Acton CofE Primary School
phone: 01270 685131
headteacher: Mrs Beverley Dolman Ba (Hons) Qts; M Ed
157 pupils capacity: 106% full
85 boys 51%
80 girls 48%
Last updated: Aug. 18, 2014
Primary — Voluntary Controlled School
- Education phase
- Religious character
- Church of England
- Establishment type
- Voluntary Controlled School
- Establishment #
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 363233, Northing: 353243
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 53.075, Longitude: -2.5502
- Accepting pupils
- 4—11 years old
- Census date
- Jan. 16, 2014
- Ofsted last inspection
- Feb. 1, 2012
- Diocese of Chester
- Region › Const. › Ward
- North West › Eddisbury › Bunbury
- Village - less sparse
- Free school meals %
- 0.8 miles Malbank School and Sixth Form College CW55HD (1068 pupils)
- 1 mile Millfields Primary School and Nursery CW55HP (238 pupils)
- 1.1 mile Reaseheath College CW56DF
- 1.3 mile Wyche Primary School CW55LX (189 pupils)
- 1.7 mile Highfields Community Primary School CW56HA (210 pupils)
- 1.7 mile St Anne's Catholic Primary School CW57DA (211 pupils)
- 1.9 mile Weaver Primary School CW57AJ (210 pupils)
- 2 miles Brine Leas High School CW57DY
- 2 miles Brine Leas School CW57DY (1308 pupils)
- 2.1 miles Pear Tree Primary School CW57GZ (218 pupils)
- 2.1 miles Pear Tree Primary School CW57GZ
- 2.4 miles Oak House / Redsands CW56NE
- 2.5 miles St Oswald's Worleston CofE Primary School CW56DP (70 pupils)
- 2.6 miles Stapeley Broad Lane CofE Primary School CW57QL
- 2.6 miles Stapeley Broad Lane CofE Primary School CW57QL (212 pupils)
- 2.7 miles Willaston Primary School CW56QQ (209 pupils)
- 3 miles Wistaston Westfield Infant School CW28EZ
- 3.1 miles Sound and District Primary School CW58AE (115 pupils)
- 3.1 miles Wistaston Junior School CW28EZ
- 3.1 miles Wistaston Church Lane Primary School CW28EZ (420 pupils)
- 3.3 miles Lodgefields Community Primary School CW28TU
- 3.7 miles Wistaston Green Junior School CW28QS
- 3.7 miles Wistaston Green Nursery and Infant School CW28QS
- 3.7 miles Wistaston Green Primary and Nursery School CW28QS (403 pupils)
Acton CofE Primary School
|Inspection date(s)||01–02 February 2012|
|Unique Reference Number||111265|
|Local authority||Cheshire East|
|Inspect ion number||378264|
|Inspect ion dates||1–2 February 2012|
|Lead inspector||Steven Hill|
This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.
|Type of school||Primary|
|School category||Voluntary controlled|
|Age range of pupils||4–11|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Nu mber of pupils on the school roll||137|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Date of prev ious school inspection||14 May 2009|
|School address||Chester Road|
|Telephone number||01270 685131|
|Fax number||01270 610958|
This inspection was carried out with two days' notice. Ten lessons were observed,
taught by seven teachers. In addition, the inspector made several short observations
of lessons where younger pupils were learning about phonics (how the sounds in
words relate to how they are written.) Samples of pupils’ work were examined, and
the inspector listened to six younger pupils read. Meetings were held with staff,
groups of pupils, and three members of the governing body (who are also parents
and carers). The inspector took account of the on-line questionnaire (Parent View) in
planning the inspection and analysed questionnaires received during the inspection
from 81 parents and carers as well as from staff and pupils. The inspector observed
the school's work and looked at a variety of documentation, including teachers’
|Steven Hill ||Additional inspector |
planning, information about safeguarding, and details of the tracking of pupils’
Information about the school
This is a small primary school in a rural location. The vast majority of pupils are
White British, with a few from a range of other ethnic heritages. The proportion of
pupils known to be eligible for free school meals is below average. The proportion of
disabled pupils and those with special educational needs is also below average. No
pupils speak English as an additional language. The school meets the current floor
Since the last inspection, the number of pupils on roll has grown. There are now
separate classes for each age group, except in Years 4 and 5. There has been
significant staffing change in the last six months for a variety of reasons beyond the
school’s control. The school runs a breakfast and after-school club on a daily basis
for its own pupils.
