Oaklands Primary School

Name Oaklands Primary School
Website http://www.oaklands.herts.sch.uk
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 21 September 2011
Address Great North Road, Oaklands, Welwyn, Hertfordshire, AL6 0PX
Phone Number 01438715278
Type Primary
Age Range 4-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 195 (55% boys 45% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 21.9
Local Authority Hertfordshire
Percentage Free School Meals 10.3%
Percentage English is Not First Language 10.8%
Persisitent Absence 10.2%
Pupils with SEN Support 15.4%
Catchment Area Information Available Yes, our catchment area data is FREE
Last Distance Offered Information Available Yes

Information about the school

Oaklands is smaller than the average primary school, and serves village communities to the north of Welwyn Garden City. The majority of pupils are White British, but a few pupils speak English as an additional language. The proportion of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities is much smaller than average and very few pupils have a statement of special educational needs. A smaller than average proportion of pupils are known to be eligible for free school meals. There are three mixed-age classes in Years 3 to 6 and in Early Years Foundation Stage there is one Reception class. The school holds Healthy School status. During the past two years there have been a number of changes to the teaching and administrative staff, and changes to the governing body of the school. The Acorn Pre-school shares the school site but is not managed by the governing body and is subject to a separate inspection.

Main findings

Oaklands provides a good quality of education. Pupils are well taught and show a positive and enthusiastic approach to learning, and as a result they make good progress. Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities and those who speak English as an additional language also make good progress because their needs are quickly and accurately assessed and they receive well-targeted learning support. A significant feature of the school is the good care, guidance and support that pupils receive from staff, and so they grow in confidence. Pupils enjoy school, as shown by their above-average attendance. One pupil, typical of many, said, ‘I really like my school because our teachers are wonderful and we learn lots of stuff.’ Safeguarding arrangements are good, pupils know how to keep safe, and they have a good understanding of what is involved in leading a healthy life. Children settle quickly into the Reception class and make good gains in their learning so they enter Year 1 with skills and abilities that are similar to those expected nationally. Good progress continues through the school. Careful monitoring of teaching and learning, and rigorous tracking of pupils’ progress, underpins pupils’ above average attainment at the end of Year 6. Pupils’ attainment in numeracy has improved as a result of a focus on problem solving, but opportunities are missed to extend pupils’ numeracy skills and also their information and communication technology (ICT) skills through other areas of the curriculum and in topic work. The progress made by boys has improved because themes and practical tasks are planned to appeal to boys in lessons. Pupils’ social and moral development is good, as shown by their good behaviour and the strength of relationships in the school. Spiritual development is satisfactory. Pupils’ awareness of the richness and diversity of other cultures, both globally and nationally, is not as well developed. Under the committed direction of the headteacher, senior leaders and managers, priorities for improvement have been accurately identified and there is a shared commitment to continue to raise attainment and improve the school further. The members of the governing body, many new to their role, have improved their skills rapidly and share monitoring responsibilities with senior staff. They offer full challenge and are now active partners in driving the school forward. Links with parents and carers are satisfactory. They are kept soundly informed about the child’s progress, and provided with useful guidance on curriculum areas so they can support their child’s learning. However, they are not informed fully or on a regular basis of all changes and developments taking place within the school. Development points from the previous inspection have been fully resolved well. Strong partnerships with external advisors and other local schools are used very effectively to support and extend provision. Sustained good-quality teaching and the setting of clear and ambitious targets mean that the school has a good capacity for further improvement.