Warbstow Primary Academy

Name Warbstow Primary Academy
Website http://www.warbstow.org.uk
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 04 February 2020
Address Warbstow, Launceston, Cornwall, PL15 8UP
Phone Number 01566781388
Type Primary
Age Range 2-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 103 (51% boys 49% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 20.5
Academy Sponsor Aspire Academy Trust
Local Authority Cornwall
Percentage Free School Meals 12.8%
Percentage English is Not First Language 1%
Persisitent Absence 7.4%
Pupils with SEN Support 19.4%
Catchment Area Information Available Yes, our catchment area data is FREE
Last Distance Offered Information Available No


Warbstow Primary Academy continues to be a good school.However, inspectors have some concerns that standards may be declining, as set out below.

What is it like to attend this school?

Warbstow school is currently undergoing a period of change. Since joining the Aspire multi-academy trust, leaders have taken the opportunity to reflect on what they do well and what needs to be better. There has been some initial success. By the end of Year 6, most pupils now achieve well in comparison to other schools nationally. Staff encourage pupils to ‘go for their goals’. However, there is still work to do to ensure that all pupils reach their potential.

Pupils, parents and carers appreciate the friendly and supportive environment that the school provides. They say that on the rare occasions that bullying happens, staff sort this out well.

Pupils are typically considerate towards each other and are confident to share their views. Pupils show good manners and know the three ‘golden rules’ expected of them. They like to be recognised as ‘Warbstow Wonders’. Yet, at times, pupils can become over-excited, bordering on distracting, which interferes with learning.

Pupils say that this is a school which helps them to develop as people. They appreciate the opportunities that they are given. Pupils are proud of their sporting achievements and enjoy taking part in creative and musical ventures.

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

Trust leaders know the strengths and weaknesses of the school. They support school leaders to do the right things. The hub councillors of the school welcome this. They work effectively with leaders from other schools to ask searching questions of school leaders. However, the strategic plans for improvement are not sharp enough. This means that it is difficult for leaders to see clearly what differences their actions make. This leads to an overgenerous view.There is an emerging understanding between staff of what pupils will learn in each subject. However, subject leaders’ skills to improve their areas of responsibility are underdeveloped. Crucially, they do not check rigorously enough whether the curriculum is put into practice as planned.

There are some positive signs. In history, for example, staff make use of the distinctive features of the local area, such as the Iron Age hill fort close by, to captivate pupils’ interest. Children in Reception explore the history of their school through photographs and are developing an early fascination with the past. However, at present, as in other subjects, there is a lack of clarity about why topics are covered in a particular order and why some activities are selected over others. Therefore, pupils do not build up the skills they need to become better historians as they move through the school.

Leaders aim to generate an excitement about reading. For example, pupils share a ‘poem a day’ and consider ‘words of wisdom’. Where this is used well, pupils enthusiastically read poetry together. Children in the Nursery listen to stories and staff energetically bring these stories to life. Children join the main school for story time on a regular basis, which helps them prepare for the transition to Reception.

In Reception, staff build on the early enjoyment of reading as pupils begin to learn letters and the sounds they make. Where pupils fall behind, there are extra sessions in place to build pupils’ confidence and understanding. However, in pupils’ regular classes, teaching is not always directed well enough towards identifying where pupils’ misconceptions lie so that these can be remedied.

A recent focus has been to support pupils to become more confident writers. As a result, older pupils show a strong understanding of how they can structure their writing effectively. They know that it is important to aim for ‘quality rather than quantity’. Younger pupils are less confident about the features of different types of writing. They struggle to use their own words when bringing together their research. Where expectations are not high enough, pupils’ work is unfinished and untidy.

Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) receive support for their social and emotional needs. However, leaders do not check whether the curriculum meets the needs of such pupils well enough. There is support in place, but leaders cannot say with certainty how this is tailored to pupils’ needs and whether it is working.

Leaders have revamped the programme to support pupils’ personal development, using resources that are age appropriate. Pupils are respectful of individual differences and are knowledgeable about other religions. They are keen to talk about issues, such as how they can look after their mental well-being and the importance of looking after pets. They can sensibly discuss how they can resolve conflict. However, because this is in its infancy, pupils’ understanding of some important issues is patchy.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.Staff have received training and, therefore, understand the latest guidance on how to keep pupils safe from harm. They know how to report any concerns they may have and do so. Staff regularly discuss safeguarding issues and use this as an opportunity to reflect on and improve their own practice. The designated safeguarding leader works effectively with external agencies so that pupils receive the support they need.

Leaders have undertaken suitable risk assessments where necessary and have plans to ensure that the site is secured further. Pupils say that teachers ‘are always looking out for us’. The evidence seen by inspectors shows that this is so.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

The development of the curriculum is in its early stages. In some subjects, it is not clear what pupils should know and by when, so that they can build up their knowledge and skills incrementally. Leaders need to ensure that curriculum plans show how specific skills and bodies of knowledge fit together over time so that pupils learn and remember more as a result. . Subject leaders are largely new to their roles. Therefore, their skills to lead improvement in their areas of responsibility are underdeveloped. Their understanding of how well teachers are following the agreed plans is not secure. Leaders need to continue to ensure that subject leaders are proficient in guiding and supporting staff so that all pupils achieve their potential. . Leaders’ strategic plans for development are not sufficiently precise. Consequently, it is difficult for leaders to see, with clarity, whether their actions are having the intended impact. Leaders need to become more adept at formulating plans that will help them focus on key issues and identify successful strategies.Background

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, Warbstow Primary Academy, to be good in May 2015.