Gatehouse Primary School
Headteacher: Mrs Angela Jeffery
341 pupils, Mixed
|Unique Reference Number||113244|
|Inspection dates||8–9 December 2009|
|Reporting inspector||Hazel Callaghan|
|Type of school||Primary|
|Age range of pupils||4–11|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Number of pupils on the school roll||360|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Date of previous school inspection||18 October 2006|
|School address||Secmaton Lane|
|Devon EX7 0LW|
|Telephone number||01626 862605|
|Fax number||01626 865394|
|Inspection dates||8–9 December 2009|
© Crown copyright 2009
This inspection was carried out by three additional inspectors. The inspectors visited 11 lessons, and held meetings with governors, staff and groups of pupils. They observed the school's work and looked at documents, including the school improvement plan, reports from the school improvement partner, assessment records, safeguarding records and related policies, minutes of governors' meetings, teachers' plans and records of curriculum activities. The inspection team reviewed many aspects of the school's work. It looked in detail at the following:
Gatehouse Primary is a large school. The vast majority of its pupils come from families of White British backgrounds. There are no pupils in the early stages of learning English. The proportion of pupils eligible for free school meals is below that found nationally, as is the proportion of pupils identified as having special educational needs and/or disabilities. The number of pupils with statements of special educational needs, however, is greater than usual for a school of this type. The school runs its own breakfast club and after-school club which are managed by the school governors. The school has successfully achieved the Healthy School Award and a Community Award. The number of pupils on roll has fallen recently, requiring a reorganisation of classes in Key Stage 2. Some of the classes now include pupils of two age groups.
|Inspection grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is satisfactory, and 4 is inadequate|
|Please turn to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms|
Overall effectiveness: how good is the school?
The school's capacity for sustained improvement
Gatehouse Primary is a satisfactorily effective school. Aspects of its work, particularly in the care, support and guidance given to all pupils, are good. The vast majority of pupils are happy at school and think it is a great place where they are well looked after and feel safe and secure. One pupil's comments about the staff were typical of many: 'They help to keep you safe and when I'm down someone is always there to help you.' These good levels of care and the strong emphasis on developing pupils' social and emotional development underpin pupils' good progress in their personal development. The behaviour in the school is good, especially in lessons and pupils are responsible and helpful members of the school community.
Academically pupils make satisfactory progress overall. Attainment over the last three years has been in line with the national average. A sustained and effective focus on raising standards and achievement in writing has been very successful and last year standards in English were above the national average, the result of pupils' strong progress. Pupils of all abilities and groups achieved very well in both English and science in the national tests last year, but pupils made slower progress in mathematics and standards remained average. This has been correctly identified as an area of improvement that is now a focus for school development.
During the inspection teaching in English was stronger than in other areas of the curriculum. Although there is a proportion of good teaching, there are still inconsistencies of approach which are affecting pupils' progress and making it satisfactory overall. Children make a good start in their learning in the Reception classes because of the good provision there, but from then on the quality of teaching is very varied. Where teaching is effective, all pupils, including the more able, are appropriately challenged and reach the levels they are capable of. However, a minority of teachers do not consistently use assessment of pupils' prior learning to identify the next important steps or to ensure that activities are appropriately matched to their varying abilities. Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities make good progress when they are taught in small groups designed to meet their particular needs, and once back in class they make the same progress as their peers. Teachers' subject knowledge in English is good, but in mathematics the range and quality of learning strategies used is variable. Where this is secure, teachers use a range of positive strategies to help pupils understand new skills and to use them to solve problems. However, there are not enough opportunities for pupils to investigate and to explore ideas, which reduces pupils' opportunities to use their knowledge and to consolidate their understanding in 'real life' situations.
Relationships in all classes are positive and where teachers support pupils' ability to evaluate how well they are doing and give them clear guidance on how to improve, this supports good progress. A small group of teachers, however, do not mark pupils' work regularly, and do not always ensure that agreed policies and procedures are followed. This undermines the school's ability to move forward. There are clear expectations and a strong focus on raising standards of teaching and learning coming from the senior leadership team. Comprehensive monitoring of teaching and learning to identify areas of weakness alongside many strategies of support have resulted in good improvement in writing, but the inconsistencies in teaching and in some other aspects of the school's work shows the capacity for further improvement is satisfactory rather than good.
