Lower Farm Primary School
phone: 01922 710479
headteacher: Mr S G Baker
418 pupils capacity: 97% full
200 boys 49%
205 girls 50%
Last updated: June 18, 2014
Primary — Community School
- Education phase
- Establishment type
- Community School
- Establishment #
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 400210, Northing: 303451
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 52.629, Longitude: -1.9983
- Accepting pupils
- 3—11 years old
- Census date
- Jan. 16, 2014
- Ofsted last inspection
- May 20, 2014
- Region › Const. › Ward
- West Midlands › Walsall North › Bloxwich East
- Urban > 10k - less sparse
- Investor in People
- Committed IiP Status
- Free school meals %
- 0.4 miles Millfields Nursery School WS33LU (86 pupils)
- 0.4 miles Little Bloxwich CofE VC Primary School WS33DL (197 pupils)
- 0.4 miles T P Riley Community School WS33LX
- 0.4 miles Walsall Academy WS33LX (1141 pupils)
- 0.6 miles St Peter's Catholic Primary School, Bloxwich WS33LY (226 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Bloxwich CofE Primary School WS33LP (304 pupils)
- 0.7 miles All Saints Academy WS33LP
- 0.9 miles Sandbank Nursery School WS32HR (121 pupils)
- 0.9 miles Green Rock Primary School WS31NP
- 0.9 miles Rivers Primary Academy WS31NP (195 pupils)
- 1 mile Valley Nursery School WS31HT (84 pupils)
- 1 mile Elmore Green Primary School WS32HW (313 pupils)
- 1 mile The Ruiz Centre WS33JF
- 1.1 mile Blakenall Heath Junior School WS33JF (198 pupils)
- 1.1 mile Mossley Junior School WS32SQ
- 1.1 mile Mossley Infant School WS32SF
- 1.1 mile Abbey Primary School WS32RP (211 pupils)
- 1.1 mile Pelsall Village School WS34NJ (332 pupils)
- 1.1 mile St Michael's Church of England C Primary School WS34JJ (369 pupils)
- 1.1 mile Pelsall Junior School WS34NJ
- 1.1 mile Pelsall Infant School WS34AF
- 1.1 mile Mossley Primary School WS32SQ
- 1.1 mile Jubilee Academy Mossley WS32SQ (235 pupils)
- 1.2 mile Sunshine Infant and Nursery School WS31HF (227 pupils)
Lower Farm Primary School
Bakewell Close, Bloxwich, Walsall, WS3 3QH
|Inspection dates||20–21 May 2014|
|Overall effectiveness||This inspection:||Good||2|
|Previous inspection:||Requires improvement||3|
|Achievement of pupils||Good||2|
|Quality of teaching||Good||2|
|Behaviour and safety of pupils||Good||2|
|Leadership and management||Good||2|
Summary of key findings for parents and pupils
This is a good school.
It is not yet an outstanding school because
| The headteacher, senior leaders and the |
The headteacher and senior leaders
Teaching is consistently good, with teachers
Pupils make good progress overall in reading,
Pupils leave the school at the end of Year 6
governing body have focused successfully on
improving teaching and pupils’ learning. As a
result, the school has improved significantly
since its last inspection.
rigorously check on the quality of teaching.
They provide staff with good advice that is
helping teachers improve pupils’ learning in
planning activities well to match the abilities
of different groups of pupils.
writing and mathematics across the school.
with attainment that is well above the
| Pupils’ behaviour is good. Pupils are generally |
Pupils say they feel safe in school and that
The school works well to help pupils keep
The governing body knows the school well.
polite and courteous to each other and the
adults in the school.
they have confidence in staff to deal with any
bullying if it does happen.
Governors thoroughly question senior leaders
about the quality of teaching and pupils’
| There are times when teachers do not adapt |
Teaching assistants are not always used
their teaching to help pupils learn quicker.
effectively in lessons to help pupils learn.
| Boys’ progress in writing in Key Stage 1 is not |
Subject leaders do not regularly check on the
as rapid as it is in reading and mathematics.
quality of teaching and give advice that would
help teachers improve.
Information about this inspection
- Inspectors visited 27 lessons and part lessons and observed 16 teachers. The headteacher and
lead inspector visited four part lessons together.
- Inspectors analysed school assessment records showing pupils’ progress; senior leaders’
judgements about the quality of teaching; action plans to improve the school; procedures to
safeguard pupils; and documents showing the work of the governing body.
- Inspectors looked at pupils’ work and heard a number of pupils read.
- Inspectors held meetings with teachers and senior leaders, members of the governing body, a
representative from the local authority and a group of pupils.
