The Arches Community Primary School

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About The Arches Community Primary School

Name The Arches Community Primary School
Ofsted Inspections
Mrs Michelle Ashfield
Address Saughall Road, Blacon, Chester, CH1 5EZ
Phone Number 01244667660
Phase Primary
Type Community school
Age Range 4-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 203
Local Authority Cheshire West and Chester
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils, including children in the early years, enjoy attending this happy and welcoming school. They benefit from kind and positive relationships with staff and each other.

Pupils are confident that staff will always listen to them and help them if they have any concerns or worries.

Staff have high expectations for pupils' achievements. Pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), live up to these expectations and achieve well across a range of subjects.

Leaders expect pupils to behave well, and most pupils do. Pupils are polite and respectful to each other and staff. This helps to create a calm and purposeful atmosphere which pupils can learn.

Leaders deal with any instances of bullying swiftly and effectively.

Pupils enjoy the range of activities on offer beyond the academic curriculum. For instance, they look forward to residential trips such as cultural visits to London.

In addition, pupils enjoy attending after-school activities, such as art club and wildlife club. They are eager to learn how to play a musical instrument.

Pupils are keen to take on leadership roles within the school.

For example, they support younger pupils by acting as reading ambassadors and road safety leaders.Parents and carers are positive about the support that staff provide for their children's wider development.

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

Leaders and staff have designed a curriculum that is suitably broad and balanced for pupils.

Across subjects, leaders, including in the early years, have identified the most important knowledge that they want pupils to learn and the order in which it should be taught. For instance, leaders have carefully considered the key vocabulary that they want pupils to understand and be able to use. Leaders ensure that new learning builds logically on what pupils already know.

For the most part, staff explain new learning clearly to pupils. Typically, staff design activities that help pupils, including children in the early years, to remember the intended curriculum. Staff deal swiftly with any misconceptions that pupils develop.

In most subjects, leaders have ensured that staff are equipped well to check on how well pupils are learning the curriculum over time. However, in a small number of subjects, the assessment strategies that staff use are less well developed. From time to time, in these subjects, this prevents teachers from ensuring that aspects of pupils' earlier learning are secure.

Leaders have prioritised the teaching of phonics and early reading. They have ensured that there is a consistent approach to the teaching of phonics, which starts as soon as children join the school in the Reception Year. All staff have received appropriate training to deliver the phonics programme well.

Staff are adept at identifying those pupils who find reading more difficult. Staff ensure that these pupils benefit from effective support to help them catch up quickly.

Older pupils are keen readers.

They talk with enthusiasm about the different types of books that they enjoy reading. They have access to a wide range of high-quality texts. This helps to further develop their vocabulary and helps them to appreciate the benefits of reading.

For example, some pupils explained to inspectors that reading helps them to relax and takes their mind off other things.

Leaders have suitable systems in place to ensure that the additional needs of pupils with SEND are identified by staff in a timely manner. Teachers skilfully adapt how they deliver the curriculum to ensure that pupils with SEND learn well alongside their friends in class.

Pupils, including children in the early years, with SEND take an active role in the wider aspects of school life.

During lessons, and at social times, pupils follow classroom routines diligently. Children in the early years listen attentively, eager to follow the instructions of adults.

Pupils learn about different cultures, faiths and types of families. This helps them to respect each other's differences. However, some pupils do not have sufficient opportunity to learn and revisit aspects of some fundamental British values.

Through the curriculum, pupils learn how to keep themselves healthy, both physically and mentally.

Governors provide an appropriate level of challenge to leaders. Members of the governing body are informed well about the quality of education for pupils.

Staff say that they enjoy working at the school. In particular, they value the consideration of leaders for their workload and well-being.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders have ensured that safeguarding is everyone's priority. Staff know what to do if they have a safeguarding concern about a pupil. Added to this, staff have a secure understanding of the potential safeguarding risks that pupils may face in the local community.

Leaders work closely with external agencies. This helps to ensure that any families facing challenging circumstances receive the help and support that they need.

Through the curriculum, pupils learn about the risks that they might face.

For example, they learn how to keep themselves safe when online. Pupils learn how to keep themselves safe in the community. For instance, they learn how to cross the road safely and about the dangers of open water.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• In a small number of subjects, the strategies that staff use to check on pupils' learning are not as well developed as they are in other subjects. Occasionally, this hinders staff from checking that pupils' earlier learning is secure. Leaders should ensure that staff are supported well to use assessment strategies to check on how well pupils are learning the curriculum over time.

• Some pupils do not have sufficient opportunity to learn about and revisit aspects of some fundamental British values. This means that some pupils are not as prepared as they could be for life in a diverse society. Leaders should ensure that pupils have an age-appropriate and secure understanding of the fundamental British values.

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