Sandhills Community Primary School

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About Sandhills Community Primary School

Name Sandhills Community Primary School
Ofsted Inspections
Mrs Kerry Minion
Address Terrett Avenue, Sandhills, Oxford, OX3 8FN
Phone Number 01865433000
Phase Academy
Type Academy sponsor led
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 254
Local Authority Oxfordshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils are proud of their school and enjoy being part of this welcoming community. They feel happy and safe in this nurturing school.

Pupils adore their teachers and trust that staff will look after them. Staff and pupils get on really well and treat each other with courtesy and kindness. Respectful behaviour is modelled by staff every moment of the day.

Additionally, pupils show the same respect to visitors.

Teachers help pupils to understand how they are expected to behave and manage their feelings. This supports pupils to behave well, look after each other and make the right choices.

Bullying does not happen very often, and it is not something pup...ils worry about. If it does happen, staff work effectively with pupils and parents to resolve issues.

There are a wide range of opportunities to foster and stretch pupils' talents and interests.

Clubs such as choir, craft activities, sports clubs and music opportunities are appreciated by pupils. These, in addition to art and diversity projects, also support their cultural and social development well. Leaders plan to further increase the range of enrichment opportunities and their uptake.

Parents are overwhelmingly supportive of this inclusive and improving school.

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

Leaders act decisively and with integrity. They have designed an ambitious and broad curriculum to enable pupils to build their knowledge and skills over time.

Leaders have sensibly sought advice from within and beyond the trust to assure themselves of the quality of their improvement work.

The provision in Reception class is particularly well designed. This helps children get off to the strong start they need.

Curriculum planning across the school clearly sets out what leaders have identified as the most important knowledge pupils need to learn and the precise order to learn it. This is helping children to achieve well. However, teachers do not consistently ensure that pupils fully understand this key knowledge, so it can be used easily and independently, before moving learning on.

Also, teaching is not always effective in helping pupils remember what they have been taught. Leaders are aware of this and have plans to address it.

Leaders are ambitious for pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).

The newly appointed special educational needs coordinator (SENCo) has ensured a sharper focus on identifying and meeting the needs of new and existing pupils. Leaders have strengthened how they involve parents and are beginning to help teachers adapt their teaching further to enable pupils with SEND to succeed alongside their peers.

Leaders believe that being a good reader allows pupils to access the whole curriculum.

They quickly identify pupils who need some extra, targeted help with learning phonics. This also helps them develop the confidence and fluency they need. Staff teach phonics confidently and effectively because they receive good quality training and ongoing support.

Pupils are encouraged to practise reading every day. Teachers ensure that beginner readers read books matched to the sounds they are learning. This helps pupils to learn quickly and securely.

Pupils are beginning to develop a love of reading through exploring more challenging texts as well as those that reflect the diversity within the school. Pupils enjoy choosing books from the well-stocked library that capture their interests and enable them to develop their vocabulary.

Overall, pupils behave well.

They understand and follow well-established routines. Staff are quick to re-engage anyone who is less focused. In the early years, the calm and caring environment ensures children settle quickly.

Children learn how to cooperate, develop their curiosity and learn alongside their friends.

Leaders' work to promote pupils' personal development is a growing strength. Pupils relish opportunities to make a positive difference.

For instance, pupils value responsible roles such as eco-warriors. They appreciate the chance to contribute to the school's embedded environmental sustainability strategy. Leaders are determined to broaden pupils' experiences and personal skills, especially after the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Already, the wider work on resilience, independence and confidence can be seen starting from the early years onwards.

Leadership in this school is highly strategic. The trust board and governors have accurate views of the school's strengths and priorities.

They also guard against complacency and duplication. Both groups work effectively together to challenge and offer well-informed support to the school. They work well alongside determined leaders to develop clear strategic plans and check that these are working as intended.

Staff value and appreciate leaders' care for their well-being. They also know that leaders carefully consider their workload and do not add to it unnecessarily.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders have established a strong culture of safeguarding. Regular training ensures that all staff know what they need to do if they have a concern about a pupil. Any worries are reported promptly.

Leaders are tenacious in their work and follow up on any concerns swiftly. They work closely with relevant external agencies to ensure that pupils get the right support. All necessary recruitment checks are carried out diligently.

Records are meticulously maintained and monitored well by governors. Pupils are taught to make good choices, how to alert staff to worries and how to keep themselves safe, including when online.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Sometimes, teachers do not assess pupils accurately enough and move them on to the next steps in their learning before they are ready.

This means that pupils miss planned opportunities to use and embed their learning securely. Teachers should check that the most important knowledge has been understood by pupils before teaching new content. ? Although the most important knowledge and skills pupils need are set out in curriculum planning, teachers' expertise is too variable in delivering it effectively.

For example, pupils' misconceptions are not consistently identified so that direct feedback can be given quickly. Pupils do not develop their knowledge, skills and abilities so they can apply what they know and can do with increasing fluency and independence. Leaders should improve the effectiveness of training and support for teachers to ensure that pupils know and remember more across the school's curriculum.

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Sandhills Pre-school

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