High Ongar Primary School
phone: 01277 363761
headteacher: Miss Penelope Louise Bennett Bed Npqh
140 pupils capacity: 106% full
75 boys 51%
75 girls 51%
Last updated: June 19, 2014
Primary — Community School
- Education phase
- Establishment type
- Community School
- Establishment #
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 556429, Northing: 203729
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 51.71, Longitude: 0.26272
- Accepting pupils
- 4—11 years old
- Census date
- Jan. 16, 2014
- Ofsted last inspection
- April 25, 2013
- Region › Const. › Ward
- East of England › Brentwood and Ongar › High Ongar, Willingale and The Rodings
- Village - less sparse
- Free school meals %
- 0.7 miles Great Stony School CM50AD
- 0.7 miles Ongar Comprehensive School CM50AW
- 1.1 mile Shelley Primary School CM50FF (87 pupils)
- 1.1 mile Springfield PNEU School CM59RG
- 1.4 mile Chipping Ongar Primary School CM59LA (178 pupils)
- 1.5 mile Elmbridge School CM50HR
- 1.9 mile Dr Walker's Church of England Voluntary Controlled Primary School, Fyfield CM50RG (125 pupils)
- 2.5 miles Blackmore Primary School CM40QR (165 pupils)
- 2.7 miles Moreton Church of England Voluntary Aided Primary School CM50JD (191 pupils)
- 3 miles Kelvedon Hatch Community Primary School CM150DH (169 pupils)
- 3.3 miles The Bell House School CM150DG
- 3.3 miles Trinity School CM145TB (171 pupils)
- 3.4 miles Doddinghurst Infant School CM150NJ (159 pupils)
- 3.4 miles Doddinghurst Church of England Voluntary Controlled Junior School CM150NJ (222 pupils)
- 3.5 miles White Trees Independent School CM50PN
- 3.8 miles St Andrew's CofE Primary School CM166EH (215 pupils)
- 4.3 miles Bentley St Paul's Church of England Voluntary Aided Primary School CM159SE (210 pupils)
- 4.7 miles Matching Green Church of England Voluntary Controlled Primary School CM170QB (72 pupils)
- 4.8 miles Highwood Primary School CM13QH (41 pupils)
- 5.3 miles Pilgrims Hatch County Infant School CM159NG
- 5.3 miles Pilgrims Hatch County Junior School CM159NG
- 5.3 miles Larchwood Primary School CM159NG (185 pupils)
- 5.3 miles Larchwood Primary School CM159NG
- 5.4 miles Coopersale and Theydon Garnon Church of England Voluntary Controlled Primary School CM167QX (189 pupils)
High Ongar Primary School
The Street, High Ongar, Ongar, CM5 9NB
|Inspection dates||16–17 April 2015|
|Overall effectiveness||This inspection:||Good||2|
|Previous inspection:||Requires improvement||3|
|Leadership and management||Good||2|
|Behaviour and safety of pupils||Good||2|
|Quality of teaching||Good||2|
|Achievement of pupils||Good||2|
|Early years provision||Good||2|
Summary of key findings for parents and pupils
This is a good school.
It is not yet an outstanding school because
| The headteacher, school leaders and governors |
Leaders promote pupils’ spiritual, moral, social
Pupils’ safety and well-being are exceptionally well
Pupils’ behaviour is good. They behave well in
are providing good leadership, which has led to
marked improvements in teaching, pupils’
achievement and early years provision since the
last inspection. The school is continuing to
and cultural development, and their understanding
of British values well.
promoted. Staff ensure that pupils are always safe
lessons and their conduct around the school is
excellent. They have positive attitudes to school.
Their attendance is above average.
| Teachers’ questioning to deepen pupils’ thinking is |
Pupils throughout the school are making good
The early years provision is well led, teaching is
good. They plan interesting activities to motivate
pupils. Teaching assistants provide good support for
progress. Pupils who left Year 6, in 2014, were well
prepared for secondary school.
good, learning opportunities are carefully planned
and children’s safety and well-being promoted
exceptionally well. As a result, children feel happy,
safe and secure and they are making good
| Occasionally teachers set pupils’ tasks which they |
find too difficult or too easy.
| Teachers do not always check that pupils are |
responding to the good advice they are given to
improve their writing.
Information about this inspection
- The inspector observed pupils’ learning in six lessons with the headteacher and saw all teachers.
- The inspector heard a few pupils read and looked at samples of pupils’ work across the school, including
that of children in the early years.
- He held meetings with the headteacher, subject leaders, the early years leader, the special educational
needs co-ordinator, four members of the governing body, a representative of the local authority and a
group of 10 pupils.
