Orchards Church of England Primary School
phone: 01945 583799
headteacher: Mrs Nicola Parker
630 pupils capacity: 71% full
235 boys 52%
215 girls 48%
Last updated: June 20, 2014
Primary — Voluntary Controlled School
- Education phase
- Religious character
- Church of England
- Establishment type
- Voluntary Controlled School
- Establishment #
- Open date
- Sept. 1, 2003
- Reason open
- Result of Amalgamation
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 546494, Northing: 311075
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 52.678, Longitude: 0.16541
- Accepting pupils
- 5—11 years old
- Census date
- Jan. 16, 2014
- Ofsted last inspection
- June 19, 2013
- Diocese of Ely
- Region › Const. › Ward
- East of England › North East Cambridgeshire › Waterlees
- Urban > 10k - less sparse
- Free school meals %
- St Augustine CofE VC Infant School PE133NP
- 0.1 miles The Gordon Fendick Junior School PE133PD
- 0.6 miles Clarkson Infants School PE132ES (239 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Peckover Primary School PE131PJ
- 0.7 miles St Peter's CofE Aided Junior School PE132ES (249 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Peckover Primary School PE131PJ (359 pupils)
- 0.7 miles St Peter's CofE Aided Junior School PE132ES
- 1 mile The Nene Infant School PE132AP
- 1 mile St Audrey's Convent School PE131HW
- 1 mile Advanced Education- Wisbech School & Vocational Centre PE131JF (25 pupils)
- 1 mile Advanced Education - Rose House PE131JJ
- 1 mile The Nene Infant School PE132AP (183 pupils)
- 1.1 mile Ramnoth Junior School PE132JB
- 1.1 mile Wisbech Grammar School PE131JX (586 pupils)
- 1.1 mile Ramnoth Junior School PE132JB (209 pupils)
- 1.2 mile Leverington Community Primary School PE135DD
- 1.2 mile Elm Road Primary School PE132TB (242 pupils)
- 1.2 mile Isle College PE132JE
- 1.2 mile Leverington Primary Academy PE135DE (213 pupils)
- 1.3 mile On Track Training Centre PE132RJ (12 pupils)
- 1.5 mile Meadowgate School PE132JH (149 pupils)
- 1.6 mile The Queen's School PE132SE
- 1.6 mile West Walton Community Primary School PE147HA (230 pupils)
- 1.6 mile Marshland High School PE147HA (757 pupils)
Orchards Church of England
Cherry Road, Wisbech, PE13 3NP
|Inspection dates||19–20 May 2015|
|Overall effectiveness||This inspection:||Requires improvement||3|
|Previous inspection:||Requires improvement||3|
|Leadership and management||Requires improvement||3|
|Behaviour and safety of pupils||Good||2|
|Quality of teaching||Requires improvement||3|
|Achievement of pupils||Requires improvement||3|
|Early years provision||Good||2|
Summary of key findings for parents and pupils
This is a school that requires improvement.
The school has the following strengths
| Leaders and governors have ensured steady |
Leaders and teachers do not always expect
Pupils’ progress is not consistently strong across
The support given to teachers has not ensured
rather than rapid improvement in pupils’
achievement and the quality of provision since the
enough of pupils and the attainment that they
could potentially reach. Consequently, not all
pupils fulfil their potential academically.
the school and their achievement requires
that the quality of teaching is consistently good.
| Teachers sometimes give work to pupils that is too |
Teachers do not give pupils the right level of
Subject leaders do not do enough to improve the
The governing body does not provide enough
hard for the less able or too easy for the most able.
guidance so that they know how to improve their
work for themselves and do not repeat errors.
quality of teaching and pupils’ learning in their
challenge to help the school improve more quickly.
| Leaders care well for pupils from a diverse range |
Children get off to a good start in the early years.
of backgrounds. Consequently, there is a happy
atmosphere in school and pupils feel safe.
They make good progress in the Nursery and
Reception classes because they are taught well.
| Newly arrived pupils from overseas settle well and |
Pupils behave well. They are tolerant and respectful
Pupils enjoy school, particularly the high number of
quickly become confident in speaking English.
of each other and are kind and caring.
visits, visitors and clubs that enrich learning and
bring subjects alive.
Information about this inspection
- The inspectors observed pupils’ learning in 22 lessons, seven of which were observed jointly with the
headteacher or the deputy headteacher. In addition, the inspectors made some short visits to lessons.
- Discussions were held with pupils, staff, a representative from the local authority and members of the
- The inspectors took account of the views of the 10 parents and carers who responded to the online
questionnaire, Parent View. Inspectors also analysed the school’s own surveys of parental views and talked
to parents at the end of the school day.
