Pirton Hill Primary School
phone: 01582 507924
headteacher: Miss Debbie Thompson Ma
630 pupils capacity: 69% full
225 boys 52%
205 girls 47%
Last updated: June 19, 2014
Primary — Community School
- Education phase
- Establishment type
- Community School
- Establishment #
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 504904, Northing: 224574
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 51.91, Longitude: -0.47638
- Accepting pupils
- 4—11 years old
- Census date
- Jan. 16, 2014
- Ofsted last inspection
- April 23, 2013
- Region › Const. › Ward
- East of England › Luton North › Leagrave
- Urban > 10k - less sparse
- Free school meals %
- Pirton Hill Junior School LU49EX
- 0.4 miles The Gill Blowers Nursery School LU49JL (158 pupils)
- 0.6 miles Orchard Centre LU49ND
- 0.6 miles Leagrave Junior School LU49ND
- 0.6 miles Leagrave Infant School LU49ND
- 0.6 miles Leagrave Primary School LU49ND (478 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Pastures Way Nursery School LU40PE (142 pupils)
- 0.7 miles St Martin de Porres Primary School LU40PF (453 pupils)
- 0.7 miles St Martin De Porres RC VA Infant School LU40PF
- 0.7 miles Lealands High School LU33AL (778 pupils)
- 0.7 miles King's House School LU49JY (112 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Moorlands Pre-Preparatory School LU49LE
- 0.7 miles Barnfield Moorlands Free School LU49LE (365 pupils)
- 0.8 miles Ferrars Junior School LU40ES (350 pupils)
- 0.8 miles Cheynes Infant School LU33EW (264 pupils)
- 0.8 miles Southfield Primary School LU40PE (461 pupils)
- 0.8 miles Southfield Infant School LU40PE
- 0.9 miles Ferrars Infant School LU40LL
- 0.9 miles Waulud Infant School LU33LZ
- 0.9 miles Waulud Junior School LU33LZ
- 0.9 miles Challney High School for Girls LU49FJ (986 pupils)
- 0.9 miles Lea Bank Nursery LU33LZ
- 0.9 miles Waulud Primary School LU33LZ (408 pupils)
- 0.9 miles Chantry Primary School LU40QP
Pirton Hill Primary School
Butely Road, Luton, LU4 9EX
|Inspection dates||24–25 March 2015|
|Overall effectiveness||This inspection:||Good||2|
|Previous inspection:||Requires improvement||3|
|Leadership and management||Good||2|
|Behaviour and safety of pupils||Outstanding||1|
|Quality of teaching||Good||2|
|Achievement of pupils||Good||2|
|Early years provision||Good||2|
Summary of key findings for parents and pupils
This is a good school.
It is not yet an outstanding school because
| The school is exceptionally well led by the |
Checks on the quality of teaching are rigorous and
Children get off to a good start in the early years
Pupils’ achievement has improved significantly and
Teaching is consistently good and lessons are
The governing body is knowledgeable about the
headteacher, who has high expectations for all
pupils and staff. She is well supported by
governors and senior leaders who all have an
accurate view of the strengths and areas for
the training and support provided have led to
and make good progress in their learning.
is now good. They make good progress
throughout their time at the school.
active and enjoyable. Teachers plan purposeful
activities that motivate pupils and help them to
learn new skills quickly.
school and how pupils’ achievement and teaching
are improving. It provides good challenge and
support to other leaders.
| Disabled pupils and those who have special |
The school provides well for pupils who join at
Pupils’ behaviour is outstanding and their attitudes
Pupils feel extremely safe within this secure and
The exciting range of subjects is enriched
educational needs make the best possible progress
they can because they are especially well
other than the usual times, including those who are
at an early stage of learning English or have special
educational needs. This helps everybody to catch
up quickly, sometimes from low starting points.
to learning are strong. Pupils are polite and
courteous, and they work hard.
caring learning environment. Parents agree that the
school is a safe place to learn.
considerably by a wide range of clubs, trips and
activities that develop pupils’ sporting, musical and
creative skills. Sport is of a very high standard and
has a positive impact on pupils’ determination to do
well, contributing to the pupils’ enjoyment of
| The standards pupils achieve are not yet as high |
Some teachers do not adapt quickly enough within
as they could be in reading, writing and
the lesson to ensure that tasks are neither too
easy nor too hard for different groups of pupils.
| Some subject leaders are at an early stage of |
development in driving improvements in teaching
and learning in their subjects.