- The inspector took account of parents’ views. He analysed the 38 responses to Parent View (the online
questionnaire for parents) and the 79 responses to the school’s most recent survey of parents. He spoke
to parents informally who accompanied their children to school. The inspector also looked at the
responses on the 27 questionnaires returned by staff.
- The inspector observed the school’s work and looked at a wide range of documentation including: school
improvement planning and evaluation of its work; outcomes of governor’s visits to the school, the local
authority reviews of the school; safeguarding policies, vetting procedures and records of training;
attendance figures and records of behaviour; information about pupils’ progress across the school,
including in the early years.
|Declan McCarthy, Lead inspector||Additional Inspector|
Information about this school
- The school is smaller than the average primary school.
- Most pupils are from White British backgrounds.
- Pupils are taught in five mixed aged classes and all children in the early years Reception class attend full-
- The proportion of disabled pupils and those with special educational needs is below average.
- The proportion of pupils who are eligible for the pupil premium is lower than in most schools. The pupil
premium is additional funding for pupils known to be eligible for free school meals and those looked after
by the local authority.
- The school meets the government’s current floor standards, which set the minimum expectations for
pupils’ attainment and progress.
- Since the last inspection a new early years teacher has been appointed.
What does the school need to do to improve further?
- Improve the quality of teaching and raise pupils’ achievement by making sure that teachers always:
provide learning activities that give the right levels of challenge to pupils of different abilities and which
they find neither too difficult nor too easy
check that pupils are responding to the good advice they are given to improve their writing.
|The leadership and management||are good|
- Good leadership of the headteacher with good support from school leaders and governors has improved
teaching and learning, raising pupils’ achievement across the school since the last inspection. They have
developed a strong culture where teaching and good behaviour thrive. Staff morale is high and all staff
share the same commitment and drive to bring about further improvement.
- At the time of the previous inspection, there were considerable weaknesses in early years provision which
greatly limited the progress children were making. Leaders have successfully addressed these weaknesses
so that the early years provision is now good, enabling children to make good progress and achieve a
good level of development. Leaders have also successfully addressed weaknesses in attendance and in
marking of pupils’ work; attendance has moved from below average to above average and pupils always
know how to improve their work, although they do not always respond to the good advice they are given.
- Parents have full confidence in the school as reflected in their strongly positive views of the school and
confidence in the school leadership.
- Leadership of teaching is good. School leaders examine pupils’ books on a termly basis, regularly visit
lessons to look at the impact of teaching on pupils’ learning and review the school’s data on the progress
each pupil makes every half term. As a result, teaching has improved and it is now good.
- The management of staff performance is good. All targets are linked to whole-school priorities for
improvement, focusing sharply on raising achievement. These targets are regularly reviewed to ensure
that improvements in teaching and learning are sustained.
- The early years teacher is providing good leadership in strengthening links with parents, developing and
implementing more robust systems for recording the small steps of progress children are making and
raising children’s achievements.
- Subject leadership is good. Subject leaders have implemented the new curriculum and the new
arrangements for assessment well across the school. The new curriculum has a strong emphasis on
developing basic skills of literacy, numeracy and computing and provides good opportunities to learn a
broad range of subjects.
- Subject leaders thoroughly reviewed the school’s results in 2014 and quickly put strategies into place to
bring improvements in English grammar, punctuation and spelling. These are proving successful in
improving pupils’ skills and raising pupils’ achievement further.
- Leaders are promoting pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development effectively. They are
preparing pupils well for life in modern Britain through well thought out topics on democracy, the
elections, the celebration of Remembrance Day, and a range of religious festivals. Assemblies develop
pupils’ awareness and appreciation of their own, and other faiths such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism
and Islam. Pupils learn right from wrong and develop good social skills such as the safe use of the
internet, taking turns and sharing activities during lessons.
- Leaders effectively promote good relationships. Equality of opportunity is demonstrated clearly as all
pupils are making equally good progress from their different starting points. The school tackles any form
of discrimination well as there are no recorded incidents of racism or homophobia in the school.
- Leaders use pupil premium funding well to provide additional one to one and small group support for
disadvantaged pupils, enabling them to catch up with their classmates. As a result, the gap between their
attainment and that of other pupils nationally is narrowing considerably.
- Leaders make equally good use of primary sports funding to provide additional coaching in tag rugby,
gymnastics and dance. They run a wide range of after school clubs with high participation rates among
pupils. These are leading to successes in competitive games, such as netball, with other schools across the
- The local authority is providing good levels of support and challenge for the school through regular
reviews, training and guidance in developing action plans for further improvement.
