Hill West Primary School


Name Hill West Primary School
Website http://www.hillwest.bham.sch.uk/
Inspections
Ofsted Inspections
Address Clarence Road, Four Oaks, Sutton Coldfield, B74 4LD
Phone Number 01213085392
Type Academy
Age Range 4-11
Religious Character Does Not Apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 423 (49.9% boys 50.1% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 17.8
Academy Sponsor The Arthur Terry Learning Partnership
Local Authority Birmingham
Percentage Free School Meals 13.5%
Percentage English is Not First Language 7.1%
Persistent Absence 3.2%
Pupils with SEN Support 11.3%%
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Leaders' vision for pupils is to be ambitious, curious and ever (ACE) respectful. Most pupils achieve this. However, a recent change to the behaviour policy is taking time to be understood and followed by all staff and all pupils.

This has led to some instances of poor behaviour and disruption to learning.

Pupils know what it means to live in modern Britain. They talk knowledgeably about being different, unique and living side by side respectfully.

Older pupils speak with pride of the responsibilities they have as librarians, ACE champions and house captains. They understand that they have a range of opportunities open to them and see university as something ...to aspire to.

Pupils feel safe in school.

They understand different types of bullying. They say there is bullying but that it gets sorted. Pupils know they can talk to an adult if needed.

They feel more comfortable in doing this with some staff members than others.

The Christingle service is a firm favourite with pupils. The recent residential visit to Aberdovey will live on in pupils' memories for years to come, with a visit to France on the horizon.

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

Leaders have revised the curriculum to bring about positive changes to pupils' learning. In subjects such as mathematics, physical education (PE) and, more recently, in French, leaders have provided teachers with plans and training that build pupils' knowledge in a logical order. For example, changes that leaders have made to the PE curriculum are making sure pupils know the right things about moving, controlling and rules, so they can apply them in games.

Leaders are in the process of developing other subjects, such as computing, to the same depth. Leaders have a clear plan which subjects will follow, which includes training for staff, and which takes account of staff workload.

There is a determination from leaders that all pupils will succeed.

Teachers check what pupils know and can do. They use this information to plan learning that enables pupils to progress and succeed. Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) receive a range of help.

This support meets the learning and personal needs of most pupils. However, for a few, this is not the case because leaders do not help teachers to develop strategies to re-engage these pupils in their learning.

Reading is a strength of the school.

Leaders have given priority to introducing a new phonics scheme and this is working well. The teaching of phonics is effective. Pupils are learning their sounds in a way that is helping them to master the basics of reading quickly and securely.

Books match the sounds pupils know. Leaders have organised resources and lessons to give time to making sure every pupil is getting better at reading. Older pupils reminisce with fondness on the range of texts they have read over time.

They spoke with passion about which was their favourite and why. Pupils achieve well in reading.

The grounding for this success begins in the early years.

Leaders have carefully thought through the early years curriculum in all areas. All staff understand what is important for children to know, with a high priority placed on communication and vocabulary. Leaders have set out the nursery rhymes and stories that form the bedrock of learning.

Staff organise activities to support what it is that children need to learn. Staff help pupils to work and play well together.

Leaders have threaded personal development throughout the whole curriculum.

This begins in the early years. Reception pupils have a good awareness of keeping safe in different ways, such as road safety and not speaking to strangers. They told an inspector how he must keep the computer cable away from water.

Pupils know how to keep safe in a range of situations, including relationships. They learn about the complexities of social media. Pupils understand fundamental British values through the lens of their school values.

Pupils like and take part in the variety of clubs on offer. They recognise the encouragement they get to be healthy in body and mind and how to behave well.

Parents, carers and pupils rightly raised concerns around how some pupils behave in class and outside at playtime.

Leaders implemented a new behaviour policy in September 2021. This is beginning to make a difference. However, although many pupils can tell you how they should behave and why, not all pupils behave well.

This is compounded by some staff who do not fully uphold the high expectations that leaders set. As a result, learning and play is, at times, disrupted.

Safeguarding

The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders prioritise safeguarding through a range of training, work with external partners and the checks they do to make sure adults are safe to work with children.

Training helps all staff to know what to look out for and how to report concerns. Staff notice the 'little things' that may form part of a bigger picture.

They have an 'it can happen here' attitude. Staff act promptly if they are worried about a child.

Leaders know their families well.

This allows them to provide a range of specific support that makes sure pupils are safe and attend school regularly.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• The school's curriculum is not yet sufficiently well planned or sequenced in some subjects. It is not yet fully clear what content pupils should learn or the order in which they should be taught it.

However, it is clear from leaders' actions that they are in the process of bringing this about. Leaders need to complete the process of reviewing the curriculum in all subjects within their identified timescale and provide training for staff on the expectations for each subject. For this reason, the transitional arrangements have been applied.

• In some classrooms, and at times on the playground, pupils do not behave well. When this happens, pupils' learning is hindered and their play is disrupted. Leaders must make sure that their high expectations for pupils' behaviour are understood by all, and consistently applied by staff.

• Despite all pupils with SEND having their personal and emotional needs met effectively, sometimes teachers do not place sufficient emphasis on pupils' learning needs. This means that some pupils do not achieve as well as they should. Leaders need to make sure that individual plans for pupils with SEND help staff get the balance right between meeting their social and emotional needs, and their academic development.