Fircroft Primary School
phone: 020 86726258
headteacher: Mrs A Wilson
420 pupils capacity: 109% full
215 boys 47%
240 girls 52%
Last updated: June 18, 2014
Primary — Community School
- Education phase
- Establishment type
- Community School
- Establishment #
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 527649, Northing: 172521
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 51.437, Longitude: -0.16491
- Accepting pupils
- 3—11 years old
- Census date
- Jan. 16, 2014
- Ofsted last inspection
- Feb. 2, 2012
- Region › Const. › Ward
- London › Tooting › Tooting
- Urban > 10k - less sparse
- Free school meals %
- 0.1 miles Ernest Bevin College SW177DF (1255 pupils)
- 0.1 miles Holy Trinity CofE Infant School SW177SQ
- 0.1 miles Elsley School SW177DF
- 0.2 miles Corner House Unit SW177DJ
- 0.3 miles St Anselm's Catholic Primary School SW178BS (200 pupils)
- 0.3 miles Upper Tooting Independent High School SW177HL
- 0.3 miles Finton House School SW177HL (321 pupils)
- 0.3 miles Bertrum House School SW177AL (88 pupils)
- 0.3 miles Al-Risalah SW177TJ (273 pupils)
- 0.4 miles Beechcroft School SW177DF
- 0.4 miles Nightingale School SW177DF (82 pupils)
- 0.4 miles Rutherford House School SW177BS (56 pupils)
- 0.5 miles Broadwater Primary School SW170DZ (465 pupils)
- 0.5 miles Trinity St Mary's CofE Primary School SW128DR (226 pupils)
- 0.5 miles Hillbrook School SW178SG (503 pupils)
- 0.5 miles Eveline Day School SW177BQ (105 pupils)
- 0.5 miles Broadwater Infant School SW170DZ
- 0.5 miles Hearnville Primary School SW178RS
- 0.5 miles Gatton (VA) Primary School SW170DS (415 pupils)
- 0.6 miles Ravenstone Primary School SW129SS (445 pupils)
- 0.6 miles Chestnut Grove School SW128JZ
- 0.6 miles Burntwood School SW170AQ
- 0.6 miles Hornsby House School SW128RS (411 pupils)
- 0.6 miles Chestnut Grove School SW128JZ (956 pupils)
|Inspection date(s)||2–3 February 2012|
Fircroft Primary School
|Unique reference number||101007|
|Inspection dates||2–3 February 2012|
|Lead inspector||John Laver|
This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.
|Type of school||Primary|
|Age range of pupils||3–11|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Nu mber of pupils on the school roll||476|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Date of previous school inspection||3 December 2008|
|School address||Fircroft Road|
|Telephone number||020 8672 6258|
|Fax number||020 8767 6693|
You can use Parent View to give Ofsted your opinion on your child’s school.
Ofsted will use the information parents and carers provide when deciding
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You can also use Parent View to find out what other parents and carers think
about schools in England. You can visit www.parentview.ofsted.gov.uk, or
look for the link on the main Ofsted website: www.ofsted.gov.uk
|John Laver||Additional Inspector|
|Justina Llochi||Additional Inspector|
|Adam Hewett||Additional Inspector|
This inspection was carried out with two days’ notice. Inspectors observed 23 lessons
taught by 15 teachers. Inspectors held meetings with members of the governing
body, staff and groups of pupils. Inspectors also attended a school assembly and
observed break and lunch times. They took account of the responses to the on-line
questionnaire (Parent View) in planning the inspection, observed the school’s work,
and looked at the school development plan, assessment and tracking information,
safeguarding policies and samples of pupils’ work. The inspection team analysed 126
questionnaires completed by parents and carers as well as those returned by 100
pupils and nine staff.
Information about the school
This school is larger than the average-sized primary school. The proportion of pupils
known to be eligible for free school meals is just below average. Almost three
quarters of the pupils attending the school come from a range of minority ethnic
heritages and the proportion of pupils who speak English as an additional language is
more than double the national average. The proportion of pupils identified as being
disabled or having special educational needs is broadly average. Children in the Early
Years Foundation Stage are taught in a Nursery class and in three Reception classes,
reflecting a recent increase in the school roll. The school’s expectation is that it will
revert to two Reception classes in September 2012. The school exceeds the
government’s current floor standard for pupils’ attainment and progress. The school
holds the Basic Skills Quality Mark and the Healthy Schools status. There is a
breakfast club and an after-school club on the school site, neither managed by the
|Achievement of pupils||2|
|Quality of teaching||2|
|Behaviour and safety of pupils||2|
|Leadership and management||2|
- This is a good school. Judged to be good at the time of the previous inspection,
it has continued to build upon its strengths. Parents and carers are very positive
about the school, a typical comment being, ‘My children are incredibly happy
here, and are thriving academically and socially.’
- Good teaching and pupils’ positive attitudes towards learning ensure that all
groups of pupils, whatever their backgrounds or level of ability, achieve well. By
the age of 11, attainment is generally above the national average.
