Witnesham Primary School

Name Witnesham Primary School
Website http://www.witneshamprimaryschool.co.uk
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 13 October 2011
Address High Road, Witnesham, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP6 9EX
Phone Number 01473785252
Type Primary
Age Range 4-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 99 (53% boys 47% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 19
Local Authority Suffolk
Percentage Free School Meals 6.1%
Percentage English is Not First Language 0%
Persisitent Absence 5.5%
Pupils with SEN Support 9.1%
Catchment Area Information Available Yes, our catchment area data is FREE
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

Information about the school

In this smaller-than-average primary school, pupils are taught in four mixed-age classes. The school serves the local community and neighbouring villages. The very large majority of pupils are of White British heritage and none speaks English as an additional language. The proportion of pupils known to be eligible for free school meals is smaller than in most other schools. The proportion of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities is much lower than in other schools. An average proportion of pupils have a statement of special educational needs. The school holds a number of awards, including the National Healthy School Award. The school works in collaboration with Otley Primary School. Although the headteacher leads and manages both schools, each school has its own governing body.

Main findings

In this good school, care, guidance and support for pupils are outstanding. Partnerships to promote learning and well-being are outstanding and the school has many links with its local community and through collaboration with another local school. The school is set in exceptionally large wooded grounds, which are used well for children to learn about the natural environment and to use their own initiative to solve problems and cooperate with others. The library and learning resource area has recently been extended. Highly effective partnerships and recent improvements to the environment, coupled with the energy and drive of staff to make use of the outdoor environment, have opened up a wide range of learning opportunities. They provide pupils with activities that would not otherwise be accessible in a small village school and contribute to pupils’ excellent understanding of how to live healthily. Outcomes for all pupils are good. Teaching is good and pupils know their targets and how to improve their work. The curriculum engages pupils in learning and is well enriched. A very large majority of pupils take part in extra-curricular activities. Pupils of all abilities make good progress across the school and leave Year 6 with above- average attainment. This reflects good achievement given pupils’ starting points in the early Years Foundation Stage, which are broadly in line with those expected for their age. Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities make good progress because of the close well-targeted support they receive from skilful teaching assistants. Attendance is above average for all pupils. Boys’ attainment in writing and the attainment of the more-able pupils in writing at Key Stage 1 have been relative areas of underperformance, but are steadily improving. This is because of the strong focus the school has given to this important skill. Even so, standards in writing across the school for all pupils continue to lag a little behind those reached in reading and mathematics. Some pupils’ skills in handwriting, grammar and punctuation are not systematically built on across the curriculum. Although the curriculum is effective, the opportunities pupils have to develop their speaking and listening skills in all their subjects are not sufficiently planned for in subjects other than English. Since the school was last inspected many aspects have improved. These include the quality of care, guidance and support provided, the extent to which pupils feel safe as well as their understanding of how to live healthy lifestyles, all of which are outstanding. Stimulating activities, for example through the excellent partnerships forged by the school, provide pupils with opportunities to make a very positive contribution in both the local and wider community. Through these activities and their lessons, pupils develop a good understanding of young people from local backgrounds and communities. However, the school recognises that still lacking is pupils’ understanding of the similarities, as well as the differences, between their own culture and that of others. Leadership and management at all levels are good. The headteacher articulates her vision clearly. Areas for improvement identified at the previous inspection have been addressed successfully. The governing body are both challenging and supportive, ensuring the school is kept on track. The school’s monitoring and evaluation are rigorous and areas for development are fully understood. The progress of pupils is tracked regularly and accurately. The maintenance of good achievement in recent years and improvements to the learning environment and aspects of the curriculum demonstrate the school’s good capacity for sustained improvement.