Inspect ion grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is sat isfactory and 4 is inadequate
Please turn to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms
|Achievement of pupils||1|
|Quality of teaching||1|
|Behaviour and safety of pupils||1|
|Leadership and management||1|
- This is an outstanding school. A sharp rise in achievement since the last
inspection has happened because the quality of teaching has risen to
- Pupils’ behaviour is outstanding and they have extremely positive relationships
with each other and with staff. They feel very safe and secure in school, greatly
enjoy learning and are keen to succeed. Their spiritual, moral, social and
cultural development is excellent.
- All boys and girls make outstanding progress and achieve outstandingly well.
Boys tend to reach higher standards than girls in mathematics, although girls’
attainment in the subject is nonetheless well-above average. Similarly, girls
often outdo boys in English, although this gap has closed recently because
changes to the curriculum are engaging boys’ interest much more effectively.
- Teachers are very skilled at using the good curriculum to engage and enthuse
pupils in their learning. They make excellent use of the school’s much-improved
assessment systems to ensure that work is matched to pupils’ specific needs.
- Children get off to an excellent start in the Reception class. They make great
strides in their learning due to the outstanding provision.
- Excellent leadership and management underpin the vast improvements made.
Initially driven by the clear vision of the headteacher, this drive is now shared
by a strong senior leadership team and a knowledgeable governing body.
- The rigorous monitoring of teaching and an insistence on high expectations,
backed by clear challenge and support to colleagues, have successfully raised
the quality of teaching and learning to outstanding.
- The extremely thorough and detailed tracking of pupils’ progress, as individuals
and as groups, ensures that no-one is allowed to fall behind. This is particularly
effective in ensuring that disabled pupils and those with special educational
needs also make excellent progress.
- Attendance has risen from average to high over the last few years.
What does the school need to do to improve further?
- Raise standards even higher and close the remaining gaps between boys’ and
girls’ achievement by:
- modifying the mathematics curriculum to generate more enthusiasm for
the subject from girls, and enlisting the help of their parents and carers in
- fully embedding initiatives to ensure topics for writing are more appealing
to boys and stimulate their interest, and so raise boys’ achievement in
Achievement of pupils
Attainment is well above average and achievement is outstanding. Children start in
the Reception class with standards that, while variable, are broadly in line with those
expected. They make excellent progress, particularly in their early reading, writing
and calculating skills. This firm base is consolidated by outstanding progress at Key
Stage 1, so that standards at the end of Year 2 have been significantly above
average in reading, writing and mathematics for the last two years. Rapid progress
continues at Key Stage 2 and some weaker progress made by older pupils previously
has been eradicated. Standards are high by the time pupils leave. All pupils,
regardless of background, do similarly well. Pupils known to be eligible for free
school meals make the same excellent progress as their classmates. The relatively
few pupils from minority ethnic groups are among the school’s highest achievers.
Standards are high overall, partly because disabled pupils and those with special
educational needs make excellent progress. They often reach the standards expected
nationally. The extremely high achievement of girls in English is starting to be
matched by that of boys, whose enthusiasm for the subject is growing because
recent topics studied have stimulated their interest more. The school plans to help
girls raise their already high standards in mathematics to match those of the boys by
similarly setting work that builds on their interests and so stimulates their
Pupils make fast progress in lessons because they concentrate well and work hard.
In an excellent Year 6 lesson, for example, pupils watched and listened attentively as
their teacher explained how to multiply decimals, and then worked hard to tackle
examples that were carefully matched to their different abilities. They all succeeded
because they persevered even when they found aspects of the task difficult. Pupils’
excellent collaborative skills make a strong contribution to their progress. This starts
from Reception, exemplified when children worked together in their ‘blackcurrant
factory’ in the water tray, sharing equipment and happily exchanging their ideas for
‘sweetening’ the juice and for removing the ‘bits’. Younger pupils make rapid
progress in learning phonics, as they join in interesting, fast-paced activities in ability
groups. They develop a secure understanding of increasingly complex structures,
which they use confidently to decode unfamiliar words in their books. Older pupils
build effectively upon this and gain a clear understanding of complex spelling rules.
Parents and carers are generally very positive about their children’s progress.
However, about 10% expressed reservations in the questionnaires because of the
recent staffing changes and staff absence. The inspection evidence, backed up by
the school’s thorough monitoring of progress in the classes affected, shows that
teaching and progress continue to be strong.
