John Hampden Primary School

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About John Hampden Primary School

Name John Hampden Primary School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mr Paul Hankey
Address Park Street, Thame, OX9 3HU
Phone Number 01844212291
Phase Primary
Type Community school
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 457
Local Authority Oxfordshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils really enjoy attending this inclusive school.

Pupils, parents and carers, and staff are proud of their school. 'The Hampden Way' clearly signposts leaders' expectations and aspirations for all. Pupils strive to meet these expectations and this is clear in their actions.

Pupils are kind, considerate and polite. From the early years onwards, children learn how to work and play with their peers. Pupils are keen to help each other and take on roles like wellbeing ambassador and being a buddy.

In rare cases of bullying or unkindness, adults deal with issues in a sensitive way.

Pupils enjoy taking on responsibilities in the school. Year 6 pupils to be sports ambassadors and house captains.

Younger pupils aspire to and work towards being chosen for these roles. Leaders also provide pupils with lots of opportunities to develop their own interests, such as writing for the school newspaper or becoming a digital leader. Pupils enjoy participating in a wide range of clubs including netball, music lessons and choir.

They relish opportunities to perform and compete in local events and competitions.

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

In nearly all subjects, leaders have identified the key information they want pupils to learn. They have carefully sequenced the essential knowledge so that pupils' understanding builds over time.

Teachers find out more about each child's individual needs as soon as they start school. For pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities, staff identify and provide highly effective adaptations, such as signing to support communication.

Subject leaders are knowledgeable.

They ensure that all staff are well trained. In most subjects, teachers ensure that pupils' understanding builds on what they have learned before. They precisely check pupils' understanding.

Where needed, teachers provide pupils with additional support to catch up. As a result, pupils mostly use and apply their learning confidently. For example, in music, Year 6 pupils use the skills and knowledge they have learned to perform their own high-quality pieces of suspense music.

However, in a small number of subjects, including art, the key knowledge pupils need to learn is not as clear. In these subjects, pupils' understanding is not as secure. Teachers' checks are not as accurate and the activities they plan do not always build on what pupils already know.

As a result, pupils in these subjects do not learn as well as they could. Leaders are aware of this and have plans to improve these areas of the curriculum.

Pupils develop a love of reading.

They are taught phonics from Nursery. Pupils read books that are matched to the sounds they are learning. In the early years, children sit quietly, avidly listening to the stories their teachers read.

Across the curriculum, leaders choose books that challenge and broaden pupils' understanding. Pupils read widely and for pleasure. They describe how the 'words paint pictures in their minds'.

The school's provision for pupils' personal development is exceptional. This is woven into all aspects of school life. Throughout the curriculum, leaders have identified opportunities to promote pupils' broader development.

Pupils learn to respect and appreciate difference. They debate ideas and understand that others may not share their opinions. Leaders encourage pupils to be healthy in mind and body.

They plan the school day to provide opportunities for exercise and reflection, such as the daily mile or the popular lunchtime yoga club. Leaders encourage pupils to recognise that the community goes beyond the school gates. As well as welcoming local volunteers to enrich the curriculum, pupils, in turn, regularly engage in fundraising events to support local charities, such as the Thames Valley Air Ambulance.

Clear routines and expectations mean that children in the early years get off to a strong start in their learning. They share, take turns and play together well. In lessons, pupils listen intently and are respectful of adults and each other.

Staff build warm, supportive relationships with pupils. This creates a calm and purposeful learning environment. Pupils have a clear sense of right and wrong.

Leaders, including governors, are highly ambitious for all pupils. Governors know the school well. They have a clear understanding of its strengths and priorities for improvement.

Leaders and staff work towards a clear vision to continually improve the outcomes for all pupils.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders have a clear system in place to identify, support and manage safeguarding.

Staff receive regular safeguarding training. They know what to do if they are concerned about a pupil. Records show that leaders act promptly when a pupil or their family need support.

Pupils take an active role in promoting online safety. Digital leaders produce a termly internet safety newsletter for the school community. This helps pupils understand and identify potential dangers, as well as what to do if they are worried about something they have seen or heard.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• In a few subjects, staff do not always know the key knowledge that pupils need to learn. This means pupils do not build on what they already know well enough.Leaders should ensure that the curriculum is well thought through in all subjects from Nursery through to Year 6.

• Where subject thinking is not clear about what pupils should learn and when, teachers do not know what checks are needed. Therefore, gaps in pupils' learning go unnoticed. Leaders need to ensure that there is the same rigour in teachers' checks across all subjects.

Also at this postcode
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