School etc

Little Paxton Primary School

Little Paxton Primary School
Gordon Road
Little Paxton
St Neots

phone: 01480 375600

headteacher: Mrs Diane Hawkes B.Ed

reveal email: off…


school holidays: via Cambridgeshire council

254 pupils aged 4—10y mixed gender
243 pupils capacity: 105% full

120 boys 47%


135 girls 53%


Last updated: June 19, 2014

Primary — Community School

Education phase
Establishment type
Community School
Establishment #
OSGB coordinates
Easting: 518909, Northing: 262359
GPS coordinates
Latitude: 52.247, Longitude: -0.25973
Accepting pupils
5—11 years old
Census date
Jan. 16, 2014
Ofsted last inspection
Feb. 27, 2012
Region › Const. › Ward
East of England › Huntingdon › Little Paxton
Town and Fringe - less sparse
Free school meals %

rooms to rent in St. Neots

Schools nearby

  1. 1 mile Priory Park Infant School PE191DZ (245 pupils)
  2. 1 mile Priory Junior School PE191TF (243 pupils)
  3. 1 mile Longsands College PE191LQ
  4. 1 mile Longsands Academy PE191LQ (1776 pupils)
  5. 1.2 mile The Round House Primary School PE196AW
  6. 1.2 mile The Round House Primary Academy PE196AW (291 pupils)
  7. 1.4 mile Crosshall Infant School PE197GG
  8. 1.4 mile Crosshall Junior School PE197GG
  9. 1.4 mile Crosshall Infant School Academy Trust PE197GG (438 pupils)
  10. 1.4 mile Crosshall Junior School PE197GG (470 pupils)
  11. 1.5 mile St Mary's CofE VA Primary School PE191NX (177 pupils)
  12. 1.6 mile Eynesbury CofE C Primary School PE192TD (237 pupils)
  13. 1.6 mile Samuel Pepys School PE192EZ (94 pupils)
  14. 1.7 mile Winhills Primary School PE192DX
  15. 1.7 mile Winhills County Infant School PE192DX
  16. 1.7 mile Winhills County Junior School PE192DX
  17. 1.7 mile Winhills Primary School PE192DX (260 pupils)
  18. 1.8 mile Great Paxton CofE Primary School PE196YJ (117 pupils)
  19. 2.2 miles St Neots Community College PE192SH
  20. 2.2 miles Ernulf Academy PE192SH (726 pupils)
  21. 2.3 miles Middlefield Community Primary School PE192QE
  22. 2.3 miles Middlefield Primary Academy PE192QE (210 pupils)
  23. 2.4 miles Bushmead Junior School PE198BT
  24. 2.4 miles Bushmead Infant School PE198BT

List of schools in St. Neots

Age group 4–11
Inspection date(s) 27–28 February 2012
Inspection number 378155

Little Paxton Primary School

Inspection report

Unique reference number 110733
Local authority Cambridgeshire
Inspection number 378155
Inspection dates 27–28 February 2012
Lead inspector Joseph Peacock

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 4–11
Gender of pupils Mixed
Nu mber of pupils on the school roll 222
Appropriate authority The governing body
Chair Penny Conway
Headteacher Diane Hawkes
Date of previous school inspection 24 November 2008
School address Gordon Road
Little Paxton
St Neots
PE19 6NG
Telephone number 01480 375600
Fax number 01480 375601
Email address reveal email: off…

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Inspection team

Joseph Peacock Additional inspector
Gillian Bosschaert Additional inspector

This inspection was carried out with two days’ notice. The inspection team spent six
and a half hours visiting 13 lessons and observing eight teachers. Inspectors took
account of the responses to the on-line questionnaire (Parent View) in planning the
inspection. They held meetings with the headteacher, representatives of the
governing body and staff, and talked to pupils. Inspectors observed the school’s
work, and looked at school planning, assessment data and pupils’ completed work.
They assessed the quality of the school’s documentation, including minutes of
meetings of the governing body, improvement planning and policies relating to

safeguarding and children’s welfare. The inspectors scrutinised 91 questionnaires

returned by parents and carers, and those returned by staff and pupils.

