School etc

Leighswood School

Leighswood School
West Midlands

phone: 01922 743621

headteacher: Mr Duncan Speirs B.A. (Hons) Pgce

reveal email: post…


school holidays: via Walsall council

563 pupils aged 2—10y mixed gender
490 pupils capacity: 114% full

305 boys 54%

≤ 263y344a84b154c155y436y337y408y369y3610y37

260 girls 46%

≤ 263y274a134b84c185y286y307y368y319y3310y30

Last updated: June 20, 2014

Primary — Community School

Education phase
Establishment type
Community School
Establishment #
Open date
Sept. 1, 1998
OSGB coordinates
Easting: 405635, Northing: 301606
GPS coordinates
Latitude: 52.612, Longitude: -1.9182
Accepting pupils
3—11 years old
Census date
Jan. 16, 2014
Ofsted last inspection
Feb. 8, 2012
Region › Const. › Ward
West Midlands › Aldridge-Brownhills › Aldridge Central and South
Urban > 10k - less sparse
Free school meals %

Age group 3—11
Inspection date(s) 8—9 February 2011
Inspection number 381341

Leighswood School

Inspection report

Unique reference number 131433
Local authority Walsall
Inspection number 381341
Inspection dates 8–9 February 2012
Lead inspector Stephen Lake

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

Type of school Primary
School category Community
Age range of pupils 3–11
Gender of pupils Mixed
Nu mber of pupils on the school roll 573
Appropriate authority The governing body
Chair Lynn Levesley
Headteacher Duncan Speirs
Date of previous school inspection 7–8 December 2006
School address Broadmeadow
West Midlands
Telephone number 01922 743261
Fax number 01922 743260
Email address reveal email: post…

You can use Parent View to give Ofsted your opinion on your child’s school.
Ofsted will use the information parents and carers provide when deciding
which schools to inspect and when.
You can also use Parent View to find out what other parents and carers think
about schools in England. You can visit, or
look for the link on the main Ofsted website:


Inspection team

Stephen Lake Additional inspector
Fiona Chamberlain Additional inspector
Cliff Mainey Additional inspector

This inspection was carried out with two days' notice. A variety of classroom
observations were used, some in partnership with a member of the senior staff.
Inspectors visited 28 lessons and made a further 25 short focused visits to
classrooms. They observed 18 teachers and a nursery nurse. Meetings were held
with groups of pupils, governors and staff. Inspectors took account of the responses
to the on-line questionnaire (Parent View) in planning the inspection, observed the

school’s work, and looked at the school development plan and samples of pupils’

work. Other documents scrutinised included curriculum planning, documents relating
to safeguarding and child protection, records of pupil attainment and progress and
records relating to the monitoring of teaching. Inspectors analysed questionnaires
from pupils and from 206 parents and carers. They also spoke to some parents at
the start of school day.

Information about the school

This school is much larger than most primary schools. It serves mainly the local area.
Most of the pupils are White British with only a few from other minority ethnic
groups. Very few pupils speak English as an additional language. The proportion of
pupils known to eligible for free school meals is below average. The percentage of
disabled pupils and those with special educational needs is below average. The
majority have moderate learning difficulties but some also have behaviour, social and
emotional difficulties or are within the autism spectrum. Fewer pupils than average
join or leave the school other than at the normal times. The school holds Artsmark
Gold, British Council International School and Healthy Schools awards. A breakfast
club and after-school care are provided by the on-site children’s centre. The
performance of the school meets the current floor standard. The headteacher has
been in post since September 2011 and all members of the senior leadership team
are new to their posts, although not all new to the school.

Inspection grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is sat isfactory, and 4 is inadequate

Please turn to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms

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 where pupils achieve well. Almost all parents and carers
    would recommend this school to another parent. One summed this up by
    saying, ‘This is a great school with excellent facilities.’
  • Children make good progress in the Early Years Foundation Stage. By the end
    of Year 6 pupils have made good progress, but achievement in mathematics
    remains below that in reading and writing. Achievement in Years 1 and 2,
    although satisfactory, is not as strong.
  • The quality of teaching is good, although it is stronger in the Early Years
    Foundation Stage and Years 3 to 6 than in Years 1 and 2. New teachers are
    supported well and given good quality professional development to help
    develop and improve their skills.
  • The stimulating and exciting curriculum provides many high quality
    opportunities for learning. The Forest School provision and the links with other
    countries are particularly strong features. The curriculum meets the needs of
    pupils well, but opportunities to use mathematics across the curriculum are not
    as well developed as opportunities to use communication and language skills.
  • Pupils behave well and are engaged in lessons. They are kept safe as a result of
    rigorous safeguarding procedures and have a good understanding of how to
    stay safe. Attendance is above average and improving further as a result of the
    school’s robust actions to reduce absence.
  • Leadership and management are good. The new headteacher has already
    forged the new senior leadership team into an effective partnership clearly
    focused upon making the school even better. Governors support the school
    well. Together with senior leaders, they have an accurate view of the school’s
    strengths and weaknesses and use the information effectively to plan school
    improvement. Rigorous and effective systems to monitor the progress of pupils
    enable senior leaders and managers to have a clear view of school

What does the school need to do to improve further?

