School etc

Lache Primary School

Lache Primary School
Hawthorn Road

phone: 01244 981333

headteacher: Mr Martin Bell

school holidays: via Cheshire West and Chester council

253 pupils aged 2—10y mixed gender
262 pupils capacity: 97% full

135 boys 53%


120 girls 47%


Last updated: June 20, 2014

Primary — Community School

Education phase
Establishment type
Community School
Establishment #
Open date
Jan. 1, 1998
OSGB coordinates
Easting: 339060, Northing: 364384
GPS coordinates
Latitude: 53.173, Longitude: -2.9131
Accepting pupils
3—11 years old
Census date
Jan. 16, 2014
Ofsted last inspection
May 16, 2012
Region › Const. › Ward
North West › City of Chester › Lache
Urban > 10k - less sparse
Free school meals %

Lache Primary School

Inspection report

Age group 3–11
Inspection date(s) 16–17 May 2012
Inspection number 381334
Unique Reference Number 131350
Local authority Cheshire West and Chester
Inspection number 381334
Inspection dates 16–17 May 2012
Lead inspector Shirley Herring

This inspection of the school was carried out under secti on 5 of the Education Act 2005.

Type of school Primary
School category Community
Age range of pupils 3–11
Gender of pupils Mixed
Number of pupils on the school roll 219
Appropriate authority The governing body
Chair Jane Mercer
Headteacher Martin Bell
Date of prev ious school inspection 28 February 2007
School address Hawthorn Road
Telephone number 01244 981333
Fax number 01244 683605
Email address reveal email: h…


Inspection team

Shirley Herring
David Halford
Additional inspector
Additional inspector

This inspection was carried out with two days' notice. The inspectors observed eight

teachers in 19 lessons, observed support staff working with small groups of pupils outside
the classroom, listened to pupils read and held meetings with groups of pupils, staff and a

member of the governing body. They observed the school's work and looked at pupils’

books, documentation regarding the safeguarding of pupils, assessments and the tracking of

pupils’ progress, the analysis of the progress of different groups of pupils and the school

development plan. They scrutinised 94 questionnaires completed by parents and carers as
well as those completed by pupils.

Information about the school

The school is similar in size to the average primary school and all classes contain one age
group. Almost all pupils are from a White, British heritage and the proportion of pupils
whose first language is other than English is below average. More than half the pupils are
known to be eligible for free school meals which is much higher than average, as is the
proportion of disabled pupils and those with special educational needs. The school has a
resource unit which caters for pupils with behaviour difficulties which serves a wider area.
There is a breakfast club managed by the governing body. The school meets the current
floor standards in English and mathematics; these are the government’s minimum

expectations for pupils’ progress and attainment.

A new headteacher took up post in January 2011 following the retirement of the previous

Inspection judgements

Overall Effectiveness 2
Achievement of pupils 2
Quality of teaching 2
Behaviour and safety of pupils 2
Leadership and management 2

Key Findings

  • This is a good school and attainment has improved significantly over the past two
    years. Overall effectiveness is not yet outstanding as the proportion of teaching that is
    outstanding, rather than good, is not yet sufficient to accelerate achievement further.
  • Pupils make good progress through the school from low starting points. Their
    attainment is broadly average and this represents good achievement. Children achieve
    well in the Early Years Foundation Stage although adults in the Nursery class
    sometimes miss opportunities to develop children’s speaking and listening skills.
    Disabled pupils, those with special educational needs and those pupils from the
    resource unit achieve well because of the good level of well targeted support they
  • Teaching is good. Agreed procedures for planning work to match the needs of different
    groups and for marking pupils’ work are applied consistently across the school and
    have helped to raise attainment. Teachers plan good opportunities to develop literacy
    and, more recently, numeracy skills across the curriculum but opportunities for
    developing pupils’ skills in information and communication technology are limited.
  • Behaviour and safety are good. Pupils are polite, friendly and well behaved and treat
    all members of the school community with respect. They show good attitudes and take
    great pride in the appearance of their work.
  • Improvements in teaching and the consequent higher attainment have resulted from
    good performance management. The headteacher monitors and evaluates the work of
    the school rigorously but the role of subject leaders in monitoring teaching and
    learning in their subject is at an early stage. The school has a firm commitment to
    inclusion and pupils from the resource unit are integrated very well into the life of the
    school. Pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural awareness is well developed.