Information about the school

The school is slightly smaller than the average-sized primary school. The proportion
of pupils from a variety of minority ethnic backgrounds is well below average and
very few speak English as an additional language. The proportion of disabled pupils
and those who have special educational needs is broadly average. The number of
pupils known to be eligible for free school meals is below average. A new
headteacher started in September 2011, along with two acting deputy headteachers,
who share the role for half of the week each. The school meets the current floor
standards, through which the government sets the minimum expectations for pupils’
attainment and progress.
The school has Healthy Schools status. The administrative base for St Neots Rural

Children’s Centre is located at the school and Little Paxton Pre-school sessions are

held there every morning and afternoons from Monday to Thursday. Both of these
settings are inspected separately.

Inspection judgements

Overall effectiveness 1
Achievement of pupils 1
Quality of teaching 1
Behaviour and safety of pupils 1
Leadership and management 1

Key findings

  • This is an outstanding school. It has improved significantly from its previous
    inspection, largely as a result of highly effective leadership, management and
  • Pupils’ good and often excellent progress is being maintained in each key stage
    and the cumulative effect is outstanding achievement for most pupils from their
    starting points. Pupils have a particularly good start in Reception because of the
    well-managed provision and good teaching. By the end of Year 6, attainment is
    consistently high in reading and mathematics. In 2011, however, no boy
    attained the higher level for his age in writing and so overall attainment in
    English was held at above average. Pupils’ skills when using computers are
    exceptionally high.
  • Outstanding teaching over time results in exceptional progress and high
    standards. However, during the inspection, some teaching did not challenge
    sufficiently the older and more able pupils who then made less progress than
    they could. Able boys, for example, were not ‘pushed’ to attain the highest
    possible standards in writing. The teaching for the few disabled pupils and
    those with special educational needs is excellent and results in these pupils
    making outstanding progress.
  • High levels of attendance for the past three years show how much pupils enjoy
    coming to school. Their highly positive attitudes and excellent work-related
    behaviour add significantly to their progress and achievement. Pupils are
    adamant that they feel safe, cared for and valued.
  • The headteacher provides inspirational and visionary leadership. Staff and
    governors work as a cohesive team to identify any weaknesses and bring about
    improvement. Management systems to evaluate teaching and learning are well-
    embedded and highly effective. The excellent management of performance is
    ensuring that pupils’ high overall attainment is being sustained and that the
    school has a strong capacity to go on improving.

What does the school need to do to improve further?

  • Sustain and extend pupils’ outstanding achievements by;
    - ensuring that there is always sufficient challenge for older pupils in the
    mixed-age classes
    - improving opportunities for boys to attain higher skills in writing.

