Knowl Hill Church of England Primary Academy

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About Knowl Hill Church of England Primary Academy

Name Knowl Hill Church of England Primary Academy
Ofsted Inspections
Executive Principal Nichole Bourner
Address Bath Road, Knowl Hill, Reading, RG10 9UX
Phone Number 01628822584
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 5-11
Religious Character Church of England
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 118
Local Authority Windsor and Maidenhead
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

The parent who described Knowl Hill as 'a wonderful and nurturing school that is creating a fantastic environment for our children to learn and develop' was spot on.

Pupils' affection for, and appreciation of, the school is tangible in the eager way they come into school and settle quickly to purposeful early morning activities. The easily remembered school rules of 'be respectful, be responsible, be safe' set the tone for daily life. Behaviour in class and around school is impressive.

The school's ambition that pupils will 'learn to love, achieve and succeed' is realised.Making space for reflection each day helps pupils to manage their feelings about themselves and o...thers. Taking the time to explore, one by one, key values such as perseverance, truthfulness and service encourages pupils' mature self-awareness, compassion and moral purpose.

They are adamant, as one put it, that 'no matter how you look or act you will be welcomed kindly and will not have to work hard to fit in'.

Pupils' academic development is equally well thought through. They achieve well.

The curriculum has been meticulously reviewed and designed to build learning systematically from Reception upwards. Shrewd use of visits, visitors and themed weeks brings learning to life and broadens pupils' horizons.

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

Parents are rightly fulsome in their praise for Knowl Hill's nurturing family ethos.

The commitment to 'encourage one another and build each other up' is part and parcel of pupils' daily diet. Those who have had not had a positive school experience elsewhere or who have additional needs thrive. Pupils learn from an early age to be reassuring and encouraging of each other.

A varied range of opportunities that complement learning, develop confidence and mould character are on offer, although not all pupils fully benefit from some of the optional activities. Pupils relish opportunities to play their part in school life and the local community. They are proud to be on the school council or eco-council, part of the collective worship team or well-being champions.

Trust and school leaders know the school inside out. They are proud of its many strengths and honest about what could be even better. Actions and energies are focused on what will most benefit pupils.

The school has, for example, nipped minor post-lockdown issues in the bud to maintain excellent behaviour. Good use has been made of additional expertise within the trust and local authority to enhance provision for the growing number of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). Staff are well equipped with strategies to adapt teaching and support individual needs in the classroom.

Teaching of early reading is proficient and precise. The focus on fine-tuning how pupils are taught phonics has paid off. It starts promptly in early years.

Careful checks pick up those pupils who will benefit from immediate support to reinforce learning and those who need additional teaching. Extra support is delivered sensitively and skilfully, building pupils' early reading skills incrementally so that they develop confidence in themselves as readers.

The clarity of thinking underpinning the curriculum is remarkable.

The trust has invested, to good effect, a great deal of time and energy in recent years in designing how pupils' learning should build in each subject from Reception upwards. Guidance for staff is helpful and reduces workload. It breaks down learning into small steps, identifying important vocabulary and setting out what pupils should know and be able to do at key points.

Mostly, teaching is clear and accurate. Cross-trust working groups enable teachers in the same key stages to look ahead, ensuring that they are familiar with the content, can pool ideas and can anticipate what pupils may find tricky. Sometimes, though, teaching is not quite pitched at the right level.

This happens when teachers feel they must stick rigidly to the planned content, despite what pupils do or do not already know.

Overall, pupils learn well, although small class sizes and pupils moving in and out of the school can skew end of key stage outcomes. Pupils remember in some detail what they are currently learning or have very recently covered in different subjects.

They do not, however, recall or make links with previous learning quite as easily. This is a consequence of the curriculum being relatively new and because activities intended to help pupils retrieve information from their long-term memory are not focused enough on what is important.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• The ambitious curriculum thinking is not fully realised in practice because sometimes teaching does not take sufficient account of pupils' prior learning. Pupils do not, therefore, learn as well as they might at times. The school should ensure that staff have the knowledge, confidence and support to adapt intended sequences of teaching as needed.

• Activities designed to help pupils revisit and remember past learning are still developing. Pupils cannot always bring important content to mind easily. The school should review how it can better support pupils to retain and recall key knowledge.

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