Harefield Primary School


Name Harefield Primary School
Website http://www.harefieldprimaryschool.net
Ofsted Inspection Rating Outstanding
Inspection Date 03 March 2011
Address Yeovil Chase, Southampton, SO18 5NZ
Phone Number 02380463240
Type Academy
Age Range 4-11
Religious Character Does Not Apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 412 (55% boys 45% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 19.8
Academy Sponsor Hamwic Education Trust
Percentage Free School Meals 21.6%
Percentage English is Not First Language 14.1%

Information about the school

Harefield is above average in size for a primary school. The very large majority of its pupils are of White British backgrounds. Very few pupils speak English as an additional language. The proportion of pupils known to be eligible for free school meals is much higher than in most schools. An average proportion of pupils have special educational needs and/or disabilities. The school holds Healthy School status. The school runs a breakfast club for pupils before the school day starts. A pre-school shares the school site, but it is not managed by the governing body and so is subject to a separate inspection. At the time of the inspection, the school was part way through major building works, so part of the site was fenced off.

Main findings

Harefield is an outstanding school. Children get off to an excellent start in Reception and their excellent progress is maintained throughout Key Stages 1 and 2. The teaching is excellent, care is exceptional and the curriculum innovative and highly stimulating. As a result, pupils’ behaviour is excellent and they feel extremely safe. Parents and carers are very happy with the education their children receive. One wrote: ’I couldn’t ask for a better school for my children to attend.’ At the time of the last inspection, the school was judged to be good and improving rapidly after a challenging period of amalgamation. This pursuit of excellence has now been sustained over a considerable period of time and the school has an outstanding capacity to improve further. The headteacher gives exceptional leadership that is analytical, accessible and responsive, and has empowered leaders at all levels to help drive improvement forward. He, the deputy headteacher and other senior leaders have established a highly rigorous programme of self-evaluation, including accurate assessment of teaching and learning in lessons and detailed tracking of pupils’ progress over time. This enables them to pinpoint exactly where improvement is needed, both for individuals and for groups of pupils. Over the last two years, this had led to a strong focus on developing writing skills throughout the school, especially for boys. Progress in writing is now extremely rapid, for both boys and girls. The school’s leaders are aware that teaching strategies in mathematics have not yet received the same high level of review. They can demonstrate that progress in mathematics is outstanding in Key Stage 2 and good in Key Stage 1, but are well aware from their own data that the progress in mathematics of the boys in Key Stage 1 is significantly slower than that of the girls. The very large majority of pupils greatly enjoy all aspects of school, especially the highly memorable extra activities and special focus weeks. During the inspection, it was health week, and pupils certainly showed an excellent understanding of how to stay healthy. They dressed up as fruits and showed enormous excitement and enthusiasm in the Friday assembly, which was led with consummate skill by the headteacher dressed as a banana. Many pupils reflect their enjoyment in good attendance, missing no or very few sessions through the year. However, despite the best efforts of the school to reward and support good attendance, it remains broadly average because a comparatively high proportion of pupils attend less frequently than they should. These pupils are very closely monitored and receive exceptional individual support to catch up when they are in school, so their progress remains good, but these efforts take up significant staff time.