Main report

Achievement of pupils

Children enter the Reception class with knowledge and skills that are generally below
those expected for their age. Boys tend to be behind girls in early writing skills.
There is a strong emphasis in all activities indoors and in the small but well-organised
outdoor area on developing writing, with children encouraged to finger trace large
letters and make lists using clipboards. Daily sessions to learn letters and their
sounds (phonics) are effective in ensuring most children make rapid progress and are
able to spell out and write simple words accurately and independently by the time
they transfer to Year 1. The effective leadership and management of this key stage
ensure that most children make progress that is at least good, and for some
outstanding. Attainment is just above the level expected in all six areas of learning at
the end of the Reception year. The gap between boys and girls in writing is not as
marked, with many boys having made excellent progress to catch up.
Pupils maintain their strong progress through Key Stages 1 and 2. By the end of Year
2, attainment in reading, writing and mathematics is well above average and has
been successfully maintained at this level for the past four years. Pupils build well on
the firm foundations laid in Reception. Most are secure in the links between sounds
and letters or groups of letters due to the effective teaching of phonics. High
attainment has also become the norm in reading and mathematics by the end of
Year 6. While remaining firmly above average, overall standards in English are not
quite so high. Improving skills for boys to enable more to achieve above average
standards in writing is currently a priority. A scrutiny of pupils’ work shows that
writing has a high profile. Boys produced balanced arguments about graffiti following
discussions and role play scenarios, for example. There is a good volume of work
showing that boys experience many different genres of writing, from check lists to
writing instructions. It is, however, still too soon for this early success to feed
through to overall standards in English.
The achievement of disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs is
outstanding. Staff analyse these pupils’ progress in depth and accurately identify
their individual learning needs each half term. Another key factor is the highly
effective way the provision is led and managed by the special educational needs
coordinator, ably supported by the inclusion worker. Teachers and teaching
assistants use assessment information effectively to ensure all pupils have
appropriate support and challenge. The very few with English as an additional
language are well supported and make better progress than similar pupils nationally.
In their questionnaires, parents and carers were very positive about the progress
their children make. The vast majority of pupils agree that they learn a lot in lessons
and school helps them to do as well as they can. Inspection evidence fully supports
the high levels of approval and confidence expressed by parents, carers and pupils

Quality of teaching

Parents, carers and pupils agree that teaching is a strength, sustaining high
standards. A typical comment from pupils was, ‘Teachers support you and don’t give
up on you’. Inspection evidence supports these highly positive views. In examples of
outstanding teaching seen during the inspection, the pace, challenge and rapport
between pupils and staff enabled many pupils to make significant gains. Interesting,
exciting tasks, such as a science experiment on shadows, with torches shining
through different materials, or a writing task with a pirate theme performed outdoors
near the model pirate boat, encouraged pupils to work hard, succeed and make
valuable gains. However, in a small minority of lessons, teachers did not plan
sufficiently challenging work for more able or older pupils in the mixed-age classes.
As a result, the progress of these pupils in lessons seen during the inspection was
not always as good as it should have been. Teachers have excellent strategies for

managing pupils’ behaviour and class charters outlining high expectations of conduct

have a significant effect on pupils’ moral and social development.
The good quality of teaching in the Early Years Foundation Stage ensures that most
children make good progress. Children thoroughly enjoy using apparatus in the hall
to walk the plank like pirates or create waves with a blue cloth. Their pirate ship
created from a large cardboard box was a source of pride in the classroom. Disabled
pupils and those who have special educational needs make outstanding progress
because their progress is frequently assessed and relevant, and additional support is
provided when necessary. For example, pupils absolutely love the Sensory Circuit
sessions every morning led expertly by specially trained teaching assistants. The
calming effect at the end of each session removes tensions and helps prepare pupils
for learning in lessons.
Staff make good use of class computers to promote reading, writing and research
skills. This is a strength of current curriculum arrangements that has a positive
impact on the overall quality of teaching and learning.

Behaviour and safety of pupils

‘From the caretaker to the headmistress, everyone has a smile’ was a typical

comment from parents. It helps explain why pupils enjoy school so much and have
few concerns about behaviour in lessons, which is exemplary. Pupils work

exceptionally well in groups or with their partners and clearly respect one another’s

views and opinions. Teachers have very few problems with discipline as pupils listen

attentively and are quick to respond to class instructions. Pupils’ excellent attitudes

to learning and their willingness to work hard to complete tasks are key factors in
sustaining high attainment. A small number of parents and carers expressed
concerns about disruption to learning by some pupils. Inspectors found that the
atmosphere for learning in lessons was almost universally excellent because adults
successfully encouraged and motivated all pupils to do their best.
Excellent relationships between adults and pupils are evident in lessons and around
the school. All pupils say that they feel safe and every parent or carer who
responded agrees that the school keeps their children safe. Some pupils expressed

concerns about other pupils’ behaviour during breaktimes but all are happy about

how quickly any form of bullying or intimidating behaviour is dealt with by staff. Most
incidents are very minor and do not detract from pupils’ immense enjoyment of
school, which is evident from their consistently high rates of attendance.