Information about this inspection
- Inspectors observed pupils’ learning in 25 lessons or parts of lessons, several of which were seen jointly
with the headteacher or other senior leaders. In addition, inspectors observed small groups of pupils
taught by learning support assistants. Observations were also made of the teaching of phonics (letters and
the sounds they make).
- Inspectors listened to pupils reading and looked carefully at their work in lessons. They also scrutinised
pupils’ English and mathematics books to establish the quality of their work.
- Inspectors spoke to pupils during lessons, lunchtimes and playtimes. Several groups of pupils discussed
their views about the school with inspectors.
- Discussions were held with the headteacher, the early years leader, senior and subject leaders, the
inclusion leader, five members of the governing body and a representative of the local authority.
- Inspectors scrutinised a wide range of documentation. This included the school’s self-evaluation and
improvement plans, the minutes of governing body meetings, records of lesson observations and the
management of staff performance, information on pupils’ progress, and records relating to behaviour,
attendance and safeguarding.
- Account was taken of the 12 responses to the online questionnaire, Parent View, and the school’s recent
parental survey. Inspectors spoke to parents at the start of the school day and parents attending the Year
2 end of theme ‘wow’ showcase of pupils’ learning.
- Questionnaires were returned by 58 members of staff, whose views were also considered.
|Susan Thomas-Pounce, Lead inspector||Additional Inspector|
|Christopher Perry||Additional Inspector|
|Patricia Symington||Additional Inspector|
Information about this school
- The school is larger than the average-size primary school.
- Early years provision consists of two full-time Reception classes.
- The school serves a diverse community. Nearly 70% of the pupils come from a very wide range of ethnic
backgrounds. The proportion of pupils who speak English as an additional language is double the national
- A higher-than-average proportion of pupils join or leave the school at other than the usual time.
- The proportion of disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs is in line with the national
- An above-average proportion of pupils are supported by the pupil premium. The pupil premium funding is
additional government funding for pupils known to be eligible for free school meals and those in local
- The school meets the government’s current floor standards, which set the minimum expectations for
pupils’ attainment and progress in reading, writing and mathematics at the end of Year 6.
- The school provides a breakfast club which is managed by the governing body.
- There have been many staff changes since the last inspection. The senior leadership team has been
restructured and nine new teachers have joined the school.
What does the school need to do to improve further?
- Further improve teaching and pupils’ achievement in reading, writing and mathematics by making sure
all teachers use information on pupils’ progress to challenge pupils of all abilities, so that pupils make
more rapid progress in their lessons
teachers respond quickly in lessons to reshape tasks when pupils find they are too easy or too difficult.
- Further strengthen the impact of leadership by developing the skills of subject leaders so that they make
an even greater contribution to improving the quality of teaching in the subjects they lead.
|The leadership and management||are good|
- The headteacher has been instrumental in rapidly improving teaching and achievement across the school.
Her high aspirations are shared by the staff. As a result, the school has significantly improved in the short
time since the previous inspection.
- School leaders and governors have an accurate view of the school’s strengths. The school’s plans identify
the correct priorities and give details of the actions needed to bring about further improvements. Senior
leaders make effective use of regular, detailed checks on teaching, linked to teachers’ performance
targets, to help teachers improve their practice. Pupils’ achievement is improving as a result.
- Senior leaders make very good use of data to check that all groups do as well as they can. They ensure
that pupils who are in danger of falling behind receive support to help them catch up. Leaders check the
accuracy of school assessments by sharing information across year groups The consistent approach to the
planning for learning in each year group supports improvements.
