Gamlingay First School
phone: 01767 650208
headteacher: Mr Jonathan Newman
225 pupils capacity: 92% full
100 boys 48%
105 girls 51%
Last updated: June 19, 2014
Primary — Community School
- Education phase
- Establishment type
- Community School
- Establishment #
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 523649, Northing: 252405
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 52.156, Longitude: -0.19397
- Accepting pupils
- 5—9 years old
- Census date
- Jan. 16, 2014
- Ofsted last inspection
- Oct. 22, 2013
- Region › Const. › Ward
- East of England › South Cambridgeshire › Gamlingay
- Town and Fringe - less sparse
- Free school meals %
- 0.1 miles Children's Montessori School At the Old Social Club SG193LB
- 0.3 miles Gamlingay Village College SG193HD
- 0.3 miles Gamlingay Village College SG193HD (171 pupils)
- 2.1 miles Everton Lower School SG192LE (64 pupils)
- 2.1 miles Potton Lower School SG192PB (243 pupils)
- 2.1 miles Burgoyne Middle School SG192PG (199 pupils)
- 3 miles Barnabas Oley CofE Primary School SG193AE (137 pupils)
- 3.2 miles Sutton CofE VA Lower School SG192NE (62 pupils)
- 3.4 miles Wrestlingworth CofE VC Lower School SG192EU (63 pupils)
- 4.3 miles Robert Peel Lower School SG191QJ (288 pupils)
- 4.3 miles Sandy Upper School SG191BL (623 pupils)
- 4.3 miles Maple Tree Lower School SG192WA (208 pupils)
- 4.4 miles St Swithun's VC Lower School SG191AX (181 pupils)
- 4.5 miles Sandye Place Middle School SG191JD
- 4.5 miles Sandye Place Academy SG191JD (498 pupils)
- 4.6 miles Laburnum Lower School SG191HQ (166 pupils)
- 4.7 miles Edward Peake CofE VC Middle School SG180EJ (352 pupils)
- 5 miles Middlefield Community Primary School PE192QE
- 5 miles The Newton Community Primary School PE196TL (102 pupils)
- 5 miles Middlefield Primary Academy PE192QE (210 pupils)
- 5.1 miles Dunton CofE VC Lower School SG188RN (59 pupils)
- 5.1 miles Hitchmead School SG180NL
- 5.2 miles John Donne CofE Lower School MK443NL (93 pupils)
- 5.2 miles Ivel Valley School SG180NL (144 pupils)
Gamlingay First School
Green End, Gamlingay, Sandy, SG19 3LE
|Inspection dates||22–23 October 2013|
|Overall effectiveness||This inspection:||Good||2|
|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
| Pupils’ achieve well, with most working at or |
Good teaching means that pupils’ skills
Reading is taught especially well, with
Pupils behave well and feel safe. They are
Activities both in and out of lessons make
exceeding the expected levels for their age in
reading, writing and mathematics by the end
of Year 4.
improve quickly. There is a good pace to
learning, and teachers make good use of
resources to bring subjects alive.
specialist support very successfully helping
pupils who are struggling to catch up.
sociable and articulate and have good
manners. They work hard in lessons, are
keen to learn and get on well together.
learning fun and contribute well to pupils’
great enjoyment of school and their personal
| Good leadership and management ensure that |
Leaders’ planning for improvement is based on
The governing body is very knowledgeable
Parents are very pleased with the work of the
the school continues to move forward quickly.
Pupils’ attainment is rising and the amount of
good or outstanding teaching is increasing.
an accurate understanding of current priorities,
and the school is doing the right things to iron
out remaining, relatively minor, inconsistencies
in progress across the school.
about the school and provides good challenge
to other leaders.
school. They support it extremely well through
fundraising and by helping their children with
work at home.
| In a small number of mathematics lessons in |
Years 3 and 4, pupils’ progress slows. This is
because teachers do not always pitch work at
the right level for all pupils. In addition, they
have too few opportunities to improve their
numeracy skills by using them in problem
solving or investigations.
| Teachers in charge of subjects or other aspects |
of the school’s work do not play a full part in
driving improvement because they have too
little responsibility for analysing data on pupils’
performance and checking the quality of
|Inspection report:||Gamlingay First School, 22–23 October 2013||2 of 9|
Information about this inspection
- The inspectors observed 18 lessons, seven of which were observed jointly with the headteacher.
In addition, the inspectors made a number of short visits to lessons.
- Meetings were held with pupils, with members of the governing body, with members of staff and
with a representative from the local authority.
- The inspectors took account of the 60 responses to the online questionnaire (Parent View). They
also talked to some parents individually at the end of the school day.