- Inspectors took account of 39 parents’ responses to Ofsted’s Parent View survey.
- Inspectors took account of 45 staff questionnaires completed by teachers and support staff
members during the inspection.
|James Henry, Lead inspector||Additional Inspector|
|Lucy Maughan||Additional Inspector|
|Roisin Chambers||Additional Inspector|
Information about this school
- Lower Farm is larger than the average-sized primary school.
- Most pupils are White British and speak English as their first language.
- The proportion of pupils known to be eligible for the pupil premium, which provides additional
funding for children in local authority care or pupils known to be eligible for free school meals, is
below the national average.
- The proportion of disabled pupils and those with special educational needs supported through
school action is broadly in line with the national average. The proportion supported through
school action plus or with a statement of special educational needs is broadly in line with the
- The school meets the government’s current floor standards which set the minimum expectations
for pupils’ attainment and progress in reading, writing and mathematics by the end of Year 6.
What does the school need to do to improve further?
- Improve the quality of teaching so that it is outstanding by ensuring that:
all teachers adjust their teaching when necessary to help pupils learn quicker
teachers always use the teaching assistants in the school effectively to support pupils’ learning
subject leaders check on the quality of teaching more often so that they can provide teachers
with advice and share ideas that would make pupils’ learning in lessons regularly outstanding.
- Increase boys’ progress in writing, particularly across Key Stage 1, by providing boys with more:
chances to write at length and in different ways in a range of subjects
topics that regularly interest boys and that motivate them to write.
|The achievement of pupils||is good|
- School assessments, pupils’ work and observations in lessons show that different groups of
pupils, including White British pupils, make good progress overall across the school. Attainment
has regularly been well above the national average at the end of Years 2 and 6.
- The most able pupils make good progress because teachers plan activities that provide enough
challenge to help them learn quickly. As a result, the proportion of pupils achieving the higher
levels at the end of Years 2 and 6 is well above the national average, especially in reading and
- Disabled pupils and those with special educational needs make good progress because teachers
check their progress carefully and plan activities that match their abilities.
- Pupils supported by additional funding make the same good progress in reading, writing and
mathematics as other groups in the school.
- The achievement gap for pupils supported by additional funding is closing. In 2013 this group of
pupils left the school at the end of Year 6 approximately two terms behind other pupils in English
and mathematics. This compares well with results in 2012, when pupils supported by additional
funding in Year 6 left the school three terms behind their peers. Reliable school assessments,
particularly across Key Stage 2, show that this gap is continuing to close.
- Children enter the Early Years Foundation Stage with skills and abilities below those expected for
their age. They make good progress in their learning and development and enter Year 1 ready
to learn the different subjects taught.
- All groups of pupils make good progress in reading. The school has a good scheme to develop
pupils’ early reading skills through blending sounds together. This helps pupils break down and
read unfamiliar words.
- Pupils’ work shows that all groups of pupils make good progress in mathematics, especially in
developing their basic number and problem-solving skills.
- Progress in writing is not as quick as reading and mathematics for some boys across Years 1 and
2. Work in boys’ books, especially in Key Stage 1, shows that boys do not write at length and in
different ways in subjects such as history and geography. Topics that would interest boys are
not consistently used to motivate them to write.
|The quality of teaching||is good|
- Pupils’ work shows that teachers consistently plan lessons that match the abilities of different
groups, including disabled pupils and those with special educational needs and the more able, so
that pupils learn quickly.
- School assessments and inspectors’ observations show that children are taught well in the Early
Years Foundation Stage. From below-expected starting points in their skills and abilities, children
catch up quickly.
- All groups of pupils, including pupils supported by additional funding, make good progress
overall. Teachers measure their progress regularly and use these assessments to give extra
support to pupils who may be falling behind, to help them catch up quickly.
- Teaching assistants are used well out of classrooms to support small targeted groups and
individual pupils, especially disabled pupils and those with special educational needs, to ensure
they make good progress.
- Teachers do not always, however, use teaching assistants fully to support pupils’ learning in
- Teachers give pupils targets in writing and mathematics linked to the levels at which they are
working. Pupils appreciate this because they say it helps them to know what they have to do
- The marking of pupils’ work is good. Teachers regularly give pupils advice on how to improve
their work and pupils are given the chance to act on the guidance.
- Pupils understand clearly what they are meant to learn in lessons because teachers use
questioning well. They use their good subject knowledge to give clear explanations in order, for
example, to correct any misunderstandings pupils may have.
- Occasionally, teachers do not adapt their teaching in response to pupils’ progress and
understanding of what pupils are learning. As a result, pupils’ learning slows in a minority of
|The behaviour and safety of pupils||are good|
- The behaviour of pupils is good. Pupils are pleasant and well-mannered to one another and to
the adults in the school.