- Some subject and other middle leaders are at an early stage of ensuring that learning and teaching in the
subjects they lead are consistently good or better. Some are new to their role, and governors and senior
leaders have identified where they would benefit from additional support and training.
- The school has prepared very well for the introduction of the new curriculum, which is enriched by a wide
range of before-school, after-school and lunchtime clubs. It covers a wide range of subjects and provides
activities that promote enjoyment and a love of learning. The exciting range of subjects is enriched
considerably by a wide range of clubs, trips and activities that develop pupils’ sporting, musical and
- Pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is promoted effectively. The rich range of cultural
diversity within the school is celebrated and pupils talk confidently about various faiths and cultures other
than their own.
- The school promotes democracy and British values very well. Pupils’ understanding and compassion for
each other are linked to the school’s core values, as are British values of respect, forgiveness and honesty.
The school’s values encourage pupils to do their very best, in both their work and their behaviour. Visits to
the Houses of Parliament, singing carols outside 10 Downing Street, and holding elections for prefects and
members of the school council, encourage an understanding of democracy.
- Sport is of a very high standard and has a positive impact on pupils’ determination to do well, contributing
to the pupils’ enjoyment of school. The additional funding for sport has been used effectively to introduce
a variety of new sports and to improve the skills of teachers. There is a very strong focus on improving
pupils’ lifestyles and their physical well-being, as well as competing in a wide range of high-level
competitions across the county.
- Pupil premium funding has been used well to appoint additional staff, work with families, train teachers in
support programmes, enable pupils to attend breakfast and after-school clubs, and generally enrich the
wider experiences of disadvantaged pupils. The impact of this spending can be seen in the good progress
disadvantaged pupils make across the school.
- There are effective partnerships with external agencies, particularly those helping individual pupils and
their families to overcome any difficulties that may hinder pupils’ readiness to learn. This caring school
provides well for those who are in the care of the local authority. The promotion of equal opportunities is
an integral part of the school’s ethos, and discrimination in any form is not tolerated. This approach
ensures that equality of opportunity and good relationships are fostered very effectively.
- The partnership with parents is strong. Parents who were spoken to and those responding to the Parent
View survey have full confidence in the senior leaders.
- The governing body ensures that the school meets its statutory requirements for safeguarding pupils.
Senior staff make sure policies and procedures are rigorous and robust.
- The local authority and external consultants have provided effective support to the school, specifically in
identifying underachievement of pupils and identifying areas for school development. This has made a
good contribution to the improvements that have been made.
- The governance of the school:
The governing body has a strong core of experienced governors who have successfully supported the
school in making considerable improvements over the last two years. Governors have a good and
accurate understanding of how well the school is performing in relation to other schools nationally.
Through visits to classes, talking to pupils and meeting with leaders, governors have a good awareness
of the quality of teaching and its impact on learning. They know that the school is improving rapidly and
are ambitious for continued improvement. They use this, and the information provided by senior
leaders, to ask challenging questions about the improvements being made to teaching and pupils’
Governors oversee the performance management of leaders closely. They support the headteacher in
ensuring that good teaching is rewarded and also support the withholding of pay rewards where
performance does not meet the expected standard.
Governors closely monitor the finances of the school to ensure financial stability and good value for
money. Governors ensure that additional funding is used appropriately. They check its impact very
carefully, ensuring that it benefits the different groups of pupils for whom it is intended.
|The behaviour and safety of pupils||are outstanding|
- The behaviour of pupils is outstanding. There is an exceptionally welcoming atmosphere throughout the
school. Pupils take great pride in their school and high levels of respect are shown to other pupils and
adults. They behave well in lessons and have excellent attitudes to learning. Pupils use their initiative and
discuss tasks together very well so that little time is lost in beginning activities. Their positive response to
the high expectations staff have of them in lessons makes a powerful contribution to their own learning
- Pupils’ conduct around the school is outstanding. During the inspection, older pupils waited in silence to
enter the lunch hall so that they would not disturb the learning of younger pupils who had started back
- Pupils take the roles and responsibilities they are given very seriously. Play leaders have a very positive
effect on playground behaviour and safety, while other responsibilities, such as serving on the school
council and becoming sports and curriculum leaders, provide excellent opportunities for pupils to develop
their personal and social skills outside the classroom. These experiences prepare them well for the next
stage in their education.
