Grove Road Primary School
phone: 01442 822056
headteacher: Miss Sharon Sanderson
420 pupils capacity: 101% full
205 boys 48%
220 girls 52%
Last updated: June 19, 2014
Primary — Community School
- Education phase
- Establishment type
- Community School
- Establishment #
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 493053, Northing: 212345
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 51.802, Longitude: -0.6519
- Accepting pupils
- 3—11 years old
- Census date
- Jan. 16, 2014
- Ofsted last inspection
- May 1, 2014
- Region › Const. › Ward
- East of England › South West Hertfordshire › Tring East
- Urban > 10k - less sparse
- Free school meals %
- 0.1 miles Grove Road Junior School HP235PD
- 0.1 miles Grove Road Infant School HP235PD
- 0.3 miles Tring School HP235JD
- 0.3 miles Tring School HP235JD (1479 pupils)
- 0.4 miles Dundale Primary School and Nursery HP235DJ (231 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Bishop Wood Church of England Junior School, Tring HP235AU (232 pupils)
- 0.8 miles Tring Park School for the Performing Arts HP235LX (333 pupils)
- 0.9 miles Goldfield Infants' and Nursery School HP234EE (237 pupils)
- 1.3 mile Francis House Preparatory School HP234DL (106 pupils)
- 1.4 mile St Bartholomew's Church of England Voluntary Aided Primary School, Wigginton HP236EP (106 pupils)
- 1.5 mile Marsworth Church of England Infant School HP234LT (23 pupils)
- 2.1 miles Aldbury Church of England Primary School HP235RT (70 pupils)
- 2.5 miles Brookmead School LU79EX (308 pupils)
- 2.9 miles Long Marston VA Church of England Primary School HP234QS (124 pupils)
- 3.1 miles Aston Clinton School HP225JJ (368 pupils)
- 3.2 miles Cheddington Combined School LU70RG (201 pupils)
- 3.3 miles Hengrove School HP236LE
- 3.5 miles Hawridge and Cholesbury Church of England School HP52UQ (168 pupils)
- 3.5 miles St Mary's CofE Primary School, Northchurch HP43QZ (158 pupils)
- 3.8 miles Westfield Primary School and Nursery HP43PJ (205 pupils)
- 3.9 miles Halton Community Combined School HP225PN (149 pupils)
- 3.9 miles Bridgewater Primary School HP41ES (371 pupils)
- 3.9 miles Egerton-Rothesay School HP43UJ (140 pupils)
- 4 miles Little Gaddesden Church of England Voluntary Aided Primary School HP41NX (102 pupils)
Grove Road Primary School
Grove Road, Tring, HP23 5PD
|Inspection dates||1–2 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
| After a period of many staff changes, the |
Children settle very quickly into the Early
Pupils make good progress and standards are
Behaviour is good; pupils are polite and well
headteacher has established a cohesive team
of staff and governors who passionately
share her ambition for continuous school
improvement. As a result, the school is
moving forward rapidly.
Years Foundation Stage. They are given
things to do that interest and excite them.
They make a flying start to their life in school.
above the national average by the end of
Year 6, particularly in reading and writing.
mannered. They participate enthusiastically in
| The quality of teaching is mainly good, with |
The headteacher is an inspirational, effective
Good spiritual, moral, social and cultural
The school’s work to keep pupils’ safe and
many examples of excellent practice,
particularly in the Early Years Foundation Stage
and Year 6. Teachers provide challenging work
for pupils of all abilities, including the most
leader, who with her senior leadership team,
give high priority to supporting and training
staff in order to improve the quality of teaching
and raising pupils’ achievement. This has been
development permeates the whole school,
underpinning the pupils’ good behaviour and
secure is outstanding. Almost all their parents
| Teaching and achievement are not yet |
outstanding because pupils in some year
groups do not make such strong and
sustained progress as in others, especially in
| Some subject leaders require more |
The expertise of the best teachers in the
opportunities to monitor lessons to improve
school is not used to full effect to improve the
practice of others.
