Ealdham Primary School

Name Ealdham Primary School
Website http://www.ealdhamprimary.org.uk
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 11 October 2011
Address Ealdham Square, Eltham, London, SE9 6BP
Phone Number 02088505484
Type Primary
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Does Not Apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 438 (59% boys 41% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 18.7
Local Authority Greenwich
Percentage Free School Meals 28.4%
Percentage English is Not First Language 32.9%
Catchment Area Information Available Yes, our catchment area data is FREE

Information about the school

Ealdham Primary School is a larger than average-sized primary school which draws the majority of its pupils from the surrounding area, although a minority come from further afield. The proportion of pupils known to be eligible for free school meals is well above average. While the majority of pupils are White British, a sizeable, and growing, minority come from a wide range of other ethnic backgrounds. Most of these pupils speak English as an additional language when they begin school. The proportion of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities is broadly average. The Early Years Foundation Stage includes a Nursery class. Children in Reception are provided for in two classes. The school runs a breakfast club for its pupils which was visited during the inspection. An after-school club run on-site by an external provider was inspected separately. The school has achieved a number of awards including Artsmark, Basic Skills and Extended Schools.

Main findings

Ealdham Primary School is a good school. An interesting curriculum supports pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural awareness well so that they develop into mature, reflective and confident youngsters by the time they are in Year 6. Parents and carers are highly positive about the school and the quality of their children’s experiences. Their responses reflect the pupils’ visible enjoyment of school. Pupils feel safe and secure in school because they have confidence in the adults who look after them. They know well how to keep themselves safe. Their understanding of healthy eating is not as good. While pupils enjoy fruit at break and are very active during play and lunchtimes, they do not always make healthy eating choices. Pupils’ personal and emotional needs are well supported, especially where they have some difficulty in managing their own behaviour. Behaviour is good as a result. Lessons are calm and movement around the school very orderly. Pupils’ attainment is improving and their progress accelerating. Children get off to a good start in the Early Years Foundation Stage from very low starting points, especially in literacy. They make good progress as they move through the school so that, by the end of Year 6, attainment in English and mathematics is in line with national averages. The school has worked particularly hard to improve attainment in English. Pupils’ speaking and listening skills are often good, especially by the time they are in Key Stage 2. Good progress in writing is made across the school, although there is a lot of ground to make up because children’s starting points are so low. In the Early Years Foundation Stage, children have regular opportunities to develop early writing skills but sometimes writing activities are too difficult for some children or do not captivate boys as much as they do girls. Higher up the school, teachers make writing relevant to pupils and provide them with real reasons to write. However, in their eagerness to give effective support to pupils, they sometimes overuse templates or frames to guide their writing. This reduces the challenge, especially for more-able pupils, to develop extended writing on their own. Pupils make good progress in developing their problem-solving skills in mathematics and their thinking in science. Teaching is good. Lessons are consistently well planned and activities take good account of pupils’ interests. However, on occasions, overlong introductions mean pupils have less time to finish tasks or some pupils lose momentum and pace, and do not produce as much as others. In lessons, pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities are usually well supported, often by teaching assistants. However, occasionally, learning targets for these pupils are not precise enough and, in these few instances, their progress slows. The curriculum promotes creativity well right from the Nursery to Year 6. Planning for the use of literacy and numeracy across the curriculum is good. Work with the British Museum on exploring artefacts has stimulated children’s curiosity and fired their imaginations. It has also inspired them with a desire to write about their work so much that pupils cannot wait to get their thoughts down on paper. Pupils’ skills in information and communication technology (ICT) are developed well in designated lessons but they have too few opportunities to make use of ICT in other subjects. The headteacher provides clear direction for the school’s future development. He works in close and effective partnership with the deputy headteacher and the governing body. The school has improved well since its last inspection as a result of the focused work on raising achievement. As a result, pupils’ attainment is higher and their achievement is good. These improvements, coupled with its accurate self-evaluation, means the school has good capacity to improve.