School etc

Highlees Community Primary School Closed - for academy Aug. 31, 2013

see new Highlees Primary School

Highlees Community Primary School
Ashton Road

phone: 01733 *** ***

headteacher: Mrs Emma Ward Bsc (Qts) Npqh

school holidays: via Peterborough council

Primary — Community School

Education phase
Establishment type
Community School
Establishment #
Close date
Aug. 31, 2013
Reason closed
For Academy
OSGB coordinates
Easting: 517077, Northing: 300416
GPS coordinates
Latitude: 52.589, Longitude: -0.27324
Accepting pupils
4—11 years old
Ofsted last inspection
Oct. 11, 2012
Region › Const. › Ward
East of England › Peterborough › Ravensthorpe
Urban > 10k - less sparse

rooms to rent in Peterborough

Schools nearby

  1. Highlees County Junior School PE37ER
  2. Highlees County Infant School PE37ER
  3. Highlees Primary School PE37ER (364 pupils)
  4. 0.4 miles Ravensthorpe Primary School PE37NB (222 pupils)
  5. 0.4 miles Sacred Heart RC Primary School PE39XD (208 pupils)
  6. 0.4 miles Bretton Woods Community School PE38DF
  7. 0.4 miles Ravensthorpe Junior School PE37NB
  8. 0.4 miles Ravensthorpe Infant School PE37NB
  9. 0.5 miles Ellindon Residential Special School PE38RQ
  10. 0.6 miles Middleton Junior School PE39XJ
  11. 0.6 miles Middleton County Infant School PE39XJ
  12. 0.6 miles Thorpe Primary School PE39UG (471 pupils)
  13. 0.6 miles Heltwate School PE38RL (138 pupils)
  14. 0.6 miles Thorpe County Infants' School PE39UG
  15. 0.6 miles Thorpe Junior School PE39UG
  16. 0.6 miles Middleton Primary School PE39XJ (324 pupils)
  17. 0.7 miles Eyrescroft Primary School PE38EZ (397 pupils)
  18. 0.7 miles Jack Hunt School PE39PN (1729 pupils)
  19. 0.7 miles Eyrescroft Junior School PE38EZ
  20. 0.7 miles Eyrescroft Infant School PE38EZ
  21. 0.9 miles Watergall Infants' School PE38NX
  22. 0.9 miles Watergall Junior School PE38NX
  23. 0.9 miles Watergall Primary School PE38NX (320 pupils)
  24. 0.9 miles Iqra Academy PE38YQ (66 pupils)

List of schools in Peterborough

20 June 2013
Emma Ward
Highlees Community Primary School
Ashton Road
Dear Ms Ward

Special measures monitoring inspection of Highlees Community Primary School

Following my visit with Alan Jarvis, Additional Inspector, to your school on 18–19
June 2013, I write on behalf of Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s
Services and Skills to confirm the inspection findings. Thank you for the help you
gave during the inspection and for the time you made available to discuss the

actions which have been taken since the school’s previous monitoring inspection.

The inspection was the second monitoring inspection since the school became
subject to special measures following the inspection which took place in October
2012. The full list of the areas for improvement which were identified during that
inspection is set out in the annex to this letter. The monitoring inspection report is
Having considered all the evidence, I am of the opinion that at this time:
The school is making reasonable progress towards the removal of special measures.

Newly qualified teachers may not be appointed.

This letter and monitoring inspection report will be published on the Ofsted website.

I am copying this letter and the monitoring inspection report to the Secretary of

State, the Chair of the Governing Body and the Director of Children’s Services for


Yours sincerely
Heather Yaxley

Her Majesty’s Inspector

Serco Inspections
20 Colmore Circus Queensway
B4 6AT
T 0300 123 1231
Text Phone: 0161 6188524
reveal email: enqu…
Direct T: 01216 799162
Direct email: reveal email: siob…


The areas for improvement identified during the inspection which took
place in October 2012