Leadership and management

There has been no decline in standards since the arrival of the new senior leadership
team and there is evidence that the pace of school improvement has accelerated.
Staff work effectively as a team, inspired by the energy, enthusiasm and
commitment of the headteacher and two acting deputy headteachers. Their strategy

of ‘Joined-up thinking’ ensures areas to improve are identified and precise plans put

in place to bring about improvement. This is followed by rigorous assessment of the
progress being made on these issues, with a thorough review of the termly
operational plan. Levels of accountability are high because this review involves all
staff and governors. This shared responsibility and strong links between each step in
the process ensure that virtually all action to bring about improvement results in
success. For example, a current school priority is to further increase the proportion of
good and outstanding teaching. Effective performance management has already
resulted in a higher proportion.
Staff are supported and challenged effectively by a governing body, which has a
wide range of professional expertise. Its members regularly check all aspects of the

school’s work and their monitoring reports clearly areas for improvement. This

challenging approach is consolidating the school’s good capacity for sustained
improvement in the future.
The curriculum is highly effective in promoting pupils’ spiritual, moral and social
development. This is reflected in their extremely positive attitudes, strong
relationships and generally excellent behaviour. Most have a good understanding of
cultures other than their own through topic work and visitors such as a steel band
from Tobago. Pupils are knowledgeable about and respectful of celebrations in other
religions throughout the world. Links are being developed with a school in Sierra
Leone to further enhance pupils’ cultural development.
The curriculum is constantly evolving. Staff modify the curriculum to ensure it
remains exciting, interesting and relevant to pupils. Their success is reflected in the
sustained high attainment in reading and numeracy skills and pupils’ enjoyment of
school. Music and using computers have a high profile and are integrated effectively
into each topic. Pupils have the opportunity to learn to speak French, Spanish and
Portuguese, and many attend the good range of after-school clubs.
Effective arrangements for safeguarding pupils reflect the high level of care by staff.
The inclusion worker does sterling work helping to promote the excellent partnership
the school has with parents and carers. Those who responded to the questionnaire
were almost unanimous about recommending the school to other parents.


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 September 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.

29 February 2012
Dear Pupils

Inspection of Little Paxton Primary School, St Neots, PE19 6NG

Thank you for your welcome when we inspected your school. We enjoyed our time
with you very much. A special thank you goes to those of you who shared your views
with us. You told us that you feel extremely safe and well cared for and we found
evidence to support this view in lessons and around the school.
We judged that your school is outstanding. You clearly enjoy school enormously and
behave exceptionally well in lessons. Staff do an excellent job making sure no-one
feels upset and everyone can enjoy school. We found that the things you learn about
in lessons are very well-planned, challenging and interesting. Many of you told us
how much you like your teachers and how they make learning fun. Teaching at your
school is outstanding and this makes sure that you all do exceptionally well,
achieving high standards by the time you leave in Year 6.
Your headteacher, all the staff and governors work exceptionally well as a team in
leading and organising the school. Every member of staff is involved in arrangements
to check how well you are doing and to find anything that is not as good as it should
be. As a result, you make excellent progress throughout and your achievement is
outstanding. In most lessons, you make full use of your excellent reading,
mathematics and computer skills. However, not enough boys are achieving above
average standards in writing so we are asking your teachers to find ways to put this
right and plan better opportunities to promote these skills in lessons. We are also
asking your teachers to make sure the tasks that they plan for older pupils are
always challenging and lead to all of you making at least good progress in your
We hope that you will continue to work hard to maintain the high standards that you
achieve. Your excellent attendance is a credit to you all. Congratulations on what you
have achieved and best wishes for the future.
Yours sincerely
Joseph Peacock
Lead inspector


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