Rivers Primary Academy

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About Rivers Primary Academy

Name Rivers Primary Academy
Website http://www.riversprimary.org.uk
Ofsted Inspections
Executive Head Teacher Miss Becky Anderson
Address Livingstone Road, Blakenall, Walsall, WS3 1LY
Phone Number 01922710164
Phase Academy
Type Academy sponsor led
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 439
Local Authority Walsall
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils are proud to attend Rivers Primary Academy. Leaders have set high expectations for the education that pupils receive.

Pupils value their education and enjoy the broad range of subjects that they learn. They listen carefully in lessons, and are keen to join in with class discussions.

Pupils have well-established morning routines that help them settle into the school day quickly.

Many make their way to the school library, where they choose reading books to take home. Others get straight into morning tasks. Adults greet children with warm welcomes.

This helps pupils to feel happy and safe.

Most pupils behave very well. Pupils trust adult...s and talk to them about friendship issues and worries.

Pupils said that if bullying happens or children are unkind to each other, staff sort things out quickly.

Pupils enjoy taking part in a range of activities that enrich their school experiences. Leaders have made a pledge to pupils that sets out planned opportunities for all pupils to take part in before they leave the school.

Some pupils, for instance, recently went to see a pantomime. Pupils spoke enthusiastically about after-school clubs where they sing, play games or compete in sports events.

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

Leaders, well supported by the trust's executive and those responsible for governance, have worked hard to improve the quality of the school's curriculum.

They have refined planning in a number of subjects, and have adopted new approaches to teaching mathematics and reading. This means that the curriculum is now planned well. Curriculum leaders have set out the important knowledge, vocabulary and skills that they expect pupils to know and remember.

Pupils learn this information in a logical order. This ensures that all pupils build their knowledge over time.

Leaders prioritise developing teachers' subject knowledge.

This has boosted teachers' confidence. Adults present new information clearly to pupils. They provide useful examples and explanations.

They help all pupils to understand their work. Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) receive appropriate support. For example, some pupils with SEND learn about new information in advance of lessons.

This pre-tutoring helps them to take part in lessons and keep up with learning.

Teachers check that pupils understand key concepts in lessons. They ask questions, review pupils' work and encourage class discussions.

These checks provide teachers with useful information. Staff use this information to identify pupils who need extra support. This approach to assessment in lessons is effective.

However, in some subjects, leaders do not accurately assess how well pupils know and remember the planned content over time. This limits leaders' ability to evaluate the impact of the curriculum in these subjects.

Leaders make reading a high priority.

A large number of adults ably teach younger pupils how to read each morning. Children learn in small groups and work is well matched to their abilities. Adults carefully select appropriate books for pupils to practise reading with.

Pupils read these books regularly and build fluency. The school's approach is working well. Pupils are becoming better readers, and are enthusiastic about the books and stories that they read.

The curriculum promotes pupils' appreciation of different cultures. Pupils learn about the importance of tolerance and respect for others. They debate current affairs and express their opinions.

These sessions deepen pupils' understanding of the democratic process.

Leaders have recently refined the school's approach to managing behaviour. They monitor behaviour incidents closely, and take firm action when necessary.

Pupils express positive views about behaviour in the school. They appreciate the praise that staff give them for doing the right things. Pupils concentrate in lessons, and put effort into their work.

Leaders are determined that all pupils attend school regularly. They challenge poor attendance, and work with families to provide the support that is needed. This is making a difference.

However, a number of pupils still do not attend school regularly enough.

Leaders' plans to work with families were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Leaders have now started to reintroduce parent workshops to share information about the curriculum.

The majority of parents expressed positive opinions of the school. Some parents did not share this view. Leaders intend to continue their work to strengthen community relationships.

For example, they are working with parents to organise a summer fayre.

There have been significant changes in staffing since the previous inspection. Leaders are aware of their role in promoting the staff's well-being.

They have taken steps to reduce teachers' workload. They have provided training to develop the staff's expertise. The majority of staff are proud to work at the school.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Staff know pupils very well. They are quick to spot any signs that a child needs help.

They understand their role in reporting concerns, and do this straight away. Leaders take the necessary action, and respond quickly to put support in place.

Leaders carry out the necessary checks to ensure that adults are suitable to work with children.

These checks are recorded accurately on the school's single central record.

Pupils learn about how to keep themselves safe. The personal, social, health and economic education curriculum helps them learn about healthy lives and healthy relationships.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• The school's approach to assessing what pupils know and remember is not yet fully developed in some subjects. This means that staff do not accurately check the progress that pupils make through all of the curriculum. Leaders should put systems in place to check that pupils know and remember the planned curriculum content in all subjects.

• Some pupils do not attend school regularly enough. This limits their learning. Leaders should continue to work with families to ensure that all pupils attend school regularly.

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