Higher Lane Primary School
phone: 0161 7662005
headteacher: Ms Carol McLachlan
420 pupils capacity: 106% full
235 boys 53%
210 girls 47%
Last updated: Sept. 9, 2014
Primary — Community School
- Education phase
- Establishment type
- Community School
- Establishment #
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 380544, Northing: 405480
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 53.546, Longitude: -2.2951
- Accepting pupils
- 4—11 years old
- Census date
- Jan. 16, 2014
- Ofsted last inspection
- Feb. 19, 2013
- Region › Const. › Ward
- North West › Bury South › Pilkington Park
- Urban > 10k - less sparse
- Free school meals %
- 0.1 miles Higher Lane Junior School M457EX
- 0.2 miles Philips High School M457PH (840 pupils)
- 0.3 miles Whitefield Independent Preparatory School M457EL
- 0.4 miles Whitefield Community Primary School M456DP (179 pupils)
- 0.4 miles Whitefield Preparatory School M257NF
- 0.4 miles Epru M456DP (8 pupils)
- 0.6 miles Ribble Drive Community Primary School M458TD (240 pupils)
- 0.6 miles Our Lady of Grace RC Primary School M253AS (448 pupils)
- 0.6 miles Cloughside College M253BL (6 pupils)
- 0.7 miles St Michael's Roman Catholic Primary School, Whitefield M458NJ (248 pupils)
- 0.7 miles The Ark M458NH
- 0.8 miles Heaton Park Primary School M456TE (400 pupils)
- 0.8 miles All Saints Church of England Primary School, Stand M458PL (247 pupils)
- 0.9 miles St Bernadette's Roman Catholic Primary School, Whitefield M458PT (255 pupils)
- 0.9 miles Elms Bank Specialist Arts College M458PJ (162 pupils)
- 1 mile Chapelfield Primary School M261LH (309 pupils)
- 1 mile Unsworth Primary School BL98LY (222 pupils)
- 1 mile St Mary's Church of England Aided Primary School, Prestwich M251BP (235 pupils)
- 1 mile Prestwich Arts College M251JZ (794 pupils)
- 1.1 mile Parrenthorn High School M252GR (850 pupils)
- 1.2 mile Sunny Bank Primary School BL98EQ (210 pupils)
- 1.2 mile Mersey Drive Community Primary School M458LN (209 pupils)
- 1.2 mile St Margaret's Church of England Primary School M252BW (253 pupils)
- 1.3 mile Bury and Whitefield Jewish Primary School BL98JT (130 pupils)
Higher Lane Primary School
Egerton Road, Whitefield, Manchester, M45 7EX
|Inspection dates||19–20 November 2014|
|Overall effectiveness||This inspection:||Good||2|
|Previous inspection:||Requires improvement||3|
|Leadership and management||Good||2|
|Behaviour and safety of pupils||Outstanding||1|
|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
| Pupils’ achievement is good because current |
Standards in reading, writing and mathematics
Well-planned provision means that children in the
Teachers and well-trained teaching assistants
Pupils’ behaviour is exemplary, both in and out of
pupils are now making good progress from their
different starting points in reading, writing and
vary over time but are showing an improvement
across the school because teaching is now good.
early years settle quickly into school life and make
good progress in the Reception unit.
provide well-targeted support to ensure that
disabled pupils and those who have special
educational needs, disadvantaged pupils, minority
ethnic pupils and those pupils in the early stages
of learning English now make good progress.
lessons. They are very proud of their school and
show excellent attitudes to learning.
| Pupils say they feel extremely safe in school; the |
The school has improved rapidly since the
The curriculum makes a strong contribution to
Teachers accurately assess how well pupils are
The governors provide effective support and
older pupils take their responsibilities very seriously
and support younger pupils in a mature manner.
appointment of the new headteacher because she
has inspired the senior leadership team. Together
they have improved pupils’ achievement, the quality
of teaching and behaviour and safety.
pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural
development. Pupils have a strong sense of right
and wrong and are prepared well for life in modern
doing and their effective marking in English and
mathematics enhances pupils’ learning.
challenge, ask pertinent questions and work closely
with the senior leadership team. Governors have
supported the headteacher in raising the quality of
teaching and pupils’ achievement.
| The most able pupils are not always challenged |
Attainment in writing is not as high as that in
sufficiently and given hard enough work to enable
them to reach the highest standards and to make
the best possible progress.
reading and mathematics.
| The gap in attainment between disadvantaged |
The new strategies that have recently been put in
pupils and other pupils within school and all pupils
nationally is beginning to close, but it needs to
place to improve the quality of teaching are yet to
be fully embedded or reflected fully in pupils’
achievement over time.
