Woodlands Primary School

Name Woodlands Primary School
Website http://www.theacademyofwoodlands.co.uk
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 18 October 2011
Address Woodlands Road, Gillingham, Kent, ME7 2DU
Phone Number 03000658200
Type Academy
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Does Not Apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 718 (53% boys 47% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 26.8
Academy Sponsor The Academy Of Woodlands
Local Authority Medway
Percentage Free School Meals 23.8%
Percentage English is Not First Language 10.9%

Information about the school

Woodlands Primary is much larger than the average-sized primary school. The proportion of pupils who have a minority ethnic heritage is lower than the national average, as is the proportion of pupils who speak English as an additional language. The proportion of pupils who are known to be eligible for free school meals is above that found nationally. Nearly one fifth of pupils have special educational needs and/or disabilities and the majority of these have speech, language and communication needs or behavioural, emotional or social difficulties. Nearly one quarter of the pupils join or leave the school partway through their education. Children in the Early Years Foundation Stage attend part time in the Nursery and attend Reception full time in one of two classes. There is also a children’s centre on site, which is inspected separately. The school runs a range of community activities and there are breakfast and after-school clubs every day. It also manages a specially resourced provision for pupils with special educational needs, known as the ‘Hub’. This provision caters for nine pupils aged from 7 to 11 years, who all have a statement of special educational needs and who are on the roll of a local special school. Their needs vary and include behavioural, social and emotional difficulties, autistic spectrum disorders and learning difficulties. The pupils are taught together in the hub for basic skills and they are included in mainstream lessons every afternoon for a variety of subjects including physical education, music and art. The school has been awarded Healthy School Status.

Main findings

Woodlands Primary is a good, inclusive community school which is continuing to improve under the strong leadership of the headteacher and senior leaders and managers. They are supported well by the governing body and the whole staff. The school provides a very caring and positive ethos and pupils develop strong values and become increasingly mature. They enjoy coming to school and behave well in lessons and around the school. One pupil said, ‘I love coming here - it’s really fun.’ Pupils are polite and respectful towards each other and towards adults. The school looks after pupils well and goes to great lengths to support them, including those whose circumstances may make them vulnerable. Pupils feel very safe because the school’s safeguarding arrangements are outstanding and parents and carers agree. Good engagement with parents and carers ensures that they are kept well informed about their child’s learning and have opportunities to influence decisions. Strong evidence from the school’s own data and in lessons shows that outcomes for pupils are good. Pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities, make good progress relative to their starting points. While achievement is good overall, attainment in both English and mathematics is average and the quality of learning is weaker in Reception classes. For a small number of girls, progress is not accelerated quickly enough in mathematics. Data are used well at whole-school level to identify patterns of performance and teachers are addressing any weaknesses. The quality of teaching is good overall and sometimes outstanding and this is enabling pupils to accelerate their progress. In the majority of lessons there is a clear structure, good pace and pupils are given regular feedback about their work. However, pupils do not have a clear understanding of their progress overall, relative to their target levels. Teaching is not yet consistently good in the Early Years Foundation Stage. There are many strengths in the school, including the outstanding extent to which pupils contribute to the school and local community and engage in healthy activities. Their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is excellent. The community aspects of the school impact strongly on pupils’ development, including their emotional and social development. Aspects of the school’s curriculum, including music, physical education and drama, are very strong and pupils, including those in the Hub, are effectively supported through individual programmes. Additional activities offered to pupils are enhanced by strong partnerships with other organisations The school is well led and managed and has effective systems in place to monitor the quality of its work. It knows its strengths and weaknesses and plans effectively to address them. Since the last inspection, there have been significant improvements, most notably in the rate of pupils’ progress and the quality of teaching. Consequently, the capacity to secure further improvements is good.