- The fastest progress is in mathematics, which has benefited from an extensive
range of strategies to support pupils’ learning and the use of high quality
resources. Reading and writing do not yet benefit from the same level of
support or resourcing, and pupils’ progress in these skills is less rapid, although
it is improving.
- High-quality support ensures that pupils identified as being disabled or having
special educational needs, and those at an early stage of learning English, not
only do well academically but are also happy and settled in school.
- Strengths in teaching include the very effective use of assessment, marking and
use of pupil targets which give pupils clear indications of how they can improve
their work. Sometimes the teaching is outstanding, but best practice is not yet
spread consistently across all teachers in the school, so that in a minority of
lessons pupils do not achieve as well as they might, particularly in English.
- Behaviour is usually good both in lessons and around the school. Pupils feel
very safe and they get on very well with each other.
- Leadership and management at all levels are good. Governors and staff share
the same determination to build on the school’s existing strengths.
- The headteacher has high expectations, which are reinforced by accurate self-
evaluation, rigorous monitoring and good strategic planning for improvement.
What does the school need to do to improve further?
- In the course of the next 12 months, further raise pupils’ achievement in
reading and writing, to match that in mathematics, by improving the
consistency of good and better teaching in reading and writing, particularly by
providing more resources and support for those pupils who could attain at a
- Share the best teaching practice more systematically throughout the school in
order to provide more consistently challenging opportunities for all pupils, so
that even more of them reach the highest levels of attainment.
Achievement of pupils
Children enter the school with levels of skills and knowledge below age-related
expectations. Good teaching in the Nursery and Reception classes enables all
children to make good progress, until at the point of joining Year 1 they are attaining
at or slightly above age-related expectations in most areas, except reading and
writing. Despite a good start in developing an understanding of sounds and letters in
the Early Years Foundation Stage and in Years 1 and 2, the approach of teachers and
particularly of support staff in developing this understanding is not as consistent as it
could be, and some reading material is not best matched to pupils’ needs.
Attainment in reading by the end of Year 2 is broadly average and above average by
the end of Year 6. Progress in mathematics is consistently good, with some pupils
making outstanding progress. Progress in English, although slower, is improving. The
overall good achievement is evident in recent national test results and the school’s
own assessment and tracking data. By the end of Year 6, pupils’ attainment in
English and mathematics is above average.
Good, and occasionally outstanding, learning and progress were also clearly evident
in lessons observed during the inspection, and this was due to high expectations of
teachers and pupils’ very positive attitudes. Pupils are confident and articulate
learners, because the school strongly emphasises the importance of active,
independent and collaborative learning, so pupils are prepared well for the next
stage of education. Parents and carers rightly recognise the good rate of
achievement in the school. Disabled pupils and those with special educational needs
share in the good progress, benefiting from good support and the encouragement
they receive to play a full part in lessons. Those pupils who are particularly able,
gifted or talented achieve well, benefiting not just from appropriately challenging
work in most lessons but also from additional learning opportunities, for example
through visiting other local schools and in-school extension classes. Occasionally
higher-attaining pupils do not achieve as well as they might, when the pace and
challenge which is integral to most of the teaching, is less evident. One of the
school’s main successes has been to ensure that in this very diverse school
population, all groups of pupils progress at a similar rate. Pupils who speak English
as an additional language achieve at a better rate than their counterparts nationally,
as do pupils from various minority ethnic groups. Some previous differences in
performance, for example between boys and girls, have been successfully narrowed
by the provision of a range of topics and resources designed to more readily appeal
to the different interests of all pupils.
Quality of teaching
The inspection findings bear out the views of almost all pupils, parents and carers
that teaching is good, has been for a considerable time, and is the main reason for
pupils’ good achievement. The well-planned curriculum makes a significant
contribution to pupils’ learning and progress. Regular and rigorous assessments
enable staff to carefully monitor all pupils’ progress, and the school provides
additional support where necessary for those identified as making slower than
expected progress. Strengths in teaching are evident throughout all year groups,
including the Early Years Foundation Stage and examples of outstanding teaching
were observed during the inspection. However, strategies for disseminating
outstanding practice across the school are not yet fully embedded to help accelerate
pupils’ learning at an even greater rate.
Teachers have high expectations of what pupils can achieve and how they should
behave and respond in lessons. Teachers use challenging questioning to extend
pupils’ understanding. In most lessons pupils are encouraged to discuss what they
are learning and to listen constructively to each other. Teachers ensure that pupils
understand the objectives of lessons and the success criteria for their work. Pupils
know their targets, which are regularly reviewed. The marking of work is usually
detailed and constructive, praising pupils’ efforts but also giving clear indications of
how work can be improved. These features were observed during the inspection, for
example in an outstanding English lesson for older pupils, designed to improve their
writing skills. The teacher skilfully used work pupils had done previously to identify
particular features of the writing and pupils were encouraged to learn from each
other, celebrate good work, and discuss the results. The pace was relentless, the
pupils’ enthusiasm was infectious, and the teacher’s skilful questioning and use of
individual targets enabled every pupil to make outstanding gains in understanding
and literacy skills. Only occasionally, particularly in reading and writing, do teachers
not provide appropriate challenge, support and resources for pupils to enable them
to reach higher levels.