What does the school need to do to improve further?

  • Raise achievement by:
    improving opportunities for children in the Nursery to develop their speaking and
    listening skills in all their activities
    planning more opportunities for pupils to use and develop their skills in
    information and communication technology across the curriculum
    developing the role of subject leaders in monitoring and evaluating teaching and

Main Report

Achievement of pupils

Children enter the Nursery with a range of skills that, overall, are much lower than could be
expected for their age, particularly in language and communication skills. They make good
progress in the Early Years Foundation Stage, but nevertheless, some children do not attain
the goals expected for their age by the time they enter Year 1. The strong emphasis placed

on developing children’s personal and social skills ensures that children make particularly

good progress in this important aspect. However, on occasion, staff in the Nursery fail to
spot a good moment to ask a question or to encourage children to talk about what they are
doing and so increase their skills in speaking and listening. Pupils make good progress
through the school and this is accelerated in Year 6 because of the consistently high quality
of teaching in this year group. After several years when attainment was significantly below
average, improvements in teaching resulted in a rise in attainment at the end of Year 6 in

2011 to broadly average. There is strong evidence in the records of the school’s rigorous

assessments, the quality of work observed in lessons and in pupils’ books to show that this
improvement is being maintained this year. Attainment in reading is broadly average in Year
2 and Year 6.
Disabled pupils and those with special educational needs, including those pupils in the
resource unit, achieve well because they receive well targeted support in lessons, in groups
and individually. The gap in attainment is closing and the proportion of pupils attaining the
level expected for their age is improving. All parents and carers are happy with the progress
their child makes in school.
Learning is good and on occasions exceptional. Pupils respond well to high expectations and
they are rightly proud of the exceptionally good presentation of work in their books.
Learning is most effective when lessons move at a swift pace and pupils are suitably
challenged. This was seen in a mathematics lessons in Year 6, when pupils were calculating

the area and perimeter of shapes. Varied tasks were well matched to pupils’ ability and they

showed great enthusiasm in using well developed strategies, from counting squares to using
the formulae, to solve complex problems. Learning is less effective on the few occasions
when pupils are not clear about the task in hand.

Quality of teaching

Pupils, parents and carers are in agreement that teaching is good, and this is the view of the
inspectors. Lessons are well planned and teachers take good account of pupils’ previous
learning to plan work that provides appropriate support and challenge for all pupils. In most
lessons, skilled questions provide pupils with good opportunities to explain their ideas and
this reinforces their understanding. Occasionally, however, teachers do not give pupils
enough time to expand their ideas fully. Throughout lessons, teachers give timely reminders

to keep pupils on task and also offer ‘Top Tips’ to focus pupils’ attention, for example, on

the importance of punctuation or the correct units of measurement.
The many skills of teaching assistants are well deployed in lessons and when working with

small groups or individuals outside the classroom. They make a good contribution to pupils’
learning. Teachers mark pupils’ work carefully and give clear suggestions to help them to

improve. Pupils have a good understanding of their personal targets and show considerable
satisfaction when they are achieved.
Teachers provide good opportunities for pupils to use and develop their literacy skills, and
more recently their numeracy skills, across the curriculum and this has helped to raise
attainment. However, there are limited opportunities for pupils to use and develop their
information and communication technology skills in other subjects.

Teachers provide good opportunities to promote pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural

development. Pupils routinely work together successfully in lessons and learn about other
religions and cultures, for example, visiting a Hindu Temple when learning about Hinduism.
Teaching in the Early Years Foundation Stage is good and children learn well. Staff have a
good understanding of how young children learn and this is apparent in the good range of

purposeful, practical activities provided. Adults explore many ways to engage children’s
interest as when the Reception teacher dressed as ‘Granny’ to encourage children to talk

about toys from the past. Children were totally engrossed and so convinced that one child

was keen to know whether ‘Granny’ needed a ‘sat-nav’ to find her way home from

Blackpool. Occasionally in the Nursery, adults do not ensure that children are listening when
they are talking to them and so learning is less effective.

