Westgate Hill Primary Academy

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About Westgate Hill Primary Academy

Name Westgate Hill Primary Academy
Website http://westgatehill.laidlawschoolstrust.co.uk
Ofsted Inspections
Mrs Keeley Wood
Address Beaconsfield Street, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE4 5JN
Phone Number 01912562960
Phase Academy
Type Academy sponsor led
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 781
Local Authority Newcastle upon Tyne
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils thrive at this highly inclusive school. Values such as being 'welcoming' and 'respectful', or 'understanding all points of view', are central to the inspirational ethos. These values shine out in every aspect of school life.

One pupil summed up the views of many by saying, 'I want to go to school every day. We would be happy to come at the weekend too.'

Leaders set the highest of expectations for pupils' behaviour and learning.

Pupils' behaviour is superb. They have excellent listening skills and a remarkable work ethic. The high standard of work in pupils' books is impressive.

Pupils talk zealously about their roles, including the 'mini poli...ce', 'smart council' and 'eco-committee'. Pupils take immense pride in making a positive difference to school and community life.

Pupils say adults listen to pupils if they are sad or upset.

They know that staff will not tolerate unacceptable behaviour. It is sorted quickly. Pupils say bullying incidents are rare for this reason and they feel safe and protected.

They are supported to be aware of risks to their safety when online.

Many parents and carers use the words 'supportive', 'approachable', 'friendly' and 'helpful' to describe the school staff. They also say that their children achieve well.

One parent wrote, 'I have seen my children flourish within the school and reach their full potential.'

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

The heads of school lead with a strong moral purpose. Leaders, staff and governors share their unwavering vision for every pupil to achieve their very best.

A high proportion of pupils join the school at different points throughout the year. For the majority of these pupils, English is an additional language (EAL). Leaders and staff are adept at managing this.

All pupils can concentrate on their learning in lessons because behaviour for learning is impeccable.

Leaders have thought carefully about what knowledge they want pupils to learn in every curriculum subject. They have invested in high-quality professional development for all staff.

This gives staff a wealth of subject-specific knowledge. Leaders understand how each subject should start within the early years framework. They ensure that curriculum plans have specific adjustments to meet pupils needs and starting points.

Teachers regularly check what all pupils can remember from their previous learning. They use this information to set follow-up work at exactly the right level of challenge. This helps pupils to learn new knowledge through ambitious next steps.

As a result, pupils make rapid gains in all subjects.

Children get off to a rapid start in the early years. Leaders have an exceptional understanding of the needs of young children.

They adapt the learning environment indoors and outside to meet those needs. Reception activities build on what children have learned in Nursery. There is a sharp focus on developing children's communication and language skills through songs, rhymes, stories and role play.

Pupils develop their knowledge of mathematics by continually building on the facts and methods that they know and can do. They practise and apply these methods in different calculations. This helps pupils to select the correct method in problem-solving activities.

They use mathematical terminology accurately.

In science, pupils apply the facts they know to learn new information. In Year 6, pupils learned how animals adapt to suit their surroundings.

Pupils used their knowledge about animals from previous learning across key stage 2 to consider this. Pupils use scientific vocabulary with confidence.

Pupils in key stage 1 develop their geographical understanding of things like weather, locations and maps.

Teachers use familiar places such as the school and the local area to teach this. Pupils build on this knowledge as they move through school to consider countries around the world. In Year 6, pupils could explain how climate change affects the polar region.

Personal, social and health education (PSHE) is at the heart of the curriculum. Leaders reviewed curriculum plans to include government guidance on relationships education. Pupils' personal development is exceptional.

Leaders celebrate and respect different backgrounds, cultures and faiths. Pupils show genuine empathy to their peers who are new to the school. Pupils relish their roles as 'young translators'.

They welcome and interpret for pupils with EAL when they arrive in school. This complements the 'welcome package' of specific learning provided by leaders.

Children make a fast start to learning phonics.

In Years 1 and 2, pupils develop their phonics knowledge to become confident and fluent readers. Pupils in the earliest stages of reading catch up quickly. Pupils apply phonics knowledge to spell words and write at length.

In key stage 2, pupils learn how to retrieve information and infer meaning from a range of texts. Pupils immerse themselves in high-quality texts and decorated reading areas such as 'under the sea' or 'in the jungle'. This inspires pupils of all ages to read for pleasure.

The special educational needs coordinator (SENCo) is highly experienced. She inspires confidence in staff to support pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). Teachers adjust the work set for these pupils without simplifying the challenging learning goal.

This helps pupils with SEND to achieve highly.

The trust and the executive principal support leaders exceptionally well. This support has changed over time, as leaders at all levels have grown from strength to strength.

Governors and trustees bring skills and expertise from a wide range of backgrounds. They support and challenge leaders effectively. Governors know how well the school is performing.

Staff say that both governors and leaders are mindful of their workload. Staff feel immensely valued and staff morale is high.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

The designated safeguarding lead (DSL) has established strong systems for staff to follow. She is supported by four leaders trained as deputy DSLs. Together they are tenacious in ensuring that any safeguarding concerns are taken seriously.

The trust ensures that all staff and volunteers have the necessary safety checks before they start work. Staff access regular safeguarding training. They are knowledgeable about government safety guidelines.

They recognise risks that pupils might face in the local area.

The welfare manager has forged strong relationships with pupils and their families. She supports pupils who are facing challenging circumstances to attend school regularly and stay safe.

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