Aqueduct Primary School
phone: 01952 386210
headteacher: Mr Mark Wadhams
280 pupils capacity: 85% full
125 boys 53%
110 girls 46%
Last updated: June 20, 2014
Primary — Community School
- Education phase
- Establishment type
- Community School
- Establishment #
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 369061, Northing: 305837
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 52.649, Longitude: -2.4587
- Accepting pupils
- 5—11 years old
- Census date
- Jan. 16, 2014
- Ofsted last inspection
- May 15, 2014
- Region › Const. › Ward
- West Midlands › Telford › Dawley Magna
- Urban > 10k - less sparse
- Free school meals %
- Aqueduct Centre TF43RB
- 0.4 miles Madeley Academy TF75FB (1086 pupils)
- 0.5 miles Brindleyford Primary School TF31QD
- 0.5 miles Southall School TF43PX (141 pupils)
- 0.6 miles Brookside Primary School and Early Years Centre TF31LG
- 0.6 miles Windmill Primary School TF31LG (418 pupils)
- 0.7 miles The Phoenix School TF43DZ
- 0.7 miles Madeley Academy TF75FB
- 0.8 miles Madeley Nursery School TF75ET (91 pupils)
- 0.8 miles Captain Webb Primary School TF43DU (326 pupils)
- 0.8 miles Hinkshay School TF31DG
- 0.8 miles Mount Gilbert School TF43PP (40 pupils)
- 0.9 miles St Mary's Catholic Primary School TF75EJ (113 pupils)
- 0.9 miles Thomas Parker School TF31LB
- 1 mile Woodside Junior School TF75NW
- 1 mile Woodside Infant School TF75NW
- 1 mile William Reynolds Infant School TF75QW
- 1 mile Holmer Lake Primary School TF31LD (234 pupils)
- 1 mile William Reynolds Primary School TF75QW (404 pupils)
- 1 mile Phoenix Academy TF43JS (625 pupils)
- 1.1 mile Stirchley Primary School TF31FD
- 1.1 mile Dawley Church of England Primary School with Nursery TF43AL (213 pupils)
- 1.1 mile The Lord Silkin School TF31FA
- 1.1 mile Stirchley County Middle School TF31FD
Aqueduct Primary School
Castlefields Way, Aqueduct, Telford, TF4 3RP
|Inspection dates||15–16 May 2014|
|Overall effectiveness||This inspection:||Good||2|
|Previous inspection:||Requires improvement||3|
|Achievement of pupils||Good||2|
|Quality of teaching||Good||2|
|Behaviour and safety of pupils||Good||2|
|Leadership and management||Good||2|
Summary of key findings for parents and pupils
This is a good school.
It is not yet an outstanding school because
| School leaders and governors have taken |
Teaching is now good and some is
Recent improvements in pupils’ progress are
Teachers make regular checks on how well
decisive action which has led to rapid
improvement in the quality of teaching and in
pupils’ progress since the school was last
outstanding so pupils achieve well at all
stages of the school.
resulting in higher standards in reading,
writing and mathematics.
pupils are learning and use the information
well to provide work that moves pupils on
| Pupils enjoy school and are safe. |
Pupils behave well in lessons and around the
Leaders carry out regular and detailed checks
Since the previous inspection, governors have
school. They have good attitudes to learning.
on the quality of teaching and learning.
Teachers are keen to develop their teaching
skills and they use the feedback given to them
effectively to improve.
improved their individual and collective skills in
school governance. Their contribution to school
improvement is now considerable. They ask
searching questions and are well informed
about the school’s effectiveness.
| Occasionally, teachers do not organise |
Although this is improving, disabled pupils
learning well enough to ensure that all pupils
are on task at all times.
and those who have special educational
needs make slower progress than other
| The presentation of pupils’ work, including |
handwriting, is sometimes untidy and
disorganised because teachers do not always
insist on better quality presentation.
Information about this inspection
- Inspectors observed 11 lessons. Eight were observed jointly with the acting headteacher or
acting deputy headteacher. An inspector observed, jointly with the reading manager, groups
from the Reception Year and Key Stage 1 in literacy lessons.
- The inspectors heard pupils read and looked at the work in their books.
