Orrell Holgate Academy

Name Orrell Holgate Academy
Website http://www.holgate.wigan.sch.uk
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 25 September 2019
Address Moor Road, Orrell, Wigan, Lancashire, WN5 8SJ
Phone Number 01942776670
Type Academy
Age Range 4-11
Religious Character Does Not Apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 216
Number of Pupils per Teacher 24.5
Academy Sponsor Greengate Academy Trust
Local Authority 359
Percentage Free School Meals 13.9%
Percentage English is Not First Language 4.6%
Persisitent Absence 6.6%
Pupils with SEN Support 7.9%
Catchment Area Information Available Yes, our catchment area data is FREE
Last Distance Offered Information Available No


Orrell Holgate Academy continues to be a good school.

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils are happy and love coming to school. They enjoy their learning and say that it is fun. Pupils behave exceptionally well around school and in their lessons. They are polite, well mannered and care about others. Leaders make sure that pupils feel safe, and that they are safe. Pupils say that bullying is very rare, but that if it does happen, staff deal with it effectively. Pupils told me that there is always a member of staff that they can talk to if they have any worries.

Leaders have very high expectations for all. They want every pupil to develop a life-long love of learning and to realise that there are no limits to their future successes. Leaders ensure that all pupils, including disadvantaged pupils and pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), are fully included in every aspect of school life. Leaders work closely with families and external agencies to overcome any possible barriers that children may have. No child is left behind.

Parents are overwhelmingly positive about the school. Several told me that their child is happy, safe and enjoys school. They say that the school is well led and managed, and that staff are approachable and caring.

What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?

Leaders have planned carefully what pupils should learn in each year group. Teachers know what pupils have learned before and use this to plan future learning. The curriculum covers the content and depth of the national curriculum. Teachers’ strong subject knowledge ensures that pupils achieve well in a range of subjects. Pupils told me that they enjoy their lessons, particularly reading, art and physical education.

The good behaviour of pupils helps them to learn effectively. By the end of key stage 2, pupils achieve highly in reading, writing and mathematics. Typically, they make very strong progress in these subjects compared to other pupils nationally. They are very well prepared for secondary school.Leaders’ passion for reading can be seen throughout the school. Displays around the school celebrate pupils’ love of reading. There are many areas where pupils can go to sit and read. Pupils enjoy listening to stories, such as ‘The Magic Faraway Tree’. They are keen to talk about their favourite authors and recommend books to read. They quickly become confident, fluent readers.

Pupils begin to learn phonics as soon as they start in Reception. Teachers are well trained in teaching phonics. The books that pupils read and take home are matched well to the sounds that they are learning. Any pupils who struggle are supported to catch up. Across the school, staff prioritise reading and developing pupils’ vocabulary. As a result, pupils achieve very highly in the Year 1 phonics screening check and in key stage 1 reading tests at the end of Year 2.

In history, pupils speak enthusiastically about their learning. They enjoyed using clues to determine the origin of an Anglo-Saxon helmet. Some pupils are not confident in ordering historical events, and others struggle to remember what they have covered in previous years in history. Leaders have not identified the important knowledge that they want pupils to know at key points in the curriculum. Added to this, some teachers do not routinely check what pupils know and remember in history.

The mathematics curriculum is ambitious and carefully adapted to meet the needs of all pupils, including pupils with SEND. Teachers make sure that pupils have the resources and support that they need. Staff have received professional training and support in teaching mathematics. As a result, teachers build in many opportunities for pupils to solve problems and reason. Pupils enjoy their mathematics learning and achieve well.

Children in early years get off to a good start. They settle well, make friends and quickly learn the routines and expectations of the Reception class. Leaders and staff work hard to get to know children. They quickly establish what children already know and can do. Early reading and mathematics teaching are successful. Children are happy here. They go about their learning with smiles on their faces. Children are well prepared for the move to Year 1.

Pupils enjoy a wide range of activities which support their personal development. Pupils attend many clubs and activities, from sporting clubs to film club and choir. Leaders provide many trips and visits to broaden pupils’ experiences, including a residential in key stage 2. Pupils relish the chance to undertake responsibility, for example becoming house captains, buddies or members of the school council.

Governors and trustees know the school well. Staff are proud to work at the school. They feel valued and respected. Staff said that leaders are considerate of their workload.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective. Leaders and all staff are committed to keeping pupils safe. They receive up-to-date training and are vigilant. Staff know what to do if they have any concerns. Leaders complete all appropriate checks prior to staffworking with children. Leaders work closely with families and with a range of agencies to keep children safe. They make sure that they get timely help and support if needed.

Teachers teach pupils how to stay safe both online and in the wider world. Pupils told me confidently that they know how to stay safe on social media, how to keep mentally and physically healthy and what to do in case of a natural disaster.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

Leaders have designed and implemented a curriculum which meets the aims of the national curriculum. Leaders need to ensure that, in the wider curriculum, the key learning points that teachers want pupils to know and understand in each subject are clear. . Some pupils do not remember the work that they have done previously in some foundation subjects. Leaders need to structure learning in the foundation subjects so that pupils are able to commit what they learn to their long-term memory as well as they do in English and mathematics. Leaders also need to ensure that there are effective strategies in place so that teachers can check what pupils know and remember. This is to enable teachers to address any gaps in pupils’ knowledge swiftly and effectively.


When we have judged a school to be good we will then normally go into the school about once every four years to confirm that the school remains good. This is called a section 8 inspection of a good school or non-exempt outstanding school. We do not give graded judgements on a section 8 inspection. However, if we find some evidence that the school could now be better than good or that standards may be declining, then the next inspection will be a section 5 inspection. Usually this is within one to two years of the date of the section 8 inspection. If we have serious concerns about safeguarding, behaviour or the quality of education, we will convert the section 8 inspection to a section 5 inspection immediately.

This is the first section 8 inspection since we judged the predecessor school, Orrell Holgate Primary School, to be good on 2–3 November 2011.