Russell Lower School

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About Russell Lower School

Name Russell Lower School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs Nicolette Walker
Address Queens Road, Ampthill, MK45 2TD
Phone Number 01525755664
Phase Primary
Type Community school
Age Range 5-9
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 449
Local Authority Central Bedfordshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection


Russell Lower School continues to be a good school.

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils are friendly and happy.

They behave well, and this enables all the pupils to learn. Relationships between staff and pupils are respectful and positive. Pupils are accepting of each other's differences and interests.

Leaders and staff have high expectations. Pupils behave well because they have clear routines and boundaries.

Pupils benefit from a broad curriculum that develops their interests.

They are keen to share their knowledge and their ideas. Pupils enjoy talking about their learning and they show pride in their work. They understand that school is a pla...ce to work hard and they show positive attitudes to learning.

Most pupils achieve well and are well prepared for when they move to middle school.

Pupils understand what bullying is. They say that bullying is rare, but that when it happens, there are clear consequences.

Pupils are confident that all staff will help them if they need it.

Parents and carers are all very positive about the school. Pupils make good progress, and the school is a nurturing and caring environment for all pupils.

Pupils develop their interests through a variety of trips and clubs. Pupils learn about local and worldwide concerns, such as pollution.

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

Leaders have designed a curriculum that ensures that pupils learn the knowledge and skills they need in order to be ready for the next stage in their learning.

Leaders have identified the important knowledge they want pupils to learn from Reception to Year 4. They have ordered this in a way that is logical and helps pupils to build on what they already know and can do.

In most subjects, staff have the knowledge required to teach the planned curriculum well.

Adults regularly check pupils' learning in lessons. They address any misconceptions pupils have. Pupils can use subject-specific language to explain their learning.

Regular assessments help the staff to understand which pupils are not keeping up. A few teachers do not have as secure subject knowledge in a small number of curriculum areas. This means that occasionally, teachers plan activities that do not focus precisely on the intended learning.

Leaders and staff prioritise reading. Pupils enjoy reading and talk enthusiastically about books they like. Children start to learn to read from the very start in Reception.

Staff have the expertise to teach reading and phonics consistently and well. Adults check regularly on pupils' phonics knowledge. Adults use these checks to provide extra help to pupils to help them keep up.

However, some pupils read books that do not precisely match their phonics knowledge, making it harder for them to learn to read. However, most pupils become confident, fluent readers by the time they leave the school.

Leaders ensure that pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) access the full curriculum.

The special educational needs coordinator has close links with local nursery schools to make sure that pupils with SEND are identified as early as possible. Staff are trained to understand how to support different needs and how to adapt the curriculum when necessary. This helps most pupils with SEND to make strong progress in their learning.

Leaders promote pupils' wider development well. Pupils talk with enthusiasm about their interests and broader knowledge. For example, some pupils were concerned about pollution in the local area.

They can link this concern to animals losing their habitats and then becoming extinct. Pupils develop their interests and aspirations for their future. Pupils understand that respecting and listening carefully to each other are important.

A range of visits and visitors to the school complement the curriculum that pupils learn.

Staff value the support they get from leaders, particularly for well-being. They share the high ambitions that leaders and governors have for the pupils.

Governors assure themselves that leaders' work to improve the school is making a positive difference for all pupils.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders ensure that staff receive regular training so that their knowledge of safeguarding is relevant and up to date.

Staff know how to spot that pupils need help or are at risk of harm. Leaders act promptly to ensure that pupils get the help they need. Leaders involve other agencies when appropriate to keep pupils safe from harm.

Pupils learn how to keep themselves safe. They know how important it is to stay safe when online.

Governors assure themselves that safeguarding policies and procedures are robust.

This includes ensuring that the checks required for adults working in the school are completed thoroughly.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Some pupils read books that are not closely matched to their phonics knowledge. This means that these pupils do not practise using their phonics knowledge.

This means that they do not become accurate, fluent readers as quickly as they could. Leaders should ensure that adults use their assessments to ensure that all pupils are given books that are matched closely to their current phonics knowledge. ? In a few curriculum areas, some teachers are still developing their subject knowledge.

This means that some teaching does not focus on the subject knowledge that curriculum leaders intend pupils to learn. Leaders should ensure that all teachers have the secure subject knowledge needed to plan activities that help pupils remember important subject knowledge.


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 an ungraded inspection, and it is carried out under section 8 of the Education Act 2005. We do not give graded judgements on an ungraded inspection. However, if we find evidence that a school would now receive a higher or lower grade, then the next inspection will be a graded inspection, which is carried out under section 5 of the Act.

Usually this is within one to two years of the date of the ungraded inspection. If we have serious concerns about safeguarding, behaviour or the quality of education, we will deem the ungraded inspection a graded inspection immediately.

This is the second ungraded inspection since we judged the school to be good in November 2011.

Also at this postcode
Ladybird Forest Pre-School Ampthill Merry Poppets Nursery Ltd Premier - Russell Lower

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