- Meetings were held with governors, senior leaders and some other staff with leadership
responsibilities. Inspectors spoke to pupils formally and informally during lesson observations
and around the school. An inspector held a meeting with two representatives of the local
- Inspectors looked at a wide range of documentation, including the school’s own judgements on
its strengths and weaknesses, and the data it collects on pupils’ progress. Documents detailing
the school’s arrangements for safeguarding were reviewed.
- Questionnaire responses from 20 members of staff were analysed.
- Inspectors took account of the 33 responses to the online questionnaire, Parent View. In
addition, inspectors looked at the results of the school’s recent questionnaires, giving the views
of 52 parents.
|David Speakman, Lead inspector||Additional Inspector|
|Kerin Jones||Additional Inspector|
Information about this school
- The school is an average-sized primary school.
- Most pupils are White British. Of those from minority ethnic groups, only a very small number
speak English as an additional language.
- The proportion of pupils supported by the pupil premium is average. This is additional funding
for pupils known to be eligible for free school meals, children in the care of the local authority,
and those who have a parent serving in the armed forces.
- The proportion of disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs supported
through school action is below average. The proportion supported at school action plus or with a
statement of special educational needs is above average.
- The school meets the government’s current floor standards, which set the minimum expectations
for pupils’ attainment and progress in English and mathematics.
- Since the previous inspection, four teachers have left the school and have been replaced. Two
new teachers have joined the senior leadership team, one of which has been appointed reading
- At the time of the inspection, the deputy headteacher was temporarily acting headteacher and a
member of the senior leadership team was acting deputy headteacher.
- A local leader in education works with the school on school improvement.
What does the school need to do to improve further?
- Further improve the quality of teaching and raise standards by ensuring that:
learning fully engages the interest of all pupils
teachers insist that pupils present their work tidily and pupils are helped to improve their
the progress made by disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs matches
that of others.
|The achievement of pupils||is good|
- Children start school with knowledge and understanding that is generally typical for their age,
with some at lower levels of attainment. Children make good progress in Reception and, by the
time they join Year 1, most achieve the expected level for their age with a significant number
exceeding this level.
- In Reception, there is a careful balance between children developing good personal skills, good
levels of communication and the desire to learn through investigation and enquiry. These
qualities contribute to good learning. Children concentrate for extended periods and show high
levels of enthusiasm for learning, both in teacher-led activities and in those they choose for
themselves. On ‘Muddy Thursday’, they had a lot of discussion with adults focused on their
discoveries in the outdoor learning environment and they followed their curiosity to discover
things for themselves.
- Attainment at the end of Key Stage 1 was above average in 2013 and pupils made good
progress in reading, writing and mathematics. This year, Year 2 attainment has risen again and
the proportion of pupils already achieving levels above those nationally expected for this age in
reading, writing and mathematics is good. This represents good progress.
- During the last year, there has been good improvement in pupils’ achievement in Key Stage 2.
In 2013, achievement over the key stage was not good enough and this was due to a legacy of
inadequate teaching in the past. This year, improved teaching has led to good progress and
improved attainment. At the end of Year 6 standards in reading, writing and mathematics are set
to be above the national average. However, the otherwise good quality of some pupils’ work, in
particular writing, is let down by poor handwriting and presentation.
- The school’s checks on pupils’ progress show a great improvement in progress for current pupils
at all ages. The proportions now making nationally expected progress compare well with national
figures. The percentage exceeding expected progress in reading, writing and mathematics is
above the national average. This indicates that progress is currently good.
- The school teaches reading well, particularly in the Reception Year and Key Stage 1. The results
of the Year 1 screening in phonics (letters and the sounds they make) show proportions similar
to those nationally achieved the required standard. The few pupils who did not reach the
required level in 2013 have been given extra support; one-to-one tuition or small-group teaching
in phonics is improving their reading skills well.
- Pupils from minority ethnic groups and the very few who speak English as an additional
language achieve well.
- More-able pupils make good progress. Younger pupils are grouped according to their
achievements for literacy lessons. This means that they progress at a rapid pace and some Year
1 pupils, for example, are working at levels well beyond those expected for their age. Likewise,
in mathematics, a specialist teacher works with more-able mathematicians to help them achieve
the very highest levels possible at Key Stage 2.