- Pupils say that behaviour is typically good around the school, in the dinner hall and in the
- Pupils are eager to learn, although sometimes their attention and concentration can wander
when teachers have not adapted activities sufficiently to take account of pupils’ progress.
- The responses from parents to the Ofsted survey support this view, with most parents agreeing
that the school makes sure pupils behave well.
- The school has effective systems for managing pupils’ behaviour. This is based on an
appropriate balance between rewards and sanctions and is used consistently by staff.
- Senior leaders regularly check on pupils’ behaviour and have brought in new ideas to help to
stop poor behaviour occurring. For example, the introduction of a wide range of lunch-time
sporting activities engages pupils in games and helps to develop their social skills.
- The school works effectively to improve attendance. This has risen since the last inspection and
is now broadly in line with the national average.
- The school’s work to keep pupils safe and secure is good.
- Pupils say they feel safe in school because there is little bullying. They have a good
understanding of the different types of bullying and have confidence in staff to deal with any
instances of bullying if it does happen.
- All the parents who responded to the Ofsted survey agreed that their children feel safe in school.
- The school helps pupils to keep themselves safe through activities such as its anti-bullying week,
visits from the police to talk about ‘Stranger Danger’, and road safety and e-safety workshops
for pupils and parents.
|The leadership and management||are good|
- Since the last inspection, the headteacher, senior leaders and the governing body have taken
robust action to improve teaching and pupils’ learning.
- The headteacher and senior leaders rigorously check on the quality of teaching and provide
effective feedback to help teachers improve their teaching. Consequently, teaching has improved
since the last inspection and is now consistently good.
- Senior leaders and teachers themselves carefully monitor the progress of different groups of
pupils, especially pupils supported by additional funding. This helps senior leaders to check that
the gap in attainment for these pupils is being closed. This is an example of how the school
ensures all groups of pupils have an equal opportunity to succeed.
- The school has good systems to manage the performance of staff. Following discussions with
senior leaders, teachers are given targets for pupils’ progress that are reviewed regularly. This is
linked to appropriate professional training to help teachers improve their teaching skills. The
headteacher makes sure that any pay increases for teachers are closely linked to their
- Teachers who are responsible for different subjects do not regularly observe teaching. This limits
their opportunities to provide teachers with advice and to share ideas that would make pupils’
progress in lessons regularly outstanding.
- The additional sports funding is used to employ a ‘health mentor’ to develop sporting activities
for pupils and to work with staff to improve their ability to teach physical education. The
difference this is making is being carefully checked by a senior leader and is having a positive
impact on the health and emotional well-being of pupils. An increasing number of pupils are
taking part in different activities, there are fewer incidents of poor behaviour, and staff are more
able to teach physical education lessons effectively.
- The different activities and subjects taught in the school are well balanced and promote pupils’
spiritual, moral, social and cultural development effectively.
- Pupils take part in a variety of sporting and musical activities. The choir sings at different venues
and pupils have opportunities to learn to play different musical instruments.
- Pupils visit places of religious and cultural interest, such as the local mosque and Anglican
church, with the vicar leading assemblies. Pupils from different backgrounds get on well
- Older pupils are given different roles and responsibilities around school, with pupils choosing and
raising money for different local and national charities. This is an example of how the school
fosters good relations within the community.
- The local authority provides effective light touch support for the school.
- The school has robust procedures to help keep pupils safe. Staff have regular child protection
training and are appropriately checked before working in the school.
- The governance of the school:
Members of the governing body have a good understanding of how the school is doing
compared with other schools nationally, including with regard to pupils’ achievement. They
question senior leaders about the progress of different groups of pupils, including pupils
supported by additional funding. This ensures that the additional funding is helping to improve
the progress of this group of pupils. Governors check on the quality of teaching by
undertaking different activities with senior leaders, such as visits to classrooms and looking at
pupils’ work. They know that there are good systems for managing the performance of staff,
including the headteacher. They understand how, for example, any promotions or salary rises
are justified by good performance and how any weaker teaching is being tackled. Governors
undertake regular training to help them fulfil their roles successfully. The governing body
makes sure that the school meets all its legal requirements, including ensuring that
safeguarding policies and procedures are updated and reviewed regularly.
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 employment.
|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 Ofsted inspectors.
|Unique reference number||104169|
This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.
|Type of school||Primary|
|Age range of pupils||3–11|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Number of pupils on the school roll||418|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Date of previous school inspection||7–8 November 2012|
|Telephone number||01922 710479|
|Fax number||01922 491939|
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