Robert Sandilands Primary School and Nursery

About Robert Sandilands Primary School and Nursery Browse Features

Robert Sandilands Primary School and Nursery

Name Robert Sandilands Primary School and Nursery
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 26 November 2019
Address Digby Road, Speen, Newbury, Berkshire, RG14 1TS
Phone Number 0163540318
Type Primary
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 267 (52% boys 48% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 21.5
Local Authority West Berkshire
Percentage Free School Meals 18.6%
Percentage English is Not First Language 17%
Persisitent Absence 10.1%
Pupils with SEN Support 11%
Catchment Area Information Available Yes, our catchment area data is FREE
Last Distance Offered Information Available No


Robert Sandilands Primary School and Nursery continues to be a good school.

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils and staff work in harmony together at this school. Pupils trust their teachers to do their best for them. They feel safe and looked after. Staff take every effort to get to know their pupils well. They make sure that pupils are happy and ready to learn.

Teachers are dedicated to developing each pupil as an individual. They are very ambitious for pupils to succeed. As a result, there are high expectations of what pupils can do. Teachers encourage pupils to challenge themselves. They do this both in pupils’ learning and in their personal development. Pupils understand how important these challenges are. As one explained, ‘It will help us when we are adults.’

Pupils behave very well throughout the school. In class, they concentrate well and work with purpose. In the lunch hall and out on the playground, pupils show respect and care for each other. Older pupils take it on themselves to look out for the younger ones.

Parents appreciate what the school does for their children. One parent’s comment summed up how many feel, ’The support all children give to one another, the sense of team, and the respect the children show each other is amazing.’

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

Leaders have taken care over putting together the curriculum. They have clear subject plans that set out what and how they want pupils to learn. Teachers make sure that pupils understand the purpose of what they are learning. Their teaching is often skilled in deepening pupils’ understanding. For instance, in mathematics pupils must prove their answers to be right. They debate the methods they have used to solve a problem. They will do this often as a whole class. Pupils explain and discuss their thinking with accuracy and confidence.

Leaders and teachers are ambitious in their plans for what pupils will learn. This has ensured that pupils have very secure knowledge and understanding. The strongestlearning is in mathematics and English. Here, pupils excel in what they achieve by the time they leave. Many subjects are close to the same high standard. For example, there is effective learning in history. Pupils have a real sense of curiosity. They do not flinch from grappling with difficult ideas.

Teachers ensure that they introduce new knowledge with care. As a result, pupils make deep gains in their understanding. This is especially true in the older year groups.

Reading is a priority throughout the school. Pupils love to talk about what they are reading. They are regular and frequent readers. Pupils often use the school’s two libraries. These stock a range of books that are well matched to pupils’ interest and phonics (letters and the sounds they represent) ability. Teachers ensure that pupils have a rich diet of reading. They place a strong and persistent focus on widening pupils’ vocabulary.

Leaders of the early years provision are striving for further improvement. Staff begin teaching phonics as soon as pupils start school. Leaders’ aim is that more children become even better at reading by the end of Reception year. They have implemented an ambitious plan to further improve children’s learning. Teachers ensure that children who need to catch up do so quickly. By the end of Year 2 all pupils can read independently. This gives pupils a strong starting point for the next stage of their education.

Pupils have very good attitudes towards their learning. They want to listen and understand. They show respect to their teachers and to each other.

Teachers are quick to pick up on pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). They have a thorough understanding of each pupil’s needs and what support is then required. Many teachers show skill in adapting their teaching to support the individual needs of pupils with SEND.

Learning at the school is not just about what happens in lessons. Leaders want all pupils to have opportunities to develop into well-rounded people. The school guarantees pupils key experiences during their time at school. These help them gain a wider view of the world. Opportunities range from learning basic first aid to visiting the Houses of Parliament. As a result, pupils have a well-developed sense of themselves as individuals. They also grow to understand more about the world they live in.

The headteacher is passionate about education. She wants the very best for each pupil. Staff and governors share this vision. Teachers value the training and support they receive. They recognise that leaders make every effort to reduce unnecessary workload.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

There is a strong culture of care and safety at the school. Staff are alert to any risk to pupils. They keep watch over them and ensure that they feel safe from harm. Staff work well with families to secure the right support at the right time.Leaders are diligent in the delivery of safeguarding training to staff. They are careful tocarry out all appropriate recruitment checks. Governors are conscientious and knowledgeable in their monitoring of the school’s safeguarding practice. Indeed, everyone at the school gives proper attention to all safeguarding matters.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

Leaders and teachers have made successful changes to the curriculum across the whole school. They have improved many aspects of the pupils’ learning experiences since the last inspection. They have now turned their attention to the early years curriculum and have embarked on a series of developments. Leaders are right to be focusing in this area of the school. They should continue to increase the rate at which Reception children acquire their phonics skills so that children make an even better start to their early reading.


When we have judged a school to be good we will then normally go into the school about once every four years to confirm that the school remains good. This is called a section 8 inspection of a good school or non-exempt outstanding school. We do not give graded judgements on a section 8 inspection. However, if we find some evidence that the school could now be better than good or that standards may be declining, then the next inspection will be a section 5 inspection. Usually this is within one to two years of the date of the section 8 inspection. If we have serious concerns about safeguarding, behaviour or the quality of education, we will convert the section 8 inspection to a section 5 inspection immediately.

This is the first section 8 inspection since we judged Robert Sandilands Primary School and Nursery to be good on 18–19 May 2016.