Holway Park Community Primary School

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About Holway Park Community Primary School

Name Holway Park Community Primary School
Website http://www.holwaypark.somerset.sch.uk/
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs Susan Brewer
Address Shakespeare Avenue, Taunton, TA1 2JA
Phone Number 01823252126
Phase Primary
Type Community school
Age Range 4-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 336
Local Authority Somerset
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils like coming to this school. We saw them playing and interacting very positively with each other at breaktimes. Pupils told us they like the amount there is to do at lunchtimes.

In lessons, pupils are attentive. They show good attitudes to their learning because they want to please their teachers.

Some pupils find it hard to manage their own behaviour.

When this is the case, staff are skilled and know how to help them. Pupils understand that everyone is different. They accept people's differences, which helps everyone to feel like they belong.

Some pupils say that bullying has been an issue for them. However, pupils rightly believe staff take t...hem seriously and deal with any issues appropriately.

Pupils say they like what the school offers to help them learn.

We saw pupils engaged and trying hard in nearly all the lessons we visited. Pupils appreciate the opportunities to learn outside and visit interesting places. Pupils really like the staff that work with them, including teachers and teaching assistants.

They say that staff keep them safe and look after them. Pupils believe their teachers make lessons fun and interesting. The majority of pupils have learned to love reading.

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

Leaders have improved this school since the last inspection; in particular, reading, writing and mathematics. Teachers plan an interesting and engaging curriculum, which helps pupils to build on what they know and can do in mathematics. The school's approach to developing pupils' writing is working well.

Pupils' writing is of a very good standard. Pupils are making better progress year on year. Consequently, pupils have positive attitudes to their learning and behave well in lessons.

Teachers are proud to be storytellers for their pupils. They have ensured that every class is a place where pupils can learn to love books. The way teachers help their pupils learn to read is effective.

As soon as children start school, they learn their sounds and so pick up reading quickly. However, sometimes the books children take home when they first start reading are not helpful because they do not match the sounds learned in class.

Until recently, subjects such as history and art have not been well planned.

Leaders have begun to bring about improvements. They have prioritised developing staff knowledge in these subjects. This work is beginning to pay off.

Teachers are taking greater account of what pupils already know. Consequently, lessons now help pupils to know more and remember more. There are clear signs that the curriculum in these subjects is improving.

Some subjects are further along than others. Teachers are already planning lessons that build on pupils' knowledge. For example, we saw physical education lessons that were delivered in a way that helped pupils build on their knowledge when controlling a ball.

The subject leader has supported staff to plan sequences of learning to achieve this. Science is taught in weekly blocks, which are spread out over time. This means that several weeks can elapse before pupils are taught science again.

Consequently, pupils often struggle to remember what they have learned in previous lessons.

The school's work to promote pupils' personal development is a strength. There are a lot of different ways that this is working well.

For example, leaders have introduced 'eco schools' as a strategy to help pupils think about how they look after the world around them. Pupils speak positively about the work they do. They are particularly positive about learning outside in the copse.

Leaders have helped some pupils to attend better. However, there are still some who could be supported to attend well. We have asked the headteacher to do more to improve pupils' overall attendance.

Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) do well at this school. That includes those pupils who learn in the specialist resource base. Leaders of the base are very effective.

They know how pupils with a range of additional needs learn. Leaders make sure that lessons meet pupils' individual needs well.

Children make a flying start in the Reception Year.

Children learn to read from the earliest possible moment. Staff help children to settle quickly and make learning fun. For example, teachers help children to learn familiar stories, rhymes and songs.

The learning environment enthuses children and captures their interests. Staff use assessment effectively to help children make strong progress from their starting points.

Leaders are ambitious for pupils.

They have secured improvements to teaching in a short amount of time. Sometimes leaders do not communicate well enough with staff or with parents. Some parents told us that they hear about things too late.

Some staff are unclear about why leaders make certain decisions. As a result, sometimes people feel decisions are made too late, or without thought, when this is not actually the case.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders take keeping children safe very seriously. They know the school, its pupils and the community really well. Leaders have created a caring and happy environment.

For example, staff work well with families who might need extra help or support.

Those responsible for safeguarding, including governors, ensure that school policies are appropriate and effective. Staff receive regular training.

Leaders are knowledgeable about important areas of safeguarding. For example, they have provided extra training and curriculum opportunities to help pupils learn how to stay safe on the internet. Consequently, pupils are also very knowledgeable about internet safety.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

Leaders need to continue to review the impact of their new plans for the curriculum when implemented. In particular, they need to check how well the design of the curriculum helps pupils know more and remember more of what they learn across all subjects. For example, currently the way science is taught covers the national curriculum and is planned to build on what pupils know and can do.

However, because science is taught in weekly blocks, pupils say they find it hard to remember what they are taught from one science week to the next. . Leaders should help teachers amend their practice so that lessons help pupils know more and remember more of the curriculum, particularly in subjects other than English and mathematics.

Sometimes teachers are too worried about covering the content of the curriculum and plan too much into single lessons. This confuses pupils. Teachers need to make sure they plan opportunities for pupils to revisit old ideas so that they are embedded in pupils' long-term memory.

. Leaders should continue to improve the attendance of pupils. Although pupils with SEND and disadvantaged pupils are attending better, some pupils still do not attend as well as they should.

. Leaders should improve how they communicate with teachers and with parents. Although decisions are often made for the right reasons, the way people find out is not helpful.

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