Lowther Endowed School

Name Lowther Endowed School
Website http://www.lowther.cumbria.sch.uk/
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 26 November 2013
Address Hackthorpe, Penrith, Cumbria, CA10 2HT
Phone Number 01931712344
Type Primary
Age Range 4-11
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 74 (55% boys 45% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 19.5
Local Authority Cumbria
Percentage Free School Meals 4.1%
Percentage English is Not First Language 0%
Pupils with SEN Support 12.2%
Catchment Area Information Available Yes, our catchment area data is FREE
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

Information about this school

Lowther is smaller than the average-sized primary school. The proportion of pupils supported through school action is average. The proportion of pupils supported at school action plus or with a statement of special educational needs is well below average. The proportion of pupils known to be eligible for support through the pupil premium is lower than that found nationally. The pupil premium is additional funding for pupils who are known to be eligible for free school meals, children from service families and children who are looked after. The number of pupils from minority ethnic groups is well below the national average. Pupils are mainly taught in four classes. A lower-school ‘unit’ comprises of two classes with pupils from Reception and Years 1 and 2. Years 3 and 4 are taught together as are Years 5 and 6. The headteacher was appointed in September 2012. More than half the teaching staff joined the school within the last 18 months. A new governing body has been formed since the previous inspection. The school meets the government’s current floor standards, which set the minimum expectations for pupils’ attainment and progress in English and mathematics.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a good school. Lowther is at the heart of the local community and highly valued by pupils, their families and staff. Pupils get off to a good start in the Early Years Foundation Stage and make good progress during their time at school. Any weaknesses arising since the previous inspection have been successfully tackled by the headteacher and governors. As a result, the school is rapidly improving. Results in the Year 6 tests in 2013 show a big improvement compared to the previous year when standards declined. A higher proportion than the national average achieves the higher levels in English and mathematics. The teaching of reading is extremely effective. By the time pupils leave in Year 6, they are very competent readers and well prepared for the next stage of their education. Overall, teaching is good and some is outstanding. Pupils are keen to learn and enjoy the wide range of activities in lessons. Teachers and teaching assistants work well as a team to provide good guidance and advice to help pupils with ways to improve their learning. During the inspection, pupils’ behaviour in and around the school was good and school records show that this is typical. Pupils feel happy, safe and secure. The headteacher has developed a strong team of staff and volunteers who are dedicated to pupils’ personal and academic development. A new tracking system has been introduced to measure precisely and regularly how well pupils are progressing. The governing body provides a good balance of support and challenge. Together with the headteacher, it is concentrating on raising the quality of teaching even further. It is not yet an outstanding school because : There is not enough outstanding teaching. Occasionally, there is not enough challenge for the middle-ability pupils. Teachers do not always adapt activities quickly enough when pupils find work too easy or too hard. There is a lack of consistency in the quality of marking across the school. The role of some subject leaders is not yet fully developed. Some are at an early stage in measuring progress for their areas of responsibility in order to raise achievement.