Behaviour and safety of pupils

Parents and carers and pupils themselves agree that behaviour is good. Pupils are polite,
friendly and well behaved in lessons and in the playground. One pupil observed that one of
the many good things about the school is that everybody treats each other with respect and
this was evident in the calm and friendly atmosphere throughout the school. Pupils say that
rare instances of bullying or disagreements of any kind are dealt with fairly. They
concentrate well, cooperate successfully with each other in lessons and show a good
attitude to their work; all factors which make a good contribution to their learning. They
accept responsibilities, such as being team captains, readily and there are examples of
pupils taking the initiative to make suggestions to improve the school. The school council
noted that those pupils who did not like football had few opportunities to explore other
sports at lunchtime. In response to their observations, the school employed a sports teacher
to work with pupils at lunchtime. As a result, more pupils are actively involved at lunchtime
and report that lunchtimes are more enjoyable. Pupils show a good understanding of how to
keep safe and say they feel safe and secure in school.
Attendance has been below average for some time. However, actions taken by the school,
including home visits and support from the Family Support Worker, have resulted in rapid
improvement in the current year.

Leadership and management

In the five terms since he took up post, the headteacher has involved all the staff in a clear
vision and well focused initiatives to raise attainment. Staff training and a consistent
approach to planning lessons and to marking children’s work have improved the quality of
teaching and helped to raise attainment. Staff and pupils are enthusiastic about initiatives to

help develop pupils’ writing and pupils are proud to show the improvements in their work

over the year. Rigorous systems for assessing and tracking pupils’ progress are being used
effectively to identify and address any underachievement at a very early stage. Subject

leaders monitor the curriculum and the work in pupils’ books. However, their role in

complementing the work of the headteacher in monitoring teaching and learning in lessons
has not yet been developed fully. Concerted actions to reduce absences have resulted in a
good improvement in attendance.
The resource unit for pupils with challenging behaviour, who come from across a wide area,
is led and managed well. The school is committed to inclusion and this is evident in the way
these pupils are so well supported and integrated into classes and adults show good
awareness of when some pupils need a little time in a quiet area to collect their composure.
The school makes exceptional efforts, led by the Nursery teacher, to support parents and
carers and encourage them to be involved in their children’s education. These efforts have
very recently been recognised as the school has been named as ‘The Family Learning School
of 2012’.
Governors are well aware of their responsibilities in safeguarding pupils and staff and the
required systems and procedures are in place. They know their community well, are a
regular presence and support the school well.
The curriculum is good. The introduction of a more creative curriculum has led to greater
enjoyment in learning and helped to raise achievement. An improvement in planned
opportunities for pupils to write in other subjects has led to a sustained improvement in the
quality of writing. The school recognises the need to extend opportunities for pupils to make
greater use of information and communication technology. The curriculum fosters pupils’
spiritual, moral, social and cultural development well. This is seen in pupils’ good behaviour
and the way they cooperate so well with each other. Spirituality is evident when the school
community comes together and the quality of singing is moving. Pupils benefit from links
with a school in Uganda and they are currently saving to buy toys for the Ugandan children.
The breakfast club, run by the school, provides a welcoming start to the day for pupils,
including those from the Early Years Foundation Stage.

The school’s self-evaluation has accurately identified areas for improvement and has a clear

programme to address these. Concerted actions to improve teaching, raise attainment and
improve attendance are having a significant impact and indicate that the school has a good
capacity to improve further.