  • Make teaching and learning consistently good in lessons by:
    - improving the way teachers plan work so that it is set at the right level for all
    groups of pupils
    - improving the quality of support provided by teaching assistants so that they
    contribute to pupils’ learning in and out of the classroom effectively
    - making sure that pupils who speak English as an additional language receive
    the support they need so they make at least good progress.
  • Raise attainment in reading, writing and mathematics throughout Key Stages 1
    and 2 by:
    - ensuring that pupils are taught to read effectively
    - providing pupils with more opportunities to write in their exercise books in
    English and other subjects rather than using individual white boards and
    - ensuring that the teaching of basic number skills, especially in Key Stage 1, is
    done effectively.
  • Ensure that leadership and management are effective in driving improvement by:
    - requiring leaders at all levels, including the governing body, to focus rigorously
    on tackling the key priorities identified in the school improvement plan and
    then checking the impact of their work to ensure pupils make much faster
    - making sure that subject leaders, and the new progress and attainment
    leaders, focus on improving teaching and accelerating pupils’ progress,
    particularly for those pupils who speak English as an additional language
    - ensuring that pupils making sure that governors set challenging targets for
    teachers and leaders so that they are held fully to account for their

Report on the second monitoring inspection on 18–19 June 2013

Inspectors observed the school’s work and scrutinised documents. The teaching in

all classes was observed, with the exception of a Year 5 class because they were on
a school trip. The headteacher and deputy headteacher joined inspectors for five of
the 14 observations. Meeting were held with the headteacher and deputy
headteacher, the progress and attainment leaders, teaching and non-teaching staff,
the Chair of the Governing Body and three governors, the headteacher of the pupil
referral service and a local authority adviser.


The Department for Education has confirmed an academy order, and a sponsor has
been identified by the headteacher and governing body. A period of consultation has
begun, with a view to the school becoming an academy from September 2013.
Two teachers and a higher-level teaching assistant have been appointed for
September. There are three vacancies on the governing body.

Achievement of pupils at the school

The school’s most recent assessments show that pupils’ attainment remains low but

rates of progress for this academic year are much stronger than last year. This
means that pupils are starting to catch up for previous underachievement. It is likely
that the government’s minimum floor standard will be met this year and that the
progress of current Year 6 pupils could be good. These pupils, in particular, have
benefited from good teaching this year by teachers who relentlessly challenge them
to achieve high standards. The proportion of Year 5 pupils already achieving Level 4
in reading, writing and mathematics indicates accelerated progress, particularly
linked to changes made to improve reading.
Improvements this year are linked to three particular things. First, assessments are
now accurate and provide a complete set of data. The data is used frequently and
well, particularly by the headteacher, to check the progress of different groups,
subjects and classes. For example, underachievement of boys in reading and writing
was identified recently and is being investigated further. Second, changes to the
curriculum and teaching are well-thought through and have been effective this year

in closing gaps in pupils’ knowledge and understanding, particularly in reading and

writing and for pupils new to learning English. Third, and underpinning higher

aspirations for pupils’ achievement, the headteacher and deputy headteacher are

unfaltering in their expectation that pupils will make four points progress each year
in Key Stage 2 and five points each year in Key Stage 1. This is very ambitious but
early indications suggest that, when the right changes are made and put into
practice properly, this can happen.
There is still more work to do to make sure that pupils reach standards that are at
least in line with national averages and that current improvement is sustained for all
pupils. Further improvements are needed to increase pupils’ progress in mathematics
and for children in the Early Years Foundation Stage.

The quality of teaching

Lesson observations by inspectors, senior leaders and local authority advisers
confirm that teaching has steadily improved during this academic year. More good
teaching and virtually no inadequate teaching mean that pupils are challenged to
achieve greater things. Pupils make most progress when teachers know exactly what
they want pupils to achieve by the end of each lesson and plan carefully for each
group to have the activities, clues and prompts that they need to show how much
they have understood. Some teachers and support staff are very good at making
sure that each pupil has the chance to show what they know by themselves, and at
helping them to learn from their mistakes. Not all teaching provides pupils with clear
explanations, specific guidance or enough time to show what they can do
independently. As a result, work in pupils’ books is not always of sufficient quality or
quality to be an accurate or helpful record of what they have learned.
A significant improvement since the full inspection is much greater awareness and
attention to the needs of pupils at the early stages of learning English. Their
accelerated progress is because staff are better at providing visual clues, clearer
explanations and building on previous learning more explicitly. Other improvements
include the teaching of reading. Guided reading sessions, and teaching phonics and
spelling, are more purposeful, but the difference that they make to pupils varies.
There is not yet a commitment to a whole-school programme that will systematically
teach pupils of all ages and abilities to read and spell.