- Safeguarding procedures are very effective and meet legal requirements. Very robust systems are in place
to ensure the safety and wellbeing of pupils. Regular training is available to all staff. Risk assessments are
exceptionally thorough, for example, with all staff signing that they have read the very latest guidance on
keeping children safe in education. Checks on the suitability of staff and visitors to work with children are
- The governance of the school:
Governors are providing strong oversight of the school’s work. They have strengthened their monitoring
of the school’s performance through activities such as visits to lesson, review and analysis of data about
pupils’ achievement and scrutiny of pupils’ work. They link each of their visits to an area for school
improvement. As a result, they have an accurate view of how well the school is doing. They use the
outcomes of their monitoring well to shape priorities for further improvement.
Governors have implemented robust procedures for managing the performance of the headteacher and
staff. Individual targets are sharply focused on the school’s priorities to improve the quality of teaching
and raise achievement. Governors know about quality of teaching, have dealt with underperformance
effectively and ensure that only good teaching is rewarded.
Governors are ensuring the school uses the pupil premium and sports premium funding effectively to
improve pupils’ learning and well-being.
Governors are very effective in promoting safeguarding. They rigorously check health and safety
procedures to ensure the premises and grounds are secure. They thoroughly review and update policies
to promote safeguarding. Governors make sure leaders are promoting British values and the pupils’
spiritual, moral, social and cultural development well.
|The behaviour and safety of pupils||are good|
- The behaviour of pupils is good. Pupils behave well in lessons and respond well to the consistently good
management of their behaviour and the good role models provided by staff. Many, but not yet all, have a
thirst for knowledge, which has a strong impact on their progress. Pupils’ behaviour around the school is
excellent. Pupils, staff and parents say that behaviour is good.
- Pupils have good relationships with adults and with one another. They listen carefully to staff and follow
instructions and they are courteous and polite to visitors. They respect the views of others and their good
behaviour and attitudes to learning are having a positive impact on their spiritual, moral, social and
- Pupils’ good attitudes to school are reflected in their punctuality and above average attendance, which has
significantly improved since the last inspection. Pupils’ positive attitudes to school are also reflected in
their high levels of participation in school activities. They take pride in presenting their written work neatly
and they nearly always remain focused on their lesson activities.
- The behaviour of children in the early years provision is consistently good. They have settled into the
school’s routines and they are learning to share and take turns.
- The school’s work to keep pupils safe and secure is outstanding. The school is extremely thorough in
checking the suitability of staff and visitors who work with its pupils. The school grounds and premises are
safe and secure. Potential risks to safety are rigorously assessed and where any such risks are identified,
effective measures are taken to significantly reduce or eliminate them.
- Pupils are exceptionally aware of how to keep themselves and their classmates safe. They always use
equipment and learning resources safely including computers and the internet. Pupils have a good
understanding of the risks to health and well-being of smoking, alcohol and drugs.
- Pupils say they always feel very safe in school and if they are anxious about anything they would go to
any member of staff for support. Parents and staff strongly agree that pupils are very safe in school.
- They rightly say that bullying is extremely rare and, if it occurred, it would be dealt with swiftly and
effectively. Since the last inspection, there are no recorded incidents of bullying or harassment of any
kind. Pupils have a very good understanding of different types of bullying, including cyber bullying.
|The quality of teaching||is good|
- Teachers use questioning very effectively to make pupils think and deepen their understanding. For
example, in a Year 1 and 2 mathematics lesson, pupils working with odd and even numbers, were
challenged to explain their reasoning. In a Year 4 English lesson, pupils rapidly developed good persuasive
writing skills when the teacher asked them to think of words that challenged, reassured, encouraged and
convinced a snowman to come into a warm kitchen.
- Teachers plan interesting activities to stimulate learning. This was evident in lessons, in pupils’ work and
records of whole school activities such as a mathematics day when pupils worked out how many vehicles
would fit comfortably in the school car park and the playground by measuring dimensions and sizes of
vehicles. In a Year 3 lesson, pupils used the internet safely to research carnivorous plants and then write
about the characteristics of the
plant, which they did with great enthusiasm.
- Teaching assistants provide good support for pupils’ learning, especially disabled pupils and those who
have special educational needs and disadvantaged pupils in all lessons. They break tasks down into
smaller steps, focus on pupils’ understanding of technical words, and provide examples to illustrate
methods and approaches.
- The teaching of basic skills of literacy and numeracy are good and teachers promote these skills well in
other subjects, such as history, geography and science.