Information about this inspection
- The inspectors observed 26 lessons. They observed pupils, including those receiving additional support to
boost their achievement, working in special groups known as ‘accelerated learning groups’. Four of these
observations were carried out jointly with the headteacher or one of the assistant headteachers. An
assembly was also observed.
- Meetings were held with members of the governing body, two representatives of the local authority,
senior and middle leaders and newly qualified teachers.
- The inspectors observed the school’s work and looked at documentation including: teachers’ planning, the
school’s analysis of its strengths and weaknesses, information on pupils’ attainment and progress, records
of behaviour and safety, monitoring of teaching and performance management, minutes of the governing
body meetings and safeguarding documents.
- A discussion was held with two groups of pupils and informal conversations took place during lessons and
at break times. Inspectors listened to pupils read and talked with them about the books they enjoy.
- Inspectors took account of the 35 responses to Ofsted’s online questionnaire for parents (Parent View).
They also spoke with parents at the start of the school day. The inspectors also looked at questionnaires
completed by 27 members of staff.
|Julie Harrison, Lead inspector||Additional Inspector|
|Alison Burbage||Additional Inspector|
|Terry Bond||Additional Inspector|
Information about this school
- The school is much larger than the average-sized primary school.
- The proportion of disadvantaged pupils supported by the pupil premium, which is additional funding for
pupils known to be eligible for free school meals, or who are looked after by the local authority, is below
- The proportion of pupils from minority ethnic groups is below average, as is the proportion who speak
English as an additional language.
- The proportion of disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs is below average.
- Since the previous inspection, the school has had two part-time acting headteachers followed by the
present headteacher’s appointment in January 2014.
- The school meets the government’s current floor standards, which set out the minimum expectations for
pupils’ attainment and progress in reading, writing and mathematics.
- The before- and after-school club is managed by the governing body.
What does the school need to do to improve further?
- Improve the quality of teaching to outstanding in order to raise pupils’ achievement in reading,
mathematics and especially in writing by:
ensuring that there is sufficient challenge throughout lessons for the most able pupils
sharing the good and outstanding practice that is already evident in the school to further improve
evaluate and extend the successful strategies used to boost progress for some groups of pupils to
further improve the learning and progress of the disadvantaged pupils.
- Embed the leadership and management strategies that are improving the pupils’ achievement and the
quality of teaching across the whole school.
|The leadership and management||are good|
- The new headteacher has implemented many new strategies which have improved the quality of teaching
and pupils’ achievement, so that they are now both good. Robust monitoring and evaluation systems are
in place to ensure that the school’s self-evaluation is accurate and the school development plan provides
an effective tool for school improvement. The two assistant headteachers have rapidly improved their
leadership and management skills. The headteacher, staff and governors have high expectations and are
working enthusiastically together, as they aim for further improvement.
- Pupils’ behaviour has improved and is now outstanding. Leaders have ensured high quality safety
procedures are in place and have successfully improved pupils’ attendance.
- The senior management team collects and uses a good range of information to check and track the
progress made by individuals and groups. Pupils who are falling behind become part of an identified
learning group, known as an accelerated learning group, where high quality targeted support is provided.
Importantly, these sessions aimed at accelerating achievement, run over a six-week period, have just
begun to support the most able pupils who previously did not always do as well as they could.
- Leadership and management of the early years provision are good. They ensure that children settle in
quickly to the school’s routines so that they make a positive start to their school life.
- The management of the performance of teachers ensures that staff are held to account for the quality of
their teaching and for pupils’ progress; this accountability is appropriately linked to pay awards. New
approaches to teaching that have been put in place have improved the quality of teaching but are yet to
be fully embedded or to be reflected fully in pupils’ achievement over time, such as in national tests. Good
and outstanding practice that is already evident is not yet widely shared to improve teaching even further.
- Staff morale is very high because they feel valued and inspired in their roles. Subject leaders are
accountable for the progress pupils make in their subjects and take part in decision making to improve
standards in those subjects. They feedback to governors about the strengths and development areas in
the teaching and pupils’ achievement in their subjects. Support staff are used effectively to ensure that
individual pupils make good progress through sharply targeted support. They are well trained and work
collaboratively with teaching staff.
