Freeman Community Primary School

Name Freeman Community Primary School
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 11 November 2010
Address Church Road, Stowupland, Stowmarket, Suffolk, IP14 4BQ
Phone Number 01449612067
Type Primary
Age Range 4-11
Religious Character Does Not Apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 204 (47% boys 53% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 20.4
Local Authority Suffolk
Percentage Free School Meals 9.8%
Percentage English is Not First Language 1%

Information about the school

This is a smaller than average primary school. The number of pupils on roll is increasing as new homes are being built in the area. One third of pupils travel from outside the immediate locality as parents and carers choose the school. The majority come from White British backgrounds. A very small number of pupils speak English as an additional language. The percentage of pupils known to be eligible for free school meals is below that found in most schools. The proportion of pupils with identified special educational needs and/or disabilities, including those with a statement of special educational needs, is broadly average. These pupils have moderate or severe learning difficulties. All classes except the Nursery and one class in Year 2 consist of two age groups. Pupils currently transfer to a local middle school at the end of Year 4, but there are discussions about the possibility of extending the age range to include children aged three and in Years 5 and 6. In the past two years there have been a number of changes of staff and to the membership of the governing body. A privately run pre-school operates on the site. This was inspected separately and the report placed on the Ofsted website.

Main findings

Freeman Community Primary is a good school. For several years it has sustained above average standards for pupils at the end of Year 2 and when they leave the school in Year 4. This is because pupils are taught well and work is matched carefully to their abilities. Teachers and teaching assistants collaborate well so that all are clear about what pupils are to learn and to achieve in each lesson, and the best ways to support them. Building on the positive attitudes to learning and knowledge established in the Early Years Foundation Stage, pupils from Years 1 to 4 acquire a thorough understanding of important skills in literacy and numeracy. This gives them confidence to write imaginatively and at length for a wide range of purposes, as well as apply their mathematical skills to real-life situations. Detailed tracking of pupils’ progress identifies quickly if they are falling behind so that effective support, designed to meet specific needs, can be implemented. Good provision for pupils who speak English as an additional language and those with special educational needs and/or disabilities ensures they are involved fully in lessons and make good progress. This good provision is also supported by close partnerships with parents and carers and outside professionals who assist the school in helping pupils to develop the skills to overcome their learning difficulties. A lively and engaging curriculum sparks pupils’ interests so they want to learn. It promotes healthy living and ways to keep safe, and provides many opportunities for participation in sport. Consequently pupils confirm in their questionnaires that they enjoy being at the school, and that it keeps them healthy and safe. The good Early Years Foundation Stage programme has particular strengths in literacy and numeracy, but does not provide sufficient opportunities for children to work on themes which provide continuity between their indoor and outdoor learning. Most pupils behave well and this contributes to their good learning and happy atmosphere in school. Pupils take pride in presenting their work neatly and those taking on responsibilities to lead games in the playground carry out their roles sensibly. The headteacher has maintained the good provision identified at the time of the last inspection, and has brought about improvements to the accommodation for the Reception class and outcomes at the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage. Improvements in the consistency of the use of assessment and setting of individual targets for pupils to achieve have sustained pupils’ good progress. Representatives of the governing body are more involved in the life and work of the school. However, at the time of the last inspection, the headteacher’s heavy teaching workload did not give her enough time to develop her long-term strategic vision for the school to bring about even better outcomes for the pupils. This is largely still the case and the school is growing in size. Since September this year, she has further reduced her teaching workload and delegated some management responsibilities to members of staff. Neither they nor the governing body have yet had sufficient training to enable them to contribute fully to drawing up a long-term strategic plan, to the effective monitoring and evaluation of the school’s effectiveness, or to augmenting the school’s capacity to improve.