- The inspectors observed the school’s work, heard pupils read and looked at a number of documents,
including: the school’s own information about pupils’ learning and progress; planning and monitoring
documents; the school development plan; minutes of governing body meetings: records relating to
behaviour and attendance; safeguarding information; and health and safety documentation.
- The inspectors analysed the 52 questionnaire responses from staff.
|Michael Capper, Lead inspector||Additional Inspector *|
|Vreta Bagilhole||Additional Inspector|
|Julie Dent||Additional Inspector|
Information about this school
- This is larger than the average-sized primary school.
- Children in the early years are taught full time in one of four Reception classes and part time in the
- Around half of pupils are White British. Most other pupils have Eastern European backgrounds. The
proportion of pupils who speak English as an additional language is high. The main home languages for
these pupils are Lithuanian and Polish.
- An above-average proportion of pupils join or leave the school during each year. Many of those pupils who
arrive during the year are new to the country and do not speak English.
- The proportion of disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs is above the national
- The proportion of disadvantaged pupils supported though the pupil premium is much higher than the
national average. The pupil premium is additional government funding for pupils known to be eligible for
free school meals and for children who are looked after by the local authority.
- The school meets the government’s current floor standards, which set the minimum expectations for
pupils’ attainment and progress.
- The school is due to increase in size over the next two years and there was ongoing building work taking
place during the inspection to prepare for this.
- There have been a high number of changes in staffing since the previous inspection.
What does the school need to do to improve further?
- Improve the quality of teaching and pupils’ achievement by ensuring that:
teachers always expect enough of the quality of pupils when they are working
the work given to pupils is not too hard or too easy
pupils are given clear guidance about how to improve their work.
- Improve leadership and management by ensuring that:
leaders’ expectations of what pupils can achieve are consistently high
teachers are given more support and training to secure more rapid improvement in the quality of
subject and other leaders are fully involved in securing the needed improvements in teaching and
the governing body appropriately challenges leaders and helps to drive school improvement.
An external review of governance should be undertaken in order to assess how this aspect of leadership and
management may be improved.
|The leadership and management||requires improvement|
- While securing some improvements, senior leaders have not yet established consistently good teaching
and learning across the school. The pace of change has been slowed by staffing changes. These have
made it difficult to establish a culture where pupils can flourish academically as well as socially.
- Leaders’ expectations are too low for the levels of attainment that can be reached by pupils.
Consequently, pupils’ achievement across the school is not consistently good. Leaders know that they
have not done enough to ensure that pupils make good progress.
- The leadership and management of teaching require improvement. Senior leaders have not yet secured
sufficient improvement in the quality of teaching and too many inconsistencies remain. The headteacher
and the deputy headteacher provide individual support where teaching is not yet good. Teachers are held
to account through challenging targets that are closely linked to improving pupils’ progress. Pupils’ books
show that this is beginning to have an impact. There is more good teaching than at the time of the
previous inspection and progress, while not yet good, is beginning to pick up.
- Middle leaders, such as those in charge of subjects, are keen and enthusiastic. However, they have not
done enough to tackle inconsistencies in provision; for example, in the quality of teachers’ marking. The
impact of their efforts have not been translated into sufficiently improved achievement for all pupils.
- Early years provision is well led and managed. Leaders check provision regularly and very carefully. As a
result, they have a good understanding of what is going well and what still needs improving.
- Leaders work closely with parents to involve then fully in school life. Most parents are happy with the
school. They are particularly positive about the way that leaders provide a secure, safe and happy
environment for pupils from often challenging circumstances. Typical comments from parents included,
‘My child loves school’ and ‘Staff always help us if we have a problem.’
- Additional government funding to promote physical education and sport is used successfully to promote
pupils’ well-being. A sports coach provides skilful teaching and is helping to improve the skills of teachers.
Pupils enjoy physical activity and participate enthusiastically in sporting activities, both in and out of
- The rich and varied curriculum (topics and the subjects taught) provides pupils with a wealth of interesting
activities. It rightly focuses on developing pupils’ basic skills in literacy and numeracy, but this is not
securing good progress across the school. Visits, visitors and clubs greatly enrich learning and make a
strong contribution to pupils’ enjoyment of school and their spiritual, moral, social and cultural
- Leaders successfully promote British values such as tolerance and respect. Leaders do not accept any
discriminatory behaviour and they ensure that pupils also know how important this is. Pupils are kind to
each other and get on well together, whatever their background. Visits from a local Member of Parliament
have helped to bring modern democracy alive. Older pupils are very keen to visit the House of Commons
so that they can see democracy in action. These activities prepare the pupils well for life in modern
- The local authority has provided effective support, enabling the school to improve over the last two years.
