Mill Lane Community Primary School

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About Mill Lane Community Primary School

Name Mill Lane Community Primary School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Ms Tineke van der Ploeg
Address Mill Lane, Chinnor, OX39 4RF
Phone Number 01844352106
Phase Primary
Type Community school
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 231
Local Authority Oxfordshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection


Mill Lane Community Primary School continues to be a good school.

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils feel valued. Their opinions are encouraged and listened to.

People are kind, good-humoured and friendly. Everyone feels included. Pupils behave well.

They do not worry about bullying and trust staff to resolve any worries. In lessons pupils are keen, relaxed, focused and engaged. Around the school they behave with consideration and maturity.

Pupils relish opportunities be involved by being part of the school council, supporting the office staff or helping at lunchtime. They take these roles very seriously, making sure that they arrive on time and their responsibilities diligently.

Leaders have made sure that the whole school community has contributed to the school's vision.

Everyone understands what the school is about. They have encouraged staff to think very carefully about what and how pupils learn. There is a sense of excitement about the resulting changes, which are fully under way.

Expectations are high.

Parents and staff trust in leaders. All parents who completed the Ofsted survey, Parent View, would recommend the school.

They value highly the wide range of opportunities provided for their children. Parents are rightly confident that the school prepares their children well for the next stages of their education and beyond.

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

Teachers capitalise on pupils' good behaviour and independence.

They set challenging tasks which pupils enjoy tackling, in groups or individually. Teachers plan work that is carefully matched to the national curriculum. In some subjects, notably mathematics, they link learning well so that it builds in clear sequences.

This helps pupils to apply and deepen their learning over time so that they attain well. For example, Year 2 pupils investigating building shapes used spaghetti and marshmallows to build cubes and prisms. Then, they were expertly encouraged to explain their secure knowledge of vertices and angles and apply this to other shapes.

In other subjects, such as history, sequences of learning are sometimes less well developed. This means that pupils do not develop the same depth of understanding. As a result, some have a limited sense of how periods of time connect and find it harder to build on their knowledge.

New planning is helping pupils to make links. For example, pupils in Year 4 studying hierarchies in Ancient Egypt thoughtfully compared this to modern society.

Parents are rightly confident that their children with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) have their needs met well.

Right from the start in early years, staff expertly identify and support these needs. The SEN team work closely with staff and, where appropriate, outside agencies to ensure that support is well targeted and regularly reviewed. Staff across the school know pupils' individual needs well.

As a result, pupils with SEND thrive.

Leaders ensure that developing strong reading skills remains a priority, despite pupils' consistently strong outcomes in both reading and phonics over time. Pupils get off to a great start in early years because phonics is taught consistently and effectively by well-trained staff.

Children enjoy rhymes and stories in the nursery. Very quickly children in Reception Year children gain the skills and confidence to begin to read sentences. Staff ensure that reading books are carefully matched to their burgeoning skill and confidence.

As pupils move up through the school they benefit from regular discussions about books. By the time they reach the top of the school most pupils can read very well and discuss the characters and plots of books they share. Those pupils who struggle with their reading, including those with SEND, are helped to catch up quickly so that they too read confidently and well.

Community is of central importance. Pupils benefit from a wide range of local visits and visitors. The school in is immersed in its local community, but leaders also ensure that pupils are outward-looking.

A wide range of languages and cultures are celebrated. Mutual respect is central to the school's ethos. Pupils learn the importance of recycling, for example, through ensuring that old classroom chairs are donated to an overseas charity.

Children get off to a secure start in early years. They enjoy well-planned activities such as the 'tinkering table', where they investigate machinery or playing together learning hockey or role play. Knowledgeable staff build expertly on what children can do during activities so that they are well prepared for Year 1.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Parents, staff and pupils are confident that pupils are safe at school. Leaders have ensured that staff are well trained and know what to look out for to help keep pupils safe.

Clear systems are in place to report any concerns, which are responded to swiftly and appropriately.

Importantly, leaders have ensured that pupils feel confident to express any worries. Pupils learn how to keep themselves safe, including online.

Leaders have worked with insight and commitment to provide information and training across the school community. This helps provide families with the tools they need to help keep pupils safe.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

The school's curriculum offers a wide range of subjects for pupils to learn.

However, pupils' learning in the foundation subjects is not consistently well sequenced. Leaders need to continue to oversee this process and to check that planning and teaching successfully build pupils' learning so that pupils know more over time.


When we have judged a school to be good we will then normally go into the school about once every four years to confirm that the school remains good.

This is called a section 8 inspection of a good school or non-exempt outstanding school. We do not give graded judgements on a section 8 inspection. However, if we find some evidence that the school could now be better than good or that standards may be declining, then the next inspection will be a section 5 inspection.

Usually this is within one to two years of the date of the section 8 inspection. If we have serious concerns about safeguarding, behaviour or the quality of education, we will convert the section 8 inspection to a section 5 inspection immediately.

This is the second section 8 inspection since we judged Mill Lane Community Primary School to be good on 13–14 September 2011.

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