Information about this inspection
- Inspectors observed 25 lessons and four parts of lessons, including eight which were observed
jointly with the headteacher or deputy headteacher. Inspectors observed pupils’ behaviour at
break time and at lunchtime, both inside the school and in the playground. They listened to a
sample of pupils read from Year 3.
- Inspectors observed the school at work, visited assemblies and looked at a wide range of
documentation, including: the school’s self-evaluation and improvement plan; pupils’ workbooks;
external moderators’ reports of assessment; documents relating to the management of teachers’
performance; plans for supporting disabled pupils and those who have special educational
needs; and minutes of the meetings of the governing body. They also reviewed the standards
pupils have achieved over time and the school’s information about pupils’ current progress.
- Discussions were held with a group of pupils from Key Stage 2, members of the governing body,
a representative of the local authority, the headteacher, other school leaders and other members
- Inspectors took account of 43 staff questionnaires.
- There were 148 responses to the online questionnaire (Parent View), which the inspectors took
into account. They also spoke to a number of parents and considered the correspondence
received from parents commenting about the school.
|Terrance Mortimer, Lead inspector||Additional Inspector|
|Lynn Lowery||Additional Inspector|
|Joy Barter||Additional Inspector|
Information about this school
- This is a larger-than-average primary school.
- The proportion of pupils supported by the pupil premium is well below the national average. This
is extra government funding for particular groups, including pupils known to be eligible for free
school meals and those children who are looked after by the local authority.
- The proportion of disabled pupils and those with special educational needs who are supported at
school action is well below the national average. Few such pupils are supported at school action
plus or have a statement of special educational needs.
- The proportion of pupils from minority ethnic backgrounds is below average. Few pupils speak
English as an additional language.
- The current headteacher took up post in September 2012. The deputy headteacher took up her
post full time in January 2013. There have been several other changes to staffing since the
- The school is in an Education Improvement Partnership, where expertise in teaching and
learning is shared with partner schools in the authority to improve standards.
- The school meets the government’s current floor standards, which sets minimum expectations
for pupils’ progress and attainment in reading, writing and mathematics.
What does the school need to do to improve further?
- Raise teaching and achievement from good to outstanding by:
using the newly trained subject leaders to contribute more fully to improving the
quality of teaching and pupils’ progress in their areas
sharing the good teaching skills that are found and recognised in the school.
- Raise attainment and accelerate progress in mathematics so that achievement in
mathematics is as high as it is in English by:
providing training and support for teachers to bolster their confidence in teaching
problem solving in mathematics.
|The achievement of pupils||is good|
- Despite the staffing changes the school has faced, both in the leadership and teaching, the
pupils have made better progress and achieved well since the last inspection. In the Key Stage 2
tests in 2013, pupils attained significantly above average in both reading and writing and slightly
above in mathematics. An above average proportion of Pupils in Year 6 often achieve above
national averages at Level 5.
- Decisive actions taken by the headteacher, deputy headteacher, supported by staff and
governors, have improved teaching, sharpened the accuracy of assessment of pupils’
achievement and raised the expectations for pupils. As a result, progress is accelerating rapidly
- Pupils’ learning in lessons, work in books and the school’s own checks of pupils’ progress show
many pupils are making rapid progress, especially in reading and writing, though this is not yet
as fast in mathematics. Progress across the school is good overall.
- Improvement in rates of progress is not consistent across all year groups or subjects. It is
stronger in reading and writing than in mathematics, and it is faster in Years 5 and 6 than in
younger age groups. This is because of differences in the quality of teaching.
- In Year 6, there is much evidence of more-able pupils producing work at the higher levels. More
able pupils are, this year, working in targeted groups at level 6 in both English and mathematics.