- Safeguarding arrangements meet statutory requirements and are effective. Members of staff have up-to-
date and thorough training in caring for young pupils. Arrangements for keeping pupils safe during on-
going building work are very thorough.
- The governance of the school:
Governors are keen and supportive but they do not provide enough challenge to school leaders. Some
governors are fully involved in checking provision for themselves but responsibility for doing this is not
shared widely enough.
Governors receive good information from the headteacher on pupils’ progress and the quality of
teaching. This means that they understand where teaching is stronger or weaker, and how well the
school is performing in comparison with others. They are supporting the headteacher in improving
teaching and tackling underperformance. Through performance management arrangements, they
ensure that only good teaching is rewarded financially.
Governors keep a watchful eye on spending. They have taken good account of the needs of the local
community by, for example, appointing bilingual staff who can work with pupils and liaise with parents.
Governors check that the pupil premium is being used appropriately. They ensure that the additional
support given to these pupils is helping to narrow the gap between the attainment of eligible pupils and
|The behaviour and safety of pupils||are good|
- The behaviour of pupils is good. Pupils work well together. They support each other in the classroom or
when playing outside. They work hard and they enjoy coming to school. These good attitudes have a
positive impact on their learning.
- The small number of pupils who, at times, find it hard to regulate their own behaviour, are very well
supported by additional adults such as those in the ‘well-being’ team. They are particularly skilled in
helping these pupils to improve and change their behaviour so that it does not impact on others.
- Pupils conduct themselves well in school. In the early years, children confident, showing good self-reliance
as they choose where to work. They concentrate well and thoroughly enjoy their work. Across the school,
pupils are polite and courteous and have good manners.
- Pupils enthusiastically take responsibility. For example, school councillors make a good contribution to
school life. Newly arrived pupils report that they quickly make new friends because the school gives them
‘buddies’ to help then settle. The ‘buddies’ take their responsibility very seriously.
- The school checks attendance rigorously and any absences are followed up quickly. Consequently,
attendance has improved and, in the current year, is close to national averages. The school is using a
wide range of approaches to encourage and support parents to bring their children to school every day.
- The school’s work to keep pupils safe and secure is good. Parents who responded to the online
questionnaire and those who spoke to inspectors in the playground say their children are kept safe. This is
one of the things that they like most about the school.
- Pupils confirm that they feel safe. They say that they can easily talk to any adult, and any unhappiness is
quickly identified and resolved.
- School records show that there is little bullying. Pupils agree. They say that, when it does occur, it is dealt
with very quickly. Pupils have a good understanding of different forms of bullying. They know that people
should not be treated differently because of where they come from or what they look like. As a
consequence, racial harmony in school is good.
- The school does all it can to teach pupils about e-safety. They have taught pupils the dangers of using the
internet to share information and have shown them how they can keep their personal details private.
Pupils know that they should talk to an adult if they encounter anything that makes them feel
|The quality of teaching||requires improvement|
- The quality of teaching is not consistently good. There are examples of good teaching but teaching overall
requires improvement because pupils are not always achieving as well as they should in literary, writing
and mathematics. Work is sometimes too hard for less-able pupils or too easy for the most able, with the
result that not all pupils make as much progress as they should.
- Teachers do not always expect enough of pupils. While they have a good understanding of what pupils
could achieve, they do not ensure that this is consistently reflected in the quality of the work that they
- Teachers give pupils much praise, which helps to develop their confidence and encourages them to work
without fear of failure. However, pupils are not given enough advice about how to improve their work.
Teachers mark work regularly but the quality of feedback they provide varies too much. The guidance
given often does not help pupils to understand the next steps in their learning or to correct errors.
Consequently, pupils are unclear about what they need to do to improve their work.
- There are strengths to teaching across the school. Teachers establish good relationships with pupils and
they manage behaviour extremely well. There is a strong focus on extending pupils’ speaking skills,
especially for those who speak English as an additional language. Pupils frequently share ideas when
working, which enriches their vocabulary and helps them to improve their confidence in speaking English.
- Teaching assistants make a good contribution to learning, especially when working with small groups of
disabled pupils or those who have special educational needs. They liaise closely with teachers to ensure
that pupils improve skills quickly at those times when they are being given focused help.
- In the early years, children are taught well. Teachers and teaching assistants work together closely to plan
work that the children find interesting and engaging. There is good support for children in the early stages
of learning English. This helps them to become confident quickly in speaking English.
|The achievement of pupils||requires improvement|
- Pupils’ achievement requires improvement because progress is not consistently strong across the school.
