Gorsewood Primary School
phone: 01928 712100
headteacher: Mrs J Gregg
210 pupils capacity: 90% full
95 boys 50%
90 girls 48%
Last updated: June 19, 2014
Primary — Community School
- Education phase
- Establishment type
- Community School
- Establishment #
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 355996, Northing: 380990
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 53.324, Longitude: -2.6621
- Accepting pupils
- 4—11 years old
- Census date
- Jan. 16, 2014
- Ofsted last inspection
- April 24, 2014
- Region › Const. › Ward
- North West › Weaver Vale › Norton North
- Urban > 10k - less sparse
- Free school meals %
- St Martin's Catholic Primary School WA76HZ (202 pupils)
- 0.2 miles Murdishaw West Community Primary School WA76EP (174 pupils)
- 0.4 miles Brookvale Comprehensive School WA76EP
- 0.5 miles Halton High School WA76EP
- 0.5 miles Ormiston Bolingbroke Academy WA76EP (902 pupils)
- 0.7 miles St Berteline's CofE Primary School WA76QN (300 pupils)
- 0.9 miles Brookvale Junior School WA76BZ
- 0.9 miles Brookvale Infant School WA76BZ
- 0.9 miles Brookvale Primary School WA76BZ (284 pupils)
- 1 mile Windmill Hill Primary School WA76QE (130 pupils)
- 1.1 mile Palacefields County Junior School WA72QW
- 1.1 mile Palacefields County Infant School WA72QW
- 1.1 mile Our Lady Mother of the Saviour Catholic Primary School WA72TP (189 pupils)
- 1.1 mile Palace Fields Primary School WA72QW
- 1.1 mile Palace Fields Primary Academy WA72QW (230 pupils)
- 1.2 mile Norton Priory High School WA72NT
- 1.3 mile The Park Primary School WA72LW (113 pupils)
- 1.3 mile Bridgewater Park Primary School WA72LW
- 1.4 mile Sandymoor WA71XU (104 pupils)
- 1.5 mile Daresbury Primary School WA44AJ (105 pupils)
- 1.6 mile Aston by Sutton Primary School WA73DB (92 pupils)
- 1.6 mile The Brow Community Primary School WA72HB (180 pupils)
- 1.6 mile Astmoor Primary School WA72JE (151 pupils)
- 1.6 mile St Augustine's Catholic Primary School WA72JJ (82 pupils)
Gorsewood Primary School
Gorsewood Road, Murdishaw, Runcorn, Cheshire, WA7 6ES
|Inspection dates||24–25 April 2014|
|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. They make at least good |
By the end of Year 6, standards in English
All groups of pupils achieve well because
Children in the Early Years Foundation Stage
Pupils and parents agree that the school is
progress across the school.
and mathematics reach and sometimes
exceed the national average.
teaching is good and, at times, it is
get off to a good start in their learning.
welcoming and caring.
| Pupils’ behaviour is good and they have |
The curriculum is well planned. The school
The highly effective headteacher, governors
positive attitudes to learning. Attendance is
consistently above average.
provides a good range of activities, clubs and
visits. These offer pupils exciting experiences
outside the classroom and support pupils’
and other senior leaders work well together for
the benefit of all the pupils. Their view of how
well the school is doing is accurate and they
have a good grasp of how to further improve
teaching and pupils’ achievement.
| Pupils do not yet make excellent progress |
In some lessons, not enough is expected of
because the quality of teaching is not
pupils and so they do not do as well as they
| Marking is not always used well enough to help |
pupils to improve their work.
Information about this inspection
- The inspectors observed 15 lessons or part lessons taught by eight teachers. Two lessons were
observed jointly with the headteacher.
- Inspectors talked with pupils and listened to some Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 pupils reading.
Pupils’ current work and assessments were scrutinised. Inspectors also observed pupils at
lunchtime and during their break times.
- Meetings were held with senior leaders, staff, members of the governing body and a
representative of the local authority.
- Inspectors looked closely at the school’s work, including minutes of meetings of the governing
body, the school’s analysis of how well it is doing and its improvement plan, documents relating
to behaviour and safeguarding and the school’s data on pupils’ progress.
- Inspectors were unable to take account of the responses to the online survey (Parent View) as
there were not enough responses for them to be made available. The inspectors considered
parents’ views through informal discussions during the inspection and took account of surveys of
parents’ views carried out by the school.
- The inspectors took account of the 24 responses to the staff questionnaire provided by Ofsted.
|Michael Hewlett, Lead inspector||Additional Inspector|
|Terry Bond||Additional Inspector|
Information about this school
- This school is smaller than the average-sized primary school
- Almost all pupils are White British. No pupils speak English as an additional language.
