Willowbrook Mead Primary Academy

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About Willowbrook Mead Primary Academy

Name Willowbrook Mead Primary Academy
Website http://www.willowbrook-tmet.uk
Ofsted Inspections
This inspection rating relates to a predecessor school. When a school converts to an academy, is taken over or closes and reopens as a new school a formal link is created between the new school and the old school, by the Department for Education. Where the new school has not yet been inspected, we show the inspection history of the predecessor school, as we believe it still has significance.
Address Roborough Green, Thurnby Lodge, Leicester, LE5 2NA
Phone Number 01162413756
Type Academy
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Does Not Apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 458 (49.3% boys 50.7% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 23.6
Academy Sponsor The Mead Educational Trust
Local Authority Leicester
Percentage Free School Meals 31.90%
Percentage English is Not First Language 34.4%
Persistent Absence 11.4%
Pupils with SEN Support 11.9%
Highlights from Latest Inspection
This inspection rating relates to a predecessor school. When a school converts to an academy, is taken over or closes and reopens as a new school a formal link is created between the new school and the old school, by the Department for Education. Where the new school has not yet been inspected, we show the inspection history of the predecessor school, as we believe it still has significance.

Main findings

Willowbrook Primary is an outstanding school.

It is a school in which pupils feel very safe and highly valued because staff know them very well and provide excellent levels of care. As a result, pupils enjoy coming to school and derive great benefit from the welcoming and supportive learning environment. This is recognised by the vast majority of parents and carers.

Nearly all of those who replied to the inspection questionnaire, or who met with the inspectors, expressed a high level of satisfaction with the school and their children's experience. One, capturing the views of many, said 'I am very happy with the teachers at my son's school. He enjoys going to school and is making good progress....

I like the communication between myself and the teachers.' Pupils take great pride in the wide range of jobs that they carry out, such as being members of the effective school council, helping others in their roles as buddies, and acting as eco-warriors. Their consistently outstanding behaviour acts as encouragement for others to contribute to the school's positive ethos.

The eager attitudes to learning are underpinned by outstanding spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. Pupils develop a good understanding of how to lead a healthy lifestyle and take part in a wide range of physical activities. An enterprising Early Years Foundation Stage enables children to make a good start to school.

Due to careful early assessments, which are particularly important for those who speak English as an additional language, children begin to make good progress immediately. This good progress continues as pupils move through the school and attainment at the end of Year 6 is broadly average and rising in reading, writing and mathematics. This is confirmed both by reliable school tracking information and the work inspectors observed across the school.

However, because of weaknesses in writing, attainment in English is not rising as quickly as in mathematics. This had been the case at the higher levels, but teachers' assessments are now having an impact on planning leading to work that is matched well to the needs of more-able pupils. Contributing to the unevenness in attainment in writing is the inconsistent attention given across the curriculum to the development of writing skills such as handwriting, spelling and punctuation.

In addition, pupils have a varying degree of awareness of how to evaluate their success in learning. The effective use of assessment information to identify where additional teaching will be most beneficial makes a significant contribution to pupils' good achievement. One particularly notable aspect of the school's care for individual pupils is the very effective support provided for those who may be vulnerable due to their circumstances; this ensures that they keep up with classmates.

An outstanding feature of the school's provision is the vast range of partnerships that the school engages with to provide a particularly vibrant and stimulating curriculum. The excellent curriculum is based on a well-informed analysis of pupils' interests, the skills they need and how best they can be acquired. The half-termly cross-curricular topics have a special starter activity to stimulate project work that includes studies of the environment alongside aspects of UNICEF's respect agenda.

This makes a significant contribution to pupils' good progress. Because much has been done to improve the quality of teaching and learning, most teaching is good and some is outstanding. However, the quality is not consistent throughout the school.

There is more still to do to ensure that pupils in all classes are provided with activities that challenge them consistently. In a few lessons, pupils spend too much time listening passively to lengthy introductions and teachers' questioning does not challenge and extend their thinking well enough. In these lessons, too few checks are made on pupils' progress so that learning can be developed more rapidly.

Another strong feature of the school is the extent to which use is made of the rich diversity of cultures within the local community. The school does much to engage with the local community and works very effectively with many agencies, faith groups and businesses. The school's links with the local community are excellent and underpinned by a detailed understanding of the context in which the school operates.

As a result, pupils' awareness of and their preparation for living and working in a culturally diverse Britain are being developed exceptionally well. Since the last inspection, the headteacher, with the strong support of all staff, the governing body and others with leadership responsibilities, has steered the school very effectively. The strategies put in place to tackle the school's improvement priorities are proving successful and the school's overall effectiveness has improved since the last inspection.

The school's view of itself is accurate and its record of raising achievement shows it is well placed to build on its strengths and has demonstrated good capacity to improve further.

Information about the school

Willowbrook is larger than the average primary school. The school has an Early Years Foundation Stage that caters for children aged 3-4 years in Willowbrook Nursery, run by the governing body.

Children move from this into the school's Reception classes. The proportion of pupils in the school known to be eligible for free school meals is well-above average. Pupils represent a wide range of ethnic groups alongside those of White British heritage.

The largest ethnic groups are from Indian backgrounds, with small proportions from Black African and White and Black Caribbean backgrounds. A small minority speaks English as an additional language, a few of whom are in the early stages of learning the language. The proportion of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities is in line with the average.

More pupils than usually found join or leave the school at times other than the usual starting or leaving points. The school has gained national recognition for its work in several areas, including Activemark and Healthy Schools status. The school has undergone a period of instability in senior leadership during the last four years.