Sankey Valley St James Church of England Primary School

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About Sankey Valley St James Church of England Primary School

Name Sankey Valley St James Church of England Primary School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs Deborah Feltham
Address Dorchester Road, Great Sankey, Warrington, WA5 1XE
Phone Number 01925659307
Phase Primary
Type Voluntary aided school
Age Range 2-11
Religious Character Church of England
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 242
Local Authority Warrington
Highlights from Latest Inspection


Sankey Valley St James Church of England Primary School continues to be a good school.

What is it like to attend this school?

This school is a calm, safe and welcoming place where pupils love to learn.

Pupils enjoy their learning because it captures their interest. Everyone is expected to do their best. Pupils achieve well.

They talk confidently about the many things that they have learned during their time at school.

Leaders ensure that pupils are supported to learn as well as they can. Parents and carers commend staff for the support that pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) receive.

Leaders make sure that everyone has the ch...ance to be involved in all aspects of school life.

Pupils enjoy playing with their friends at breaktimes. They understand that following the school's rules keeps them safe.

Staff encourage pupils to share worries. Staff listen to pupils and sort problems out quickly. Leaders deal with any incidents of bullying thoroughly.

Pupils uphold the school's values. They behave well. Pupils remind one another to keep up their good behaviour as they move around the school.

They are supportive and considerate of others. Pupils particularly enjoy Friday afternoons when they take part in activities focused on well-being and when they contribute to the work of the school council.

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

Leaders and governors have designed an ambitious curriculum.

They have set out clearly what pupils are expected to learn and in what order. The school's well-thought-out curriculum has enabled teachers to focus on the most important things that pupils need to learn next. Teachers are clear about what their pupils already know.

No time has been wasted in getting pupils back on track with their learning as COVID-19 (coronavirus) restrictions have eased.

The carefully crafted curriculum ensures that pupils have secure reading knowledge. Pupils love to read.

This prepares pupils well for all aspects of their learning. Children begin to build up their ability to hear and recognise sounds as soon as they start to attend in the Nursery Class. Teachers are skilled at teaching pupils how to use phonics knowledge to read.

They provide effective support for pupils who need to catch up quickly. Teachers make sure that the books that pupils read help them to become fluent and accurate readers.

Pupils are able to remember what they have learned of the curriculum over time.

They make links between new learning and what they have learned previously. For example, pupils can describe the different burial customs from the ancient civilisations that they have studied in Years 3 and 4. In the Reception Year, children are able to spot and describe mathematical patterns.

By the time pupils are in Year 6, they are able to solve complex written mathematical problems with confidence.

Pupils work cooperatively with each other in class. They listen to their teachers and each other respectfully.

Time is used well to ensure that pupils learn as much as they can.

Leaders have maintained a focus on pupils' wider development and well-being throughout the pandemic. Pupils are able to take part in a wide range of sports clubs.

Some older pupils are chosen to be librarians. They deliver books to each class from the school's well-stocked library that the school council helped to set up. The school has close links with its parish church and local community.

Pupils take an active part in liturgical services. They raise money for local charities. They perform an annual musical play for older citizens at the nearby community centre.

These activities help pupils to build their confidence in making a positive contribution to their wider world.

Staff know pupils well. They understand the differing needs that pupils have.

For example, leaders have ensured that the school's indoor environment is conducive for pupils with autism spectrum disorder. Leaders provide additional support for pupils when this is needed. This includes pupils with SEND or those who have recently arrived from another country.

Leaders ensure that teachers act on advice from specialists, such as speech therapists, when they adapt their curriculums.

Governors are generally well informed. They support leaders in making sure that the curriculum is delivered as it was intended.

However, the pandemic has made it more difficult for leaders and governors to make the same checks on the quality of the curriculum that they carried out previously. Currently, leaders and governors do not have the same level of information about how well staff are delivering the curriculum.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

All staff and governors are well trained. They ensure that pupils are safe. Staff know their pupils well.

They are vigilant in looking out for signs that pupils need extra support. Leaders are tenacious in putting the right support in place. They made sure that any pupils who would benefit from a place at school during periods of national lockdown got one.

Staff work closely with different agencies to maximise pupils' safety.

Pupils learn about how to protect themselves from potential harm. This includes while they are using social media or other technology.

They respect rules that keep them safe.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Prior to the pandemic, leaders and governors made regular checks on the quality of the curriculum. They ensured that staff followed their guidance about how the planned curriculum should be delivered.

Leaders have not carried out the same level of checks during the pandemic. Leaders need to return to their previous high-quality checks so that ongoing improvements to the curriculum continue apace.


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 or outstanding school, because it is carried out under section 8 of the Education Act 2005. We do not give graded judgements on a section 8 inspection. However, if we find some evidence that a good 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 second section 8 inspection since we judged the school to be good on 18 March 2011.

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