The school’s system for tracking individual pupils’ progress quickly identifies any dips, which are
- Most children enter school with skills and understanding that are typical for their age, with some
doing better than this. As a result of good teaching and activities closely matched to their needs
and interests, all children make good progress in the Nursery and Reception classes. They play
together happily and are well behaved. They enjoy exploring for themselves, as well as doing
adult-led activities, both in the classroom and outdoors. By the end of Reception, their
attainment is above that expected and they are ready for Key Stage1.
- In Key Stage 1, in 2013, pupils attained results in line with the national average. This was a
slight fall from 2012, following a more rigorous assessment of Key Stage 1, which was confirmed
by local authority moderation. Current data show that there has been an improvement and
indicate above-average attainment in reading, writing and mathematics. The focus the school
has had on improving the writing of the younger pupils has been extremely effective. This
begins in the Early Years Foundation Stage unit, where writing is promoted at every opportunity
and children are keen to show off their early writing skills. They regularly choose to write about
their drawings, which they enjoy sharing with visiting adults.
- The headteacher has ensured that teachers’ assessments of the standards pupils reach in Year 2
are accurate through rigorous checking, so that pupils enter Key Stage 2 with their attainment
accurately assessed at the correct levels. This has had a positive impact on accelerating the
progress of pupils in Year 3 because teachers have a more accurate understanding of their
starting points on entry to Key Stage 2.
- Disabled pupils and those with special educational needs have their needs identified early. They
receive well-targeted support quickly and are making faster progress than has been the case in
the past, with the result that their progress is now as good as that of other pupils, especially in
reading and writing.
- Current checks of pupils’ work show that those who benefit from pupil premium support have
quickened their progress because of extra adult help. As a result, previous gaps in attainment
between these pupils and other pupils at the end of Year 6 in 2013, of 12 months in reading and
writing and over five terms in mathematics, have all been closed. Pupils supported by the pupil
premium now achieve at least as well as other pupils and are making good progress.
- Pupils’ improved performance in the 2013 screening check on phonics (letters and sounds) and
their above-average scores in the Year 2 re-check show that teaching of phonics is now more
effective. This is also reflected in the accelerated progress now being made in writing by pupils
in Key Stage 1, after a dip in standards in 2013.
- Standards in physical education are improving thanks to effective use of the new primary school
sport funding. Sports coaches lead lessons and provide training for the staff.
|The quality of teaching||is good|
- Teaching is now almost all good with some outstanding, as a result of the successful work to
improve its quality. The school’s own lesson observations, undertaken with a local authority
representative over the last 12 months, support this judgement. Discussions with pupils and a
scrutiny of the work in their books show that teaching has been typically good over time for the
- Children are enthusiastic about learning in the Early Years Foundation Stage Unit, where
teaching is good and often outstanding.
- The balance between adult-led activities and those that children can choose for themselves is
planned extremely carefully to ensure the rapid development of their skills, knowledge and
understanding. Adults know precisely what children already know and can do and how to best
offer what they need to learn next.
- The result of good provision in Nursery and Reception is that children persevere with tasks very
well and use their imagination and creativity constantly. For example, children were thoroughly
engrossed ‘mixing potions to make your hair green’, or ‘make you grow wings’ and talked
animatedly about the spells and potions they have made. The children, led skilfully by the class
teacher, used a very wide range of language, vocabulary and mark making.
- Pupils engage well with their work so learning proceeds at a good pace, which ensures high
levels of interest and engagement. Pupils respond very well to the challenges set for them by
adults. For example, some of the most able pupils chose to challenge themselves in a highly
successful Year 4 mathematics lesson. By starting with the tasks set at the highest level, they
quickly began to make extremely good progress.
- Teachers generally have high expectations of pupils’ work. Well-planned learning stretches the
skills of the most-able pupils. Work in pupils’ books clearly shows that these pupils tackle
challenging tasks well. In a literacy lesson, the most-able pupils were seen to move on quickly to
employ their new skills, making good progress. For example, Year 6 pupils were creating
imagery through powerful language and had started by using texts that they knew which
created images in their heads, such as ‘Artemis Fowl’. This had created a discussion about
feelings which pupils continued in groups and pairs. They also shared their ideas and emotions
in a secure atmosphere. The writing was full of good descriptive language and pupils extended
their understanding when they checked and commented upon each other’s work. One pupil
commented, ‘Sad is an overused word – I prefer sorrowful’.
