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Halsnead Primary School “Good” Ofsted judgement

by Guy Murphy

Halsnead Primary School in Whiston has been judged to be “Good” by Ofsted following an inspection carried out on 3 and 4 July 2023.

The school was judged to be “Good” in all areas which are the Quality of education; Behaviour and attitudes; Personal development; Leadership and management; Early years provision and the school’s overall effectiveness was also judged to be “Good”.

Inspectors noted:-

  • This is a school where all pupils are welcome. Pupils said that they are proud of the way that they respect each other and adults.
  • Pupils feel happy and safe at school.
  • Leaders are ambitious for all pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) and those who are disadvantaged.
  • Pupils embody the school’s values of resilience and integrity in their approach to learning. Leaders and staff have high expectations of pupils’ behaviour. Pupils are keen to live up to these expectations. They are polite and well-mannered.
  • Pupils value the Thrive Hub – a space in school where pupils with SEND, or those needing extra pastoral care, receive social and emotional support.
  • Pupils benefit from an array of school trips that help to build their awareness of the wider world. These trips include visits to places of historical significance and places of worship. Pupils talked with excitement about their visits from local authors, and the clubs that they attend, such as dodgeball and cross-stitch.
  • Since the previous inspection, the new leadership team has successfully focused on developing the curriculum. Leaders have ensured that the curriculum is broad and balanced. Pupils achieve well overall.
  • Children in the early years are well prepared for key stage 1. They settle well into school life due to caring and nurturing staff. Staff use learning activities well to model early language and develop children’s vocabulary.
  • Leaders have also cultivated a love of reading. Interesting and engaging books are a prominent feature throughout the school. Leaders put support in place for pupils who need help to catch up with their reading knowledge.
  • Leaders have effective systems to identify the additional needs of pupils with SEND. Staff benefit from training delivered by special educational needs specialists. In the main, teachers adapt the delivery of the curriculum well for pupils with SEND. These pupils learn the same curriculum as their peers, and they are fully involved in all aspects of school life.
  • Leaders place a very strong emphasis on fostering pupils’ wider personal development. Pupils relish the range of experiences that are available to them. For example, pupils develop their understanding of different jobs through a careers event in school.
  • The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Cllr Margaret Harvey, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said “This is an excellent report and the school’s leadership, staff, governors, pupils, parents and the wider community should quite rightly be proud of their achievements. In just four years, Halsnead Primary School has gone from ‘Requires Improvement’ to ‘Good’ and many positive aspects at the school were highlighted through the inspection, including how the new leadership team has focussed on developing the curriculum for the benefit of all pupils who are achieving well. This report was a delight to read. Well done to everyone concerned.”