Pupils get on well together and the school's good links with wider community provide a secure basis for promoting community cohesion, but pupils have very few opportunities to extend their awareness of the diversity of cultures in the United Kingdom and so develop respect and tolerance of people from different backgrounds
Outcomes for individuals and groups of pupils
Pupils want to do well and try hard. They show good levels of attention and concentration and work well together in pairs and in groups to discuss and complete their tasks. In consequence, when activities are well matched to their abilities, pupils make good progress. This was demonstrated well in a mathematics session were pupils were able to select a word problem from a wide range of questions, all well matched to their abilities. They completed a large number of questions with growing confidence because the calculations were all linked to tables they were currently learning with a level of difficulty that extended their skills well. Pupils make good progress in their learning in English, especially in writing activities, because what pupils are to learn is explained clearly and checklists are used to help pupils understand how they can succeed. However, this is not always the case. In a few lessons, mainly in mathematics, insufficient thought is given to exactly what pupils are to learn by the end of the lesson. As a result, the activities pupils are given are not sufficiently challenging for some or too difficult for others to tackle without support, holding back progress.
Pupils enjoy school and most want to attend regularly but holidays in term time keep attendance figures to that similar to the national picture. Pupils say they feel safe and secure. They are aware of the potential hazards around them and have a good understanding of how to keep themselves safe. Pupils' social and moral development is good. They show care for one another and for those less well off than themselves. They are developing an awareness of the need for recycling and sustainability. Pupils make a positive contribution to the school and to the local community. They take on responsibilities with enthusiasm and carry out their roles well. Older pupils take great pleasure from helping the youngest in the school at lunchtimes and when they go out to play. They have a good understanding of how to develop healthy lifestyles and many try to make positive choices about keeping fit and eating healthily. Opportunities to reflect and consider important issues and to respect the beliefs and cultures of others are satisfactory. Pupils have good attitudes to work and their personal skills are positive. The basic skills of literacy, numeracy and computer skills overall are satisfactory and so pupils are satisfactorily prepared for their next stage of learning and the world of work.
These are the grades for pupils' outcomes
|Pupils' achievement and the extent to which they enjoy their learning|
Taking into account:
The quality of pupils' learning and their progress
The quality of learning for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities and their progress
|The extent to which pupils feel safe||2|
|The extent to which pupils adopt healthy lifestyles||2|
|The extent to which pupils contribute to the school and wider community||2|
|The extent to which pupils develop workplace and other skills that will contribute to their future economic well-being|
Taking into account:
|The extent of pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development||3|
1 The grades for attainment and attendance are: 1 is high; 2 is above average; 3 is broadly average; and 4 is low
The school's provision is satisfactory overall. There are strengths in the personal, social and health education programme that supports pupils' personal development well. A good range of additional activities also stimulate pupils' interest and extend their learning. Opportunities to learn a wide range of musical instruments and lessons in French, Spanish and even Russian all extend pupils' opportunities. The curriculum is suitably broad and well balanced and links between subjects that make activities more relevant are increasing. Where teachers develop these links pupils are interested and enthusiastic about their tasks. Pupils' skills in information and communication technology are systematically taught, but these skills are not sufficiently used to support pupils' learning in other subjects.
The curriculum is satisfactorily matched to pupils' needs and for those pupils with statements of special educational need or with specific learning difficulties, group sessions often ensure their good progress. The success of the curriculum in moving pupils forward in their learning is often limited by the quality of teaching and the opportunities provided for pupils to evaluate their own work and progress. In a class of pupils in Year 4 and 5 pupils were given this opportunity and they gained a very positive insight into what they had learnt and recognising how they could improve. However, pupils are not consistently given this opportunity and this is currently a factor which is limiting further pupil progress.
Pupils are given good levels of personal support by all staff and some support staff play a very important part in building self-esteem and supporting pupils' confidence and social skills. Those pupils who have been identified as having particular personal difficulties are given good levels of support. Outside agencies are used effectively to support pupils and their families when there is the need and this results in pupils being more able to settle to work and succeed. The school responded to parental requests for wrap-around care and well-run breakfast and after-school clubs keep pupils safe and entertained.