Behaviour and safety of pupils

Pupils’ attendance, at around 92%, is at an all-time low. Unauthorised attendance

has reduced but too many pupils are absent and therefore not achieving as well as
they could. The importance of good attendance has been explained in a recent letter
to parents from the headteacher. Referrals to the education welfare service are now
made as soon as pupils’ attendance drops, and good attendance was specifically
discussed at the admissions meeting for children joining Reception.
Pupils respond well to adults, in class and around school. They arrive promptly to
lessons and are keen to learn. Staff manage behaviour well, often skilfully so that
any inappropriate behaviour is addressed without interrupting teaching or learning.

The quality of leadership in and management of the school

In the eight months since the full inspection, the headteacher and deputy
headteacher have systematically challenged underachievement of staff and pupils.
Accountability for pupils’ progress is now firmly established through regular
discussions, analysis of data, formal lesson observations and frequent checks of

pupils’ work. Staff have not always welcomed greater scrutiny or change but now

appreciate that these things improve their understanding of what needs to be done.
They know how to make the improvements needed because they have had
appropriate training and support, provided in-house and externally. Good leadership
of teaching by the headteacher and deputy headteacher has improved the
performance not only of those who underperform but also for the high proportion of
teachers who are in their first years of teaching. This is helping them to build their
expertise. As a result, pupils’ progress has accelerated, there is now a huge

commitment to a common goal of improving pupils’ attainment, and staff at all levels

of responsibility believe that they are well-placed to keep up this pace of
Teamwork is a strong feature amongst staff and contributes to open, professional
debate. Shared accountability for the quality of teaching and learning is now firmly
established but shared responsibility for driving the improvements needed is not as
strong. Not all staff take enough initiative, needing too much direction before taking
action or not looking at how they can help beyond their individual areas of
responsibility or class. So far, it is the headteacher and deputy headteacher who
drive most improvement. Under their direction, other leaders take increasing
responsibility for checking the quality of teaching and pupils’ work. For example, one
of the progress and attainment leaders has supported teachers in Key Stage 1 and

the quality of teaching and pupils’ learning has improved, but not all leaders make a

significant difference to pupils’ performance yet. Nevertheless, middle leaders know
more about the performance of the age-range or subject that they lead, and this
contributes to a better capacity for the wider leadership team to make the necessary
The school development plan was not fit for purpose at the first monitoring
inspection but now provides appropriate measurements and actions that are spread
across a suitable period of time. The plan, together with reviews of actions already
taken, shows that the right things are either in place or planned suitably for the
future. The headteacher, deputy headteacher and the governing body accurately
identify through their self-evaluation that there is a lot more to do to make sure that
all pupils achieve well and that all teaching is of good quality. They know that,
although early signs are encouraging, complacency is not an option. They are also
mindful that a sense of urgency must go alongside embedding improvements.
The governing body plays its part well to support the headteacher and challenge the
performance of staff and pupils. Governors are experienced in asking challenging

questions of what they see and read about the school’s performance, especially

those members who transferred from the interim executive board. Preparation for
transition to academy status is well advanced, and governors ensure that this does
not get in the way of the day-to-day priority to raise pupils’ achievement.

External support

There is a very open, professional relationship between local authority advisers and
the headteacher and governing body. Support from local authority advisers is good
and helps staff to have what they need, when they need it. Staff make good use of
this support. For example, training to address the needs of pupils learning English as
an additional language was well received and has made a difference. When the

headteacher asked for help to check the accuracy of assessments of pupils’

achievements and the quality of teaching, advice came quickly and was very helpful
in confirming further areas for improvement. The headteacher and Chair of the
Governing Body are looking into the possibility of maintaining some of this support
when the school becomes an academy.

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