Shepherd Primary

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About Shepherd Primary

Name Shepherd Primary
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs Claire Foad
Address Shepherd’s Lane, Rickmansworth, WD3 8JJ
Phone Number 01923773478
Phase Primary
Type Community school
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 230
Local Authority Hertfordshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils like being part of a school where everyone knows each other. They make some good friendships in their time here. They enjoy practical work in science, looking at artefacts in history, playing percussion instruments in music and using the hall equipment in physical education lessons.

Children in the early years relish the extensive outdoor learning area. Pupils talk positively about having trips and visitors into school to bring learning to life.

Pupils enjoy the range of subjects they study.

They are clear as to what teachers expect from them in lessons. Pupils take pride in their work and want to do their best. They are keen to earn house points.
Pupils participate in a range of extra-curricular clubs. These include football for boys and girls, cookery, and arts and crafts. Pupils are starting to take on more leadership roles, such as caring for the environment.

Pupils usually cooperate well. They know the school rules. They have trusted adults to talk to if they have concerns about bullying.

Pupils do believe that most adults sort out problems and that pupils feel safe. However, some pupils report that not all adults follow up behaviour incidents in the same way.

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

Leaders have an ambitious curriculum in place.

Teachers know the breadth of knowledge they need to teach pupils. Leaders have ensured that this knowledge builds year on year from as soon as pupils start school.

Children in the early years make a positive start to school.

They quickly learn to read. They know the letter sounds relevant for their age. Teachers ensure that children develop a good understanding of number and shape.

Skilful adults check that children have time to rehearse new learning. They provide engaging activities to excite and fascinate the children about the world around them. Adults also know how to prepare children for their future learning.

As a result, children are ready for the move up to Year 1.

As pupils progress through school, leaders check that teachers deliver the agreed curriculum knowledge. Teachers adapt activities to meet the needs of their class, including for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).

Adults provide additional support in class for pupils with SEND. Teachers address any misconceptions pupils may have. As a result, pupils achieve well.

Leaders are in the process of refining some foundation subjects. This is to ensure pupils are taught and retain the most important subject knowledge. Some pupils therefore still have gaps in key knowledge in these subjects.

Leaders prioritise daily reading activities. Staff follow a clearly structured approach to teach reading. Once pupils know letter sounds, they quickly and successfully move on to reading books matched to their reading stage.

Pupils have regular opportunities to read and practise the sounds they have learned. Teachers check if pupils need help with reading and provide support. As a result, most pupils become fluent and independent readers as they move up through the school.

However, a few older pupils who find reading tricky still have gaps in their reading knowledge. They are not catching up as quickly as they need to.

Pupils are familiar with lesson routines.

No learning time is wasted. Pupils can focus on their learning in class, and any chatter is usually dealt with effectively. Overall, pupils behave well in lessons.

However, there are instances of pupils falling out with each other or not following school rules, especially at breaktimes and lunchtimes. Not all adults apply the behaviour policy consistently, so some of these unwelcome behaviours re-occur. This is also a view shared by some parents.

Through lessons, assemblies and visits, pupils understand the British values of democracy, rule of law and respect. They appreciate differences and know that discrimination is wrong. They have an emerging understanding of the appropriate language to use when describing differences.

Pupils learn how to stay healthy and about healthy relationships. Pupils like sharing their views and opinions on life in Britain. They build their sense of community through taking on leadership roles in the school.

Staff enjoy working here. They appreciate how leaders consider staff workload and well-being. Staff value the professional development they receive.

Governors are aware of their strategic role and statutory duties. They have benefited from a review of their roles and responsibilities to ensure they hold leaders to account effectively. Many parents are very positive about the school.

Governors acknowledge that some parents need reassurance that if they raise a concern, leaders are also made aware so they can act upon it.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Pupils are taught how to keep themselves safe, including online.

Pupils have adults who they can talk to if worried. Staff understand the procedures to report safeguarding concerns about pupils or other adults. Once leaders know of concerns, they act swiftly and with tenacity.

Leaders provide up-to-date training for staff on safeguarding matters. They are in the process of strengthening even further the processes for staff reporting concerns to them.

Leaders have all the required checks in place for adults working in the school.

They provide additional vetting checks beyond what is statutorily required as an extra layer of vigilance.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• In a few subjects, leaders are refining their curriculum programmes to include more information about the specific knowledge that pupils need to know. Currently, pupils are not yet fully secure in their detailed understanding of the most important knowledge that leaders want them to learn.

Leaders need to explicitly signpost for teachers the most important knowledge they want pupils to remember and in what depth in these few subjects. Leaders must check that pupils can then successfully recall the detailed knowledge they have learned. ? A few older pupils who have not had the full benefit of the new phonics scheme still have gaps in their reading ability.

This means they are not catching up quickly enough with their reading. Leaders should ensure that adults have specific training on how to support these pupils so that they quickly become fluent and confident readers for their age. ? On some occasions, adults are not applying the behaviour policy consistently.

This results in some pupils and parents feeling that behaviour concerns are not always being addressed. Leaders must ensure that staff have the required training to know how to respond to concerns confidently and consistently according to school procedures. Leaders, including governors, then need to check that this happens.

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