Sandford Hill Primary School

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About Sandford Hill Primary School

Name Sandford Hill Primary School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mr David Wardle/ Sarah Martin
Address Clayfield Grove, Sandford Hill, Stoke-on-Trent, ST3 5AQ
Phone Number 01782235781
Phase Primary
Type Community school
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 456
Local Authority Stoke-on-Trent
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

This is a school where pupils are at the heart of every decision. Everyone works together to support pupils to be 'thoughtful, respectful and hard working'.

The school wants the very best for all pupils. Leaders are continuing to develop the curriculum further, so that pupils experience a rich and exciting learning journey. This supports the school's aim for pupils to grow into responsible, well-rounded citizens of the future.

Pupils are polite and friendly. They rush to hold doors open for staff and visitors. On the playground, they enjoy playing with their friends and taking part in a range of activities, especially cricket.

Pupils work hard and, in most in...stances, listen well and take an interest in their learning.

Pupils enjoy coming to school and are rarely absent. They look forward to the warm welcome they receive at the school gate, as well as the bagels in the classroom.

Pupils get along with each other and they appreciate the support they get from the staff. Positive relationships are the bedrock of this school.

Parents and carers are overwhelmingly positive about all aspects of school life.

They appreciate the 'family feel' of the school and how they are kept informed about their child's learning and progress.

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

In many subjects, the school has mapped out the knowledge, skills and vocabulary that pupils will learn in and across year groups, including in early years. Teachers are clear about what to teach and when to teach it.

As a result, new learning builds on what pupils already know. The school has identified that aspects of writing and the reasoning element of the mathematics curriculum need to be improved. Currently, the school is developing these aspects of the curriculum to improve further how well pupils achieve in these subjects.

Teachers have secure subject knowledge in a range of curriculum areas. They explain new learning clearly and in a logical manner. Teachers model subject-specific language accurately, which pupils are starting to mirror when explaining their own understanding.

Additional adults are used well across the school. They provide appropriate support to pupils without doing the work for them. Staff use digital technology well to support the delivery of the curriculum.

Reading is a high priority in the school. Staff teach phonics effectively because they have been well trained. They regularly check on how well pupils are learning new sounds and remembering previously taught sounds.

If required, staff give pupils extra help so that they can keep up with the pace of the phonics programme. The school promotes a love of reading through the English and early years curriculums, regular reading sessions and story times. This is helping to foster a love of reading among pupils.

The school identifies the needs of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) accurately. Pupils with SEND are fully included in all aspects of school life. Teachers know the pupils well and consider their individual needs when planning lesson activities.

Staff are always on hand to step in if a pupil needs extra help. The nurture provision supports pupils with social and emotional needs. The provision helps pupils to manage their feelings and supports their inclusion in lessons and all aspects of school life.

The school's values are lived out by leaders, staff and pupils alike. Pupils say that the values help them to get on with their friends and encourage them to be a better person. The school enriches the curriculum with an impressive range of experiences.

These include a variety of trips, an extensive array of after-school clubs and a broad range of visitors. Pupils have a growing understanding of fundamental British values, such as democracy and how this links to voting in school. However, their knowledge of different faiths and cultures is less developed.

Pupils speak confidently about mental health and the importance of regular exercise to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

School leaders, supported by the governors, have secured improvements in the curriculum and various aspects of school life. They are not complacent and constantly strive to improve the quality of education that pupils experience even further.

Staff are proud to work in the school and enjoy coming to work. They value the training they receive and say that this supports them to do their job better. Teachers say that workload is manageable and give examples of how leaders have made decisions to reduce it, such as through the introduction of 'live marking'.

Staff say that leaders are considerate of their well-being and they feel genuinely cared for. As a result, staff are motivated to do their job to the best of their ability.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• The writing curriculum is not yet fully developed. As a result, some pupils are not achieving as well as they could in writing. The school should continue to develop the end-of-unit writing expectations, highlighting the knowledge and skills that pupils need to learn in each unit of work.

• Mathematical reasoning is not yet embedded across the school. As a result, some pupils are not able to explain their mathematical understanding as well as they could. The school should further develop the curriculum so that pupils can explain their mathematical knowledge and understanding effectively.

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