- Assessment systems have improved and are generally used effectively to inform pupils how to improve
their work. However, occasionally teachers do not use the information about pupils’ prior learning well
enough to set pupils tasks, which are challenging enough to deepen their thinking. As a result, pupils
sometimes find tasks too difficult or too easy, which limits their progress.
- The quality of marking has greatly improved since the last inspection with teachers informing pupils how
to improve their writing. However, pupils’ work shows that they do not always respond to this good advice
and teachers do not always follow this up.
|The achievement of pupils||is good|
- Children enter the early years with knowledge, skills and understanding which are broadly typical for
their age although they are a little lower in communication and language, and literacy. They make good
progress in all areas of learning and most achieve a good level of development.
- A high proportion of pupils, in Year 1, reached the nationally expected standard in the phonics
screening check, in 2014. The school’s accurate data shows that pupils, currently in Year 1, are on
course to exceed this nationally expected standard again. This is a marked improvement since the last
- Attainment varies from year to year because cohort sizes are small. At the end of Year 2, in 2012 and
2013, standards were above average overall. In 2014, attainment was broadly average. Standards in
reading and writing were a little higher than in mathematics. The school’s accurate data and pupils’
work shows that pupils, currently in Year 2, are making good progress and are on course to achieve
above average standards in reading, writing and mathematics this year.
- In 2014, pupils in Year 6 left the school, on average, one term ahead of pupils nationally in reading and
writing and reached similar standards to pupils nationally in mathematics. Standards in English
grammar, punctuation and spelling, although broadly average, were not as high as in other subjects.
Leaders quickly implemented successful strategies to bring improvements. As a result, pupils’
competence in English grammar, punctuation and spelling has risen sharply.
- The school’s accurate data and pupils’ work in their books show that pupils in Year 6 are making good
progress and are on course to reach above average standards in reading, writing and mathematics this
year. However, pupils’ progress in writing is not quite as fast as it could be, because pupils do not
always respond to their teacher’s feedback and advice. All groups of pupils are making equally good
progress from their different starting points. They are well prepared for secondary school.
- The few disabled pupils and those with special educational needs are making the same good progress
as other pupils because teaching assistants are providing effective support for their learning in lessons.
Occasionally the tasks they are given are too difficult but they are able to do these with help from
- The most-able pupils across the school are making good progress from their higher starting points. A
few of the most able pupils in Year 6 did not make enough progress in mathematics in 2014, as none
reached the highest level 6 on the national tests. However, this year, the school’s accurate data and
pupils’ work shows that the most able in Year 6 are on course to reach the highest level 6 in the
- There were too few disadvantaged pupils in Year 6 in 2014 to compare their attainment with that of
their classmates, or with other pupils nationally, without identifying them. However, they all made at
least the progress expected of them in reading, writing and mathematics. The progress of
disadvantaged pupils in current year groups is good and some pupils are making more rapid gains so
gaps in attainment with their classmates are narrowing.
- Reading records show that pupils are reading widely and often, and as a result are making good
progress. Pupils in all year groups are making good progress in mathematics and writing because more
attention has been given to developing pupils’ skills in reasoning and problem solving and in developing
their accurate use of grammar, punctuation and spelling in different subjects.
- Pupils are staying fit and healthy and making good progress in physical education because of good use
of the primary sports funding.
|The early years provision||is good|
- Good leadership of the early years provision has resulted in marked improvements in the quality of
teaching and children’s achievement since the last inspection. Leaders have developed a stimulating
learning environment with a rich range of resources. Systems for tracking and recording the progress
children are making in each area of learning are more detailed and thorough. Links with parents are
now good. Parents are encouraged to stay and work with their children on a weekly basis.
- Good teaching of literacy and numeracy skills is evident in records of children’s work. These show that
they are linking letter names to letter sounds, forming letters correctly and are counting and recognising
objects to 10. In activities seen during the inspection, children were taking turns and sharing resources
because staff encouraged and praised them.
- Children make good progress in all areas of learning because staff provide an interesting range of
activities that captivate the children’s imagination and curiosity. For example, children displayed great
enthusiasm and enjoyment when searching for hidden pictures of objects in the outdoor learning
environment, which they matched to letter sounds. Children are reaching a good level of development
and are well prepared for entry into Year 1.
- Teamwork between the teacher and teaching assistants is strong. Together, they ensure that children
are always very safe and they provide high levels of supervision and engagement in children’s activities.
They rigorously apply all procedures for safeguarding so that children always feel very safe and secure
indoors and outdoors. The children are happy, settled and behave well.
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
|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
|Unique reference number||114938|
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||148|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Date of previous school inspection||25 April 2013|
|Telephone number||01277 363761|
|Fax number||01277 366762|
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