  • By July 2013, improve achievement in Years 1 and 2 to match that in the rest of
    Inspection grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is sat isfactory, and 4 is inadequate
    Please turn to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms
    the school by:
    ensuring that information on pupils’ progress is used more consistently to
    plan and adapt lessons so that all pupils are challenged to achieve their
    very best
    ensuring that learning in all lessons proceeds at a brisk pace.
    embedding and monitoring the good strategies put in place to improve
    attainment in reading and writing.
  • By July 2013 improve pupils’ achievement in mathematics in Years 3 to 6 to
    match their performance in reading and writing by:
    ensuring that information on pupils’ progress is used more consistently to
    plan lessons that challenge all pupils, especially the more able
    providing more opportunities to use and promote mathematics skills
    across the curriculum.

Main report

Achievement of pupils

Almost all pupils think that the school helps them do the best they can for most of
the time. Almost all parents and carers think that their children make good progress
and children’s needs are met well. Inspection evidence shows that pupils make good
progress overall to achieve standards in both English and mathematics that are
above average at the end of Year 6. However, progress in Years 1 and 2 and the
progress of more able pupils in mathematics in Years 3 to 6 are satisfactory.
Children start in the Nursery with skills that are below those found in similar schools
nationally especially in communication and number skills. They learn well because of
stimulating activities and teaching that consistently challenges them to improve their
key skills. Themes are central to the work that takes place and form a consistent
element of all learning each week. For example, in a good session observed across
all classes in Reception, the week’s story of the Three Billy Goats Gruff was seen in
many activities. Children outside developed their language and creativity well as they

made ‘yucky’ meals for the troll and discussed the content with adults. In the

classroom other children were engaged in detailed discussion about what a troll’s
house would look like as they designed and made a range of homes for the troll. The
Forest School environment is used particularly well to stimulate children in all areas
of learning. Children especially enjoy sitting around the campfire and describing what
they can see.
Learning slows a little in Years 1 and 2 because teaching does not always challenge
children well enough. This is improving as a result of the recent strategies put in
place to re-enforce pupils’ understanding of sounds and letters. Although recent, the
impact is starting to be seen and the gap between boys’ and girls’ attainment in
writing has been closed. In Years 3 to 6 a strong focus on writing is improving pupils’
enthusiasm for writing and the quality of their written work. For example in a good
lesson observed, pupils made good progress in improving their sentences by using
two adjectives together to provide a strong description and using different types of

Inspection grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is sat isfactory, and 4 is inadequate

Please turn to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms

punctuation. Pupils of all abilities are consistently challenged to improve their reading
and writing skills and their attainment in reading is above average at the end of Year
2 and the end of Year 6. In mathematics more able pupils are not challenged quite
enough. This is why progress is somewhat slower than in English. Disabled pupils
and those with special educational needs receive good quality targeted support from
teaching assistants that ensures they make at least the same progress as other

Quality of teaching

Almost all pupils and the vast majority of parents and carers think that teaching is
good. Inspection evidence confirms this. Teachers use a wide range of strategies to
make learning interesting and enjoyable and to provide lessons that stimulate pupils
to learn. Teaching assistants work effectively in close partnership with teachers, and
all adults have high expectations of how pupils should treat each other and respect

each other’s views. This ensures lessons are friendly and orderly with all pupils

working together in a cohesive manner. Information and communication technology
is used well particularly to support learning and motivate pupils. A significant
strength of the teaching is the way teachers use the creative curriculum to make
lessons meaningful and motivating and to develop the core skills of reading and
writing. For example in an outstanding lesson observed pupils developed their key
reading and recording skills as they used the internet to research Bulgaria in

preparation for the visit of a group of pupils from Bulgaria. This work and the visit of

a group from this school to Poland are closely linked to the school’s international
status. These activities promote pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural
development well. Communication skills are particularly well developed through
activities such as this, but less emphasis is given to developing pupils’ mathematics
skills through other subjects of the curriculum.
Recently introduced new strategies to make learning in reading and writing even
more effective are followed consistently across the school, but it is too early to see
the full impact in national assessments. A key difference between the quality of
teaching in Years 1 and 2 and the rest of the school is that in too many lessons in
Years 1 and 2 the pace of learning is slowed by overlong introductions where pupils
spend too long sitting on the carpet. A new marking system is applied consistently.
Pupils understand the system well and say that in many lessons it helps them know
what to do next to improve their work. Information on pupils’ attainment and
progress is mostly used effectively to plan lessons matched closely to pupils’ needs.
This is less effective in Years 1 and 2 and in providing challenge in mathematics for
more able pupils in Years 3 to 6. In most lessons, especially in the Early Years
Foundation Stage and in Years 3 to 6, questioning is used effectively. Most adults are
skilled at asking questions that not only assess what pupils have understood but
challenge them to move on in their learning. This is less consistent in Years 1 and 2.
Here, too few opportunities are taken to assess pupils’ work during the lesson and
where necessary adapt the lesson so that pupils move on more rapidly in their

Inspection grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is sat isfactory, and 4 is inadequate

