Orchard Meadow Primary School

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About Orchard Meadow Primary School

Name Orchard Meadow Primary School
Website https://www.orchardmeadowprimary.com/
Ofsted Inspections
Mrs Heather Richards
Address Wesley Close, Oxford, OX4 6BG
Phone Number 01865778609
Phase Academy
Type Academy sponsor led
Age Range 4-11
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 242
Local Authority Oxfordshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils recognise the exciting things that are happening at Orchard Meadow. They get a good deal because leaders are focused on bringing out the 'best in everyone'. Each class is known as a family.

Pupils look forward to the weekly 'Pride' assemblies where leaders showcase how well pupils are doing.

New leadership has revitalised expectations. Pupils know that adults believe in them.

This empowers pupils to work hard and persevere. Adults are always on hand to boost pupils and steer them to success. Pupils welcome how leaders ensure that everyone behaves.

The school's motto: 'be kind, be ready, be safe' develops pupils' personal responsibility. Bullyi...ng does not worry pupils. They know that adults are there to help.

Pupils, therefore, feel calm and safe.

There is much on offer for pupils. Leaders enrich pupils' horizons with first-time experiences.

Pupils love singing and have worked with a philharmonic orchestra. They visit museums and art galleries. Students from an independent boarding school visit weekly to work with pupils.

Together, they cook, play sport and try out new experiences.

Pupils are encouraged to be leaders. They take their roles seriously.

Prefects and play leaders do important work for the good of all.

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

The new executive principal and head of school have made a stunning start. Their vision and plans are ambitious.

The trust has provided excellent support in resourcing leaders' plans to build positively on what has come before. The school's improvement plan is precise and focused on the right things to further embed the successful changes.

Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) get what they need.

Leaders use robust systems to identify and meet pupils' needs. Strategically, leaders have set up their own bespoke enhanced provision within the school. It provides therapeutic and targeted support for some pupils.

Parents and carers speak highly of this work as they feel it has transformed the education for these pupils. Leaders are clear that everyone learns the same curriculum. There is always the focus on getting any pupil back into class.

If a pupil requires intensive therapy, leaders can access remotely what is taught in the lesson. This means pupils do not miss out on learning.

The trust ensures that staff have continued access to expert phonics training.

Regular 'development days' keep the reading leader up to date with best practice. Staff appreciate how the reading leader 'jumps in' to coach and fine tune what they do. There is total commitment to following all aspects of the phonics programme.

Leaders assess pupils accurately. Daily one-to-one additional sessions provide pupils with precise teaching to help them catch up. However, the disruption caused by COVID-19 has significantly impacted upon the youngest pupils learning to write.

Leaders are focused on catching these pupils back up to where they should be.

Across all year groups, the curriculum is well sequenced with knowledge and skills in the right order. Well-informed subject leaders are clear about what is taught when and why.

However, some teachers are not secure about this. They are not clear about what pupils must be able to do by the end of a school year. Consequently, teachers can set work that does not help pupils learn the intended knowledge.

In early years, a similar picture emerges. Adults set up activities from which children can choose. However, some of these do not work well.

As a result, children do not end up practising what they have been taught. When adults work directly with children, they provide better quality interactions. These help children focus on the learning and play.

Leaders have started supporting teachers to implement the curriculum more effectively. In mathematics for example, teachers activate pupils' memories by reviewing prior content. Teachers question pupils and re-explain concepts if needed.

They carefully check pupils' understanding.

In lessons, pupils know they must behave. They do this well and are motivated to learn.

Adults adopt consistent routines, but some younger pupils do not follow instructions the first time.

The school is highly inclusive. Pupils embrace difference and know it does not matter what somebody looks like.

All pupils are offered the same opportunities, for example different sports and the arts. Leaders prioritise pupils' physical and mental health very well.

Trustees and governors know what to do.

They are highly skilled and provide excellent challenge. Trustees scrutinise how the local governing body firmly holds leaders to account. The trust is wholly committed to staff's professional development.

Staff are happy and they value how leaders look out for them.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders unwaveringly keep pupils safe.

The safeguarding team probe and challenge to ensure pupils get the support they need. Leaders work closely and proactively with other agencies and share intelligence. Leaders go the extra mile.

Any safeguarding concerns are well documented. Leaders make swift referrals. The trust provides comprehensive training that helps staff raise any concerns immediately.

Leaders are highly alert to risks in the area. They educate pupils well about how to protect themselves.

Pupils know to tell an adult if they are worried.

Pupils know how to use online apps safely. They recognise the dangers of social media.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Teachers are not fully clear about the curriculum end points pupils must achieve.

Sometimes, teachers do not set the right work to reflect the school's ambitious curriculum. This impacts on how well pupils are prepared for the next stage of their education. Leaders need to develop teachers' subject and pedagogical knowledge to ensure that pupils learn the curriculum successfully.

• The pandemic has meant some younger pupils are behind in their writing transcription. These pupils are not meeting age-related expectations. Leaders need to continue with supporting teachers to rapidly help pupils catch up.

• In early years, staff do not always know how best to deliver the planned curriculum. Occasionally, their decisions around child-initiated play do not achieve leaders' intended purpose. Leaders need to train teachers in early years to have the pedagogical understanding to ensure children build successfully on prior knowledge.

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