Poolsbrook Primary Academy

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About Poolsbrook Primary Academy

Name Poolsbrook Primary Academy
Website http://www.poolsbrook.academy
Ofsted Inspections
Miss Louise Tate
Address Cottage Close, Poolsbrook, Chesterfield, S43 3LF
Phone Number 01246472540
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 77
Local Authority Derbyshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils are proud to attend this school. They routinely talk about the importance of showing respect for one another. They are in no doubt that everyone deserves to be treated well.

Pupils say, 'Everyone is welcome here.' Kindness is modelled well in every aspect of school life by staff and pupils.

Expectations of what pupils can achieve both academically and personally have increased significantly.

An improved curriculum has been at the front and centre of this work. The school's motto, 'Fuelling young minds for a brighter future', exemplifies the school's ambition that all pupils can succeed.

Pupils behave well because there are clear and simple sch...ool rules.

These rules are 'aim high, be safe, show respect'. Pupils enjoy rewards when they stick to the rules. Everyone wants to earn a reward point.

Pupils agree that these rules help their school to be a happy and safe place.

Pupils delight in taking on positions of responsibility in school. The head boy and head girl are role models for other pupils.

The school council represents the voice of pupils. Play leaders spot pupils who need a friend to play with at social times and organise games that include everyone.

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

With the support of the trust, the school has established a detailed and ambitious curriculum.

This has been developed to meet the needs of all pupils. It is underpinned by key principles that run through every subject. These 'golden threads' are identified as: wisdom, inclusivity, rich vocabulary and experiential.

Curriculum plans set out precisely what pupils should learn from the Nursery Year to Year 6. Knowledge is built up step by step in a logical order.

Teachers ensure that pupils revisit prior learning before moving on to new content.

Pupils talk about the importance of 'pulling knowledge out of your long-term memory'. In history, Year 1 and Year 2 pupils recall prior learning about the Montgolfier brothers, who invented the first hot air balloon. They add this historical event to their class timeline.

Year 3 and Year 4 pupils use subject-specific vocabulary, such as 'Neolithic', 'Palaeolithic' and 'Mesolithic', as they discuss the Stone Age. In many subjects, the curriculum is relatively new. While early signs are positive, there is more to do to check that it is supporting pupils to know more and remember more in these subjects.

Reading is a key priority for the school. A systematic and rigorous approach to the teaching of early reading is well embedded. In the Nursery Year, children develop pre-phonic skills.

In the Reception Year, children learn phonics from the start. Pupils acquire the sounds they need to decode words. Teachers check that pupils are remembering new sounds.

Pupils who need further support revisit key sounds so they can keep up.The school is at a developing stage of promoting a love of reading. Not all pupils talk about reading with enthusiasm.

Not enough pupils are choosing to read for their own enjoyment.

The school makes every effort to remove barriers so that pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) can learn from the same curriculum as their peers. Teachers use well-considered adaptations for pupils with SEND.

Pupils who struggle to manage their feelings can take time out in 'The Sanctuary'. This helps them regulate their emotions and return to class ready to learn.

While pupils are clear about how the school expects them to behave, a small number of pupils do not yet demonstrate consistently positive attitudes to their learning.

A few children in early years need support to engage with the learning activities sensibly. Other pupils do not join in with their lessons to the same high standard as the majority of other pupils.

The school's offer for pupils' personal development is well thought out.

Pupils access a range of experiences and opportunities. They participate in creative writing and fire safety workshops. They visit the theatre, a farm and a wildlife park.

Year 5 and Year 6 pupils attend a residential visit. Extra-curricular clubs are open to everyone. All pupils are welcome to attend the school's 'soft start' session before school.

This helps their school day to begin in a positive way.

With the help of the trust, the school has gone from strength to strength. Alongside governors, the trust has kept a close eye on the impact of the changes the school has made to improve pupils' life chances.

All staff are aspirational for pupils' futures. Parents say that they are beginning to see a positive difference in the school and comment on recent improvements.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• The curriculum for the foundation subjects is at an early stage of implementation. Leaders are refining the design to enable pupils to know more and remember more. The school should check that the curriculum is well embedded and that pupils are successfully developing a deeper understanding of these subjects over time.

• A minority of pupils do not demonstrate high levels of engagement in their learning. This has potential to slow the progress that they make. The school must insist that all pupils engage fully in their learning and give of their very best in lessons.

A love of reading is not fully promoted for all pupils. Some pupils do not choose to read for pleasure and are unable to talk about their favourite books and authors. The school must strategically plan activities and opportunities for pupils to read to learn and to read for their own enjoyment.

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