School etc

Lower Farm Primary School

Lower Farm Primary School
Bakewell Close
Bloxwich
Walsall
West Midlands
WS33QH

01922 710479

Headteacher: Mr S G Baker

School holidays for Lower Farm Primary School via Walsall council

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406 pupils aged 2—10y mixed gender
418 pupils capacity: 97% full

200 boys 49%

≤ 254a84b64c105y266y247y328y209y2410y28

205 girls 50%

4a74b64c105y346y207y288y339y3310y21

Last updated: June 18, 2014


Primary — Community School

URN
104169
Education phase
Primary
Establishment type
Community School
Establishment #
2042
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
Area
Urban > 10k - less sparse
Investor in People
Committed IiP Status
Free school meals %
11.60

Rooms & flats to rent in Walsall

Schools nearby

  1. 0.4 miles Millfields Nursery School WS33LU (86 pupils)
  2. 0.4 miles Little Bloxwich CofE VC Primary School WS33DL (197 pupils)
  3. 0.4 miles T P Riley Community School WS33LX
  4. 0.4 miles Walsall Academy WS33LX (1141 pupils)
  5. 0.6 miles St Peter's Catholic Primary School, Bloxwich WS33LY (226 pupils)
  6. 0.7 miles Bloxwich CofE Primary School WS33LP (304 pupils)
  7. 0.7 miles All Saints Academy WS33LP
  8. 0.9 miles Sandbank Nursery School WS32HR (121 pupils)
  9. 0.9 miles Green Rock Primary School WS31NP
  10. 0.9 miles Rivers Primary Academy WS31NP (195 pupils)
  11. 1 mile Valley Nursery School WS31HT (84 pupils)
  12. 1 mile Elmore Green Primary School WS32HW (313 pupils)
  13. 1 mile The Ruiz Centre WS33JF
  14. 1.1 mile Blakenall Heath Junior School WS33JF (198 pupils)
  15. 1.1 mile Mossley Junior School WS32SQ
  16. 1.1 mile Mossley Infant School WS32SF
  17. 1.1 mile Abbey Primary School WS32RP (211 pupils)
  18. 1.1 mile Pelsall Village School WS34NJ (332 pupils)
  19. 1.1 mile St Michael's Church of England C Primary School WS34JJ (369 pupils)
  20. 1.1 mile Pelsall Junior School WS34NJ
  21. 1.1 mile Pelsall Infant School WS34AF
  22. 1.1 mile Mossley Primary School WS32SQ
  23. 1.1 mile Jubilee Academy Mossley WS32SQ (235 pupils)
  24. 1.2 mile Sunshine Infant and Nursery School WS31HF (227 pupils)

List of schools in Walsall

Ofsted report transcript

School report

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
lessons.
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
national average.
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.
themselves safe.
Governors thoroughly question senior leaders
about the quality of teaching and pupils’
progress.
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.

Inspection team

James Henry, Lead inspector Additional Inspector
Lucy Maughan Additional Inspector
Roisin Chambers Additional Inspector

Full report

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
    national average.
  • 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.

Inspection judgements

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
    mathematics.
  • 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
    lessons.
  • 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
    improve.
  • 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
    lessons.
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
    playground.
  • 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
    performance.
  • 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
    together.
  • 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

School

Grade Judgement Description
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
improvement
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.

School details

Unique reference number 104169
Local authority Walsall
Inspection number 442532

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
Number of pupils on the school roll 418
Appropriate authority The governing body
Chair Nigel Ford
Headteacher Sarah Milner
Date of previous school inspection 7–8 November 2012
Telephone number 01922 710479
Fax number 01922 491939
Email address postbox@lower-farm.walsall.sch.uk

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