Sherburn in Elmet, Athelstan Community Primary School

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About Sherburn in Elmet, Athelstan Community Primary School

Name Sherburn in Elmet, Athelstan Community Primary School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Miss Karen O'Donnell
Address Milford Road, Sherburn-in-Elmet, Leeds, LS25 6QN
Phone Number 01977684037
Phase Primary
Type Community school
Age Range 2-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 518
Local Authority North Yorkshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

The Athelstan vision 'to be the best that we can be' is at the heart of all this school has to offer. Leaders and staff have high expectations for pupils' learning and behaviour.

They are determined to make sure that pupils' needs are met, both academically and pastorally.

The whole school environment is bright and stimulating. Displays are well planned to showcase pupils' work and support learning.

Leaders and governors make sure that high-quality resources are made available. These complement the strong routines that pupils are familiar with.

The care that staff provide for pupils is highly evident.

Parents welcome and appreciate this leve...l of care. Pupils feel safe and are confident that adults will sort out any issues that they have. Bullying is extremely rare.

Pupils know what to do if it should happen to them or someone else. Behaviour in lessons and around school is calm and purposeful.

Pupils know that they are expected to be kind, tolerant, honest and respectful.

These aims have been agreed by both staff and pupils. They are reinforced by adults at every opportunity. Pupils are determined to demonstrate these attributes.

They are motivated by the rewards that they receive for showing them.

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

Leaders have a clear vision for the curriculum, and they know what they want pupils to learn. They have developed an ambitious curriculum that has been designed with the youngest children in mind.

The curriculum in the early years builds the foundations for Year 1 and beyond. Children are ready for their next stage of education. Teachers are well versed in addressing gaps in pupils' knowledge in English, mathematics and science.

As a result, pupils make good progress. Teachers routinely check that pupils have remembered what they have previously been taught.

Subject leaders are very knowledgeable about their subjects.

They have carefully considered what pupils should learn in their subject and how the curriculum is designed to build on prior learning. Leaders, through coaching and mentoring, ensure that adults are supported to teach each subject. Curriculum plans for the foundation subjects, such as design and technology, are in the early stages of being implemented.

Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are identified early in their school life. Focused support is provided. Leaders work effectively with different agencies to ensure that children with SEND receive the support and care that they need.

Leaders ensure that staff teach phonics effectively and consistently. Pupils read books that are well matched to their ability. Where pupils require additional support, they are identified immediately.

They revisit the learning on the very same day. As a result, pupils learn to read confidently, fluently and with understanding. The school has invested in high-quality reading books that give reading the importance that leaders feel it deserves.

Leaders are committed to ensuring that every child fulfils their entitlement of being able to read. The book-based curriculum means pupils across the school are immersed in books.

Children in the early years get off to an exceptional start.

The early years curriculum has been very carefully thought out. There is clear progression from the two-year-olds through to Reception. Every opportunity is taken to engage children's interests and inspire them.

In all areas of provision, children play and learn well together. Their engagement in their learning is exceptional. Staff are exceptionally skilled at talking to the children and moving them towards independence.

Behaviour and relationships among the children are very positive.

The behaviour policy is simple and clear. It is understood by everyone in school.

Pupils of all ages value the 'counters' reward scheme and enjoy working together, as classes, to choose their own rewards.

Leaders have developed a bespoke and high-quality personal development programme. This has been carefully thought out to ensure pupils' needs are met.

Pupils feel that since joining the school, they have developed as individuals into being 'the best that they can be'. Older pupils are given opportunities to become responsible, respectful and active citizens through roles such as school councillor, snack trolley monitor and library monitor. Younger pupils are not given similar opportunities.

Adults working in school are very well supported. Workload is managed effectively, allowing staff to focus on the tasks and activities that make the most difference to pupils.

Governors have established processes to gain an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the school.

Through these, they have an accurate view of the school. They challenge and support the headteacher and other leaders effectively.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Comprehensive records and procedures are in place to ensure that pupils are kept safe. Recruitment checks are carried out and recorded appropriately. All staff and governors receive regular safeguarding training and updates.

They know the risks, including local and contextual risks to children. Staff appreciate the weekly briefing that helps them to support the most vulnerable pupils in school. Governors are fully aware of their safeguarding responsibilities.

Pupils say that there are trusted adults in school to talk to if they are worried about anything. The school council have developed 'worry slips' for pupils to alert staff of any concerns. Pupils learn to stay safe online and can talk in detail about the things that they should and should not do to stay safe.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Leaders are in the process of implementing new curriculum plans in the foundation subjects. This means that subject leaders do not have a clear understanding of how the curriculum is impacting pupils' learning. Leaders should ensure that the new plans continue to be embedded so that pupils' knowledge develops effectively over time.

• Pupils in Years 4, 5 and 6 have the opportunity to take on responsibilities in school. There are only limited opportunities for younger pupils to take on wider roles across the school. Leaders should provide more opportunities for pupils of all ages to take on responsibilities so they can impact positively on the life of the school and become active citizens of the future.

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