|Name||Whitecrest Primary School|
|Ofsted Inspection Rating||Good|
|Inspection Date||06 November 2019|
|Address||Whitecrest, Great Barr, Birmingham, West Midlands, B43 6HQ|
|Religious Character||Does not apply|
|Number of Pupils||211 (49% boys 51% girls)|
|Number of Pupils per Teacher||20.8|
|Percentage Free School Meals||7.6%|
|Percentage English is Not First Language||15.6%|
|Pupils with SEN Support||8.5%|
|Catchment Area Information Available||Yes, our catchment area data is FREE|
|Last Distance Offered Information Available||No|
Whitecrest Primary School continues to be a good school.
What is it like to attend this school?
Pupils say they enjoy school. They work and play together happily. Parents commented on the ‘family feel’ of the school and said this promotes a sense of belonging and security.
Pupils know they can always ask staff for help if they have any worries or concerns. ‘Talk and toast’ sessions support pupils’ emotional well-being well. They say bullying is rare but does happen from time to time. They say that staff deal with any behaviour issues quickly and fairly. They know how to stay safe, for example when they use the internet, because they are taught about it in school.
Pupils behave well. They move around the school sensibly. Pupils are respectful to staff and polite to visitors. They settle down to learning quickly in lessons.
Teachers have high expectations of all pupils. They care about the pupils and want the best for them. Pupils know that their teachers expect them to try hard and they live up to these expectations. Adults teach pupils that sometimes they will find work difficult, so they may not get everything right first time. This builds pupils’ confidence to keep trying.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
The headteacher and deputy headteacher form a strong team. They are passionate about making sure that all pupils are learning well.
Leaders have designed a curriculum that links many subjects together in topics. In these topics teachers plan work that helps pupils to learn more and remember more. This works well in geography and history because pupils carefully build up their knowledge and skills. But pupils do not remember their learning well enough in art. This is because pupils do not have the chance to practice what they have learned in topics that do not feature this subject.
Subject leaders are enthusiastic about their subjects and lead them well. Teacherscarefully plan what pupils need to learn. In mathematics, teachers do this very well. Teachers give pupils mathematical problems to solve which help pupils practise what they know. For example, in Year 6 pupils enjoyed competing to reach a target number by adding and subtracting positive and negative numbers.
Together with governors, leaders ensure that all staff share their vision of developing ‘the whole child’. Staff make sure pupils have a wide range of experiences, such as visits, outdoor learning, clubs and special events. These help to develop each pupil’s individual talents and interests. Pupils run or walk three miles each week round the school grounds, which helps them to understand the importance of physical fitness.
Pupils enjoy taking on responsibilities in school. They raise money for charities. They concentrate well and help one another in lessons. They show mutual respect to adults and each other. They know the difference between right and wrong.
The content and sequencing of the phonics programme support pupils’ strong progress. Adults begin teaching phonics as soon as children start in the Reception class. Pupils in Years 1 and 2 have reading lessons every day and older pupils read regularly. Teachers read aloud at story times. This helps pupils to develop a love of reading. Teachers notice when any pupils fall behind, and they help them to catch up quickly by providing prompt help. Almost all pupils can read the expected phonic sounds by the end of Year 1. Pupils talk enthusiastically about the books they have read.
Children settle quickly in Reception because adults plan interesting and exciting activities. Adults understand how children learn and help children to feel safe and secure. Adults involve parents in their child’s learning from the outset. For example, parents who attend the weekly ‘read with your child’ sessions say they value the chance to find out how their child is doing at school. Adults ask careful questions to help children solve problems they meet, such as choosing whether glue, sticky tape or string would be best to join two objects together.
Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) receive extra adult help. Teachers check these pupils’ progress regularly. Senior leaders have rightly begun to plan for proposed changes to the leadership of SEND so that adults continue to give the right support to these pupils.
Staff are proud to belong to Whitecrest. They value leaders’ work to ensure that their workload is manageable.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Leaders make all the required checks to make sure that adults are safe to work with children. All staff, including those new to the school, have regular training about protecting pupils from harm. This enables them to report in the right way any concerns they may have about pupils’ welfare.Leaders and teachers make sure that pupils know how to keep themselves safe, includingwhen online. Leaders carry out thorough risk assessments to identify potential hazards. Almost all parents who responded to the online survey Ofsted Parent View said their children feel safe in school.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
School leaders have designed, planned and sequenced the curriculum effectively in most subjects. In these subjects, particularly in mathematics and reading, teachers regularly check what pupils know and understand. However, in art leaders need to establish what pupils need to remember for a long time. This will help them to decide what pupils need to practise or revisit in order to recall key information in this subject. . School leaders have successfully made sure that the planning and sequencing of the curriculum support good progress. This is despite significant changes in staffing in the last four years. Leaders now need to make sure that planned changes to the leadership of SEND ensure that pupils with SEND continue to do as well as they can.
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 a section 8 inspection of a good school or non-exempt outstanding school. We do not give graded judgements on a section 8 inspection. However, if we find some evidence that the school could now be better than good or that standards may be declining, then the next inspection will be a section 5 inspection. Usually this is within one to two years of the date of the section 8 inspection. If we have serious concerns about safeguarding, behaviour or the quality of education, we will convert the section 8 inspection to a section 5 inspection immediately.
This is the second section 8 inspection since we judged Whitecrest Primary School to be good on 16–17 May 2011.