- Parents, pupils and staff are overwhelmingly supportive about the behaviour and safety within the school.
School records indicate that there are very few incidents of poor behaviour and, when they do occur, they
are dealt with effectively. Parents and staff agree that the exemplary behaviour seen during the inspection
- The school’s breakfast club and after-school club keep pupils safe at the start and end of the school day.
Pupils enjoy the activities that are on offer; for example, drama, music and film club, together with a very
wide range of sporting activities. Breaks are well supervised and pupils are encouraged to play games and
make use of the equipment provided, including the opportunities to fly kites.
- The school’s work to keep pupils safe and secure is outstanding. Robust procedures ensure that staff are
well trained in how to keep pupils safe. Visitors are thoroughly checked. Parents and staff are very positive
about the school’s ability to keep their children safe. Pupils say they feel very safe at the school and that
everyone cares for each other.
- Pupils have a very clear idea of how to keep themselves safe in different situations, such as when using
the internet. Pupils have a good understanding of the different forms of bullying, including cyber-bullying,
and are unreservedly confident that, should there be an issue, this would be rectified immediately.
Homophobic language is taken very seriously and not tolerated. Pupils say these incidents are always
dealt with and never ignored.
- Attendance has improved and is now in line with the national average as a consequence of the effective
school strategies. The work of the family support worker is helping to reduce even further the small
number of pupils who do not attend school regularly.
|The quality of teaching||is good|
- Teaching is consistently good throughout the school, including in the early years. It contributes much to
pupils’ rapidly improving standards and good levels of progress in reading, writing and mathematics. Work
in pupils’ books, checks carried out by leaders, and evidence gathered during the inspection, demonstrate
that the quality of teaching has improved significantly since the last inspection.
- Pupils respond well to teachers’ clear expectations of their behaviour and they quickly learn to follow the
well-established routines in their classrooms. They discuss their learning with each other and they benefit
from hearing each other’s ideas. For example, in a Year 3 literacy lesson, pupils were preparing to write
up an account of the visit they had made the previous day to an outdoor activity centre. They eagerly
discussed together what they had learnt from bush-craft practitioners about the art of making shelters.
- Pupils who have been identified as needing extra help, including the most able, those who are struggling
with their work, those at an early stage of learning English, and those who are disabled or have special
educational needs, are given support to help them improve. Pupils new to the school are helped to settle
into their new environment; any gaps in their knowledge and understanding, and their individual learning
needs, are quickly identified and met.
- Reading is promoted well across the school. The school has changed the approach to teaching phonics
and this is having an impact on pupils’ knowledge and confidence. Pupils write confidently, fluently and at
length, benefiting from regular opportunities to talk through their ideas and improve their word choices.
The system of ‘Think it, say it, write it’ is consistently used across the school.
- Pupils are actively interested in their mathematics work and practise problem solving and mathematical
reasoning with enthusiasm. They are increasingly able to draw upon a range of methods in order to carry
out mathematical tasks independently.
- Attractive displays of classwork and homework throughout the school celebrate pupils’ achievements and
show them that their work is valued. Parents especially appreciate the regular end of theme ‘wow days’,
where pupils share their work with parents and carers.
- Well-organised and accessible resources enable pupils to help themselves if they are stuck. They are very
well supported by information on the walls and useful equipment, like number lines for mathematics,
which they can find for themselves if they need them.
- When marking pupils’ work, teachers give clear advice about how to improve. Pupils respond to their
teachers’ comments and edit their work.
- The new curriculum provides staff with very clear guidance on what pupils are expected to learn and
greatly assists their planning to provide for pupils’ various abilities. The needs of the most-able pupils are
catered for well. Activities are planned to challenge their thinking. All staff are involved in the analysis of
pupils’ progress to help support the next steps pupils need to take to move their learning on. However,
the targets for progress of different groups of pupils are not always high enough to ensure that their
progress is as rapid as it could be.
