Upshire Primary Foundation School

Name Upshire Primary Foundation School
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 13 November 2019
Address Upshire Road, Upshire, Waltham Abbey, Essex, EN9 3PX
Phone Number 01992715567
Type Primary
Age Range 4-11
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 232 (54% boys 46% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 24.2
Local Authority Essex
Percentage Free School Meals 18.1%
Percentage English is Not First Language 10.8%
Catchment Area Information Available Yes, our catchment area data is FREE

What is it like to attend this school?

Celebrating what pupils do well is central to the work of Upshire Primary Foundation School. Pupils choose the work that they are proud of and display it around the school. They regularly choose to show work to adults elsewhere in the school to share success. Leaders reward achievements through the whole curriculum in assemblies.

Pupils proudly show the badges they receive for their achievement and good attendance. As they move through the school, they take on increased responsibilities. For example, pupils take on the roles of house captains, prefects and play leaders. They also help care for the school tortoise. Year 6 pupils earn additional privileges for being good role models. They are aware that these may be lost as well as earned. Pupils wear badges showing their ‘VIP status’ with pride.

Teachers have recently improved the curriculum, particularly in history, geography and science. Pupils are very interested in the current history topics and have a detailed knowledge of what they have learned. They appreciate the money leaders have spent on buying good-quality reading books. Pupils say they particularly enjoy the non-fiction books linked to their topics.

Pupils play well together with the wide range of equipment and apparatus available outside. There are very few bullying or significant behavioural incidents. Where these do occur, staff deal with them quickly.

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

Leaders are ambitious for pupils. Following several years of poor key stage 2 reading outcomes, they undertook a full curriculum review. Staff, governors and pupils know what the school’s priorities are and what is being done to further improve the school.

There has been success in increasing the proportion of Year 6 pupils attaining the expected standard in reading. Leaders know there is work to do to make sure that more pupils reach the higher standard. Leaders have brought more challenging books and non-fiction books that pupils say they particularly enjoy reading. Leaders’ aim is to increase the challenge of what pupils read and develop them from liking to loving reading. A ‘reading stop’ with teachers every Wednesday for families is popular.

Reading comprehension is taught using a common approach across the school. All pupils are supported to access high-quality texts. This focus on the texts pupils read links to how writing is taught. Pupils look at structure, plan out story maps and then change these to create their own work.

Pupils achieve in line with national averages in the phonics screening check at the end of Year 1. For each new sound, pupils spend time reading words with that letterpattern and then, later, spend time practising writing it. However, teachers do not always develop the links between the sounds that letters make and what they look like when written.

In mathematics, pupils are supported where needed and given challenge. Some pupils receive extra teaching before a topic to help them access the lessons. Where modelling is used, for example, using pictures, this helps pupils understand. Some teachers do not always make good use of these and this is also the case in some other subjects.

At the time of the inspection, most topics were centred around history. The history curriculum has had a recent review. Pupils are positive about these lessons. They know lots of historical information and understand the relevant vocabulary. Teachers make the teaching come to life, for example a day experiencing a ‘Victorian classroom’.

Physical education (PE), looked at in depth in the inspection, is taught well. Teachers have received training which has made them more confident in delivering the subject.

Behaviour is good. Most pupils are motivated and want to do well. Developing pupils’ resilience, ‘self-regulation of behaviour’ and desire to learn is important. This is developed through a well-planned personal, social, health and emotional education programme. There are rewards for pupils doing well, and successes are shared widely.

Children in the early years make a good start to their education. Parents and carers are positive about the experience their children have. There is a warm relationship between the adults and children. There are plenty of opportunities for children to both learn and play.

Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities are well supported. The special educational needs coordinator (SENCo) and her team of support assistants work well to meet the varying needs of the pupils. Staff across the school receive specific training to enhance practice further.

The school is well led. Leaders are reflective and aware of what they need to do to further improve pupils’ progress. They have taken effective action over the last few years to start this process, with reported achievement outcomes in 2019 being at national averages or above across the school.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Pupils are kept safe. They say they feel safe and know how to keep themselves safe online. Parents who responded to the online survey, Parent View, agreed. Virtually all parents would recommend the school.Any concerns about pupils from staff are dealt with rapidly. The school’s systems enable excellent communication between staff in knowing, where appropriate, information that helps them support individuals. Regular training keeps staff aware of local safeguarding issues that may put pupils at risk.

Those responsible for attendance work hard to make sure that pupils attend school every day. They support families needing help to do this well.

Governors and leaders ensure that all appropriate checks are made on adults in the school to make sure that they are suitable to work with pupils.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

There is a clearly understood approach to teaching phonics but not enough emphasis on the links between the sounds and what the letter form looks like. Teachers need to further develop this link. . Although attainment in reading at the end of key stage 2 has significantly improved, there is still work needed to challenge the most able readers and further raise their attainment. Leaders know that pupils like reading, but not enough pupils yet have a love of reading. Teachers need to develop pupils’ interest in books, making sure that the most able are adequately challenged. . Sometimes, there are occasions across the curriculum where teachers could support the learning of pupils better by modelling more clearly what they are expecting from them.