Whitkirk Primary School

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About Whitkirk Primary School

Name Whitkirk Primary School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Miss Gemma Quarmby
Address Templegate Walk, Whitkirk, Leeds, LS15 0EU
Phone Number 01132606203
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 4-11
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 384
Local Authority Leeds
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

This is a welcoming school.

Leaders and staff hold what is best for pupils at the centre of everything they do. Pupils and parents and carers overwhelmingly agree that 'The Whitkirk Way' is both friendly and inclusive. Staff create a happy environment where pupils feel safe and want to learn.

Leaders ensure that pupils understand uniqueness and celebrate difference. Pupils engage well with their peers from the on-site special school during their shared breaktimes. Staff build an inclusive culture where pupils are respectful of the rights of others.

Adults have high expectations of pupils' behaviour. From early years onwards, children are taught to have self-c...ontrol. Where pupils struggle with behaviour, teachers make adaptations to help them to be successful.

Bullying is not tolerated. Pupils work together to repair any harm caused to others as a result of their actions. Behaviour is highly positive both in and out of lessons.

Break- and lunchtimes are an enjoyable experience where all pupils engage in meaningful activities. In lessons, they work with resilience in a calm and focused learning environment.

Leaders have implemented an ambitious curriculum.

Pupils begin by understanding themselves and their locality. Links across subjects aim to connect long-term knowledge.

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

Leaders ensure that the curriculum is inclusive for all pupils.

Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities are supported well through curriculum adaptations and individual support. Staff are trained and confident to teach any new initiatives. Teachers regularly revisit pupils' learning to make links between subjects.

However, the knowledge gained in some subjects, such as design and technology and religious education, is less developed than in others. Pupils can recall current and recent learning but find it difficult to recall things they have learned in previous terms and years. Leaders recognise that this is because some subjects are at an early stage of implementation.

This means that learning in these subjects is less secure, particularly for older pupils, who have had less time to benefit from recent improvements.

Leaders ensure that learning to read is a high priority for all pupils. Phonics is taught as soon as children start school.

Adults are experts in delivering the programme. This is because leaders have ensured that staff receive regular training and support. As a result of this, those pupils at risk of falling behind are quickly identified and given extra, daily practice.

Pupils use their phonic knowledge to read unfamiliar words in books containing the sounds that they know. Children in early years use well-known routines when pretending to be the teacher. They love learning to read.

Pupils access a well-stocked library. The reading ambassadors keep the library in order. They support pupils with book recommendations.

Class libraries have a wide variety and range of age-appropriate texts. Teachers read to pupils daily, showing them how to read fluently. This builds excitement in sharing texts.

Leaders provide outdoor quiet spaces where pupils can sit and read. Pupils enjoy using these spaces.

Leaders are highly ambitious for children in early years.

Routines for learning are well established. Children choose and use equipment safely and skilfully. They help to tidy up, using the mantra, 'Choose it, use it and put it away!'.

Every activity and interaction are carefully considered. No learning is left to chance. Staff expertly provide appropriate teaching and ways for children to interact.

Children show high levels of concentration and focus during independent play and learning. Staff develop pupils' communication and language well. Children enjoy 'chatter natter' sessions, where they spend time developing their conversation skills.

As a result, children speak clearly and confidently using taught vocabulary. Mathematics is taught daily. Children have many planned opportunities to practise what they have learned.

They work confidently with number bonds during independent play. Children are exceptionally well prepared for key stage 1.

All pupils experience a wide range of after-school clubs and trips throughout the year.

Pupils have opportunities to take on different leadership roles. Eco-warriors are proud of the small steps they are taking in school to make a global difference. The school council writes to local businesses for support with the school's allotment project.

They show younger pupils where food comes from. Pupils take these roles seriously. They have opportunities to contribute to assemblies on topics such as sustainability.

This is helping pupils to become active citizens.

Leaders know their community well. Communication and relationships are strengths of the school.

The trust and those responsible for governance provide strong and effective support. Staff feel well supported. Following a period of instability, new leaders have created a highly positive culture.

They lead by example. This has secured the support and enthusiasm of all. Parents speak very highly of the school and credit leaders with 'bringing the school back to life'.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders ensure that staff know the potential risks that pupils may face. They work closely with the local high school to develop a thorough awareness of risks in the community.

Leaders regularly update staff on safeguarding issues and check understanding. A programme piloted by the school directly addresses the risk of exploitation. Pupils talk with understanding about how to keep themselves safe.

Leaders and staff quickly identify any pupils who may be at risk of harm. Leaders work together to identify and support any vulnerable pupils. They take time to ensure that pupils and families get the right support.

Pupils feel safe. They know who the trusted adults are in school. They know that they can use 'speak out' boxes in class to share any concerns and that these concerns are dealt with.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• The curriculum is less securely embedded in some foundation subjects than in others. This means that pupils have not yet built a cumulatively sufficient depth of knowledge for future learning. Leaders should continue to ensure that all foundation subjects are consistently implemented across school, so that pupils connect their knowledge over time, using and applying it in deeper and more complex ways.

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