Sandhill Primary Academy

Name Sandhill Primary Academy
Ofsted Inspection Rating Requires improvement
Inspection Date 25 September 2019
Address Kilnhurst Road, Rawmarsh, Rotherham, South Yorkshire, S62 5LH
Phone Number 01709710875
Type Academy
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 253 (46% boys 54% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 18.6
Academy Sponsor Wickersley Partnership Trust
Local Authority Rotherham
Percentage Free School Meals 26.9%
Percentage English is Not First Language 4.3%
Persisitent Absence 11.3%
Pupils with SEN Support 9.9%
Catchment Area Information Available Yes, our catchment area data is FREE
Last Distance Offered Information Available No
Highlights from Latest Inspection:

What is it like to attend this school?

Leaders have made important changes in Years 3–6. A focus on reading, writing and mathematics has made sure that pupils have regained the lost ground of previous years. Older pupils enjoy being challenged by their learning. In Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 2, teachers do not always match what they expect pupils to do with what pupils already know. Learning slows in these year groups.

Pupils are positive about the school, their teachers and their lessons. They like the rewards they receive for learning and for contributing in class. Pupils are polite and respectful. Behaviour is good. Pupils know how to keep safe online and feel safe in school. Bullying is uncommon. Pupils trust the adults in school to help sort out any problems they may have.

Pupils have great opportunities to take part in sport and music. They enjoy the wide range of clubs and visits.

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

Senior leaders and the trust have not checked closely on how the new curriculum in Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 is working. Leaders have not taken quick enough action to address the weaknesses.

Some weaker readers struggle to read the books teachers give them. Staff know that reading books do not match the sounds that pupils know. They have begun to make sure they do. Leaders have introduced a new phonics programme. However, staff are not acting quickly on what they know pupils can or cannot do. Teaching does not always match what pupils need to know. A few pupils find the phonics sessions too difficult. Some weaker readers are not keeping up. Not all staff are expert enough in teaching the new phonics programme. Pupils do not read as well as they should in Reception and key stage 1.

In Year 1 and Year 2, pupils find mathematics difficult. They find it hard to work out problems or explain how they reached an answer. At the start of the year, pupils spend too much time repeating what they already know before moving on to the next steps. This slows their learning.

Staff in Reception Year say that their new approach to the curriculum in the summer term helped children to be better prepared for mathematics in Year 1. However, staff are giving new Reception children tasks that some cannot do. At the beginning of the year, these children have not learned what they need to be able to complete the tasks. The outdoor area does not support children’s learning as well as it could. Staff have not helped parents to understand how they can support their children’s reading at home.

Curriculum leaders in key stage 2 have increased pupils’ achievement in reading, writing and mathematics. In English, the well-planned use of high-quality children’s books helps pupils to use their reading to help with their writing. In mathematics, teachers follow well-designed curriculum plans closely. Pupils have good opportunities to practise and secure their understanding. The support in lessons for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) matches the targets in support plans well.

Many teachers are recently qualified. Training, advice and team work have supported teaching well. They have helped teachers to sequence the small steps in learning and to support pupils to concentrate on their work. At key stage 2, teachers have used assessment effectively in order to identify what pupils do not understand and make sure that teaching closes these gaps in knowledge.

Expert teachers and coaches from the trust teach physical education (PE) and music. Their programmes have a clear sequence that builds pupils’ knowledge and skills from Year 1 to Year 6. Pupils experience other subjects, such as science, but they do not increase their knowledge in a similar, step-by-step, way. Pupils do not write at length about history, geography or science. The trust is at an early stage of developing their plans for pupils’ learning in these subjects.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Child protection and safeguarding policies and procedures are clear. Staff know their responsibilities and how to raise any concerns. Written records of concerns and actions are timely and held securely. Clear plans are in place to meet the needs of identified pupils. The school works closely with other agencies to ensure that pupils get the support they need. Leaders and staff are caring and alert to any issues that may arise. The trust provides appropriate safeguarding training and monitors school procedures closely.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

Pupils achievements in key stage 2 are stronger than those in the early years and key stage 1. Attainment at key stage 1 is not high enough. Stronger leadership of the early years and key stage 1 is needed to make sure that pupils secure the fundamentals of reading, writing and mathematics. . Too few pupils reach the required standard in phonics in Year 1. Pupils require reading books that are closely matched to their phonics knowledge. Staff should improve the use of assessment to make sure that all pupils are working at the right stage. Staff should make sure that weaker readers quickly get the right support to overcome their weakness in blending letters into words. . Senior leaders in the school and trust should sharpen their checks on how staff are implementing the new phonics programme. Senior leaders should act quickly to make sure that all staff have the right knowledge and skills to teach phonics effectively. They should ensure that pupils quickly gain the knowledge needed to become confident and fluent readers by the end of key stage 1. . PE and music develop pupils’ knowledge, interests and talents sequentially. Pupils do not follow a similar sequence of what they should learn in other subjects, including science, history, geography and modern languages. The trust and senior leaders should make plans that show how pupils will increase their knowledge in these subjects. Pupils should be well prepared for all the subjects they will encounter at key stage 3. . Senior leaders have introduced a new curriculum in the early years. The trust and senior leaders do not check closely how well it is working. All learning in mathematics should match children’s stage of development and build on their existing knowledge. The trust should improve the outdoor environment so that it provides good opportunities for pupils to develop across all areas of learning. Staff should support parents to understand how they can help their children’s reading at home.