Smithdown Primary School

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About Smithdown Primary School

Name Smithdown Primary School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mr Philip Horne
Address Chatsworth Drive, Liverpool, L7 6LJ
Phone Number 01517096229
Phase Primary
Type Community school
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 474
Local Authority Liverpool
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils, and their parents and carers, are proud to be part of this exceptional school.

Pupils come from a diverse range of backgrounds. They embrace each other's differences. Staff help all pupils to flourish and grow into polite, articulate and well-rounded individuals.

All pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), achieve extremely well. Staff have exceptionally high expectations of pupils. Pupils feel empowered to tackle new challenges with great confidence.

Pupils love every part of their learning. Pupils talked to inspectors with great pride about their achievements. They know that they are always learning, whethe...r in the classroom, in outdoor spaces or at social times.

For example, pupils relish exploring the exciting outdoor play and 'edible garden' areas with their friends at break times. Leaders inspire pupils to broaden their vocabulary and knowledge of the wider world through their excellent choice of resources and displays. Pupils talked animatedly about how they care for the school's guinea pigs, Marmalade and Nibbles.

Pupils' behaviour across the school is exemplary. Pupils feel safe. They trust adults to sort out any problems that they have.

Bullying is rare. Pupils know that adults will deal with any incidents sensitively but thoroughly.

What does the school do well?

Leaders at Smithdown Primary School provide extensive support to parents, pupils and staff alike.

With the support of a highly skilled governing body, leaders have created a harmonious community where everyone maintains the highest standards of learning and behaviour every day. Pupils benefit from the carefully crafted curriculum that leaders have developed. Pupils achieve remarkably well, regardless of any challenges that they might face.

Governors rigorously check that vulnerable pupils get the support that they need. All pupils, including those in the early years and those with SEND, develop an impressive range of knowledge as they progress through the school curriculum.

Pupils often join the school after moving from other areas.

Many come from other countries where English is not the main language spoken. Leaders ensure that supporting pupils to become accurate and fluent readers is a priority across the school. All staff are adept at helping pupils to build up their reading knowledge, regardless of pupils' ages or their previous experience of school.

Children begin to learn how to use phonics knowledge to work out what words mean as soon as they are in the Reception Year. Teachers make sure that the books that pupils read support them to increase their reading knowledge rapidly. By the time pupils are in key stage 2, they love to read a wide range of books to themselves, or to other pupils.

Leaders' strong and effective focus on reading enables pupils to access other areas of the curriculum.

Teachers help pupils to excel in their learning. They expertly find out what each pupil already knows.

They make highly effective use of leaders' detailed curriculum plans by ensuring that pupils build on what they have learned before. Pupils recall past learning easily. Teachers' expertise in choosing well-thought-out activities helps pupils to learn new things quickly.

Leaders ensure that pupils get any additional support that they need. For example, in the early years, teachers provide specific support for children who have been particularly disadvantaged during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. Staff also work very closely with parents to help them support their children's learning at home.

The impact of this is already clear. Children in the early years are eager to join in learning activities. This is despite many having significant gaps in their language development.

They flourish because of the excellent early years curriculum.

Similarly, leaders ensure that pupils with SEND, or those who have additional need due to experiencing trauma, benefit from high-quality support. Staff are skilled in identifying the needs of pupils with SEND.

Pupils and their parents value the support that staff provide. Pupils across the school are helped to overcome any barriers that they face. They are justifiably proud of their achievements.

In every part of the school, including in the early years, there is a buzz of pupils enjoying their learning. Pupils take pride in every piece of work they complete. They work well independently or with others.

They remain focused right up to the last minute of every lesson. Pupils' behaviour is exceptional. They follow the school rule of showing kindness and respect to others without being reminded.

Pupils' learning is enriched by the wide range of high-calibre experiences that leaders offer. All pupils are encouraged and supported to try new things. Opportunities to attend clubs and activities are eagerly snapped up by pupils.

Leaders provide unique and enticing opportunities, such as being a trainee fire officer or being a science or geography 'guru'. Pupils celebrate the rich diversity of the different faiths and cultures of their school community. They relish times of reflection in assembly or in mindfulness activities.

These activities help pupils, especially the most disadvantaged, to build up confidence in readiness for their next stage of education.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders and governors have a deep understanding of the potential safeguarding risks that pupils in the school might face.

Leaders carefully weave activities into the curriculum to develop pupils' awareness of, and resilience to, the potential dangers around them. Pupils know how to keep themselves safe, including when they are online. They appreciate the need to follow rules for everyone's safety.

All staff are vigilant and ensure pupils are kept safe. Leaders keep a close eye on the most vulnerable pupils. They are well trained to identify, help and manage safeguarding risks for all pupils.

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