- A few pupils do not make as much progress as they should because tasks are not always adjusted to
ensure that work is neither too easy nor too hard. However, the majority of work is engaging, builds
successfully on pupils’ positive attitudes towards learning and is usually pitched at the right level of
challenge for most pupils.
|The achievement of pupils||is good|
- Since the previous inspection, there has been a gradual increase in the attainment overall at the end of
Key Stage 2. In 2014, attainment in writing and grammar, punctuation and spelling showed a marked
improvement on previous years’ results; the proportion of pupils achieving and exceeding the expected
levels in writing by the end of Year 6 was broadly average. This is a direct result of the determined action
taken by senior and subject leaders to tackle previous underperformance.
- Achievement data and pupils’ current work confirm that most pupils are now making good progress across
the school. Rapid improvements in teaching and increased expectations of the progress pupils should
make are leading to more pupils reaching the standards expected for their age.
- Children start in the early years with skills that are much lower than those typical for their age. This is due
to some children being at the early stages of learning English and others having low levels of
communication and language skills. Children make good progress from their different starting points. By
the end of the Reception Year, an increasing proportion of children reach a good level of development,
ensuring they are ready to start Year 1.
- The proportion of pupils achieving the expected standards in the Year 1 screening check on phonics is just
below the national average. However, there is evidence of a year-on-year improvement, reflecting the
improvements in teaching to support pupils and develop their confidence in both reading and writing.
- An above-average proportion of pupils leave or join the school within each year group. Pupils who join the
school at different times are well supported and they settle quickly.
- The provision put into place for pupils who are at an early stage of learning to speak English meets their
needs well. By the time they leave the school, there is little difference in the attainment of pupils learning
English as an additional language, those who come from different minority ethnic groups, and boys and
girls, all of whom achieve well.
- There are significantly improved rates of progress for the most-able pupils, especially in writing. However,
the most-able Year 2 pupils did not achieve as well as they could in the 2014 tests. Leaders have
improved provision for this group and teachers’ assessments indicate that, currently, the most-able pupils
are on track to attain higher levels at the end of Key Stages 1 and 2.
- Disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs make the same good progress as their
peers. Staff quickly identify pupils’ specific learning needs, and work closely with outside agencies to
address gaps in understanding and remove any barriers to learning.
- The school is now effectively closing the gap for disadvantaged pupils. In 2014, these pupils were six
months behind in writing, and just over 12 months behind in reading and mathematics when compared to
all pupils nationally. The in-school gaps were much smaller, being approximately just over six months
behind. This was an improvement on previous years. Current school data shows the gap is continuing to
narrow because disadvantaged pupils are making good progress across the school. The pupil premium is
used effectively and the attainment of disadvantaged pupils is improving.
- In order to better support pupils, the school has made the decision to group pupils for mathematics
according to their ability and understanding. Current work shows that pupils are making good progress in
mathematics and standards in this subject are rising quickly.
|The early years provision||is good|
- Children start school with knowledge, skills and understanding that are well below those typical for their
age. This is especially so in speaking, listening, and recognising letters and sounds. As a result of good
teaching, most children are well prepared for Year 1 because they make good progress during their time
in the early years.
- Leadership and management of the early years provision are good. The early years leader accurately and
thoroughly assesses children’s skills on entry to the school and as children progress through the Reception
Year. Her evaluation of children’s abilities and needs is used well to carefully plan the provision for each
- There is effective use of both the indoor and outdoor spaces, with planned activities that capture
children’s interest and imagination. Children develop their ability to play and learn on their own and to co-
operate with each other.
- Behaviour in the early years is exemplary. Staff have high expectations of behaviour and there are well-
established routines which are consistently applied. The high-quality care and nurturing by staff allow
children to thrive in this environment. All safeguarding and welfare requirements are met.
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||109574|
This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.
|Type of school||Primary|
|Age range of pupils||4–11|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Number of pupils on the school roll||410|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Date of previous school inspection||23 April 2013|
|Telephone number||01582 507924|
|Fax number||01582 507924|