Wilstead Primary School

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About Wilstead Primary School

Name Wilstead Primary School
Website http://www.wilsteadschool.co.uk
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Miss Caron Brown
Address Cotton End Road, Wilstead, Bedford, MK45 3BX
Phone Number 01234302303
Phase Primary
Type Foundation school
Age Range 4-11
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 198
Local Authority Bedford
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Wilstead Primary is a warm, welcoming school.

Pupils feel safe here because they trust the adults who look after them. Values, such as trust and kindness, underpin all aspects of school life. Pupils show these in their conduct and their conversations.

Adults are ambitious for all pupils. This includes those pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). Visitors teach pupils about possible careers they might follow.

All pupils are encouraged to work hard and aim high.

Pupils behave well. Adults have established clear expectations and familiar routines.

From the moment children join the Reception class, they learn to look a...fter the resources they use and play with. There is a strong culture of respect throughout the school.

Opportunities for learning outside the classroom are plentiful.

Pupils love to visit the school's forest area, where they build dens, hunt for bugs and immerse themselves in nature. Older pupils enjoy their leadership roles. Student leaders help with parent tours and open evenings.

Learning supporters listen to younger pupils read and playground buddies support positive play outside. A pupil parliament involves 'MPs' from Year 2 to Year 6 making decisions. These make their school an even better place to learn.

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

The school has reviewed and refined its curriculum since the previous inspection. This new curriculum is ambitious and carefully planned. It sets out the key knowledge pupils will learn in each subject, and each year group.

The curriculum breaks learning down into small, manageable steps. These build pupils' knowledge over time. The curriculum prepares pupils well for the next stage of their education.

Teachers present learning clearly. They reinforce key vocabulary, so that pupils develop the language they need in each subject. In Year 2 art lessons, for example, pupils are encouraged to use 'shades' and 'tones' when describing the paintings they have created for a seascape collage.

Teachers check pupils' understanding in a variety of ways. They question pupils regularly, adapting their teaching if they spot misconceptions. Pupils enjoy showing off what they know in 'one-page spreads' at the end of a topic.

These, and other checks, enable teachers to identify any gaps in pupils' knowledge. They adjust their plans if needed. Teachers help pupils to remember what they have learned by revisiting it often.

In mathematics, for example, pupils have a 'flashback' session at the start of each lesson.

Pupils have positive attitudes to learning. In lessons, they listen well and work hard.

Most pupils achieve well, particularly in reading and mathematics. Current pupils' achievements in writing are improving. This is as a result of effective actions taken by the school, following the most recent published outcomes.

Classrooms are inclusive. The needs of pupils with SEND are identified quickly. Effective plans are devised to help them succeed.

Teachers enable pupils with SEND to learn the same curriculum as their peers, sometimes with adjustments and adaptations. These might involve extra adults, or special resources.

In the early years, children thrive in a stimulating environment.

They quickly become independent and curious learners. Adults encourage them to explore all areas of the classroom and outdoor area. Children follow their interests and develop new ones.

The school promotes a love of reading from the moment children start in the Reception class. Pupils enjoy finding out about new authors or genres, following their teachers' recommendations. Through daily phonics lessons, pupils learn the sounds they need to become independent readers.

They learn letter shapes and practise these, so that they can become competent writers. Adults are skilled at spotting those pupils who are not keeping up. They ensure these pupils get additional help.

However, in some of these sessions, adults do not use the language and routines of the phonics programme as precisely as they should. This slows pupils' progress.

Pupils' well-being and their personal development are priorities.

The school dog, Nelson, offers a listening ear to pupils with worries. Sessions on teamwork and cooperation help to develop pupils' character. A range of clubs enables them to develop new skills.

Trips and themed days enrich their learning. In personal, social, health and economic education lessons, pupils learn about healthy lifestyles and positive relationships. Through religious education they explore the world's major religions.

Pupils celebrate difference. They know that everyone should be treated with respect.

The governing body has strengthened its processes for understanding the school's curriculum and holding leaders to account.

Governors visit the school regularly. They provide the right amount of support and challenge to leaders. The school is committed to providing staff with opportunities to develop professionally.

Staff appreciate these. They are proud to work at the school.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

In some early reading and phonics sessions adults do not use the language and routines of the phonics programme as precisely as they could do. This slows pupils' progress. The school should continue to develop the skills of all staff, to ensure that the teaching of phonics is consistent across the school and leads to rapid progress.

Also at this postcode
Wilstead Pre-School

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