Portswood Primary School

Portswood Primary School

Name Portswood Primary School
Website http://www.portswoodpri.org.uk
Ofsted Inspections
Address Somerset Road, Southampton, SO17 3AA
Phone Number 02380555885
Type Academy
Age Range 2-11
Religious Character Does Not Apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 488 (52.7% boys 47.3% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 19.4
Academy Sponsor Hisp Multi Academy Trust Ltd
Local Authority Southampton
Percentage Free School Meals 18%
Percentage English is Not First Language 52.5%
Persistent Absence 12.1%
Pupils with SEN Support 9.8%
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils are proud of their diverse and multicultural school.

Together with staff, they celebrate the ways in which this diversity contributes to their community, for example by recognising the range of languages that pupils and their families speak. Pupils enjoy coming to school each day because there is a positive and respectful culture. They feel safe and secure.

Teachers ensure that lessons in all subjects are engaging for pupils. Pupils value the education they receive and want to do their very best.

Staff and leaders have a clear vision for every pupil to achieve exceptionally well across the curriculum.

Leaders know that to fully realise this vi...sion, they need to refine their early reading curriculum.

Behaviour at the school is exemplary. Children in the early years learn to listen attentively.

They demonstrate curiosity and sustained concentration. These attributes help pupils to learn very effectively as they move into key stage 1 and beyond. In lessons across the school, pupils are engaged and demonstrate high levels of resilience.

Parents feel that the teaching at Portswood is creative and inspires their children. They appreciate the support they received throughout the pandemic. Most parents feel that the school provides high levels of support for pupils' well-being.

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

Over time, leaders in the school have developed a clear consensus about the knowledge and skills that pupils need to learn in each subject to be fully prepared for the next phase of their education, and later life more broadly. Pupils study a broad and balanced curriculum. Leaders have carefully sequenced the curriculum for each subject so that new knowledge and skills build on what has been taught before.

Leaders have provided ongoing training for teachers so that they have expert knowledge of the subjects that they teach. They have a clear understanding of the key knowledge and skills that pupils need to build over time in each subject. This means that across the curriculum, teachers present information very clearly to pupils.

They understand the sorts of misconceptions that pupils might develop, and work to identify and correct these. Across the curriculum, assessment is used to check how well pupils understand their learning. Teachers adapt their lessons very effectively to take account of what the assessments tell them.

In the past, school leaders have not always focused sufficiently on how well the curriculum was being implemented for pupils with special education needs and/or disabilities (SEND). When the school joined a new multi-academy trust in July 2020, this became a clear focus. Both leaders and school staff describe a 'sea change' in the approach to identifying and meeting the needs of pupils with SEND.

Trust executive leaders and school leaders have worked together to ensure that all staff share their view that a school is only successful when every single pupil, including those with SEND, is supported to achieve exceptionally well. Staff have had a clear programme of training. This training has enabled teachers to adapt their teaching approaches, and the curriculum itself where necessary, to ensure that pupils with SEND are able to learn successfully alongside their peers.

In addition, there is now a clear focus on early identification of needs, so that pupils get the right support from the start.

Leaders have identified that to fully realise their vision of success for every pupil, they need to make some refinements to their early reading curriculum. This is because although most pupils develop very positive attitudes towards reading and achieve very well in reading, a small number of pupils do not.

These pupils have struggled to learn to read, and many have an identified special educational need. Despite classroom staff planning carefully for these pupils, the support provided to them has not been consistent or urgent enough over time. Nor has it always been delivered by staff with sufficient expertise in the teaching of phonics and early reading.

There are clear plans in place to address these aspects of the early reading curriculum, and leaders expect this work to be fully embedded by September 2022.

Personal development is very well developed from Nursery to Year 6. The youngest children learn how to stay safe and healthy, how to recognise and manage their feelings and how to treat others with kindness and respect.

As pupils move through the school, they are supported to become responsible, respectful and active citizens. They make a tangible contribution, not just within the school, but also to the wider world. For example, pupils successfully campaigned to encourage fast-food restaurants to stop giving plastic toys with children's meals.

Pupils across the school are motivated and engaged with their learning. They are articulate and confident to express their opinions. They behave extremely well in lessons and around the school.

Trustees, executive leaders within the multi-academy trust and school leaders are absolutely committed to the children that the school serves. Trust leaders have worked very effectively with school leaders to identify priorities for the school, and, despite the pandemic, these have been addressed with rigour and urgency. The trust holds a great deal of expertise, and school leaders are quick to utilise this expertise and support to get the best deal for their pupils.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Safeguarding leaders within the school are very knowledgeable about safeguarding and local procedures that relate to safeguarding. The welfare and protection of children sit at the heart of their reasoning and decision-making.

They have trained staff to be able to identify when a child may be at risk. Staff know how to raise a concern and are confident that no matter how small a concern might seem, leaders will take it seriously. When staff do raise concerns, those concerns are followed up rigorously.

Leaders make referrals to external agencies appropriately to get pupils the help they need, including when pupils need support for their mental health and well-being. Record-keeping is meticulous. Safer recruitment procedures are fully embedded.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• A small number of pupils who struggle to learn to read do not consistently get the right support from sufficiently expert staff. Leaders should continue to develop the expertise of all staff in the teaching of early reading so that every pupil, including those with special educational needs, receives precisely the right help. Keeping pace with their peers in reading will enable these pupils to access the full curriculum with greater ease and raise their achievement in all curriculum areas.