Old Bank Academy

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About Old Bank Academy

Name Old Bank Academy
Ofsted Inspections
Mrs Judy Wood
Address Taylor Hall Lane, Mirfield, WF14 0HW
Phone Number 01924495790
Phase Academy
Type Academy sponsor led
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 106
Local Authority Kirklees
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

This is a nurturing and inclusive school, which pupils are proud to attend.

The school has addressed its areas requiring development effectively. Pupils' preparation for their next steps in education are beginning to be addressed by the school's ambitious curriculum. The impact of this work on the hearts and minds of the school community is transformational.

Parents, staff and pupils are overwhelmingly positive about the school and rightly so. They speak highly of the progress pupils make and the strong ethos of care and support the school provides.

Pupils work with focus in lessons.

They follow established routines well. This begins in early years, ...for example, when children move calmly into phonics groups and when returning from outdoor play. The relationships between adults and pupils are respectful.

Pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), are eager to learn in the school's positive environment. Pupils choose to arrive early for the well-attended breakfast club. They feel safe and happy.

The' GROW' values of growth, respect, opportunity and well-being are threads that run through school life. The school has implemented an enriching curriculum, which goes beyond academic achievement. This includes individual 'i-challenge' passports that pupils complete during their time at the school.

The passport challenges such as 'attending a residential trip' or 'building a snowman with your family', develop teamwork and resilience. This school provides a wealth of opportunities to broaden pupils' life skills.

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

The school has an ambitious curriculum that maps out the key knowledge that pupils need to know.

This curriculum begins in the early years. In mathematics, children use apparatus to quickly show number bonds to 10. Staff provide many opportunities for children to practise their growing knowledge of number.

For example, during the inspection, the children in Reception worked together cooperatively to make a pie. They counted out and added to the number of corresponding fruits needed for each segment. In key stages 1 and 2, pupils build their number fluency through quick recall activities.

As a result of this frequent practice, the pupils achieve well.

The curriculum has the same ambitions for pupils with SEND. Adaptations made by teachers enable pupils to work alongside their peers well.

This includes pupils with complex communication needs, who attend the additionally resourced provision. These pupils have clear individual education plans. Where appropriate, these plans include timetabled points during the day to work alongside their peers.

Pupils with SEND thrive in this inclusive environment.

In foundation subjects such as history, pupils recall their recent learning well. For example, they are confident when talking about the ancient Greeks.

This is because teachers recall and check learning at the beginning of each lesson. Some foundation subjects are at an earlier stage of implementation. This means that pupils are not able to connect their new knowledge with previous learning consistently well.

This limits pupils deeper understanding of the curriculum as a whole.

Stories are at the heart of the school's curriculum. Pupils work with a drama specialist.

They re-enact stories and perform at a literacy festival. A local bookshop sends monthly recommended reads to school. Pupils talk about the books they enjoy and recommend reads to each other.

In early years, children build familiarity with stories that develop their learning. They enthusiastically re-tell the story of 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar'. A 'curiosity table' with artefacts and books about the stages of seed growth, prepares children for learning about life cycles.

Adults use books, such as cookery books, to deepen children's interactions with text. There are regular reading cafés for parents. They share in reading times and receive information about how children learn to read.

The school prioritises teaching children to read. Phonics begins as soon as children start school in the Reception Year. Any children who need to catch up have extra daily practise to learn the sounds they need.

Pupils learn to read successfully, using books that contain the sounds they know. They begin to learn spelling and letter formation in phonics lessons. However, some older pupils have not secured accurate letter formation.

These pupils struggle when they need to write at length.

There are many opportunities for pupils to compete in a wide range of sporting events with other schools. After-school clubs and visits from leading sporting figures encourage and inspire pupils to take part in these events.

Pupils remember the positive impact of meeting role models, who teach them to embrace their differences. Pupils explain how they are supported well to deal with personal challenges and to keep mentally healthy. They look forward to attending after-school pastoral clubs.

The school provides high-quality pastoral care.

Communication, relationships and working together are a strength of this school. Staff feel exceptionally well supported with their workload and well-being.

New leaders have transformed the school and have created a highly positive culture. This has secured the support and enthusiasm of all.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• The curriculum is relatively new in some foundation subjects. Pupils have not built up a thorough understanding of these subjects over time. The school should ensure that the content of all foundation subjects is embedded consistently.

Some older pupils are at the earlier stages of learning how to form letters correctly. These pupils struggle to complete longer pieces of writing. The school should prioritise the teaching of accurate letter formation and build fluency with handwriting.

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