- The local authority has worked in the school on a regular basis offering valuable support and guidance;
the advisors know the school well. They acknowledge how much the school has improved under the new
- The curriculum is well planned and takes account of the interests of the pupils through ‘learning walls’.
Tolerance and respect, a feature throughout the school, prepare pupils well for life in modern Britain, and
their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is strong. Extra-curricular provision is good,
including in the before- and after-school club.
- Parents who spoke with inspectors were positive about all aspects of the school’s work, especially since
the arrival of the headteacher. `There has been a complete transformation’ was a typical comment.
- Effective use is made of the pupil premium funding to support disadvantaged pupils. A part-time additional
teacher and a Parent Support Worker have been employed to provide additional support. Disadvantaged
pupils are beginning to make similar or better progress than other pupils within the school. As a result,
gaps in attainment between the two groups are starting to narrow. However, this improvement has not
yet been sustained over time to close the attainment gaps fully.
- The primary school sport funding is used to buy in a specialist sports coach to improve the teaching of
physical education and increase pupils’ participation in sporting activities and clubs, as well as to improve
pupils’ health and well-being. The school now has a football team and a netball team which play in school
- The special educational needs coordinator, who is also responsible for minority ethnic pupils and pupils
who are in the early stages of learning English, ensures they make good progress from their various
starting points. Effective analysis of the needs of these pupils ensures that targeted support is provided.
This promotes equality of opportunity for these pupils.
- Safeguarding arrangements are of the highest standard and meet statutory requirements.
- The governance of the school:
Governors support and challenge the school’s leadership team. They understand the school’s strengths
and weaknesses and ask pertinent questions. Governors have focused on improving the quality of
teaching and pupils’ achievement. They work effectively with the senior leadership team and middle
leaders, especially to review the school’s performance data. Governors acknowledge how much the
school has improved under the guidance of the new headteacher. They understand how the new
accelerated learning groups have raised the profile of teaching assistants and improved pupils’ progress.
Members of the governing body have a range of experience and expertise. When a new member is
appointed, governors take account of the skills the governing body requires to make its work even more
effective. Governors visit the school regularly and make sure staff encourage tolerance and respect as
they prepare pupils for life in modern Britain. They understand the school’s performance management
system and ensure that teachers’ pay awards are linked to pupils’ progress. Finances are scrutinised
well; governors ensure that the pupil premium funding improves the progress and learning of
disadvantaged pupils and that the primary school sport funding enhances the sporting opportunities of
all the pupils.
|The behaviour and safety of pupils||are outstanding|
- The behaviour of pupils is outstanding.
- Pupils are very polite, friendly and considerate of each other and of adults. They show great respect for
their teachers and other adults in the school, including supply teachers. This has recently helped them to
make better progress, especially in the accelerated learning groups which build up pupils’ self-esteem and
confidence. Displays around the school support the key values of respect and responsibility.
- Pupils’ attitudes to learning are exemplary. They take great pride in their work; they are always pleased to
discuss their ideas and answer questions confidently. In lessons, they listen carefully, concentrate well and
start given tasks quickly. Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 pupils regularly respond to teachers’ marking to
improve their learning further.
- The pupils’ attitudes and excellent behaviour are evident around the school, in the corridors, dining hall
and in the playground. The older pupils support the younger pupils willingly and sensitively. The head and
deputy head boy and girl take their responsibilities very seriously and are a credit to the school.
- Attendance has rapidly improved through the work of the Parent Support Worker. Robust procedures are
in place that ensure regular high attendance. Attendance has risen from 94.9% in 2013 to 96% in 2014
and is currently 97.2%, which is above the national average.
- Pupils enjoy the extra-curricular clubs, which are of a high standard. The before- and after-school club
integrates well with the school. The club’s staff hold regular meetings with the school’s special educational
needs coordinator and the headteacher. There is smooth and effective communication between parents
and school. The gardening club has built up the self-esteem and improved the attitudes to learning of
some of the older pupils; it has enabled them to take on a role of responsibility as ‘key gardeners’.
- Pupils say that bullying is very rare. They know that the headteacher does not tolerate bullying. They are
confident that if any form of bullying occurred, it would be dealt with quickly. A group of pupils told
inspectors that ‘they could not think of anytime they had been bullied or afraid’ at school.
