Laithes Primary School

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About Laithes Primary School

Name Laithes Primary School
Ofsted Inspections
Executive Headteacher Mrs Georgina Fletcher
Address Laithes Lane, Smithies, Barnsley, S71 3AF
Phone Number 01226281255
Phase Academy
Type Academy sponsor led
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 327
Local Authority Barnsley
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Care and respect are at the heart of Laithes Primary School.

Pupils, staff and parents all say that school leaders make time to talk with them, and show they care. Pupils talk positively about the feelings group and the support they get from the pupil well-being ambassadors. Relationships between pupils and adults are positive.

Bullying is not tolerated in school and rare instances of bullying are quickly resolved by staff.

Pupils behave well in lessons. This is because they are interested in their learning.

They know they must listen carefully to their teachers and to each other. This helps them to build on each other's ideas and to learn Pupils play well together at break and lunchtimes.

They are polite and considerate. Pupils learn how to support each other and be good friends.

Pupils enjoy the wider opportunities that are available to them.

After-school clubs enable pupils to pursue interests, including sports, reading and booster clubs. Pupils undertake different roles and responsibilities, such as being a member of the school council and hearing younger pupils read.

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

The leadership of early years is very strong.

Children get off to a superb start when they join the school. Learning is weaved through every activity. Nothing is left to chance.

For example, during the inspection children were risk assessing and designing their own outdoor learning. Children directed others in how to take part in each activity and in the safety precautions they needed to think about. Children demonstrated high levels of independence through making their own toast at snack time and their own play dough.

The development of vocabulary has a high priority in early years. Pupils use new vocabulary very effectively when talking about their learning to each other. Pupils in Reception talked about 'recapping' their sounds so they were confident with them before learning new ones.

As a result, children make strong progress from their starting points and are well prepared for entering Year 1.

Curriculum leaders are knowledgeable and enthusiastic about their subjects. They receive training that helps them to lead their subjects effectively.

Teachers have good subject knowledge because they receive regular training from the trust. They plan lessons that engage and interest pupils. Teachers help pupils to make links between subjects.

For example, Year 5 pupils talked about their knowledge of tactics in physical education (PE) and how they apply different tactics in different sports. Teachers also introduce pupils to a wide range of subject-specific vocabulary and check their understanding regularly.

The teaching of reading is important in this school.

Teachers and teaching assistants follow a well-sequenced reading curriculum. Younger pupils read books that enable them to practise the sounds they are learning. Reading across key stage 2 has been strengthened through the school's 'text drivers'.

There is a greater focus on the teaching of specific reading skills. Pupils who find reading difficult get extra help from well-trained staff. This helps pupils to become confident, fluent readers.

Mathematics is taught well. Teachers teach pupils to build their knowledge of mathematical concepts very securely. They provide high-quality resources that pupils use when solving problems.

They teach pupils ways of doing calculations in a logical manner. Children in Reception enjoy exploring number through a range of practical activities. They show confidence in knowing and remembering number bonds to 10.

In religious education, leaders are refining the curriculum so that pupils make stronger links to prior learning. This work has been impacted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some pupils do not have a secure understanding of what they have been taught previously.

Pupils could talk about the religions they have studied but struggled to link this information to previous topics. This is because teachers have not followed the curriculum plan consistently. Leaders have already noticed this and have put strategies in place to enhance teachers' subject knowledge in religious education.

Staff are nurturing and accommodating of pupils' individual needs. Teachers make sure that pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) get the best possible opportunities to succeed. Staff produce detailed support plans, in partnership with parents and external organisations.

They work skilfully in giving pupils clear steps to help them to learn. Pupils with SEND are highly motivated and well supported. They work hard to reach ambitious targets.

They achieve well from their starting points.

Leaders, including governors and leaders from the trust, support and challenge the staff well. Governors visit school often to check on the impact of improvement actions.

Staff report that leaders are considerate of their well-being and work-life balance.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders have maintained a rigorous and meticulous approach to safeguarding.

They reinforce and strengthen staff's knowledge of safeguarding through regular training and quizzes. This ensures that everybody knows what to look out for and knows what to do if they have concerns about a pupil's safety.

Leaders respond swiftly when pupils are identified as needing help.

This includes working with other agencies to help to keep pupils safe from harm when necessary. Leaders are not afraid to challenge the decisions of other agencies.

Leaders have developed a curriculum that helps pupils to manage the risks they may encounter.

Pupils retain this knowledge well. They know what to do and whom to tell if they have worries or get into difficulty.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Leaders have worked on the curriculum and made clear the knowledge that pupils need to know and remember in all subjects.

However, in religious education, plans have not been followed consistently enough. This makes it hard for pupils to remember long term what they have been taught, and to make links to prior learning. Leaders should ensure that curriculum plans for religious education are followed consistently so that the pupils have a deeper understanding of the religions they study.

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