Willingdon Primary School

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About Willingdon Primary School

Name Willingdon Primary School
Website https://willingdonprimary.co.uk/
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs Gemma Roxburgh
Address Rapsons Road, Willingdon, Eastbourne, BN20 9RJ
Phone Number 01323482619
Phase Primary
Type Community school
Age Range 5-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 418
Local Authority East Sussex
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils are kind and respectful.

The school's values are woven into everything. Everyone understands these values and tries to live up to them. Pupils use words such as 'amazing' to describe their school.

They like their teachers, who offer help and encouragement. One pupil put it this way: 'Teachers always challenge you and congratulate you for trying.' Pupils work hard and try to do their best.

Pupils struggle to remember any bullying happening in the school recently. They know exactly what it is and would report it if it happened. Pupils trust adults to have children's best interests at heart.

They feel safe and valued in this caring, inclusive sch...ool.

There is still much work to do to. Senior leaders have raised everyone's expectations of what pupils should achieve.

However, pupils do not do as well as they could. Some younger pupils cannot read as well as they should be able to. Also, in some subjects, pupils enjoy learning new things but can often quickly forget what they have learned.

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

This is a school that is now moving firmly in the right direction. The headteacher arrived when the school was at a low ebb. It had been through a prolonged, unsettled period with a high turnover of staff and governors.

Senior leaders have identified the most important areas for improvement. They are taking action to improve the quality of education. Leaders' expectations about what pupils will achieve are rising.

Staff expect pupils to work hard and to achieve well. Senior leaders have the full support of all staff and consider the workload and well-being of staff carefully.

However, the quality of education that pupils receive is currently too variable and is not consistently good.

Leaders have not ensured that the curriculum is sufficiently ambitious for all pupils. There are strengths, such as mathematics and personal, social and health and economic education (PSHE). In these subjects, teachers introduce new ideas in a logical order, building on what pupils already know.

However, in too many other subjects, it is not clear what pupils need to know and remember. New learning is not connected carefully to what pupils have learned before. Several subject leaders are new to their role and inexperienced.

They have not yet made sure that all subjects allow pupils to learn what they need to. As a result, pupils do not achieve as well as they should do over time.

Reading is a central part of the curriculum.

Pupils really enjoy books and stories. By the time they leave the school, most pupils read and write well, using accurate grammar and a wide vocabulary. Children are introduced to phonics as soon as they start Reception Year.

Staff are well trained in how to deliver the school's newly introduced phonics programme. They have high expectations for pupils. This includes pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).

If any start to fall behind, they now receive help, often on the same day. However, despite this, some younger pupils still struggle to read well. They have gaps in their learning from previous years.

Although leaders have plans to tackle this problem, some pupils have not yet caught up.

Pupils behave well in lessons and around the school. They enjoy lessons, work hard and try their best.

Positive relationships between adults and pupils make for a happy, purposeful school. This is just as true in Reception Year as it is in Year 6. Inspectors observed children during their first full day in school in Reception.

They were all happy, settled and confident. Leaders have improved the early years provision this term. More resources have been added to spark children's curiosity and to encourage them to work together and solve problems.

Staff are well trained. They use spoken language accurately, so children develop a wide vocabulary and learn to speak well.

This is a thoroughly inclusive school.

Leaders make sure that all pupils enjoy the full curriculum and wider opportunities, such as residential visits. This includes pupils with a wide range of disabilities. Leaders even changed the venue for a residential trip so that it was suitable for wheelchair users.

The curriculum involves far more than lessons in classrooms. Pupils enjoy a range of clubs. Sometimes, teachers start clubs that pupils suggest.

Pupils love taking responsibility and take these additional roles very seriously.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Everyone who works at this school takes safeguarding seriously.

They understand the risks that pupils might face. Staff know how to protect children and are always on the lookout for worrying signs. Staff have had up-to-date training and senior leaders check that all have understood and remembered it.

Senior leaders leave no stone unturned in getting the help that pupils and families need. This includes working with external agencies.Pupils are safe and well cared for.

They learn a lot about keeping safe, including when online. Pupils also know how to deal with unwanted attention from their peers, should it happen.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Some pupils struggle to read fluently and to sound out words accurately.

This is because historical weaknesses in the phonics and early reading curriculum have left pupils with gaps in their knowledge which hold them back. Senior leaders should make sure that these historical gaps in pupils' knowledge are identified and rectified. This will enable pupils to catch up quickly and keep up with the curriculum, and so become confident, capable readers.

• Pupils really enjoy learning subjects across the curriculum, but they struggle to retain and build on what they have learned. This is because, in too many subjects, the most important knowledge for pupils to learn and remember is not identified in the curriculum, nor is this knowledge carefully sequenced. Senior leaders should make sure that in these subjects the most important knowledge that pupils need to learn and retain is explicitly identified and sequenced in a logical order.

With this in place, pupils will be better equipped to reach the end points of the curriculum and apply the skills that they are learning. ? Although they are receiving ongoing training, some subject leaders do not yet have the knowledge and skills to drive improvements. Senior leaders should continue to provide subject leaders with the training and support needed to make sure these leaders have a fully positive impact on pupils' learning.

Also at this postcode
Lower Willingdon Pre-School Nursery

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