- The inspectors observed the school’s work and looked at a number of documents, including the
school’s own information about pupils’ learning and progress, planning and monitoring
documents, the school development plan, records relating to behaviour and attendance and
- The inspectors analysed 18 questionnaires from staff.
|Mike Capper, Lead inspector||Additional Inspector|
|Piers Ranger||Additional Inspector|
|Inspection report:||Gamlingay First School, 22–23 October 2013||3 of 9|
Information about this school
- This average-sized first school has eight classes. Pupils transfer to other schools at the end of
- Pupils in the Early Years Foundation Stage are taught in two Reception classes.
- Most pupils are from White British backgrounds.
- The proportion of disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs who are
supported at school action is below average. The proportion supported at school action plus or
with a statement of special educational need is also below average.
- The proportion of pupils supported by the pupil premium (additional government funding given
to the schoolfor specific groups of pupils including those known to be eligible for free school
meals and children who are looked after by the local authority) is below average.
- The headteacher is a local leader of education and provides support to other local schools.
What does the school need to do to improve further?
- Ensure progress in mathematics in Years 3 and 4 is consistently good by:
ensuring that teachers plan work that is always pitched at the right level for all pupils
giving pupils more opportunities to practise and improve their numeracy skills through
investigations and problem solving.
- Strengthen the role of teachers in charge of subjects or other aspects of the school’s work in
driving improvement by involving them more in analysing data on pupils’ performance and
|Inspection report:||Gamlingay First School, 22–23 October 2013||4 of 9|
|The achievement of pupils||is good|
- Pupils make good progress from attainment on entry which varies from year to year. Around half
of children show a typical level of development for their age when they enter the Early Years
Foundation Stage in most years. Pupils’ attainment has been rising and, by the end of Year 4,
most pupils are working at or exceeding the expected levels for their age in reading, writing and
- In the Early Years Foundation Stage, children learn quickly. They make very rapid progress in
phonics (learning about letters and the sounds that they make) because skills are introduced
very systematically. They soon begin to make marks on paper, with the more-able already
writing recognisable letters and words. When counting, most children recognise numbers to ten,
and around a third are already beginning to explore how to make larger numbers.
- Pupils make good progress in Years 1 and 2, leading to above-average attainment by the end of
Year 2. Pupils do especially well in reading and writing because they use their phonics
knowledge well to read unknown words and to spell accurately. In the national phonics
screening checks at the end of Year 1, the school has exceeded national averages for the last
- In mathematics, pupils in Year 2 add and subtract accurately. All pupils, including the more-able
pupils, make good progress, especially when encouraged to think for themselves by, for
instance, making Carroll diagrams based either on their own criteria or one given by the teacher.
- In Years 3 and 4, pupils make good progress most of the time. Reading and writing skills
improve quickly for all pupils, including the less-able. The more-able achieve well and they are
given good opportunities to use and apply their literacy skills to support their learning in other
subjects. However, in mathematics, progress, while never less than adequate, is sometimes
uneven because work does not always build successfully enough on pupils’ different starting
points. The most-able improve numeracy skills quickly most of the time because they are given
additional support outside lessons.
- Disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs do well because they receive
good support from members of staff. Consequently, most reach the nationally expected Level 3
by the end of Year 4, reflecting good progress over time.
- There are not enough pupils known to be eligible for pupil premium funding in each year group
to comment on their attainment without identifying them. Funding provides good-quality
individual support where needed and ensures that these pupils make the same good progress as
|The quality of teaching||is good|
- Teaching is typically good and is sometimes outstanding ensuring that pupils learn quickly and
are keen to learn. All parents who responded to the inspection questionnaire are pleased with
- In the Reception classes, children quickly acquire new skills, especially when supported by an
adult. Teachers make good use of the well-resourced outdoor areas to support learning. Phonics
is taught exceptionally well, and children are given many opportunities to practise and reinforce
their skills throughout the day. Children get many opportunities to explore their own ideas, for
example, working together to build a bridge outside and, most of the time, adults intervene well
to move learning on quickly, although just occasionally they do not receive enough help in
developing their ideas.
|Inspection report:||Gamlingay First School, 22–23 October 2013||5 of 9|
- In Years 1 to 4, teachers meet differing needs well most of the time. There is usually good
challenge for the most-able, although just occasionally in numeracy lessons, work is not pitched
at exactly the right level for all pupils, slowing learning. Members of staff manage behaviour
consistently through the constant use of praise. Pupils are given good opportunities to work
together and to reflect on the progress they have made in each lesson.