- National test data at the end of Year 2 and Year 6 is adversely affected by a high number of pupils who
arrive at the school throughout the year with little or no spoken English. Consequently, results of National
Curriculum tests at the end of Key Stages 1 and 2 are consistently below national averages. However, the
gap is smaller than in published data for pupils who started their education at the school or have been at
the school for some time. While late-arriving pupils make steady progress from their often low starting
points, there is not always enough time for these pupils to reach the expected level for their age by the
end of Year 2 and Year 6.
- The school does not ensure that all pupils make good progress. The most-able pupils make similar
progress to their classmates. They do not make consistently good progress across subjects because the
work is sometimes too easy for them.
- The achievement of disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs requires improvement.
They make the best progress when they are given focused support that is closely matched to their specific
learning needs. At other times, there are occasions when work is not matched to their individual learning
needs and is too difficult.
- Disadvantaged pupils supported through additional funding make the same uneven progress as others in
lessons but the gap between their attainment and that of others is narrowing steadily because of the more
rapid progress they make when they are given additional support at other times. In national tests at the
end of Year 6 in 2014, eligible pupils were about two terms behind their classmates in mathematics and
writing but were around a term ahead in reading. When compared to pupils nationally, they were about
four terms behind in mathematics and writing, and two terms behind in reading.
- The achievement of pupils who speak English as an additional language, including those with Eastern
European backgrounds, requires improvement because they are not taught consistently well. However,
they make good progress in learning spoken English, even if they have been in school for only a short
- Inspection evidence and work in pupils’ books show that the work of the senior leaders is beginning to
secure accelerated progress in both Key Stages 1 and 2, with consequently improving attainment. For
instance, pupils currently in Year 2 and Year 5 are already ahead of last year’s similar groups.
Nonetheless, progress across the school remains uneven and because of this, achievement requires
|The early years provision||is good|
- When children start school, in either the Nursery or Reception Year, very few are working at a typical level
of development for their age. Language, literacy and social skills are especially weak. Although attainment
by the end of the Reception Year is below average, this reflects good progress from these starting points.
Children achieve well in both the Nursery and Reception classes. The high-quality care and nurturing of
staff allow children to flourish and ensures that they are ready for life in Year 1.
- Children are taught well. Teachers and support staff are knowledgeable about how young children learn.
They plan exciting activities that support good learning in all areas of the curriculum. They have
particularly high expectations of children’s social development, providing calm and sensitive support to
help them develop good confidence, self-reliance and self-esteem. They ensure that children are kept
- Children quickly learn to behave well and they feel safe. They support each other well when working and
they use resources very sensibly. When working on large apparatus, such as climbing frames, they ensure
that their actions do not hurt others.
- Staff work together well to check on children’s learning. They keep detailed records of children’s progress
in learning journals. This ensures that staff have an accurate understanding of what children can and
cannot do so that they can plan and provide activities that match their individual learning needs and which
challenge all groups, including the most able.
- When children are working, adults often ask questions to see what they have learnt. However,
occasionally, they do not intervene quickly enough to move learning on when children have already
grasped a concept.
- Adults help children to improve their speaking skills quickly by taking every opportunity to extend their
vocabulary and to check that they understand new words. As a result, children with special educational
needs or who are learning English as an additional language are well supported and make good progress.
- Teachers make good use of the outdoor area to support children’s learning. They make work purposeful
by linking it around a central theme. For example, after a visit from ‘Mr Magoo’, children explored shapes
by cutting pizzas, extended creative skills by drawing and painting them, and learnt to work together by
making ‘mud pizzas’ in the outdoor area. Activities such as these build well on children’s curiosity and
make a good contribution to their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
- Early years provision is well led and managed. Leaders carefully analyse data on children’s progress to see
where additional support is needed. They work very closely with parents to break down barriers between
home and school. Parents say they feel fully involved in their children’s learning. They welcome the ideas
such as the ‘postcard’ communications between home and school because it helps them know what their
children can and cannot do.
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
|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
|Unique reference number||133782|
This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.
|Type of school||Primary|
|School category||Voluntary controlled|
|Age range of pupils||3–11|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Number of pupils on the school roll||486|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Date of previous school inspection||19 June 2013|
|Telephone number||01945 583799|
|Fax number||01945 461313|
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will use the information parents and carers provide when deciding which schools to
inspect and when and as part of the inspection.
You can also use Parent View to find out what other parents and carers think about
schools in England. You can visit www.parentview.ofsted.gov.uk, or look for the link
on the main Ofsted website: www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ofsted
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for looked after children, safeguarding and child protection.
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