Please turn to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms

Behaviour and safety of pupils

The vast majority of parents and carers believe that behaviour is good and any
bullying is dealt with effectively. A large majority of pupils agree that behaviour is
good and does not generally disrupt lessons. Inspectors endorse these views.
Pupils typically show respect towards others during discussions in lessons; this was a
key feature of much of the good learning observed. They demonstrate mature and
thoughtful behaviour which contributes greatly to the calm and orderly atmosphere
in the school. Pupils show great care and sensitivity to those whose circumstances
make them vulnerable, ensuring that they are fully involved in all activities. Their
behaviour and attitudes to learning are consistently positive with pupils showing a
real enthusiasm for learning.
A small minority of pupils, parents and carers felt that lessons were disrupted
sometimes and some bullying occurred. Pupils say that any form of bullying is rare
but when it happens teachers deal with it well. Inspection evidence shows that a few
very challenging pupils occasionally disrupt lunchtimes and learning in a few lessons.
However, incidents of poor behaviour are rare, and when they do occur teachers
manage the situation very effectively. The school is aware of the need to support
and further improve the behaviour of a very small minority and is about to open a

‘nurture room’ where these pupils can be supported in an environment that meets

their needs more closely.
Pupils say they feel very safe in school and parents and carers agree with this.
Inspection evidence confirms that pupils are safe and have a very good
understanding of how to keep safe. The school is particularly vigilant about internet

safety and pupils’ understanding of this is excellent. Attendance, which was already

above average, has improved further recently due to the effective strategies such as
prizes for 100% attendance and first day calls to investigate absence when the
school has not been informed of a reason.

Leadership and management

The effective governing body has a clear understanding of the strengths and areas
for development and provides strong support to drive school improvement. The
leadership skills of the new headteacher and the enthusiasm of the new senior
leadership team are evident in the clear ambitious vision of how the school can
improve further. The experience of many of the new senior and middle leaders is
used to good effect to monitor and support new teachers. The broad, balanced and
very well planned curriculum ensures a creative environment that stimulates and
promotes good learning. The Artsmark, International School and Healthy Schools
awards are good indications that provision is effective. The curriculum makes an
excellent contribution to pupils’ good spiritual, moral, social and cultural
development. For example, work on the local community helps increase pupils’
understanding of the older people living around the school. A group of older pupils
visit a group of senior citizens and support them every week as an extra-curricular
activity. Procedures for safeguarding, especially those for child protection, are robust.

Inspection grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is sat isfactory, and 4 is inadequate

Please turn to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms

All training for staff and governors is up to date and good quality policies are closely
The school takes great care to ensure equality of opportunity and prevent
discrimination. The progress of all groups, especially those whose circumstances
make them vulnerable, is monitored frequently. The information gained is used
effectively to address any underachievement. Robust systems for recording and
analysing data ensure that all leaders and managers, including governors, have
accurate information on the school performance. Nevertheless, some of new middle
managers have not yet developed secure skills in analysing the data to compare the
performance of groups or cohorts against other schools nationally. Strengths of the
previous inspection, especially in achievement, pupils’ personal development,
teaching and curriculum have been maintained and built upon and attendance has
improved. This indicates that the school has a good capacity for 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

Overall effectiveness of schools

Overall effectiveness judgement (percentage of schools)
Type of school Outstanding Good Satisfactory Inadequate
Nursery schools 46 46 8 0
Primary schools 8 47 40 5
14 38 40 8
Special schools 28 48 20 4
Pupil referral
15 50 29 5
All schools 11 46 38 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 Septem ber 2010 to 31 August 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 (see
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: 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 attendance.

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 improvement.

Leadership and management: 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.

10 February 2012
Dear Pupils

Inspection of Leighswood School, Walsall WS8 8HZ

Thank you for making us welcome when we came to visit your school. We enjoyed
talking with you in class and on the playground.
Yours is a good school and improving. You achieve well to attain standards better
than those in most schools. Here are a few of the things that we particularly liked.

  • You get a good start to school in the Early Years Foundation Stage because of
    the exciting activities and good teaching.
  • You achieve well because of the good teaching you receive.
  • We agree with you that the school looks after you well and helps you
    understand how to stay safe especially when you are using the internet.
  • The school works very hard to make your learning enjoyable through a very
    exciting and creative curriculum. We particularly liked the Forest School and the
    links you have with other countries.
  • Your good behaviour and positive attitudes make the school an enjoyable place
    in which to learn.
  • Your school is led and managed well and all leaders and managers, including
    the governors, are working hard to make the school even better.
    In order to help you learn even more effectively we have asked the school to do the
  • Make sure that all the good ways the staff have introduced to help you to
    improve your reading and writing are followed in all lessons in Years 1 and 2.
    You can help by continuing to do your best to become good writers.
  • Improve the progress in mathematics in Years 3 to 6 for those of you who find
    learning easy, so that it matches the progress that you make in reading and
    writing. You can help by always trying to do even better in mathematics
    Thank you again for making us so welcome.
    Yours sincerely
    Stephen Lake
    Lead inspector

print / save trees, print less