- Teaching assistants provide good support for disabled pupils and those who have special
educational needs, as well as those who are known to be eligible for the pupil premium. They do
this by working closely and effectively with them, whether in class, on individual programmes or
in small groups.
- Work in pupils’ books is regularly marked by teachers. It is thorough and gives pupils a clear
idea of how well they are learning. Comments provide helpful advice so that pupils know what to
do to improve their work. Pupils are given the time they need to respond to comments, correct
their work and follow the helpful suggestions, so their work gets better.
- Pupils rise to the challenges of quickly recalling their number facts. This was seen, for example,
in a Year 4 lesson where pupils, practised random multiplication facts in a fast paced self -
checking exercise for ‘gold, silver or bronze’. A stronger focus is being placed on making sure
pupils are given more chances to use and apply their mathematical skills in order to improve
their ability to solve problems, a weakness in the past.
- Pupils in Years 5 and 6 are given a good range of opportunities to apply the mathematics skills
they have learnt in everyday problem-solving activities to make their learning more relevant to
them. However, pupils do not get such consistent opportunities in other year groups to apply
their mathematical skills in practical activities or ‘real life’ problems.
- The quality of mathematics teaching is not as consistently good as that of reading and writing.
Most teachers use information about pupils’ ability and progress effectively in their planning. On
the few occasions where teaching requires improvement, the information is not used effectively
enough to set work at the right level, especially in mathematics. As a result, pupils of all abilities
sometimes do not achieve as well as they could.
|The behaviour and safety of pupils||are good|
- The behaviour of pupils is good. There is a very welcoming atmosphere throughout the school.
Pupils are polite, courteous and get on well with each other and adults. They enjoy school and
are keen to learn. Pupils from different backgrounds relate well to one another.
- Pupils are allowed into their classes early and quickly settle to interesting activities set for them.
They use this time well, for example to improve their work from the previous day according to
the teacher’s advice written in their books. A purposeful start to the day is assured.
- Teachers and teaching assistants establish very good relationships with their classes and
manage pupils’ behaviour very effectively. As a result, pupils are happy to contribute to lessons
and they listen well to each other.
- All members of the school community describe behaviour as good and much improved. These
views match inspectors’ observations of the pupils at work and play.
- The youngest children watch and learn from their Year 5 ‘buddies’, who show maturity as they
help the young ones settle in to school life.
- The school’s work to keep pupils safe and secure is outstanding. Pupils feel safe and are
confident to seek help, should they need it, from any adult in school. Parents and staff strongly
support the view that pupils are safe in school. Pupils know how to keep themselves safe in
different situations. The school provides a trip to ‘Hazard Alley’ for all pupils when they reach
Year 5. This trip gives pupils ‘first hand’ experiences where they learn about keeping themselves
safe in all sorts of circumstances.
- All staff have received the relevant child protection training and the governors have been
supporting the school in working with the pupils and their parents in recognising, understanding
and protecting the pupils against abuse.
- Pupils know and understand about the different kinds of bullying. They are particularly
knowledgeable about e-safety and the possible dangers associated with social networking sites.
There is no evidence of bullying and parents, pupils and staff confirm this.
- The after-school club provides a valuable resource for parents. The sessions are calm and
purposeful, and pupils enjoy what is on offer and collaborate well with each other.
- Attendance continues to be maintained above the national average, an illustration of the school’s
strengthening relationship with parents.
|The leadership and management||are good|
- The school’s ethos is driven inspiringly by the headteacher and is fully appreciated by parents
and carers. One commented, ‘The head is always approachable, she cares for the children’.