These are the grades for the quality of provision
|The quality of teaching|
Taking into account:
The use of assessment to support learning
|The extent to which the curriculum meets pupils' needs, including, where relevant, through partnerships||3|
|The effectiveness of care, guidance and support||2|
There is a clear vision for and commitment to raising standards from the senior team and many other members of the staff. The senior leadership team have an accurate view of the school's strengths and areas for development and the sustained and effective focus on improving writing has been successful. A variety of strategies to support teachers in their teaching have been used and these have proven successful in many cases. However, a small proportion of teaching is still not good enough. Although senior leaders have clearly articulated their vision for further improving the school, they have not succeeded in achieving the necessary commitment from all of the staff. Procedures for ensuring the safety and well-being of all pupils meet requirements, but not all staff are rigorous in following school policies to ensure that incidents of misbehaviour are followed up appropriately.
The school works well with a range of partners, including the other schools, local artists and outside agencies, to enhance pupils' learning, extending the curriculum, and personal development. It succeeds well in tackling discrimination and ensuring that every child is valued. Pupils with a range of disabilities are welcomed into the school and all pupils are able to take advantage of what it has to offer. The school tries hard to engage with all its parents and this is usually effective, but it is also well aware that a small minority have some concerns.
Governors are well informed and very supportive of the school's work. They recognise some of the areas where the school needs to improve and are making plans to address them, such as creating a parent group to consider the concerns from parents about communication and homework and how they can be successfully addressed. The school has evaluated its contribution to community cohesion and correctly judges this to be satisfactory. While it succeeds well in promoting a harmonious school community and helping pupils to grow up as confident, valuable members of their local community, more needs to be done to develop links further afield and to extend pupils' awareness of the diversity of cultures in the United Kingdom.
These are the grades for leadership and management
|The effectiveness of leadership and management in embedding ambition and driving improvement|
Taking into account:
The leadership and management of teaching and learning
|The effectiveness of the governing body in challenging and supporting the|
school so that weaknesses are tackled decisively and statutory responsibilities met
|The effectiveness of the school's engagement with parents and carers||3|
|The effectiveness of partnerships in promoting learning and well-being||2|
|The effectiveness with which the school promotes equality of opportunity and tackles discrimination||2|
|The effectiveness of safeguarding procedures||3|
|The effectiveness with which the school promotes community cohesion||3|
|The effectiveness with which the school deploys resources to achieve value for money||3|
Children start school with a limited range of knowledge and skills for their age, particularly in their personal, social and emotional development and language skills. The good procedures to introduce them to school enable them to settle well and when they finally start full time, under the sensitive and skilled care of all the adults, they make good progress. Some make outstanding progress to reach broadly average standards by the time they enter Year 1. Particularly good progress is made in children's language skills and in the use of numbers. Weaker aspects of their learning in their creative development and some aspects of social and emotional development remain.
Children make good progress because teaching is good and children's tasks focus on activities they find interesting. There is a good balance of adult-led and child-initiated activities and many opportunities for children to make choices and to develop their independence and organisational skills. Leadership and management of the Early Years Foundation Stage are good. The staff work together as a strong team who know the children well and adapt activities to best meet their needs. Children's welfare is of prime importance and good links are made with parents as part of the induction process and maintained throughout children's time in Reception. Good use is made of all areas of the classroom and the outside area for children to experiment and explore. Nevertheless, the Early Years Foundation Stage manager has identified aspects she wants to improve so that children may be given more opportunities to investigate both inside and outside the classroom. She is also exploring strategies to extend children's creative skills and strengthen their emotional development.