- The school’s work to keep pupils safe and secure is outstanding.
- Safeguarding procedures are highly effective and fully meet current requirements. Child protection
procedures are thorough and sensitive. The school enables initial assessments to be made quickly and
follows up required actions, resulting in a high level of support for families and improved outcomes for
- Records show that there are few concerns about behaviour and safety for any groups of pupils and if
these occur, strategies are in place to deal with them effectively.
- The wide range of static and small play equipment in Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 is used to best effect
at break times in conjunction with a high level of adult supervision. There are clear guidelines about the
safe use of equipment, especially the large static equipment.
- Pupils say they feel very safe and secure in school because adults look after them very well. They have a
clear understanding of how to keep themselves and others safe, including when using the internet.
- Parents, governors and staff agree that pupils feel safe in school and they are extremely positive about
the changes that have occurred since the arrival of the new headteacher.
|The quality of teaching||is good|
- The quality of teaching and the work in pupils’ books have improved rapidly this term and are typically
good across the school with some that is outstanding, especially in Year 6.
- Expectations of pupils’ work ethic and behaviour are extremely high. There are very good working
relationships between pupils and all staff members and between individual pupils and groups. Everyone
works collaboratively, supporting each other well.
- Teachers give clear explanations and ask pupils searching questions to see how much they have
understood. They are helped to learn from their mistakes. Lessons motivate and interest pupils of different
abilities. Sometimes, however, the most able pupils are not given work that is hard enough to sufficiently
challenge them to make the best possible progress.
- Pupils’ writing has not been as strong as it should be, but currently pupils are given interesting activities to
encourage them to write regularly and at length. Year 5 pupils were fully engaged in comparing a modern-
day classroom with that in a workhouse. Year 6 pupils analysed an extract from a famous school for
wizards and their own school brochure to give them ideas about how to write an information leaflet. Both
sets of pupils confidently started their written tasks and wrote competently and to a high standard.
Additionally, an inspector observed a small group of Year 4 pupils make outstanding progress during an
information and communication technology session, which consolidated and extended work from an
English lesson on how to write instructions.
- Pupils enjoy reading and it is taught effectively. The younger pupils enjoy using their knowledge of
phonics (letters and the sounds they make) to read and write words to build up simple sentences. Pupils
read fiction and non-fiction books with understanding.
- Current pupils make good progress in mathematics. This is evidenced in lessons and in their books.
Lessons are well planned to meet the needs of different ability groups. Teachers build on previously learnt
skills to improve pupils’ learning and additional challenges are always available. Year 2 pupils enjoyed
singing the number bond song and then used the information to form number bonds with larger numbers.
Year 6 pupils confidently applied their division skills to work out high-level mathematical problems. Pupils’
problem-solving skills across the school have been improved by the implementation of ‘problem-solving
- The targeted support in the daily group sessions aimed at accelerating the learning of underachieving
pupils is improving pupils’ learning further in reading, writing and mathematics. Well-trained teaching
assistants are accountable for the learning of small groups of pupils and the pupils thoroughly enjoy these
sessions. These groups are improving the learning of all pupils, especially the disadvantaged pupils, those
with disabilities and special educational needs, minority ethnic pupils and those who are at an early stage
of learning English. Even more recently, these accelerated learning groups have begun to support the
most able pupils, to ensure that they make the best progress they can in order to reach the higher
standards in Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.
- Marking in English and mathematics books is highly effective and shows pupils how to improve their work.
In turn, pupils regularly edit their work in response to the teachers’ comments to improve their learning.
Frequently changing English and mathematics ‘learning walls’ in each classroom also support and improve
|The achievement of pupils||is good|
- Achievement is improving quickly this term in reading, writing and mathematics in Key Stage 1 and Key
Stage 2 due to good and sometimes outstanding teaching. Achievement is now good.
- Many children start in the Reception unit with knowledge and skills typical for their age. Due to good
teaching, they make good progress from their various starting points and are well prepared to start Key
Stage 1 activities. For the last two years, a high proportion of children have achieved a good level of
development, which is the expected standard.
- Pupils’ knowledge of phonics has improved. The results of the Year 1 check on pupils’ skills in 2013 were
below the national average. However, in 2014, 77% reached the expected standard, which is just above
the national average. Phonics teaching is well planned with effective support where required, so that the
improvement is sustainable.
