Priorswood Primary School

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About Priorswood Primary School

Name Priorswood Primary School
Ofsted Inspections
Mrs Carly Ellis
Address Wedlands, Taunton, TA2 7AD
Phone Number 01823284897
Phase Academy
Type Academy sponsor led
Age Range 2-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 186
Local Authority Somerset
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils at Priorswood Primary are proud to be members of their school.

They enjoy coming to school, feel safe and attend well. They are keen to talk about what the school offers them. Pupils study a broad range of subjects, including learning in the forest school area.

These outdoor lessons build pupils' resilience, independence and teamwork skills. Leaders provide a range of opportunities for pupils to enrich their learning and extend their interests and talents.

Pupils show positive attitudes to their learning.

They support and encourage each other beyond the classroom environment. Pupils conduct themselves well around the school. They know what adu...lts expect of them.

Pupils show a high level of respect for their peers and staff. Staff model strong relationships and clear expectations. Pupils see them as effective role models.

As a result, the school is a calm and purposeful place to learn.

Pupils understand what bullying is. They say that it rarely happens.

Pupils are confident that concerns would be acted on quickly if they occurred. The majority of parents and carers who shared their views recognise the dedication and care provided by staff, and the impact this has on their child.

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

The school has improved significantly in recent years.

Staffing is now stable. As a result, there is greater consistency across the curriculum, including expectations of the pupils. Staff value the changes that leaders are making to support their workload.

Staff feel they are part of a strong team.

Leaders have designed an ambitious curriculum for all pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) and disadvantaged pupils. Children in early years start well.

Adults skilfully develop children's language and extend their learning. Staff build curiosity and encourage children to think critically and problem-solve. Leaders' focus on language and vocabulary development continues from early years into key stages 1 and 2.

Staff know the important effect this has on pupils' ability to learn successfully. Pupils use their expanding vocabulary and language skills with increasing accuracy.

Staff know pupils well.

They have a secure understanding of the needs of pupils with SEND. Accurate identification ensures that these pupils are able to access the same curriculum as their peers. However, leadership of SEND has gone through significant change.

Consequently, there is not a clear and structured overview of the provision that pupils with SEND have. Pupils do not always receive the most accurately targeted support. As a result, they do not always achieve the best possible outcomes.

Leaders have strengthened the core subjects of reading and mathematics. There is a systematic approach to the way the curriculum is delivered. This deepens pupils' knowledge and supports them to retain what they have learned.

As a result, the varying needs of pupils in the single-year group and mixed-age classes are well met.

Reading is a whole-school priority. Pupils read regularly and they say that they enjoy listening to adults read to them.

Children develop phonics knowledge well. Teachers identify misconceptions quickly. When pupils fall behind, teachers help them to catch up.

Pupils have access to a diverse range of high-quality texts. These include texts that support them to expand their vocabulary and subject knowledge.

Subject leaders appreciate the support they get from the trust.

This includes access to resources and subject-specific training. Staff say this has had a positive impact on their workload. It has also strengthened the content of the curriculum for pupils.

Despite this, the curriculum for subjects in the wider curriculum is not as secure as it is for core subjects. Leaders have not clearly identified what is important for pupils to learn. As a result, there is too much variability in the content pupils are taught.

This makes it hard for them to remember their learning over time.

Pupils remember their learning in some aspects of their personal development well. They know how to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Older pupils understand how to stay safe while online. Pupils know they should treat everyone fairly and with respect. This underpins all the school does.

Leaders make this a clear priority. However, leaders, including those responsible for governance, have not ensured that this is as secure in pupils' understanding of other areas of their personal development. Pupils' knowledge of fundamental British values and equality is not as well embedded.

They are not as well prepared as they could be to challenge potential disrespectful attitudes and views with confidence when they leave the school.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders ensure that there is a strong culture of safeguarding in the school.

Staff receive relevant training and regular safeguarding updates. Leaders take account of local risks and make sure that this information is passed on to staff. As a result, staff understand their roles and responsibilities well.

Pupils and families get the help that they need. Leaders work well with external agencies to support their work and develop pupils' awareness of how to keep themselves safe.

Leaders carry out the necessary checks on staff to ensure that they are safe to work with children.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• In some foundation subjects, the curriculum does not identify the essential knowledge pupils must know and remember. As a result, pupils do not always link what they have learned before to their new learning. Leaders need to ensure that the specific knowledge they want pupils to learn is identified so that pupils know and remember more over time.

• As a result of significant instability in the leadership of SEND, there is not a clear and coherent overview of the provision that all pupils with SEND receive and the impact it has. As a result, pupils with SEND do not always get the most precise and targeted support they require to learn as successfully as possible. Leaders must ensure that they have secure systems in place to give them the most accurate information about how well pupils with SEND learn the intended curriculum.

• Leaders, including those responsible for governance, have not fully considered how the curriculum supports pupils to have a deep enough understanding of the fundamental British values and protected characteristics. Consequently, pupils are not as prepared as they could be in order to be active participants of life in modern Britain. Those responsible for governance need to ensure that they challenge leaders so that the provision for personal development enables pupils to develop a deeper understanding of protected characteristics.

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