Elm Tree Community Primary School


Name Elm Tree Community Primary School
Ofsted Inspection Rating Outstanding
Inspection Date 26 September 2017
Address Elmers Wood Road, Tanhouse, Skelmersdale, Lancashire, WN8 6SA
Phone Number 0169550924
Type Special
Age Range 5-11
Religious Character Does Not Apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 76 (94% boys 6% girls)
Percentage Free School Meals 43.4%
Percentage English is Not First Language 0%

Information about this school

The school provides education for pupils with social, emotional and mental health difficulties, many of whom have additional needs such as autistic spectrum condition. The school serves west Lancashire. The school provides its own escorted transport and this is how most pupils arrive and leave school each day. The vast majority of pupils have an education, health and care plan or statement of special educational needs. Most pupils are of White British heritage and the proportion of pupils who speak English as an additional language is low. Boys considerably outnumber girls. The proportion of pupils on roll identified as disadvantaged is well above the national average. The school offers an outreach service that supports a large number of local primary schools with advice and guidance around pupils with social, emotional and mental health needs. The school meets requirements on the publication of specified information on its website.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is an outstanding school The headteacher’s outstanding leadership ensures that pupils are at the heart of all that the school does. Believing in children is the watchword of leaders and staff. As a result, pupils with social, emotional and mental health needs thrive. Governors are passionate about the school and make a valuable contribution to school improvement. Pupils who attend Elm Tree have often struggled in their previous schools. Now all pupils are successful learners and the vast majority make outstanding progress from their starting points. Assessment is used well by teachers in lessons to match activities precisely to pupils’ learning needs. This, together with strong, positive relationships and lots of praise and encouragement, ensures that pupils have an excellent attitude to learning. Pupils are offered a rich, broad and balanced curriculum. Physical education is particularly well taught. Pupils love this subject. The exceptional enrichment curriculum provides pupils with opportunities to participate in activities that they may not otherwise be able to experience. It is instrumental in building pupils’ confidence, self-belief and social skills. The school is often innovative in its approach to working with pupils who have social, emotional and mental health needs. For example, assessing pupils’ speech and language abilities and then building their skills up in this area has been instrumental in ensuring that pupils are ready to learn. Behaviour is outstanding. Pupils conduct themselves well around school and work hard to manage their own behaviour. Pupils’ successful personal development and good welfare are central to the work of the school. Pupils benefit from a range of therapeutic support strategies such as play therapy, massage and counselling. Pupils feel very safe in school and parents agree. The school’s outreach service has been instrumental in reducing the numbers of primary pupils excluded in the local authority. Sometimes the most able pupils are not challenged enough. At times they miss out on opportunities to think through mathematical problems and find answers for themselves. Occasionally, the end-of-year targets set for pupils are too aspirational and so it wrongly appears that some pupils do less well than they should.