What inspection judgements mean

Grade Judgement Description
Grade 1 Outstanding These features are highly effective. An outstanding school
provides exceptionally well for all its pupils' needs.
Grade 2 Good These are very positive features of a school. A school that is
good is serving its pupils well.
Grade 3 Satisfactory These features are of reasonable quality. A satisfactory school
is providing adequately for its pupils.
Grade 4 Inadequate These features are not of an acceptable standard. An
inadequate school needs to make significant improvement in
order to meet the needs of its pupils. Ofsted inspectors will
make further visits until it improves.

Overall effectiveness of schools

Overall effectiveness judgement (percentage of schools)
Type of school Outstanding Good Satisfactory Inadequate
Nursery schools 54 42 2 2
Primary schools 14 49 32 6
Secondary schools 20 39 34 7
Special schools 33 45 20 3
Pupil referral units 9 55 28 8
All schools 16 47 31 6

New school inspection arrangements have been introduced from 1 January 2012. This means that inspectors
make judgements that were not made previously.
The data in the table above are for the period 1 September to 31 December 2011 and represent judgements
that were made under the school inspection arrangements that were introduced on 1 September 2009. These
data are consistent with the latest published official statistics about maintained school inspection outcomes
The sample of schools inspected during 2010/11 was not representative of all schools nationally, as weaker
schools are inspected more frequently than good or outstanding schools.
Primary schools include primary academy converters. Secondary schools include secondary academy
converters, sponsor-led academies and city technology colleges. Special schools include special academy
converters and non-maintained special schools.
Percentages are rounded and do not always add exactly to 100.

Common terminology used by inspectors

Achievement: the progress and success of a pupil in their learning and
development taking account of their attainment.
Attainment: the standard of the pupils' work shown by test and
examination results and in lessons.
Attendance the regular attendance of pupils at school and in lessons,
taking into account the school's efforts to encourage good
Behaviour how well pupils behave in lessons, with emphasis on their
attitude to learning. Pupils' punctuality to lessons and their
conduct around the school.
Capacity to improve: the proven ability of the school to continue improving based
on its self-evaluation and what the school has accomplished
so far and on the quality of its systems to maintain
Floor standards the national minimum expectation of attainment and
progression measures
Leadership and
the contribution of all the staff with responsibilities, not just
the governors and headteacher, to identifying priorities,
directing and motivating staff and running the school.
Learning: how well pupils acquire knowledge, develop their
understanding, learn and practise skills and are developing
their competence as learners.
Overall effectiveness: inspectors form a judgement on a school's overall
effectiveness based on the findings from their inspection of
the school.
Progress: the rate at which pupils are learning in lessons and over
longer periods of time. It is often measured by comparing
the pupils' attainment at the end of a key stage with their
attainment when they started.
Safety how safe pupils are in school, including in lessons; and their
understanding of risks. Pupils' freedom from bullying and
harassment. How well the school promotes safety, for
example e-learning.

18 May 2012
Dear Pupils

Inspection of Lache Primary School, Chester, CH4 8HX

Thank you for making the inspectors so welcome when we visited your school
recently. We enjoyed talking to you and we found your views very useful. You are
extremely polite, friendly and well behaved. You are a credit to your parents and
carers and your school. You clearly take a pride in your work and we were very
impressed by the very careful presentation of work in your books. Well done! You
clearly enjoy school and we are pleased to see that the number of you who come to
school every day is increasing all the time.
We agree with you and your parents and carers that Lache is a good school. Lessons
are interesting and there is always someone on hand for those who need extra help.
Those of you who understand and work more quickly enjoy the challenges you are
given. I saw a group in Year 4 become really excited when they had to sort out three
sets in a Venn diagram. I hope you managed to solve the problem. You told us how
much you enjoy the Big Write and we could see how much this has improved your
writing. You make good progress and reach the standards that are usual for your age
by the time you leave Year 6.
It is part of my job to suggest ways in which even a good school could be improved.
I have asked that the children in the Nursery are given more help with learning to
speak well, that you have more opportunities to use information and communication
technology in lessons and for those staff who have leadership roles to be more
involved in school management.

I hope you continue to enjoy school and try to come every day.
Yours sincerely,
Shirley Herring
Lead Inspector


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