- Standards in Key Stage 1 for reading, writing and mathematics vary over time, but are usually broadly in
line with national averages. However, in 2014, standards in mathematics were significantly below average.
Not enough pupils reached the higher levels of attainment in reading, writing and mathematics. These
weaknesses are now being rectified and currently pupils across Key Stage 1 are making good progress.
The current Year 2 pupils’ results are predicted to be above the national average and more pupils are on
track to achieve the higher levels of attainment in the three subjects.
- Over time, standards at the end of Year 6 have varied. In 2014, standards in reading and mathematics
were broadly in line with national averages, but significantly below average in writing. However, the
school’s recent focus on improving pupils’ achievement and the quality of teaching shows a rapidly
improving picture of standards. The current Year 6 pupils are already working at a higher standard than
last year’s group so that the 2015 results are predicted to be above the 2014 results, especially in writing.
Key Stage 2 pupils are now making good progress from their various starting points, especially Year 6
- Reading is taught effectively and the current year groups are making good progress. Year 2 and Year 6
pupils read confidently with expression at a level appropriate to their age. They enthusiastically discuss
their reading books. The school has recently opened the library at lunchtime to promote the enjoyment of
- Pupils’ writing books show that pupils are making good progress across many different writing skills since
the beginning of the academic year. The current Year 6 pupils are working at a higher level than the
previous year group because teaching in Year 6 is now very strong.
- Current pupils are making good progress in mathematics. Work is planned to meet pupils’ different needs
and additional challenges are always available. Accelerated learning groups are organised to support
pupils who are underachieving.
- In the past, the most able pupils have not always reached the higher standards in Key Stage 1 and Key
Stage 2. The accelerated learning groups have now been adapted to also support and challenge the most
able pupils so that they can make the best progress possible.
- Disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs, pupils from minority ethnic groups and
those at an early stage in their learning of English are well supported in accelerated learning groups so
that they are making good progress in reading, writing and mathematics.
- In 2014, disadvantaged pupils did not do as well as their classmates in reading, writing and mathematics.
In reading, their attainment was two terms behind that of their classmates. In writing and mathematics, it
was nearly three terms behind. In comparison with all pupils nationally, the difference was just over one
term behind for reading and mathematics but over four terms behind in writing. Teachers have ensured
that the gaps in attainment have begun to narrow this term through the accelerated learning groups.
Disadvantaged pupils made similar progress in reading and mathematics to others nationally in 2014, but
far less progress in writing. However, across the school disadvantaged pupils are beginning to make
similar or better progress than their classmates and, as a result, gaps in attainment in all three subjects
|The early years provision||is good|
- Many children start in the early years with skills that are typical for their age. They settle in quickly from
many different nurseries and make good progress from their different starting points. Careful monitoring
of progress ensures that the children experience a curriculum which matches their particular needs and
that they are prepared for Key Stage 1 by the end of the year.
- Teaching and learning are good. There is an appropriate balance between activities that are adult led and
those that children can choose for themselves. Activities take into consideration the age, ability and
interests of the children. Where activities are adult led, these are well focused through the use of
appropriate questioning during discussions.
- Staff identify children’s particular needs, such as ensuring that they feel happy so that they are willing to
learn. This is evident in how quickly they settle into their daily routines. Children develop a positive
attitude to their learning, as well as working and playing in harmony with one another. They are willing
and eager to talk about their work and readily engage in conversation with adults. Children’s behaviour is
- A positive partnership with parents is developed through a range of initiatives, such as induction meetings,
workshops and regular newsletters. Parent say they are happy with the provision in this key stage and
that staff are very approachable. Parents are confident that any ‘issues’ will be dealt with effectively by
- Leadership of the early years is good and there is a clear direction for continuing improvement. The early
years team members work well together with a common sense of purpose to ensure that all children have
the opportunity to learn and develop. This is evident in the support provided for children with specific
needs; for instance, pupils who are in the early stages of learning English are given a consistent approach
to the teaching of phonics. Observations and assessments are used to plan the ‘next steps’ in learning,
which is evidenced in the children’s individual learning profiles.
- There are highly effective safeguarding procedures in place.
- Some aspects of the early years provision are still developing, such as extending the range of challenging
activities for the outside provision and the use of information and communication technology.
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||105302|
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||465|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Date of previous school inspection||19 February 2013|
|Telephone number||0161 766 2005|
|Fax number||0161 796 3421|
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