Hilltop First School

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About Hilltop First School

Name Hilltop First School
Website http://www.hilltopfirst.co.uk/
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Ms Lynn Bima
Address Clewer Hill Road, Windsor, SL4 4DW
Phone Number 01753863502
Phase Primary
Type Community school
Age Range 3-9
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 229
Local Authority Windsor and Maidenhead
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils in this school are happy, settled and eager to share their thoughts. They articulate their ideas with enthusiasm. This begins with the youngest children in school.

Pupils understand the golden rules and share these with zeal. They want to 'aim high and be kind'.

Pupils behave well.

They are polite, friendly and supportive of one another. On the playground, they play together and take turns using the shared equipment. These routines begin in Nursery, where children are kind and considerate of each other.

Pupils understand what bullying is and that it is not acceptable. They know that instances of being unkind are not tolerated and that adults w...ill deal with these. Pupils learn the importance of speaking out if something makes them feel uncomfortable.

Leaders have high expectations. They are ambitious for all pupils. This is reflected in the curriculum where, for example, pupils learn French from Year 1 onwards.

The caring ethos of this school is clear. Focused support is given to pupils based on their needs. There is no limit placed on what pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) can achieve.

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

Leaders and school staff want the best for all pupils. This ambition is realised through the curriculum design. This builds from the first days of school.

There is a clear sequence of learning which helps pupils to remember more over time. Leaders have thought carefully about the two-year rolling programme to ensure that the mixed-age classes cover the curriculum. This provides pupils with full access to the national curriculum.

There are, however, some inconsistencies in how the curriculum is delivered. Leaders are aware of this. A clear training programme is in place to support staff's knowledge of the subjects they teach.

Leaders and staff are passionate about every pupil learning to read. Leaders have prioritised training to support the development of staff's skills in teaching phonics. As a result, there is consistency across the school.

All staff follow the school's phonics programme. Pupils enjoy the shared texts. The books that pupils read match the sounds they have learned.

Staff give effective additional support to pupils who are struggling to learn to read. Pupils enjoy reading and are engaged during whole-class reading sessions.

Leaders work well with staff to identify any potential barriers to learning that pupils may have.

There are clear processes in place for identifying pupils with SEND. Effective strategies are implemented for pupils with SEND to access learning successfully. There is a strong focus on working with parents and, where necessary, external agencies to meet pupils' needs.

The school provides helpful support for pupils who are waiting for external assessments.

The two golden rules permeate throughout the school. Pupils are quick to explain what aiming high means and relate this to their learning.

Strong attitudes to learning are fostered across the school. Everyone understands what is expected and pupils rise to these high expectations. Sometimes, though, families take extended holidays during term time, which means pupils miss important learning.

Leaders are working hard to improve attendance.

Behaviour is positive. A calm and purposeful atmosphere is evident throughout the school.

Teachers' questioning engages pupils in their learning. Clear expectations of learning routines are developed from Nursery, where children listen attentively and wait for their turn to contribute. Pupils have access to resources which support their learning.

However, in the early years, adults do not always intervene during independent activities to move children's learning forward.

There are a wide range of opportunities for pupils' personal development. Year 4 pupils relish the chance to become a representative in the school.

They are proud to be office assistants, eco-agents, librarians, mentors or head boy or girl. They take the application process seriously. Similarly, pupils across the school are clear about the importance of voting for the best candidate for school leadership roles rather than their friend.

Through the curriculum, pupils learn about the importance of keeping healthy and forming positive relationships. This includes knowing what to do if a friend is not being kind. Pupils learn about beliefs and cultures different to their own.

This helps to create an inclusive environment across the school.

Leaders have a clear understanding of their school. They have worked hard to develop leadership at all levels.

As a result, subject leaders are growing in confidence and expertise. Governors understand their statutory duties and offer appropriate support and challenge. Staff feel valued and well supported.

They are unanimously proud to work at the school.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Everyone has a clear understanding of their responsibility for pupils' safety and well-being.

Leaders ensure that staff are well trained to recognise the signs that all may not be well with a pupil. Where there are concerns that a child is at risk, leaders and staff act swiftly. Leaders champion the needs of pupils and seek support from external agencies.

They ensure that all families understand the support they can access. Pupils across the school learn how to be safe. This includes thinking about who are safe adults and being safe in the park.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• In a few subjects, there is some variability in staff subject knowledge. This means that pupils do not always learn as well as they could. Leaders need to continue providing bespoke training and monitor the effectiveness of this.

• In the early years, adults do not always deepen learning through targeted interactions. This means that children are not consistently exposed to a broad, rich vocabulary. Leaders need to continue to train staff so they have the skills needed to intervene effectively during learning activities.

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