- The headteacher, senior leaders and governors, having established a stable teaching staff, have
a fierce ambition for improvement to raise standards to outstanding. They are setting high
expectations for pupil achievement and the quality of teaching. Consequently, the quality of
teaching is good, with some that is outstanding, and pupils achieve well.
- Leaders have an accurate view of the school’s strengths and weaknesses. They have identified
the right priorities to improve teaching further and accelerate the progress of all groups of
pupils. Between them, they have responded positively to the changes that have occurred to the
staffing and subject responsibilities.
- The headteacher has introduced a clear and systematic system for helping teachers to track the
progress of individual pupils. This is used rigorously, so individual progress in reading, writing
and mathematics is regularly checked and reported on to governors. Support can be targeted
quickly when it is necessary.
- A new team of subject leaders and key stage leaders, with clear roles and responsibilities, has
been established and trained. These members of staff know their areas of responsibility well and
model good practice effectively in planning and analysis of work and data, but as yet are not
fully involved in checking the work of other teachers through the monitoring of lessons.
- An effective performance management scheme provides support, challenge and appropriate
training for staff. Actions to bring about improvement are always followed through to see if they
are successful. Teachers are held to account for the progress of pupils in their classes and know
that there is a clear link between good performance and salary progression.
- Leaders and managers fulfil their statutory duties effectively. Actions include the thorough
vetting of all those who work in the school. Finances are managed efficiently to ensure that
funds, such as the pupil premium, are used effectively to include pupils in the full range of
school activities and to boost achievement. School has used funding to provide group sessions
and personalised interventions as well as ensuring that the pupils are able to attend the same
activities as their classmates.
- Topics studied bring together different subjects in a way that pupils describe as ‘fun and
interesting’. Pupils appreciate the visits and visitors which enrich the themes considered. The
wider curriculum contributes well to the pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
- The school is conscientious and effective in promoting equality of opportunity and eliminating
any potential discrimination.
- All staff responding to the staff questionnaire said the school is well led and managed. Teachers
rightly say that the school is providing training and experiences that are helping them to improve
their teaching; this includes working in an Education Improvement Partnership. Recent training
in problem solving in mathematics is helping teachers to confidently provide a wider range of
learning activities to develop pupils’ mathematical skills across the curriculum.
- Staff are proud of the school and its achievements, and work well as a team. Parents’ responses
to the online Parent View overwhelmingly would recommend the school.
- The local authority provides good and appropriate monitoring and training support to the school.
It conducted a review of the school following the previous inspection and supported it while a
new leadership structure was established. It has stepped back as its representatives have
monitored the effective improvements closely and now offer appropriate, lighter-touch support.
- Leaders make good use of the primary school sports funding. This includes the employment of
coaches in a wider range of sports to encourage pupils to adopt a healthier lifestyle. The funding
is also used to train the school’s teachers and teaching assistants so that they can deliver these
sports in the future.
- The governance of the school:
Governors have strengthened their impact significantly and have worked extremely well with
the headteacher to bring the school through a transition period. Now, together with the
headteacher and other senior leaders, they constitute a formidable team striving to make this
good school even better. Led by a very effective chair, governors ensure that they are fully
informed about all aspects of school improvement. They do this by frequent visits to school,
careful checking of the headteacher’s reports on the quality of teaching and rigorous scrutiny
of data on pupils’ performance. Governors challenge school leaders to ensure that teachers’
performance management and salary progression lead to improved pupils’ achievement.
Governors check diligently the progress of pupils entitled to the pupil premium grant to ensure
that the money is used effectively. They also check that the new sport funding develops skills
and enhances pupils’ health and well-being. Governors regularly take part in training courses
to ensure they are fully up to date with all their areas of responsibility. They ensure that their
statutory obligations are fully met, including procedures for safeguarding.
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||117341|
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|
|Number of pupils on the school roll||425|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Date of previous school inspection||21 November 2012|
|Telephone number||01442 822056|
|Fax number||01442 382615|