- The proportion of pupils known to be supported by the pupil premium funding is well-above
average. The pupil premium is additional funding for pupils known to be eligible for free school
meals and children looked after by the local authority.
- The proportion of disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs supported
through school action is above average. The proportion of pupils supported at school action plus
or with a statement of special educational needs is average.
- In 2013, the school met the government’s current floor standards, which are the minimum
expectations for pupil’s attainment and progress in English and mathematics by the end of Year
- There have been significant changes in staffing since the last inspection and a new leadership
team was established in January 2014.
- The school offers breakfast and after-school clubs every day.
What does the school need to do to improve further?
- Raise the quality of teaching in order to raise pupils’ achievement further by ensuring that:
work set in lessons is consistently hard enough for pupils, including for the most able, to
enable them to always achieve their best
there is good quality marking of pupils’ work throughout the school so that all pupils are clear
about how they can improve their work.
|The achievement of pupils||is good|
- Children start school in the Early Years Foundation Stage with skills that are much lower than
those typical for their age. They make good progress in the Reception class because of the good
teaching and the specific support that they receive to meet their different needs.
- Despite the consistently good progress made by pupils in Key Stage 1 in the past, pupils’
standards in reading, writing and mathematics remained below average by the end of Year 2.
Due to improved teaching, standards in the current Year 2 class are higher and are average.
Lesson observations, the work in pupils’ books and the school’s systems for checking how well
pupils are doing confirm this.
- Pupils continue to make good progress in Years 3 to 6 so that by Year 6 pupils’ standards in
reading and mathematics are average overall. In writing, which has been a school priority for
improvement, they are just above average.
- While pupils make good progress overall, the most able pupils are not always challenged to do
their very best. This is because some tasks in lessons do not always stretch their thinking. As a
result too few pupils are reaching the higher levels in their tests at the end of Years 2 and 6.
- Pupils are encouraged to read accurately and for pleasure from an early age. The proportion of
pupils reaching the expected standard in the Year 1 screening check of phonics (the linking of
letters to sounds) has improved year on year and is now above average.
- Good teaching also ensures that pupils understand what they read. Pupils are asked probing
questions about the books they are reading in small group reading sessions. Older pupils talk
about their love of books and how much they enjoy sharing their reading skills with younger
pupils in the ‘paired reading’ sessions. ‘My cousin is a much better reader now that I have
started to help her.’ was a typical response.
- Disabled pupils and those who need extra help are fully included in all learning activities. This
reflects the school’s commitment to ensuring every pupil is given an equal opportunity. As a
result they make good progress and achieve well.
- In Year 6 in 2013, the standards reached by pupils supported by the pupil premium, including
those known to be eligible for free school meals, were approximately two terms behind those of
other pupils in the year group in English and mathematics. The school has taken rapid and
effective action to address this deficit and the gap between the standards reached by these
groups of pupils is closing rapidly.
|The quality of teaching||is good|
- Pupils enjoy their lessons and are quick to praise their teachers who, ‘work hard to make sure
we learn a lot and plan exciting things for us to do’.
- Work completed by pupils in their books and checks on teaching confirm that teaching is
generally good and often outstanding.
- In the Early Years Foundation Stage, staff work well as a team to make sure that children get a
good start to their formal education. Rich and varied learning experiences capture children’s
interests and help them to successfully develop their language, social and personal skills.
- Learning across the school is well-planned and exciting activities capture pupils’ interests well.
Subjects are carefully linked through topics so that pupils can practise and then apply their
numeracy and literacy skills in a range of activities. For example, in a Year 3 mathematics
lesson, pupils were able to test out their ideas in real-life situations as they calculated perimeter,
using the school playground and outdoor classroom areas. Pupils persevered well, shared ideas
and made good progress in their learning by the end of the session.
- Most teaching encourages pupils of all abilities to reflect carefully on what they are doing and
not settle for the first answer that comes to mind. In a Year 6 lesson, pupils discussed how they
might ‘up level’ or improve their writing so that the reader was left in no doubt about what they
were trying to describe in the opening sentences of their books. They pondered over the right
words and phrases before deciding on the one that was ‘just right’. As a result, their finished
written work was of a very high quality.
- Highly skilled and experienced teaching assistants plan alongside the teachers and provide
valuable support for pupils of different abilities in lessons so that they all make good progress.
- Sometimes the expectations of what pupils can achieve are not high enough. In these lessons,
there is too little difference in the activities given to the different ability groups. Consequently,
the work set is not hard enough to challenge the most able pupils to achieve their best.
- Teachers mark pupils’ work regularly and generally provide good guidance on how that work
might be improved. Comments are positive and constructive and pupils are certain that, at its
best, marking helps them to learn faster. On some occasions, comments in the books lack clarity
and leave pupils unsure about what they need to do next.
|The behaviour and safety of pupils||is good|
- The behaviour of pupils is good.