Quality of teaching
Almost all teaching is at least good, with much that is outstanding. Teachers are
particularly adept at matching tasks to pupils’ different needs, so that pupils learn
rapidly when tackling challenging but manageable work. A major strength,
throughout the school, is how well teachers monitor pupils’ ongoing progress. They
intervene very effectively to enhance learning. They challenge pupils to refine their
work and help any who are struggling, so pupils understand what they need to do to
improve. Skilled teaching assistants play a major part in this, particularly in ensuring
that disabled pupils and those with special educational needs are supported very
effectively to do as well as they can. Such ongoing monitoring is a particular strength
in Reception, where adults sensitively join in play to increase children’s
understanding and extend their vocabulary. Pupils in all classes are very positive
about the teaching they receive. They respond enthusiastically and conscientiously to
high expectations, because they like and respect their teachers and are keen to
please them by doing well. The large majority of parents and carers are
complimentary about teaching, except for those who have some concerns about
Teachers generate great enthusiasm from pupils, making skilled use of many exciting
aspects of the curriculum to harness their interest. Lessons consistently enhance
pupils’ spiritual, moral, social or cultural development. The contribution to pupils’
excellent cultural development is apparent in their tuneful singing, the high quality of
art work on display, and their enthusiasm for poetry. Pupils now learn much more
about people from around the world than at the time of the previous inspection. For
example, work on Judaism and Buddhism extends their understanding of moral as
well as cultural issues. Teachers present new ideas in a lively fashion, making
excellent use of information and communication technology to clarify explanations
and hold pupils’ attention. Outstanding use is made of strategies to engage all pupils
in activities. The frequent use of discussion, in pairs or in groups, involves the whole
class and helps pupils to clarify their thinking and rehearse their answers. This makes
an outstanding contribution to their social skills. This was observed as pupils in Years
4 and 5 worked in small groups extremely effectively to identify key features of an
author’s style. Teachers maintain a brisk pace and successfully encourage pupils to
be independent. This was seen when Year 2 pupils wrote fluently and rapidly about
motte and bailey castles. They made excellent progress and produced impressive
results using ‘professional’ language.
Behaviour and safety of pupils
Pupils, parents and carers strongly agree that behaviour is a major strength of the
school, and inspection evidence supports this. Pupils are extremely polite, friendly
and have extremely good relationships with each other and with staff. Pupils say that
a key strength of the school is the friends they make. All pupils, regardless of
background, ability, gender or disability, get on extremely well and play and work
happily together. They show caring attitudes to each other, seen in how kindly they
treat any classmates who have difficulties. Older pupils enjoy giving help to younger
ones, such as through the buddy scheme, where Year 6 pupils support Reception
children when they start. In the playground, pupils come quickly and unprompted to
the aid of any younger ones who are upset, or have suffered minor bumps or
scrapes. Pupils have very positive attitudes to learning and their hard work and their
exemplary conduct make a major contribution to their excellent achievement, as well
as to the extremely harmonious ethos of the community. Pupils’ great enjoyment of
school is reflected in their high attendance. They take a great pride in their school,
and are confident that they contribute to its improvement through the influential
work of the school council. Pupils feel extremely safe. They and their parents and
carers report that bullying is extremely rare. Work on tackling bullying has given
them a secure understanding of what effect it might have and they are keen to
combat this. They are very sure that any issues that do arise are dealt with quickly
by staff, and are confident in approaching adults if they have problems at work or
play. They have a very secure understanding of how to keep themselves safe,
including when using the internet. The curriculum is highly effective in teaching
pupils about the importance of safety.
Leadership and management
The rapid and sustained improvement since the previous inspection has been
brought about by the headteacher’s relentless focus on improvement. In this she has
been supported outstandingly well by the governing body and a very strong staff
team who share the vision for getting the very best for the pupils. This has been very
successful, largely because teaching has improved through an insistence on high
quality and well-targeted professional development that has helped colleagues
improve their practice. Excellent monitoring of pupils’ progress is used purposefully
by all teachers to target support or challenge, as needed, on individuals and groups
thus boosting equal opportunities and ensuring all pupils make outstanding progress.
