St Helen’s Primary School

Name St Helen’s Primary School
Ofsted Inspection Rating Requires improvement
Inspection Date 05 June 2018
Address Colne Road, Bluntisham, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, PE28 3NY
Phone Number 01487841468
Type Primary
Age Range 4-11
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 162
Number of Pupils per Teacher 20.2
Local Authority 873
Percentage Free School Meals 10.5%
Percentage English is Not First Language 0%
Persisitent Absence 12.9%
Pupils with SEN Support 10.5%
Catchment Area Information Available Yes, our catchment area data is FREE
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

Information about this school

The school joined Horizons Learning Federation in 2015. There is a shared governing body and executive headteacher across the three schools in the federation: Holywell Primary School, Somersham Primary School and St Helen’s Primary School. The executive headteacher joined the federation in September 2016. The head of school was appointed in autumn 2017. She was previously employed at Holywell Primary School. The proportion of pupils who are eligible for the pupil premium funding is below the national average. The proportion of pupils who have SEN and/or disabilities is lower than the national average, including for those pupils who have an education, health and care plan. No pupils access any alternative provision and all pupils access full-time provision at the school. The school did not meet the floor standards set by the Department for Education for the achievement of pupils in Year 6 in 2017. The governing body requested support from the local authority in autumn 2017, and local authority officers have been working with the school on a weekly basis since this time. This support has been extensive, ranging from leadership mentoring, subject-specific guidance and a governance review. At the time of the inspection, there was also a leadership review scheduled to be undertaken the following week.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a school that requires improvement The federation’s executive headteacher and governors have been slow to act to ensure that the school has the capacity to secure good standards. Pupils in Year 6 did not make the progress of which they were capable in 2016/17, most notably in writing and mathematics. The quality of governance has declined since the previous inspection. Governors do not have a precise enough understanding of standards in the school to challenge leaders effectively. Leaders’ monitoring is not sharp enough in checking that pupils make good progress from their starting points. Leaders and governors do not understand the difference that the additional funding makes to disadvantaged pupils’ achievement and attendance. The wider curriculum and assessment processes are not fully developed. Although pupils access a range of subjects, the quality of their learning experiences is variable. The quality of teaching and learning over time has been inconsistent. This has partially been affected by staffing turbulence and a lack of permanent teaching for pupils. There is inconsistency in the expectations that teachers have about what pupils can achieve. Teachers do not use pupils’ starting points to plan work that ensures that pupils achieve well. Pupils, most of whom arrive at the school as inquisitive and thoughtful children, are not receiving sufficient opportunities to develop social skills and be good learners as they move through the school. A number of parents are not confident in the leadership of the Horizons Learning Federation. The school has the following strengths Early years provision is securely good. Children get a good start to their education. The new head of school this year is bringing improvements to the quality of leadership, teaching, staff recruitment, morale, and parental confidence in school leadership. The local authority’s tenacious and diligent support has been instrumental in stemming any further decline in standards this year. New middle leaders and permanent staffing are bringing additional capacity to improve the teaching of mathematics and writing.