Sheerhatch Primary School

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About Sheerhatch Primary School

Name Sheerhatch Primary School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs Cheryl Williams
Address Willington Road, Cople, Bedford, MK44 3TH
Phone Number 01234838827
Phase Primary
Type Community school
Age Range 4-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 125
Local Authority Bedford
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils enjoy the friendly atmosphere at Sheerhatch Primary School. Across both sites, pupils feel safe and enjoy their learning. Attendance is high.

Pupils are keen to take part in a wide range of extra-curricular opportunities.

Staff are committed to ensuring that all pupils achieve well. Relationships between staff and pupils are highly positive.

This means that pupils learn in a calm and supportive environment. Pupils are attentive in lessons and work together well.

Pupils are confident and have well-developed social skills.

They are polite and courteous to each other and to adults. They listen to and respect the opinions of others.
<>Pupils behave well in lessons and at less structured times.

They understand what bullying is and is not. They are confident that if bullying happens, adults will resolve any problems quickly. Parents who responded to the online survey, Ofsted Parent View, strongly agree.

Pastoral care for pupils and their families is very strong. Staff go out of their way to support pupils and their families. Parents are overwhelmingly positive.

They have appreciated the school's care during COVID-19. One parent commented, 'It may be small, but the school is brilliant at what it does.'

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

Since the previous inspection, leaders have successfully improved the quality of education and established a single identity for the school across the two separate sites.

Leaders have designed and implemented a broad and aspirational curriculum for all pupils, based on a clear understanding of pupils' needs. Subject leaders' curriculum thinking identifies what pupils need to know in most subjects and how they build their knowledge and skills from early years through to Year 6 over time.

Pupils enjoy a variety of learning activities which interest them.

Teachers explain things well and use a range of activities to check pupils' understanding and help them remember what they have been taught. Pupils are given time to practise and consolidate their learning. However, some teachers do not provide sufficient opportunities for pupils to use what they know to complete more complex tasks.

In some areas, pupils develop subject-specific knowledge very well, for example by presenting scientific information in different ways. In a few subjects, this is less secure. For example, the skills of historical enquiry are not as well developed, so pupils do not deepen their knowledge and understanding as well as they could.

Pupils are confident and enthusiastic readers. There is a well-established and consistent approach to teaching phonics, from the beginning of Reception. However, some adults do not always check the sounds pupils know well enough before they move on.

As a result, some early readers do not secure their knowledge of sounds effectively.

Reception Year children settle quickly into learning routines. The school's house system and the school council give pupils a genuine voice in the school.

Transitions, particularly from Year 2 into Year 3, are managed effectively. Older pupils are well prepared for secondary school and parents are very positive about their children's levels of confidence. Leaders provide a range of activities beyond the regular curriculum and pupils appreciate the opportunities on offer.

Leaders develop pupils' awareness of difference and diversity. Pupils know and understand the school's values. Leaders ensure that pupils extend their understanding and experience of the world.

Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are well supported. Precise support helps pupils access the curriculum in all subjects from their individual starting points. Provision for them is effective and, consequently, pupils with SEND learn and achieve well.

Governors know the community very well and are committed to the school's development. They bring a range of appropriate skills and experiences. External support has helped them develop a sharper understanding of the school's strengths and areas to improve.

Staff are proud of the school and are very happy to work there. They say that senior leaders are mindful of their workload and they feel valued and supported.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders ensure that staff understand their roles and have received up-to-date training. Teachers know their pupils very well and have a detailed understanding of their needs. Adults are vigilant and know what to do to raise any concerns they may have about pupils' welfare.

They ensure that vulnerable pupils and families receive the support they need.

Pupils know how to keep themselves safe. The curriculum teaches pupils how to manage risks.

Pupils know how to use the internet safely and report any worrying signs to adults.

Governors monitor safeguarding effectively and ensure that recruitment is managed safely.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• In teaching phonics, some adults do not consistently check what sounds pupils know before they move learning on.

As a result, a few early readers are not able to secure their knowledge of sounds as well as they could. This slows their progress toward becoming fluent readers. Leaders should ensure that there is a consistently sharp focus by all staff on reinforcing the sounds that pupils know before moving on to new learning.

• In a few areas, the curriculum is not designed or implemented as well as it should be. Pupils are not currently developing the subject-specific knowledge and understanding they need in these subjects. Leaders should ensure the quality of subject planning and delivery is fully designed and implemented well across all subjects.

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