The excellent record of improvement since the previous inspection demonstrates the
school’s outstanding capacity to improve further. The curriculum is good and is very
well-adapted to pupils’ different needs. The successful emphasis on spiritual, moral,
social and cultural development ensures that discrimination is not tolerated by staff
or pupils. The breakfast- and after-school club is well organised, and contributes very
well to pupils’ social development. Pupils feel safe and secure, and there are
extremely positive relationships between pupils of different ages. The curriculum has
many exciting elements, including very popular residential visits, clubs, practical
activities and special events, such as the art competition that took place during the
inspection. However it has not yet been fully effective in enthusing boys and girls
equally in mathematics and English. This relative shortcoming is being tackled very
effectively so that boys’ achievement in writing is improving rapidly and securely, and
girls’ enthusiasm for and achievement in mathematics is also rising. It has not yet
had the same success in engaging parents and carers in mathematical activities as it
has in English. The school puts a high priority on pupils’ safety. Safeguarding
procedures fully meet requirements.
What inspection judgements mean
|Grade 1||Outstanding||These features are highly effective. An outstanding school |
provides exceptionally well for all its pupils' needs.
|Grade 2||Good||These are very positive features of a school. A school that is |
good is serving its pupils well.
|Grade 3||Satisfactory||These features are of reasonable quality. A satisfactory school |
is providing adequately for its pupils.
|Grade 4||Inadequate||These features are not of an acceptable standard. An |
inadequate school needs to make significant improvement in
order to meet the needs of its pupils. Ofsted inspectors will
make further visits until it improves.
Overall effectiveness of schools
|Overall effectiveness judgement (percentage of schools)|
|Type of school||Outstanding||Good||Satisfactory||Inadequate|
|Pupil referral units||15||50||29||5|
New school inspection arrangements have been introduced from 1 January 2012. This means that
inspectors make judgements that were not made previously.
The data in the table above are for the period 1 September 2010 to 31 August 2011 and represent
judgements that were made under the school inspection arrangements that were introduced on 1
September 2009. These data are consistent with the latest published official statistics about
maintained school inspection outcomes (see www.ofsted.gov.uk).
The sample of schools inspected during 2010/11 was not representative of all schools nationally, as
weaker schools are inspected more frequently than good or outstanding s chools.
Primary schools include primary academy converters. Secondary schools include secondary academy
converters, sponsor-led academies and city technology colleges. Special schools include special
academy converters and non-maintained special schools.
Percentages are rounded and do not always add exactly to 100.
Common terminology used by inspectors
|Achievement:||the progress and success of a pupil in their learning and |
development taking account of their attainment.
|Attainment:||the standard of the pupils' work shown by test and |
examination results and in lessons.
|Behaviour||how well pupils behave in lessons, with emphasis on their |
attitude to learning. Pupils' punctuality to lessons and their
conduct around the school.
|Capacity to improve:||the proven ability of the school to continue improving based |
on its self-evaluation and what the school has accomplished
so far and on the quality of its systems to maintain
|Leadership and |
|the contribution of all the staff with responsibilities, not just |
the governors and headteacher, to identifying priorities,
directing and motivating staff and running the school.
|Learning:||how well pupils acquire knowledge, develop their |
understanding, learn and practise skills and are developing
their competence as learners.
|Overall effectiveness:||inspectors form a judgement on a school's overall |
effectiveness based on the findings from their inspection of
|Progress:||the rate at which pupils are learning in lessons and over |
longer periods of time. It is often measured by comparing
the pupils' attainment at the end of a key stage with their
attainment when they started.
|Safety||how safe pupils are in school, including in lessons; and their |
understanding of risks. Pupils' freedom from bullying and
harassment. How well the school promotes safety, for
3 February 2012
Inspection of Acton CofE Primary School, Nantwich, CW5 8LG
Thank you for your warm welcome when I visited your school. I enjoyed meeting
you and finding out your views.
Your school gives you an outstanding education. You are all making excellent
progress because the adults are so good at helping you to learn. The teachers are
extremely skilled in making sure that you get work that is just at the right level for
I was pleased to find that your behaviour is excellent and that you all get on
extremely well together. You are particularly good at working together in class and
sharing ideas. This is helping you to learn things very effectively. Although you all
attain high standards in English and mathematics, girls generally do somewhat better
in English and boys do somewhat better in mathematics. Your attendance is high,
and you all really enjoy school.
Your headteacher and the other adults have worked very successfully to improve the
school since the previous inspection. They are very good at organising things. They
keep a very careful eye on how well you are all doing, so that if anyone needs extra
help they can provide it quickly. We have agreed with the adults working with you
that their priority for the future will be to help boys do just as well as girls in English,
and for girls to catch up with the boys in mathematics by making sure that you enjoy
both subjects equally. You can help by trying particularly hard with work in English
I hope you carry on enjoying life at school. I am confident that you will continue to
work hard to make sure your school continues to go from strength to strength.