reading skills when exploring challenging texts. Leaders have planned out carefully which books pupils will read so that they learn about important issues, such as refugees.

Staff help pupils to learn ambitious vocabulary from these texts, which they use in their own writing.

Teachers follow well-sequenced plans in mathematics in order to help pupils learn age-appropriate knowledge and methods. Most teachers have strong mathematical subject knowledge.

They provide clear explanations and check pupils' understanding carefully. This helps pupils to learn well. The subject leader is effectively supporting a few staff to further develop their subject knowledge.

Staff value how leaders have made changes to planning to help reduce their workload and understand how pupils' learning develops. Leaders have ensured that in most subjects the curriculum sets out the sequence of learning which includes the essential knowledge and skills for pupils to learn. This is yet to be completed in a few subjects.

Where plans are complete and teachers have strong subject knowledge, they make sure that pupils learn new skills and knowledge in the right order. Staff use clear models and explanations to help pupils build on what they have learned before. Some subject leaders evaluate how well pupils are learning the most important knowledge and skills.

These checks are not yet in place across the curriculum.

The special educational needs and/or disabilities coordinator supports staff well to identify and support pupils with special educational needs (SEND). She ensures that staff receive high-quality training.

This helps teachers to effectively adapt learning in most subjects. The different tasks, resources and adult support help these pupils to learn well. Staff adaptations in a few subjects are less strong, and, consequently, pupils with SEND do not always learn as well as they could.

Leaders have developed a positive culture that enables pupils to flourish. Almost all staff use a consistent approach to effectively manage behaviour. As a result, in most classes, low-level disruption is dealt with swiftly and effectively, so pupils can concentrate on their learning.

Leaders place a strong emphasis on developing pupils' social skills and preparing them for life in modern Britain. Pupils learn about democracy through the pupil parliament. When teaching about healthy relationships, staff use a range of scenarios to help pupils understand what to do in different situations.

Some pupils attend a lunch club in which they learn important life skills, such as practising how to give and receive compliments.

Governors support leaders to manage resources appropriately while maintaining a focus on the quality of education. They provide strong challenge to leaders about how well pupils are learning in English and mathematics.

Governors recognise that they need further information on how well pupils are learning across the curriculum.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Staff spend time getting to know families before pupils even join the school.

Parents value the pastoral support provided for pupils.

All staff receive quality training so they can recognise the signs that a pupil may be at risk of harm. They use this knowledge to monitor pupils closely.

Staff know their responsibilities and how to report concerns. Leaders work effectively with a range of external agencies to help keep children safe.

The curriculum helps pupils to learn about the different risks they may face and how to manage them.

This includes understanding how to maintain positive mental health.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• A few subjects are not planned well enough to give sufficient guidance to staff. This means that pupils are not always building on prior learning.

Leaders should ensure that all curriculum plans from Nursery to Year 6 are coherently planned so that teachers understand what knowledge and skills they are aiming to build over time. Leaders have already taken action to address this weakness over the coming year. For this reason, the transitional arrangements have been applied.

• Beyond English and mathematics, some subject leaders are checking that curriculum plans are being used but not how effective they are. Consequently, they are not aware of gaps in pupils' understanding. Senior leaders should ensure that all subject leaders are able to evaluate how well the curriculum is being implemented and whether pupils recall the most important content.

• Teachers do not provide adaptations for pupils with SEND in all subjects. This means that pupils with SEND do not learn as well as they could across the whole curriculum. Leaders should ensure that teachers know how to adapt teaching effectively so that pupils with SEND can consistently learn alongside their peers.

Also at this postcode
Highbury Nursery & Day Care Highbury Primary School Holiday Club

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