Thurleigh Primary School

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About Thurleigh Primary School

Name Thurleigh Primary School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs Kathy Augustine
Address High Street, Thurleigh, Bedford, MK44 2DB
Phone Number 01234771252
Phase Primary
Type Foundation school
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 81
Local Authority Bedford
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Thurleigh Primary is a welcoming and inclusive community. Pupils are keen to share that 'everyone is different, and everyone is welcome'. They feel safe at the school and that adults are kind and look after them well.

Pupils demonstrate positive behaviours. They maintain strong relationships with each other and the adults that work at the school. Pupils feel that incidents of bullying are rare.

If it does happen, staff resolve it quickly.

Pupils are positive about their learning. They enjoy opportunities in the curriculum to visit interesting places or meet visitors to the school.

However, they do not learn as much as they should. This includes in the early years.

Pupils are extremely positive about the clubs and activities on offer.

They helped to design the programme of activities. This includes, for example, forest school, additional trips, such as those to a local air museum, and a wide range of clubs, including cooking and first aid.

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

Subject leaders' plans do not identify the important knowledge that pupils should learn over time.

This means teachers do not know what they need to teach and when, in order to ensure pupils build up the knowledge leaders want them to have. It makes it difficult for leaders and teachers to check whether pupils have learned what they need to know.

Teachers do not have a clear idea of what pupils have learned before.

This means that teaching too often does not build on this knowledge. In the early years, not enough attention has been given to how children develop their knowledge over time to ensure they are ready for their next steps.

The teaching of early reading is not as effective as it should be.

In Years 2 and 3, books are not well matched to sounds that pupils are taught. This makes it harder for those pupils who struggle to read to become confident readers.

Other aspects of the teaching of reading are more effective.

In the early years, children develop strong phonics knowledge, and this is built upon in Years 1 and 2. For the youngest pupils, books match accurately to the sounds that they know. High-quality whole-class texts underpin what pupils learn.

Teachers read regularly to pupils and leaders encourage pupils to read often. As a result, pupils enjoy reading. They were keen to tell inspectors about the books they have read.

Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) receive effective support. The special educational needs and disabilities coordinator (SENDCo) has a secure knowledge of pupils' needs. She shares this knowledge with teachers and other adults.

They use this to help children with SEND in their classes. This enables pupils with SEND to keep up with their peers.

Access to some external services, such as speech and language therapy, have been delayed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This has increased waiting times for these services. Leaders have mitigated against this through staff training and working with other schools to build support networks.

Leaders have designed high-quality provision for pupils' personal development.

This includes opportunities in lessons and out of lessons. A wide range of pupils make use of these opportunities and are extremely positive about them. Pupils are given chances to make meaningful decisions about life in school.

They also work together to improve the school environment, such as through making recent improvements to the school field.

Teachers make learning interesting. Pupils enjoy their lessons.

They talk positively about the 'stunning starts', 'marvellous middles' and 'fantastic finishes' that feature in them. This helps pupils to listen and behave well. Pupils show positive attitudes around the school.

They are polite and work well together in their lessons. Leaders have high expectations of pupils' behaviour. With the help of pupils, they have developed school-wide values which underpin good behaviour at the school.

The leadership team have worked effectively to create a positive, nurturing community at the school. Staff feel well supported, including those at the earliest stages of their careers. Parents are positive about the school and leaders' actions.

However, leaders have not given enough attention or urgency to the quality of education pupils receive. This is having a negative impact on what pupils learn over time.

Governors have not sufficiently focused on how well leaders have secured effective education.

They are not provided with information that is useful for them to know how well pupils learn the intended curriculum. This limits how they challenge and support leaders in this area.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Staff are knowledgeable about the risks to children at the school and know what to do if they have concerns about pupils or adults. Leaders have ensured that staff are well trained and know their safeguarding responsibilities. Safeguarding records show concerns are acted on quickly and clear actions are taken.

Pupils are well informed about how to stay safe. They are taught how to stay safe online, including when playing video games or using social media. They have learned about positive relationships and know what to do if they are worried about themselves or others.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• The important knowledge that pupils are expected to learn is not clear in leaders' plans for the curriculum. This makes it difficult for leaders and teachers to know what pupils should know and by when. Leaders should ensure that the subject content pupils are to learn is clearly identified.

• In the early years, leaders have not planned for all of the knowledge children should learn in Reception Year. This means children are not fully prepared for the start of Year 1. Leaders should ensure that plans show this knowledge.

• Governors do not always have the information they need about the quality of the curriculum and how it is taught. This prevents them from supporting and challenging leaders effectively in this area. Governors should ensure leaders provide them with the information they need.

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