Higher Walton Church of England Primary School

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About Higher Walton Church of England Primary School

Name Higher Walton Church of England Primary School
Website http://www.walton.lancs.sch.uk
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Headteacher Vicki Clarke
Address Rosewood Avenue, Higher Walton, Preston, PR5 4FE
Phone Number 01772335945
Phase Primary
Type Voluntary controlled school
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Church of England
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 115
Local Authority Lancashire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Everyone is made to feel welcome at this inclusive school.

Being ready, respectful and safe are at the heart of the school's ambition for its pupils. Pupils value the caring relationships that they have with staff. Pupils trust that staff will help them with any concerns that they may have.

This helps pupils to feel happy at school.

Pupils generally work hard in lessons and enjoy their learning. The school has high ambitions for all pupils to achieve well.

However, pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), do not achieve as well as they should in a number of curriculum subjects. Added to this, some pupils are ...frequently absent from school. This further hinders these pupils' learning.

Pupils value the opportunities that they have to take on responsibilities such as being school librarians or playground friends to younger peers. They also enjoy attending the clubs that are available, such as football, science and multi-skills. That said, leadership opportunities for pupils are limited.

The school does not make pupils' personal development a priority. Pupils are not as well prepared for life in modern Britain as they should be.

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

Previously, children in the early years and pupils in key stage 1 and key stage 2 did not achieve as well as they should in reading, writing and mathematics.

The school has taken action to improve how the curriculum is taught in these subjects. Most pupils, including those with SEND, are benefiting from these improvements. The school has identified the gaps in knowledge that some pupils have as a result of historical weaknesses and these are being addressed.

Nevertheless, in 2023, too many pupils were not well prepared for their move to the next key stage or to high school.

In some subjects, other than English and mathematics, teachers benefit from a range of high-quality training. In these subjects, the school has set out the important knowledge that pupils should learn and when they should learn it.

This helps teachers to design appropriate activities that deepen pupils' subject knowledge. In these subjects, teachers provide opportunities for pupils to revisit previous content when needed, before moving on to new learning. In the early years, the school has considered the important knowledge that children in the Nursery Year should learn in readiness for the Reception Year curriculum.

In a number of other curriculum subjects, the important knowledge that pupils should learn across the school is unclear. This includes in the Reception Year, as some subject curriculums do not set out what these children should know, so that they are ready for the demands of Year 1. This makes it tricky for teachers to know what they should prioritise when designing learning activities.

As a result, pupils' knowledge in these subjects is insecure and underdeveloped.

Staff are well trained in teaching phonics. Staff check to see if pupils need extra help with their phonics learning.

These pupils benefit from additional support delivered by skilled staff. The books that pupils read closely match the sounds that they have learned. Pupils use effective strategies to read unfamiliar words.

They are determined and focused when reading. The school communicates well with parents and carers on how to support their child's reading at home. Most pupils read with confidence by the end of key stage 1.

The school has effective systems in place to identify the additional needs of pupils with SEND. Carefully considered support and resources ensure that pupils with SEND progress through the same curriculum as their peers.

Children in the early years quickly learn the school rules and routines.

For example, they listen carefully to staff and are keen to help during tidy-up time. Most pupils across the school are attentive in lessons and keen to learn. Lessons generally proceed without disruption.

When lessons are taught by someone who is not the class teacher, some pupils do not maintain the school's high expectations of behaviour. This causes some learning to be disrupted.

Some pupils, including those who are disadvantaged, are too often absent from school.

This has a negative impact on how well these pupils learn. Until very recently, improving levels of attendance has not been a priority of the school. The recent systems put in place are helping the school to understand and address the reasons behind some absences.

However, improvements are at an early stage.

Pupils have a strong moral view on the importance of treating others with respect, regardless of their differences. They understand how to keep themselves safe online.

Nevertheless, pupils do not experience a sufficient range of high-quality personal development opportunities. For example, the school has not ensured that some pupils know and understand British values. In addition, some aspects of the relationships and health education curriculum are not taught effectively.

Pupils are not as well prepared to grow up in modern Britain as they should be.

Governors carry out their legal duties effectively. That said, they do not provide the required support and challenge to the school on the quality of education.

This limits their impact on improving the school's effectiveness and has contributed to a decline since the last inspection.

There has been significant turbulence in the leadership of the school since the previous inspection. Most staff state that the school has been considerate of their workload and well-being during times of change and when putting in place new policies and procedures.

Staff value the training they have had in helping them to implement these new initiatives.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• The school has not identified the key knowledge that pupils in the early years to Year 6 should learn across a number of curriculum subjects.

This hinders teachers from designing learning that builds up pupils' knowledge over time. The school should ensure that they finalise their curriculum thinking so that it is clear what pupils should learn and when this knowledge should be taught. ? The school's programme for personal development is limited.

Pupils do not learn all that they should to be ready for life in modern Britain. The school should ensure that pupils experience a range of high-quality personal development opportunities that prepare them for the society in which they live. ? Governors do not hold the school to account for the quality of education.

This limits their impact on school improvement. Governors should ensure that they access appropriate training to enable them to provide effective challenge and support. ? Persistent absence and overall absence rates are high.

Too many pupils, including those who are disadvantaged, do not attend school often enough. This limits how well these pupils learn. The school should take action to reduce levels of absence.

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