- Pupils are invariably friendly and welcoming. They greet adults politely and love to help, such as
holding doors open and tidying up in class.
- Pupils’ behaviour in lessons is never less than good and this has a positive effect on pupils’
achievement. ‘We all get on well and if anyone misbehaves they miss their golden time, which is
fair.’ was a typical comment made by an older pupil.
- Pupils have positive attitudes to learning and are keen to do well in lessons. They are proud of
their school and respond well to the many opportunities provided for them to take on
responsibilities. Pupils on the school council take their responsibilities very seriously. For
example, they were proud that their views and opinions mattered when decisions were made
about the games that could be played outside on the playground.
- The school employs a good range of strategies to support pupils who, at times, present
challenging behaviour. The pastoral team and school counsellor provide good support to pupils
who need it. They help to ensure that all pupils arrive in class ready to learn.
- The school’s work to keep pupils safe and secure is good.
- Parents agree with this view and believe their children are safe, happy and well cared for.
- Pupils also feel safe and secure in school and appreciate that staff work hard to keep it that way.
They point to the litter free site and the school-wide security.
- Pupils and parents agree that bullying of all types, including when using the internet, is rare and
that any concerns are sorted out quickly.
- Attendance is above average and pupils arrive promptly. The school’s breakfast and after-school
clubs are well run. They provide good-quality care enabling pupils to enjoy a calm start and end
to their school day.
|The leadership and management||is good|
- The headteacher provides strong leadership and is ambitious for the school. Since being
appointed to the post, she has quickly identified, through an accurate review of strengths and
weaknesses, what needs to be done to improve the school still further.
- She is well supported by other school leaders and governors and together they have acted
decisively to secure the necessary improvements in teaching and pupils’ achievement.
- Pupils’ progress is carefully tracked and teachers know that they are accountable for this. For
example, a slight dip in pupils’ reading scores has been swiftly addressed by deploying additional
staff in Key Stage 2. This has already had a positive impact on pupils’ reading levels.
- There is good care and support for groups of pupils who are at risk of not doing as well as they
should. For example, school leaders have recognised that some of the most able pupils could be
reaching higher levels. Steps taken to address this are paying dividends, with more challenging
work being introduced where necessary. It illustrates the way that everyone’s needs in the
school are respected and discrimination of any kind is not tolerated.
- Rigorous checks on the school’s work by senior leaders, together with a well-planned
programme of staff development, are firmly in place. There is good quality monitoring of
teaching and the overall performance of teachers. Staff pay awards and performance-
management targets are closely linked to pupils’ achievements.
- Middle leaders work well as a team and share best practice. As a result a culture of good
teaching and behaviour flourishes across the school.
- The curriculum is well planned and there is an appropriate focus on developing skills in literacy
and numeracy. These are linked well with other subjects so that pupils have good opportunities
to use and apply the skills that they have learned.
- Pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is promoted effectively across the
curriculum. Pupils take part in a wide range of extra activities and visits, which enrich their
learning experiences. They have good opportunities to discuss moral values such as respect and
trust for one another and to reflect on how their actions can affect others.
- The school makes good use of the primary sports funding to extend the range of sports that are
offered in the school and to provide training for staff. Pupils are enthusiastic about the extra
competitions they now take part in and explain that the additional sports coaches that visit the
school are ‘making us fitter’ and ‘better at games’.
- The local authority regards the school as one in need of only ‘light touch’ support. Nevertheless,
the skilled support given has helped to improve the school’s systems for tracking pupils’
- Arrangements for safeguarding meet all requirements. Records are carefully maintained and
first-aid and child-protection arrangements are up to date.
- The governance of the school:
The governing body is well-organised and knowledgeable. Governors are proud of the school’s
role within the community and of the ‘team spirit’ which exists in the school. They are fully
informed about the school’s performance. Governors receive detailed information about the
quality of teaching and individual governors make regular visits to gain first-hand views of the
life of the school. Consequently, governors have a very clear understanding of the school’s
strengths and weaknesses. This information is used very effectively to hold school leaders to
account through performance targets that are set for the headteacher and other school staff.
Governors keep a careful watch on all budget-related matters. In particular, they scrutinise the
achievement of pupils known to be eligible for pupil premium funding. They also check on the
spending of the primary sport funding and the impact of both of these funds on pupils’
learning. The governing body takes it duty to ensure that pupils are kept safe very seriously.
They fulfil all their statutory responsibilities and make sure that safeguarding arrangements
are checked regularly.
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||111176|
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||190|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Headteacher||Mrs Janette Gregg|
|Date of previous school inspection||6 October 2010|
|Telephone number||01928 712100|
|Fax number||01928 710202|