Willow Primary Academy

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About Willow Primary Academy

Name Willow Primary Academy
Website http://Willow.sandmat.uk
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Pete Hales
Address Evenlode Road, Tuffley, Gloucester, GL4 0JY
Phone Number 01452526442
Phase Academy
Type Academy sponsor led
Age Range 4-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 185
Local Authority Gloucestershire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Willow Primary Academy is a caring and inclusive school. Many children start in Reception Year below what would typically be expected for their age. However, as a result of a well-thought-out curriculum and high expectations, children get off to a flying start.

Children learn the school values of 'PRIDE' as soon as they start in Reception. This prepares them well for their time in school.

The school is at the heart of the community.

Many parents would recommend the school. One parent's comment, which summed up the views of many, was, 'The school is amazing in every possible way.' Parents have confidence in the leadership of the school.

Pupils feel sa...fe and they are. They say that adults in school help them if they have a concern. Older pupils say that, in the past, there were some incidents of bullying.

However, they are confident that this is no longer the case. Pupils are caring and thoughtful towards each other. They behave well in lessons and during social times.

Pupils benefit from the wide range of extra-curricular opportunities. For example, pupils develop their resilience because of the residential experiences on offer to them.

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

The new headteacher has galvanised staff.

They feel part of a team and share an unwavering determination to ensure that all pupils reach their full potential. The school is ambitious for pupils. Local governors and trustees know the school's strengths and weaknesses well.

They provide effective, high-quality support and challenge.

Pupils follow an ambitious curriculum. While pupils' published outcomes in key stage 2 are low, this is not reflective of the quality of education in place for current pupils.

Reading has a high priority. As soon as children enter the Reception Year, they learn to read effectively. All staff are well trained to teach the phonics curriculum.

Teachers identify swiftly any pupils who need extra help. Pupils read books that are well matched to the sounds that they know. In turn, this builds pupils' confidence and fluency.

Once pupils have understood the phonics code, they follow a well-thought-out curriculum. Pupils talk enthusiastically about the wide range of books they read.

In most subjects, the curriculum supports pupils to build their knowledge over time.

For example, in mathematics, teaching helps pupils to deepen their knowledge by revisiting key concepts regularly. However, in some subjects, the sequencing of what pupils need to know and understand is not as well thought out. For example, pupils' writing in key stage 2 sometimes lacks fluency and accuracy because pupils do not draw on their previous learning to help them.

Staff use what they know through the assessment of pupils' learning to inform curriculum thinking. However, in some subjects, teachers' use of assessment is not fully developed. Where this is the case, leaders do not have a clear picture of whether pupils have learned the curriculum as intended.

Consequently, some pupils do not learn all elements of the curriculum securely.

Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities achieve well. Teaching is adapted in a way that supports pupils to learn the curriculum successfully.

Staff benefit from the expertise of staff who work in the specially resourced provision for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). This provision is a hive of activity where warm and caring relationships between adults and pupils permeate. Parents describe it as 'a beacon of inclusivity and compassion'.

The school has established a positive learning environment. Pupils are visibly happy and enjoy school. This starts in the Reception class, where children settle quickly into routines.

Pupils are well prepared for life in modern Britain. The school's values of being positive, respectful, recognising individuality, determination and excellence are the backbone of the school.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Pupils in key stage 2 have gaps in their writing knowledge and skills. This means that their writing lacks fluency and accuracy. The school and the trust must embed and evaluate the approach to the teaching of writing so that it has a positive impact on pupils' ability to write well.

• In some subjects, the use of assessment is not fully developed. Staff, therefore, do not have an accurate overview of whether pupils have learned what was intended. The school and the trust need to ensure that assessment is used to inform curriculum planning to support pupils' next steps in learning.

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