These are the grades for the Early Years Foundation Stage
|Overall effectiveness of the Early Years Foundation Stage|
Taking into account:
Outcomes for children in the Early Years Foundation Stage
The quality of provision in the Early Years Foundation Stage
The effectiveness of leadership and management of the Early Years Foundation
Parents of almost a third of the pupils responded to the Ofsted questionnaire. Most responses were very positive and parents showed their general satisfaction with the school. A small minority of parents expressed concern about the quality of communication provided by the school and a few others were unhappy with the quantity and regularity of homework. Both these concerns had been previously expressed by parents in their response to a questionnaire recently sent out by the school governors. The governors are consequently forming a parent group which will explore in greater detail the exact nature of parents concerns so that they can be discussed and addressed. A small but significant group of parents were concerned over what they see as bullying and/or inappropriate behaviour which they feel the school does not take sufficiently seriously. These concerns were followed up in detail by the inspection team. Inspection evidence shows that the vast majority of pupils behave well both in and out of lessons. There is a small group of pupils who have emotional and behavioural difficulties who are well supported by the staff and their behaviour is usually managed well. Occasionally there are outbursts, but these are now rare and pupils say they are not worried by these incidents. They say confidently that if there is anything that causes them upset or concern, they need only report it to the staff and it gets sorted out. Inspectors agree with this view, but observed that procedures to analyse and follow up the written behaviour logs were not consistently applied.
Ofsted invited all the registered parents and carers of pupils registered at Gatehouse Primary School to complete a questionnaire about their views of the school.
In the questionnaire, parents and carers were asked to record how strongly they agreed with 12 statements about the school.
The inspection team received 109 completed questionnaires by the end of the on-site inspection. In total, there are 360 pupils registered at the school.
|My child enjoys school||41||38||59||54||7||6||1||1|
|The school keeps my child safe||42||39||62||57||3||3||1||1|
|My school informs me about my child's progress||25||23||61||56||12||11||6||6|
|My child is making enough progress at this school||30||28||55||50||17||16||4||4|
|The teaching is good at this school||38||35||56||51||8||7||2||2|
|The school helps me to support my child's learning||23||21||58||53||19||17||6||6|
|The school helps my child to have a healthy lifestyle||28||26||71||65||6||6||1||1|
|The school makes sure that my child is well prepared for the future (for example changing year group, changing school, and for children who are finishing school, entering further or higher education, or entering employment)||18||17||69||63||5||5||5||5|
|The school meets my child's particular needs||25||23||63||58||13||12||2||2|
|The school deals effectively with unacceptable behaviour||27||25||53||49||16||15||5||5|
|The school takes account of my suggestions and concerns||21||19||52||48||13||12||6||6|
|The school is led and managed effectively||29||27||59||54||10||9||5||5|
|Overall, I am happy with my child's experience at this school||37||34||51||47||10||9||4||4|
The table above summarises the responses that parents and carers made to each statement. The percentages indicate the proportion of parents and carers giving that response out of the total number of completed questionnaires. Where one or more parents and carers chose not to answer a particular question, the percentages will not add up to 100%.
|Grade 1||Outstanding||These features are highly effective. An oustanding 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 judgement (percentage of schools)|
|Type of school||Outstanding||Good||Satisfactory||Inadequate|
|Pupil referral |
the progress and success of a pupil in their learning, development or training.
the standard of the pupils' work shown by test and examination results and in lessons.
|Capacity to improve:|
the proven ability of the school to continue improving. Inspectors base this judgement on 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 headteacher, to identifying priorities, directing and motivating staff and running the school.
how well pupils acquire knowledge, develop their understanding, learn and practise skills and are developing their competence as learners.
inspectors form a judgement on a school's overall effectiveness based on the findings from their inspection of the school. The following judgements, in particular, influence what the overall effectiveness judgement will be.
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.
10 December 2009
Inspection of Gatehouse Primary School, Dawlish EX7 0LW
Thank you for making us so welcome and answering our questions when we visited you recently. You told us that you enjoy school, like your teachers, and really enjoy your activities. Here are some of the things I found out about your school.
Gatehouse Primary has already done well in helping you to make good progress in writing, but we have asked the teachers and governors to do these things to make the school even better:
Thank you again for helping me with my questions, and remember ' you can play your part in making Gatehouse Primary a really good school by continuing to work hard. Wishing you all the very best for the New Year.
Mrs Callaghan, Lead Inspector.
|Any complaints about the inspection or the report should be made following the procedures set out in the guidance 'Complaining about inspections', which is available from Ofsted's website: ofsted.gov.uk. If you would like Ofsted to send you a copy of the guidance, please telephone 08456 404045, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.|