Whitehill Junior School

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About Whitehill Junior School

Name Whitehill Junior School
Website http://www.whitehill.herts.sch.uk/
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mr Steve Mills
Address Whitehill Road, Hitchin, SG4 9HT
Phone Number 01462621313
Phase Primary
Type Community school
Age Range 7-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 242
Local Authority Hertfordshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection


Whitehill Junior School continues to be a good school. There is enough evidence of improved performance to suggest that the school could be judged outstanding if we were to carry out a graded (section 5) inspection now.

The school's next inspection will be a graded inspection.

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils thrive in this happy, vibrant and purposeful school. Pupils follow a curriculum that prepares them well for their future.

They are enthusiastic learners and enjoy interesting lessons that are carefully planned by their teachers. Pupils delight in taking part in imaginative activities such as 'Space Night' and the on-site 'Big Dig'.

Across the sch...ool, pupils have a range of opportunities to develop their interests and talents.

Everyone can learn a musical instrument, such as flute or clarinet. Many take part in sports teams, clubs and other activities, such as photography or coding. Pupils take great pride in representing their school in competitions.

Pupils' behaviour and attitudes are exemplary. They work hard in lessons. They listen carefully and respect the views of others.

Pupils like the different reward systems, such as the achievers' assemblies.

Pupils are safe. They look out for one another and treat others with respect and kindness.

Bullying rarely happens. Pupils are confident that, if it does, staff will deal with it effectively.

Pupils can take on responsibilities that make a real difference.

For example, 'Wellbeing Warriors' help leaders look after pupils' mental health, and trained Year 5 mediators resolve friendship issues. These help pupils become active and responsible citizens.

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

Leaders have designed an aspirational curriculum to support their aim of 'profound individual growth'.

The curriculum sets out the important knowledge they want pupils to know and remember. Carefully designed links between subjects, such as between geography and history, help pupils make connections in their learning.

Teachers deliver the curriculum well.

They use their strong expertise to introduce new concepts clearly. Leaders ensure that all staff receive training to help them support pupils effectively. Teachers check pupils' understanding in lessons by using well-considered strategies.

For example, in mathematics, pupils review previous learning at the start of every lesson. As a result, pupils develop detailed knowledge across most subjects. This is shown in the high-quality work that pupils produce.

Leaders have ensured that assessment is used well in English and mathematics. They are now developing similar systems in other subjects. Strong collaboration with the feeder infant school supports pupils as they move from Year 2 to Year 3.

Information about how well pupils achieve in reading and mathematics is shared effectively. In a few other subjects, teachers do not know as much about pupils' starting points and previous learning experiences. Teachers are adapting their use of assessment to address this quickly.

Leaders prioritise the teaching of reading. Carefully planned activities help pupils develop their vocabulary and comprehension skills. As a result, pupils are confident and enthusiastic readers.

Leaders quickly identify pupils who need extra help with reading. They provide extra support to help them improve. Regular checks ensure that pupils read books at the right level.

Leaders are providing further phonics training for staff so they can support weaker readers even more consistently.

The individual needs of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are accurately identified. Teachers and other adults provide effective individual and group support.

They are skilled at adapting activities for these pupils. Consequently, most pupils with SEND access the same learning as their peers. Pupils with SEND achieve well.

Pupils show high levels of maturity, self-control and cooperation. They contribute enthusiastically to lessons and take pride in their work. Pupils across the school have high expectations of themselves and of others.

Adults, including a counsellor, provide effective support for pupils' social and emotional needs. The school is a calm and purposeful place in which to learn.

The provision for personal development is of a high quality.

Leaders provide an impressive range of opportunities to help pupils develop their understanding of the world. Pupils regularly take part in music and sporting activities. They relish the range of other clubs and activities willingly provided by staff.

Pupils are self-motivated and universally confident, polite and respectful.

Leaders enjoy the overwhelming support of pupils, staff and parents. Staff are proud to be part of 'Team Whitehill'.

They appreciate leaders' support for their well-being.

Governors are committed to ensuring that pupils receive the best possible education. They support and challenge leaders effectively.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Staff receive regular training to keep their safeguarding knowledge up to date. They are vigilant and report any concerns promptly.

Leaders take swift and effective action when issues are raised. They are tenacious in securing help for pupils and their families. Leaders keep detailed safeguarding records.

They link these with other information to inform the strong pastoral support provided.

Pupils learn how to stay safe, both at home and online. They know they can talk to adults if they have any worries.

Appropriate safer recruitment and employment checks are made and recorded accurately. Governors check safeguarding arrangements thoroughly.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Teachers' use of assessment in a small number of foundation subjects is not as well established as in other subjects.

This means that teachers' ability to adapt teaching in response to pupils' needs in these subjects is not yet as highly effective as in other areas of the curriculum. Leaders should continue to support teachers so that assessment is used to adapt the curriculum in these subjects further to build effectively on what pupils have learned previously.


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 June 2017.

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