- In the 2013 cohort, the pupils for whom the school received pupil premium funding made similar
overall progress to others. It was not as good in mathematics but better in reading. They caught
up in subjects overall. Their attainment was about a term behind their classmates in
mathematics, a term ahead in reading and about two terms behind in writing. This year, the
proportions making expected and more than expected progress match those of other pupils.
- The school allocates the primary sports funding appropriately to improve pupils’ skills and
participation. Early evaluation of its impact indicates improved participation, particularly for less-
active pupils, and improved attitudes.
- Disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs make less progress than other
pupils. However, the effective work of a new inclusion manager, improved checks on pupils’
progress, and teaching assistants better equipped to support these pupils are leading to these
pupils now making faster progress.
|The quality of teaching||is good|
- Much of the teaching is lively and engages pupils’ interest. In Year 5 mathematics, pupils
immediately engaged in a challenging warm-up activity, which made them think and question
each other. This set the tone for the rest of the lesson, during which pupils discussed their
learning, helping them to make decisions about the most efficient methods of calculation.
- Teaching in the Early Years Foundation Stage is good, both in adult-led activities and in those
where children learn through exploration and investigation. In literacy activities, all adults,
teachers and teaching assistants alike, have good subject knowledge and a good understanding
of the development of literacy in young children. Adults record children’s achievements
accurately, are fully aware of how well children are doing, and carefully plan what they will learn
next. Adults talk a lot with children, guiding their work by asking leading questions.
- Pupils’ work is marked regularly. Teachers point out what pupils have done well and identify key
points for improvement. Pupils find this helpful and there are many examples of where pupils
have responded to advice and comments.
- Teaching assistants support pupils’ learning well. In the Early Years Foundation Stage, they work
effectively with children, engaging in conversation with them, promoting good learning through
a range of interesting activities. Through an effective training programme, teaching assistants
now have the skills required to provide good support for disabled pupils and those who have
special educational needs. As a result, the progress of these pupils is improving.
- On occasions, teachers do not insist enough that pupils’ handwriting and the presentation of
their work is neat and well organised. Very occasionally, small numbers of pupils lose interest
and too much time is lost in managing their behaviour.
|The behaviour and safety of pupils||are good|
- The behaviour of pupils is good. Pupils of all ages, including children in the Early Years
Foundation Stage, have positive attitudes. They approach their learning with enthusiasm, which
contributes well to effective learning.
- Pupils are proud of their school and speak highly of it. They say ‘it is a good school’, that they
enjoy mathematics ‘because it is challenging’, science, ‘which is practical’, and they enjoy the
extra-curricular music activities.
- Positive attitudes to learning are established very early. Children in the Reception Year relish the
outdoor learning space, including the millennium garden. They play imaginatively, talk to other
children and adults enthusiastically and fully engage in vigorous activity with self-control.
- Pupils speak well about behaviour and say that lessons are very rarely disrupted. They speak
highly of staff who listen to them, talk to them and ‘encourage them to do the right thing.’ They
fully understand how rewards and sanctions work and how these have a positive impact on
behaviour in school. They say that bullying is rare, but, if it does occur, it is dealt with
- Attendance is above average and the number of pupils who are persistently absent is below
average. Pupils are punctual to school so lessons can begin on time.
- The school’s work to keep pupils safe and secure is good. The school gives good advice to pupils
during anti-bullying week; for example, about e-safety and ‘stranger danger’. Pupils know how
to keep themselves safe at school and show a good understanding of internet safety.
- A few pupils show concern over the very occasional use of ‘bad language’ by some older pupils.
They would like the school to act more decisively on this issue. No inappropriate language was
heard during the inspection.
|The leadership and management||are good|
- Staff are led well by senior leaders and work as an effective team. Leaders at all levels have
acted decisively on the recommendations made in the previous inspection report and on the
subsequent checks made on the school’s performance. As a result:
any teaching of an unacceptable standard has been eradicated
teachers and teaching assistants now have a clear understanding of how to promote good
accurate checks on pupils’ progress give school leaders good information through which they
hold class teachers accountable for their pupils’ achievements
governors have raised the bar significantly and, through their own self-evaluation and
subsequent training, are much more effective in holding the school accountable for its
- Checks on the quality of teaching and learning have helped to improve the quality of teaching.