Teachers successfully provide for pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural
understanding by introducing a range of topics such as ‘superheroes’ to engage
pupils’ interests. Teachers make good links across different subjects. For example,
pupils were observed practising their basic Spanish in mathematics lessons and
history topics are used to develop a range of writing skills.
Behaviour and safety of pupils
Pupils’ behaviour as observed during the inspection was good and their eagerness to
learn is an important factor in their good achievement. Pupils’ enjoyment of school is
reflected in their improved attendance, which is now above average. Pupils are polite
and courteous, and work well together. The school’s records and discussions with
pupils indicate that behaviour over time has been mostly good. Pupils recognise that
bullying can take different forms, but they are confident that all forms of
misbehaviour or any untoward incidents will be dealt with effectively. Records of a
few incidents of misbehaviour or bullying in recent months show that they have been
addressed quickly, and there have been no recent exclusions. School rules are
highlighted both in classrooms and pupils’ books, and staff have effective strategies
to reward and promote good behaviour in lessons. Safety concerns such as dealing
with cyber-bullying are also addressed in lessons and assemblies. Although a small
number of parents and carers have expressed concerns about the level of
supervision in the playground at lunchtimes, pupils told the inspectors that the school
provides a safe and secure environment, a view confirmed by inspectors’ own
Leadership and management
The headteacher, working closely with knowledgeable and committed governors and
staff, has successfully addressed the issues identified at the previous inspection. For
example, improvements in marking have helped to give pupils a greater
understanding of exactly how they can improve their work. Also, the school plans
well for its different groups of pupils and monitors their performance closely to
ensure that they all achieve well. Parents and carers confirm that the school’s
leadership has been a strength for several years. The senior leadership team has
both high expectations and a very good understanding of the strengths and areas for
development in the school. There has been a successful programme for the
professional development of staff in areas such as the use of assessment. The role of
middle leaders and managers, particularly the phase leaders, is still developing, but
they are increasingly supporting other staff, raising expectations and ensuring
greater consistency, for example in marking. All staff are held increasingly
accountable for progress, and a positive approach to improvement permeates the
school. At the same time, the leadership emphasises the inclusivity of the school,
much valued by parents and carers as well as pupils, who feel safe and know that
they all have an equal opportunity to do well and any form of discrimination will be
tackled rigorously. There are secure arrangements for safeguarding, and both pupils’
and staff awareness of safeguarding issues is regularly updated.
The leadership works hard and effectively to keep parents and carers well informed
through regular communications and involves them in their children’s learning. They
share in the setting of pupils’ targets and are invited into school for opportunities
such as joint work on projects with their children and, subsequently, producing a
play for performance.
The school provides a well-planned curriculum, which places great emphasis on
teaching key skills like literacy and numeracy in a lively and engaging way, for
example by encouraging pupils to research topics. Some pupils have had the
opportunity to meet with pupils from a school outside the local area, and all pupils
benefit from a rich programme of activities such as clubs, residential trips and visits
to sites such as the Imperial War Museum and the National Gallery. These events are
part of the school’s effective and engaging provision for spiritual, moral, social and
cultural development. There are planned opportunities for pupils to reflect on the
issues raised by living in a multicultural, multi-faith community. For example, pupils
tell each other about their own families’ religious practices.
The leadership’s track record of success since the previous inspection, its continual
search for ways to improve further and its determination to maintain pupils’
academic success and personal development at the centre of its work clearly
demonstrate its good capacity to improve further.
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
Overall effectiveness of schools
|Overall effectiveness judgement (percentage of schools)|
|Type of school||Outstanding||Good||Satisfactory||Inadequate|
|Pupil referral |
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 schools.
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: the standard of the pupils’ work shown by test and
examination results and in lessons.
Attendance: the regular attendance of pupils at school and in
lessons, taking into account the school’s efforts to
encourage good attendance.
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 improvement.
Leadership and management: 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 the school.
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 example e-learning.
4 February 2012
Inspection of Fircroft Primary School, Tooting, London SW17 7PP
Thank you for welcoming us so politely when we visited your school recently. We
enjoyed meeting you and seeing you in lessons and around the school. Your school
is providing you with a good education, and I am writing to tell you what we found.
These are the things we liked most.
- All of you, from the Nursery up to Year 6, make good progress in your work,
especially in mathematics.
- Your teachers teach you well, they make lessons interesting by giving you lots
of tasks to do, they mark your work well and they help you learn a great
- You behave well and we agree with you when you tell us that you feel safe in
school and are well cared for. You get on very well with each other.
- Your headteacher leads the school very well, and all staff work hard to help
you enjoy school, keep improving it and prepare you well for your next
In order to make your good school even better, we have asked the school to:
- give you even more help and resources in learning to improve your reading
and writing so that all of you can make the best possible progress
- help teachers learn from each other so that all of you get work which really
makes you think hard and do your best and enables you to make the best
progress possible all of the time.
If you continue to work as hard as we saw you doing during the inspection, you will
help your teachers and other staff succeed in making your school even better.