Sutherland Primary Academy

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About Sutherland Primary Academy

Name Sutherland Primary Academy
Ofsted Inspections
Head of Academy Mrs Clare Boast
Address Beaconsfield Drive, Blurton, Stoke-on-Trent, ST3 3DY
Phone Number 01782594133
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 519
Local Authority Stoke-on-Trent
Highlights from Latest Inspection


Sutherland Primary Academy continues to be a good school.

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils at Sutherland Primary Academy live and learn through the school's 'golden rules' and their 'chance to change' reflective approach to behaviour.

They rise to the high expectations set through these, with one pupil saying, 'They help us to be mature. These are life skills; life would not be easy without them'.

At the heart of the school is pupils' safety and well-being.

They have every confidence in adults to look after and care for them. Bullying does not happen often because staff help pupils to be kind to each other. If it does, staff deal with it swiftly.
Pupils behave well and love to earn 'Pippa points' for their class to have the school's dog in lessons.

Opportunities in the wider curriculum help to develop pupils' character. For example, being an academy ambassador enables pupils to contribute to their school community.

Events such as a visit from a rugby union team ensure they also engage with wider society. Pupils enjoy a wide range of extra-curricular clubs such as book, sports and gardening clubs.

Leaders are acutely aware of issues in the local area and are determined for pupils to be aspirational, which they are.

Parents agree, with one saying, 'We are all on the same page'.

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

Leaders, including trustees, are ambitious for all pupils to achieve both academically and personally. They offer a broad and balanced curriculum with a wealth of opportunities for pupils' wider development.

A focus on the performing arts gives pupils experiences they enjoy. For example, the links that leaders have made with a local theatre.

Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) receive bespoke support.

The inclusion team provides pupils with specific, and sometimes complex SEND, a curriculum that meets their needs. Leaders work closely with a range of agencies to make accurate assessments of pupils with SEND and to advise on how to adapt teaching. This enables these pupils to access appropriate learning and make progress.

Leaders have developed an ambitious curriculum. They have considered what pupils will learn and when they will learn it in each subject. This is also the case in the early years.

In many subjects, this enables pupils to learn what is most important. However, in some units of work, the key knowledge that leaders want pupils to know and remember is not as clear. As a result, some pupils struggle to remember what they have learned.

Reading is a high priority across the school. Books are central to the curriculum. This starts in the early years where there is a clear focus on developing children's language and communication.

Staff read to children regularly and explore a range of vocabulary. Staff have enhanced their expertise in early reading. The books pupils read are closely matched to the sounds they know.

Staff use assessment strategies to identify where there are gaps in pupils' knowledge. They provide extra support to pupils to help them catch up. This has helped many pupils to improve their phonics knowledge.

Teachers use assessment strategies well in other subjects. They regularly check on pupils' learning in lessons and adapt their teaching to respond to any issues. Leaders have provided 'end point' assessments for teachers to use in each subject to check pupils' learning.

These then help teachers to plan future learning in the subject.

Leaders place a high priority on enhancing the curriculum to engage pupils and prepare them for later life. There are strong links with many organisations.

These include local universities, companies and community organisations, such as local councillors and a national park.

Staff appreciate leaders' support for their mental health and well-being. While leaders set high expectations, they also provide staff with the support and care they need to carry out their roles.

Leaders regularly check on staff and give them time to work on extra responsibilities if needed. This support helps staff to be effective in their roles and enjoy working at the school. One member of staff said, 'Little things make a difference.'


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders and staff are very aware of the risks pupils face in the local area. This contextual knowledge helps leaders to keep pupils safe.

Staff are well trained and act swiftly when they have a concern about a pupil. Trustees regularly check that the processes for keeping children safe are followed rigorously. Leaders engage with external agencies when required to help support pupils and their families.

Pupils are taught how to stay safe both in and out of school as well as online. They understand how to do this, for example staying safe on local roads following road safety awareness training.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Some subjects do not clearly identify the key knowledge that leaders want pupils to know and remember.

As a result, pupils do not know and remember as much as they could. Leaders should ensure that all subject curriculums make clear the important knowledge they want pupils to learn.


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 May 2017.

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