St Botolphs CE Academy

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About St Botolphs CE Academy

Name St Botolphs CE Academy
Ofsted Inspections
Mrs Louise Sennett
Address Primrose Vale, Wakefield, Knottingley, WF11 9BT
Phone Number 01977677494
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Church of England
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 330
Local Authority Wakefield
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

The motto, 'we care, we share, we tell the truth' is central to this school's Christian ethos. Leaders place great emphasis on teaching pupils to respect others. They provide opportunities for pupils to learn about different faiths through organising visitors from the local mosque and synagogue.

Pupils debate and discuss important topics. This helps them make sense of the world.

Leaders give pupils the opportunity to learn important life skills.

For example, pupils who attend the 'walking bus' to school learn about road safety. Pupils also learn about how to stay safe when they are online.

Bullying is never tolerated.

Pupils play well on the playground. Younger pupils are supported by 'befrienders' from Year 6. However, sometimes lessons are disrupted by pupils who do not behave well.

This is because not all adults have the same expectations of how pupils should behave.

New leaders are now in place, following a period of turbulence at this school. They are ambitious for pupils and recognise that the quality of education needs to improve.

In some subjects, such as mathematics and science, pupils are taught a well-planned curriculum. However, this is not consistent across all subjects.

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

Leaders are starting to make the necessary changes to improve the school.

Their actions have already improved children's experiences in the early years foundation stage. Leaders have put in place an ambitious curriculum for these children. They have considered carefully how to break important learning down into small steps.

These 'steps' progress over time, which helps children to build important knowledge ready for key stage 1. All adults in the early years foundation stage have had the training they need to support children to learn. Adults challenge children's thinking by asking questions that deepen their understanding.

Leaders have prioritised reading and phonics. Recent training has ensured all staff teach phonics in the same way. Pupils who fall behind are supported to catch up quickly.

Pupils are given books which help them to practise the sounds they are learning. In the most successful lessons, adults use quick checks and 'on the spot' interventions to make sure all pupils keep up. Leaders know this is not consistent across all lessons.

Leaders recognise that there is work to do to strengthen the curriculum in key stages 1 and 2. Leaders have recently introduced new curriculums in subjects such as mathematics and science. In these subjects, pupils are beginning to remember the most important learning and use this to make sense of new topics.

This is because leaders have thought carefully about what pupils need to learn and the order in which it should be taught. However, these curriculums are still new and they are being taught inconsistently. Leaders know this and have put in place appropriate training for teachers.

In subjects such as computing, history and art, pupils do not remember important knowledge. For example, in computing, older pupils do not understand programming, coding or input and output devices. This is because the curriculum does not clearly identify what needs to be taught and when.

In these subjects, assessment is also underdeveloped. Teachers do not identify or address pupils' misunderstandings. Leaders have plans in place to improve the curriculum ready for September 2022.

Pupils who have special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are supported well in school. Staff have received significant training which helps them to understand how to meet the needs of individual pupils. Pupils with complex needs have carefully considered plans in place which ensure their needs are met.

Leaders work well with the parents and carers of children with SEND.

Leaders have high expectations for behaviour in school. Leaders have introduced new systems to ensure lessons do not get interrupted by poor behaviour.

However, staff and pupils do not fully understand the system. As a result, poor behaviour goes unchecked in some lessons.

Staff say that recent changes to leadership in school have been positive.

Leaders have already made improvements to the school and have done so without increasing the workload on staff. Changes to governance are helping the school to improve. Staff value the opportunities available to them through the trust and feel supported in their improvement work.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

A culture of safeguarding is well embedded in the school. All staff understand their role in ensuring that pupils are kept safe.

The electronic system in school alerts the designated safeguarding lead instantly to concerns from staff. Records show that leaders take quick and effective action to respond to these concerns.

Leaders are aware of local risks and have adapted their curriculum to ensure pupils understand how to keep themselves safe.

The school has arranged visits from local police officers to help teach pupils about risks. The school's learning mentor works closely with vulnerable children and families and ensures that there is personal support available to them.

Recently, leaders have begun to track homophobic, racist and sexist incidents.

This means they are able to identify any patterns and take appropriate action. Pupils say they sometimes hear prejudicial language, but that it is never tolerated by adults.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• In subjects such as computing, art and history, leaders are at the early stage of developing the curriculum.

This means teachers are not clear about what to teach and when. Leaders must ensure that curriculum plans for all subjects are clear and well sequenced. ? Not all teachers use assessment well to identify gaps in pupils' understanding.

This means that misunderstandings are not addressed and gaps in pupils' knowledge persist. Leaders must ensure that assessment is used consistently and effectively by teachers so that pupils' learning builds carefully on what they know already. ? Behaviour is not dealt with consistently.

The new behaviour policy is not understood by all staff and pupils. This means that low-level disruption and off- task behaviour are not addressed in some lessons. Leaders must ensure that all staff have the same, high expectations of pupils and that behaviour is consistently managed across school.

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