- In Years 1 and 2, teachers are especially successful at making learning practical. For example,
pupils very quickly improved their knowledge of data-handling because they made ‘human
graphs’ in the playground. This is less evident in some mathematics lessons in Years 3 and 4,
where there are not always enough opportunities for pupils to use their skills in investigations
and by problem solving so that skills improve more quickly.
- Throughout the school, specialist teachers and well-planned support outside lessons, especially
in reading, have a highly positive effect on pupils’ learning, helping to ensure that the less-able,
including disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs, make good progress.
|The behaviour and safety of pupils||are good|
- Parents and pupils agree that behaviour is typically good. Inspectors found that pupils’ positive
attitudes towards learning are a key factor in helping them to make good progress and prepare
them well for the next stage of their education.
- Pupils thoroughly enjoy school making comments such as, ‘I am always happy,’ and ‘I never
know what is going to happen next.’ Pupils are keen to learn and they sensibly share their ideas
in lessons, happily celebrating each other’s successes.
- Pupils are polite and courteous and work hard, but behaviour is not outstanding because there
are a few occasions in lessons when they do not pay enough attention to the teacher. In the
Reception classes, children have good independence and they concentrate well, behaving very
sensibly all of the time.
- Pupils feel very safe at school. They say that there is very little bullying, but when it does
happen, it is tackled quickly by staff. Pupils talk knowledgeably about how to avoid dangers in
the outside world, including how to use the internet safely.
- The school promotes equality and tackles discrimination very effectively. The pupil premium is
used to good effect to ensure that all pupils are able to take part in every activity.
- There is a good emphasis on encouraging healthy lifestyles and promoting pupils’ well-being.
Pupils enjoy physical activity, and ‘playleaders’ promote this well at break-times. The school is
beginning to use the new primary sports funding (additional government funding to support the
development of school sports) to access different sporting activities and to use specialist coaches
to extend teachers’ skills.
|The leadership and management||are good|
|Inspection report:||Gamlingay First School, 22–23 October 2013||6 of 9|
- Senior leaders set high expectations for staff and pupils and, consequently, there have been
good improvements since the previous inspection. Pupils’ attainment has risen and leaders have
ensured continued improvement in the quality of teaching and learning. The local authority has
supported the school well over this period.
- Systems for checking provision are thorough and the headteacher evaluates the school’s work
accurately. The school has a wealth of data on pupils’ progress and this information is used well
to identify groups or individuals who are doing less well than others so that they can be given
support to help them catch up. For example, steps are already being taken in the current year to
support pupils who have in the past been doing less well in mathematics.
- Senior leaders work closely with teachers to identify what they need to do to make teaching
even more successful. The headteacher’s judgements on teaching are accurate and,
consequently, training is selected on a good understanding of what will help teachers and the
- Leadership and management are not outstanding because teachers in charge of subjects or
other aspects of the school’s work such as special educational needs, while very enthusiastic, do
not have enough responsibility for analysing data and checking the quality of teaching for
themselves. Consequently, they are not able to take a full part in driving improvement.
- The school’s partnership with others makes a strong contribution to its success. For example,
good practice is shared with other local schools. As a local leader of education, the headteacher
has provided valued support to other schools or academies.
- The curriculum (the topics and subjects taught) promotes good learning in numeracy and
literacy. It provides a good variety of interesting and meaningful activities both in and out of
lessons, although in mathematics too little time is allowed in Years 3 and 4 for reinforcing
learning through practical work.
- Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development makes a positive contribution towards pupils’
learning. There is good involvement in the local community and pupils show good concern for
the needs of others by, for example, raising funds for a school in Ethiopia.
- The governance of the school:
The governing body provides good challenge to the headteacher. It has played a good part in
the continued improvement since the previous inspection. Governors make good use of
training to keep abreast of national developments and they regularly review their own work to
ensure that it meets the needs of the school. Visits to school and the thorough analysis of data
about pupils’ progress mean that governors are knowledgeable about both the quality of
teaching and how well the school is performing in comparison to others. Governors ensure
that the pupil premium is being used to good effect to improve the attainment of eligible
pupils and they check that systems for improving teaching only reward good performance.
Governors ensure that safeguarding arrangements meet requirements.
|Inspection report:||Gamlingay First School, 22–23 October 2013||7 of 9|
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.
|Inspection report:||Gamlingay First School, 22–23 October 2013||8 of 9|
|Unique reference number||110609|
This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.
|Type of school||First|
|Age range of pupils||4–9|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Number of pupils on the school roll||207|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Date of previous school inspection||11 November 2008|
|Telephone number||01767 650208|
|Fax number||01767 650209|