St Swithun’s Church of England VC Primary School

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About St Swithun’s Church of England VC Primary School

Name St Swithun’s Church of England VC Primary School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs Anita Whitehurst
Address Ivel Road, Sandy, SG19 1AX
Phone Number 01767680692
Phase Primary
Type Voluntary controlled school
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Church of England
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 224
Local Authority Central Bedfordshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection


St Swithun's Church of England VC Primary School continues to be a good school.

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils feel happy and well cared for in this inclusive school.

They describe it as 'amazing' and 'friendly'. Pupils work hard and get along well together. This supports the school's vision of 'building foundations for the future' successfully.

Pupils talk positively about their learning. They try their best to fulfil the high expectations of their teachers. As one pupil said: 'You need to work hard to get things stuck in your brain.'

Pupils are polite and well mannered. They follow school routines and conduct themselves well around the They know how to behave.

They are adamant that bullying is rare in their school. If they have concerns, they share these through 'worry monsters' placed in every class. Pupils believe that adults would act quickly to sort out any problems.

Pupils know about the school's values. They reflect on these during weekly assemblies. Pupils understand the importance of these values, such as 'trust' and 'thankfulness'.

They help to build pupils' sense of community through working together.

Many parents and carers are positive about the school. They speak highly of the nurturing relationships staff have with their children.

As one parent commented: 'This school is an absolute gem.'

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

Leaders have designed a broad and ambitious curriculum. Their subject plans identify the key knowledge pupils need to know from the early years to the end points in Year 6.

Leaders have thought carefully about the order in which pupils learn things. This is helping pupils to build new knowledge based on their prior learning. Some curriculum plans have been in place for some time.

In these subjects, pupils develop their understanding and recall their learning well. In a few subjects, plans are newer. Teachers do not fully understand what they need to teach.

This means that some pupils still have gaps in their knowledge as the curriculum is not established.

Subject leaders play an active part in checking the effectiveness of their areas of responsibility. They use their subject expertise to review, adjust and strengthen the curriculum.

Some subject leaders are new to their role. They have not had enough opportunities to make full checks of their subjects. They do not have precise information about how well pupils are learning.

Teachers make use of strong subject knowledge to check pupils' understanding. They make sure that pupils think carefully about what they have learned before. Teachers use this information effectively to move pupils forward in their learning.

For example, in mathematics, pupils used their knowledge of shapes to understand their properties.

The teaching of reading has a high priority in the school. Children learn phonics as soon as they start in the early years.

They quickly begin to develop their fluency in reading. Books are well matched to the sounds pupils are learning. Pupils use their phonic knowledge when reading unfamiliar words.

Staff quickly identify where pupils have gaps in their phonic knowledge. Adults provide extra support to help these pupils to catch up with their reading.

Leaders know the pupils well.

They are quick to identify where pupils need additional help. Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) have personalised plans for their learning. This also includes those pupils who attend the additional resource base.

Teachers make purposeful adaptations in lessons to support pupils with SEND to learn well.

Leaders provide pupils with a range of experiences to promote development of their character. Different roles encourage pupils to be active leaders and take responsibility for themselves and others.

Pupils develop their interests through lunchtime and after-school clubs. They develop an age-appropriate understanding of respectful, healthy relationships. Pupils know how to keep themselves safe.

Pupils enjoy learning. They are attentive in class and keen to learn. Pupils are well prepared for their next stages of education.

The school is well led and managed. Leaders' shared vision supports a team approach. Staff enjoy working at the school.

They feel well supported by leaders who are approachable and considerate of their workload.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders ensure that there is a strong culture of safeguarding in the school.

Staff receive regular training and updates to help them remain vigilant to any signs of concern. Staff know how to report any worries, no matter how small. Leaders are quick to act on any concerns brought to their attention.

They ensure that vulnerable pupils receive the support they need.

Leaders complete appropriate checks before staff and volunteers begin to work with children at the school. Governors regularly check that records of recruitment are up to date.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• In some subjects, curriculum plans are in the early stages of implementation. Some teachers do not have precise knowledge of what they must teach. This means that some pupils have gaps in their knowledge.

Leaders should ensure that all subjects are consistently implemented so that pupils achieve well across the curriculum. ? Some subject leaders who are new to their roles have not fully evaluated the impact of their planned curriculum. This means that they are unsure how well their plans are working, or how well pupils remember important information over time.

Leaders should ensure that they check and evaluate the effectiveness of the whole curriculum. They should provide staff with any further training and support to implement leaders' intentions effectively across all subjects.


When we have judged a school to be good we will then normally go into the school about once every four years to confirm that the school remains good.

This is called an ungraded inspection, and it is carried out under section 8 of the Education Act 2005. We do not give graded judgements on an ungraded inspection. However, if we find evidence that a school would now receive a higher or lower grade, then the next inspection will be a graded inspection, which is carried out under section 5 of the Act.

Usually this is within one to two years of the date of the ungraded inspection. If we have serious concerns about safeguarding, behaviour or the quality of education, we will deem the ungraded inspection a graded inspection immediately.

This is the first ungraded inspection since we judged the school to be good in January 2017.

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