Highfield St Matthew’s Church of England Primary School

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About Highfield St Matthew’s Church of England Primary School

Name Highfield St Matthew’s Church of England Primary School
Website http://www.highfieldsaintmatthews.wigan.sch.uk/
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs A Barron
Address Billinge Road, Pemberton, Wigan, WN3 6BL
Phone Number 01942747818
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Church of England
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 428
Local Authority Wigan
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils are proud members of this happy and harmonious school.

They experience a wide range of interesting and engaging activities as part of the school's SHINE curriculum. Pupils enjoy spending time in the school's extensive grounds. One pupil reflected the views of many when they said, 'There is something here for everybody.'

Leaders have implemented a culture where only the best is good enough. They have created a learning environment that promotes and reflects the school's values and expectations. Pupils told inspectors that staff have inspired them to live up to leaders' high expectations, both in terms of their learning and conduct.

Pupils beh...ave well.

Pupils have a secure understanding of what bullying means. Leaders act decisively and promptly to resolve any reports of bullying or unkind behaviour.

This helps pupils to feel safe and well cared for.

Pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), experience a wide range of extra-curricular activities, trips and visits. For example, they learn to cook, visit local museums and participate in residential visits.

Pupils are proud to take on a range of leadership roles, such as working as Highfield heroes and behaviour ambassadors.

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

Leaders and staff have thought deeply about the curriculum offer. The bespoke and ambitious curriculum has been developed to bring subjects to life and enrich pupils' learning.

Pupils, including those with SEND, learn well.

Leaders have made sure that the important knowledge in every subject curriculum is carefully ordered, from the beginning of early years to the end of Year 6. This ensures that the new content that pupils learn builds on what they have learned before.

In most subjects, this is evident in what pupils know and remember. However, in a very small number of subjects, pupils' knowledge of some aspects of their learning is not quite as secure. Pupils have had fewer opportunities to revisit and strengthen their learning in these subjects.

Teachers have secure subject knowledge. They make regular checks on pupils' learning. This helps teachers to identify and address pupils' misconceptions and to shape future teaching.

In the early years, leaders ensure that children have the best possible start to their life in school. The development of children's speech and language is at the heart of learning in both the Nursery and Reception classes. Staff have created a stimulating environment that sparks children's imagination and interest.

Across the school, teachers plan activities that pupils enjoy.Leaders are persistent in their ambition to make sure that every pupil develops into a fluent reader. This starts in the early years, where children enjoy listening to and learning nursery rhymes and songs.

Staff appreciate the ongoing training and support provided by leaders. This helps them to teach the early reading programme well. Early readers use the sounds that they know to read books with increasing fluency.

Teachers are quick to provide help for any pupil who is not keeping up with the pace of the phonics programme.Leaders and staff have created attractive and inviting reading areas to encourage pupils to read and share books with each other. Pupils are positive about reading.

They spoke knowledgeably about the high-quality books that their teachers have shared with them. Older pupils read well, with expression and confidence.

Leaders have the highest ambitions for pupils with SEND.

Staff identify pupils with SEND quickly and accurately. Leaders ensure that teachers give these pupils extra support. Staff use effective strategies to make sure that pupils with SEND access the same learning as their peers.

Pupils know that it is important to follow the school's rules of ready, respectful and safe. They work hard and enjoy their lessons. Pupils said that their classmates rarely interrupt their learning.

The youngest children show positive attitudes to learning. They listen keenly to their teachers.

Pupils, parents and carers appreciate the range of activities, beyond the academic curriculum, that leaders provide.

For example, pupils take part in a wide variety of musical, sporting and other activities. They enjoy attending after-school clubs.

Pupils have many opportunities to develop their character and to be responsible and active citizens.

For instance, pupils enjoy raising money for various charitable causes. They spoke very proudly about planting trees in the school's remembrance garden to mark the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. Pupils show respect for each other and their teachers.

Trust leaders and governors have been very much part of the school's journey of improvement. They have a strong understanding of the school's strengths and weaknesses. Their support and challenge have led to sustainable change and improved outcomes for pupils.

Staff said that leaders consider their well-being and workload when making decisions. Staff are proud to work at the school.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders and governors are knowledgeable about their safeguarding responsibilities. Staff are highly tenacious in their approach to keeping children safe. They know pupils and their families very well.

Leaders ensure that staff receive regular safeguarding training. This means that staff are very vigilant. They are quick to spot any changes in pupils' behaviour.

Staff alert leaders to any concerns that they may have. Leaders work effectively with a range of external providers and agencies to keep pupils safe.

Through the curriculum, pupils learn about staying safe, for example fire safety, how to stay safe online and the importance of healthy relationships.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• In a very small number of subjects, pupils' knowledge and skills are not as secure as in other subjects. This is because these curriculums are not as well embedded and pupils have had less opportunity to secure their learning. Leaders should ensure that pupils have sufficient opportunities to revisit and strengthen their learning in these subjects.

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