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Pupils thrive in this inclusive, warm school, where leaders and teachers care deeply about its pupils. Pupils feel safe in school because of this. The trust's 'Shine' values of strive, harmony, inspire, nurture, and excel are lived out each day.
Pupils understand the importance of being excellent citizens. They talk about how the values will never stop being important to them. Parents and pupils are overwhelmingly positive about the school saying; 'If you need anything, they will help you.'
Leaders have high expectations for pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). They want them to do well. This has led to many eff...ective changes to the curriculum.
For most pupils, this ambition is appropriate. Pupils work hard and engage well with their learning. They talk enthusiastically about how teachers help them to remember important facts from topics they have enjoyed.
Behaviour is exceptional, both during lessons and during breaktimes. Leaders and staff model the behaviour they expect saying; 'If you can't see it, you can't be it.' There is mutual respect between pupils and staff.
The tolerance and respect pupils have for each other is inspiring. Pupils are beautifully well mannered, kind and polite.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
Leaders have developed a broad and ambitious curriculum.
They have ensured that learning is well sequenced. For most pupils, it allows them to build on what they know, and pupils demonstrate a deep understanding of what they have learned. However, for some pupils the ambition is too high.
The precise, small steps some pupils need to secure in order to make progress have not been identified.
Reading is prioritised. Pupils have access to a wide range of high-quality texts that they talk about with enthusiasm.
Leaders have worked closely with the 'diversity team' to ensure there is a varied representation of characters within these chosen texts to reflect the school community. Pupils are invited to choose a book from reading hubs and the library during their breaktimes. They value this.
Some pupils are still at the early stage of learning to read. However, some of these pupils do not make rapid enough progress to catch up with their peers. This is because leaders do not focus sharply enough on how well these pupils are securing the knowledge they need to become fluent readers.
Teaching does not cater closely enough for their specific needs.
Leaders identify pupils with SEND swiftly. Their approach to the nurture and care for these pupils is highly effective.
Pupils are calm, settled and happy in school as a result of this. The care pupils show to each other is exemplary. This starts in the early years.
Leaders promote pupil responsibilities to enable them to develop the care between each other. For example, 'language ambassadors' are linked with pupils who arrive to the school without being able to speak English. They buddy up with these pupils and help them to settle in by speaking to them in a language they understand.
They help them with their basic classroom communication needs. Pupils said; 'Everyone looks after each other. There is always someone there for you.'
Leaders' approach to pupils' personal development is inspirational. Pupils benefit from an extensive range of opportunities outside of the curriculum to develop skills and talents. They ensure no barriers are in place that prevent pupils from experiencing these.
Pupils get to enjoy a wide range of clubs and trips. The offer is exciting and varied, so there is something for everyone to enjoy. Pupils' understanding of diversity, equality and inclusion is of a high standard.
It is taught and celebrated. Pupils get to meet role models, including the Lord Mayor, who was a previous pupil. Pupils see the possibilities ahead for them because of these experiences.
They are taught to; 'Make the most of every opportunity.'
Children in the early years are happy at school and get off to a very good start. Highly skilled leaders have thought carefully about the curriculum they offer.
The environment, particularly outside, is well resourced and attractive. Children play collaboratively and sensibly with each other. They know how to take turns and how to listen to each other.
Leaders at all levels are impressive. They have a very good understanding of what they need to do next to ensure the school is even more effective than it already is. This includes those on the local governing board and those at trust level who provide exceptional support, but also challenge when needed.
The well-being of staff is carefully considered. Everyone who is part of the Northwood family is very proud to be so.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
The pastoral team are highly effective and prioritise safeguarding. They know pupils and their families very well. They go above and beyond to provide any support that could help them.
Leaders ensure staff are fully trained, so they can also be vigilant to any changes in pupils' circumstances that might cause concern. Systems for recording concerns are appropriately detailed. Leaders act on any concerns in a timely way.
Pupils learn how to keep safe, including when online. They know they can talk to adults if they are worried. They also know that staff would act quickly to help them.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
• Leaders do not ensure that learning for all pupils is broken down into small enough steps to enable them to make progress. This means that some pupils are not making the progress they are capable of and are not given activities that address their specific gaps in learning. Leaders should ensure that all pupils, including those with SEND, have access to activities that meet their individual needs.
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