Regular observations take place and teachers are held to account for the progress of their pupils
in regular review meetings. As a result, teaching is now consistently good at all key stages, and
some is outstanding. Leaders set rigorous targets for the work of all adults in the school. These
have been effective in improving teachers’ work.
- Leadership at all levels is effective. There have been recent changes in some key areas of
leadership. More focused attention is being given to the early development of pupils’ literacy
skills and there is new leadership for mathematics. The headteacher and governors have made
sure that those taking over, and adults responsible for teaching groups, are well prepared and
have the skills needed to step into their roles.
- Leadership of the way disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs are
educated is improving. A new inclusion manager has taken on this responsibility and has already
set about making improvements. There are effective systems for the early identification of
children who may need support. Teaching assistants have been trained so that they are able to
provide increasingly effective support. One-to-one and small-group support is well organised and
closely matched to the specific learning needs of pupils and the whole-school targets for
- The curriculum is planned to interest and engage pupils. When planning the topics, a good level
of attention is paid to pupils’ interests. This is a key factor in engaging pupils’ interest and
forming pupils’ positive attitudes.
- A commercial scheme to promote early communication skills has been very effectively
implemented in the Reception Year and Key Stage 1. Its impact is checked by the reading
manager, who deals with any issues immediately. A training programme ensures that all staff
have the skills to effectively implement this initiative.
- The curriculum, extra-curricular activities and the general school environment support the good
promotion of pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. Each of the four strands is
equally well promoted and underpins the pupils’ positive attitudes to school and their respect for
other peoples’ feelings.
- The support provided by the local authority is good and has been an important factor in guiding
school improvement. A representative of the local authority and the headteacher of a nearby
effective school make half-termly monitoring visits, subsequently providing clear feedback. The
school and the governing body have acted conscientiously on the advice given and this has
supported the school’s rapid improvement since its previous inspection.
- Finances are managed well. The pupil premium is used to improve the progress of qualifying
pupils by funding them to attend school clubs and trips to give equality of opportunity, and on
purchasing learning resources for one-to-one or small-group support. The school has made
detailed arrangements for spending the primary school sports funding to improve and widen
pupils’ opportunities to take part in sports activities and improve teachers’ expertise.
- The governance of the school:
Governors have improved their work in the school a great deal since it was last inspected.
New governors have joined since the previous inspection. The Chair of the Governing Body
has actively sought out people with specific skills to support the improvement of this school.
Additionally, old and new governors have updated their training in order to deepen their
understanding of their role and ensure their effectiveness.
Governors are now regular visitors to the school and find things out for themselves. They have
a good knowledge of how well teachers are doing, through direct observations and through
discussions with senior staff. They are fully aware of strengths and weaknesses in teaching
and have taken decisive action to improve the quality of teaching and learning.
Governors understand how the school’s performance and pupils’ achievement compares with
Governors challenge senior leaders on school improvement. They set clear targets in
managing the performance of the headteacher and staff, making sure that teachers’ pay
increases link to the progress of their pupils.
The governing body makes sure that all statutory requirements are met, including for
What inspection judgements mean
|Grade 1||Outstanding||An outstanding school is highly effective in delivering outcomes |
that provide exceptionally well for all its pupils’ needs. This ensures
that pupils are very well equipped for the next stage of their
education, training or employment.
|Grade 2||Good||A good school is effective in delivering outcomes that provide well |
for all its pupils’ needs. Pupils are well prepared for the next stage
of their education, training or employment.
|Grade 3||Requires |
|A school that requires improvement is not yet a good school, but it |
is not inadequate. This school will receive a full inspection within
24 months from the date of this inspection.
|Grade 4||Inadequate||A school that requires special measures is one where the school is |
failing to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education and
the school’s leaders, managers or governors have not
demonstrated that they have the capacity to secure the necessary
improvement in the school. This school will receive regular
monitoring by Ofsted inspectors.
A school that has serious weaknesses is inadequate overall and
requires significant improvement but leadership and management
are judged to be Grade 3 or better. This school will receive regular
monitoring by Ofsted inspectors.
|Unique reference number||123444|
|Local authority||Telford and Wrekin|
This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.
|Type of school||Primary|
|Age range of pupils||4–11|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Number of pupils on the school roll||232|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Date of previous school inspection||15 November 2012|
|Telephone number||01952 386210|
|Fax number||01952 386229|