School etc

Spurcroft Primary School

Spurcroft Primary School
Spurcroft Road

phone: 01635 871541

headteacher: Mr Nathan Butler-Broad


school holidays: via West Berkshire council

421 pupils aged 2—10y mixed gender
315 pupils capacity: 134% full

210 boys 50%

≤ 234a114b94c175y286y267y288y239y2110y28

210 girls 50%

≤ 263y194a114b124c135y316y347y218y229y2410y17

Last updated: Oct. 2, 2014

Primary — Community School

Education phase
Establishment type
Community School
Establishment #
OSGB coordinates
Easting: 451950, Northing: 166838
GPS coordinates
Latitude: 51.398, Longitude: -1.2546
Accepting pupils
3—11 years old
Census date
Jan. 16, 2014
Ofsted last inspection
Sept. 17, 2014
Region › Const. › Ward
South East › Newbury › Thatcham Central
Urban > 10k - less sparse
Free school meals %

rooms to rent in Thatcham

Schools nearby

  1. 0.2 miles Reintegration Service RG194RE (18 pupils)
  2. 0.3 miles The Priory Centre RG193JL
  3. 0.4 miles Kennet School RG194LL
  4. 0.4 miles Service for Alternative Curriculum 14 - 19 RG194LY
  5. 0.4 miles Kennet School RG194LL (1815 pupils)
  6. 0.5 miles Francis Baily Primary School RG194GG (522 pupils)
  7. 0.7 miles Dunston Park Infant School RG183PG
  8. 0.7 miles St Mary's Church of England Junior School Thatcham RG184NP
  9. 0.7 miles Faith Christian School RG193RZ
  10. 0.7 miles Thatcham Park Primary RG184NP (422 pupils)
  11. 0.9 miles Parsons Down Infant School RG193TE (253 pupils)
  12. 0.9 miles Whitelands Park Primary School RG183FH
  13. 0.9 miles Parsons Down Junior School RG193SR (285 pupils)
  14. 0.9 miles Whitelands Park Primary School RG183FH (307 pupils)
  15. 1.7 mile Bucklebury C.E. Primary School RG76QP (124 pupils)
  16. 1.7 mile St Finian's Catholic Primary School RG189HU (186 pupils)
  17. 1.7 mile Ridge House School RG189HU
  18. 1.8 mile Fir Tree Primary School and Nursery RG142RA
  19. 1.8 mile Fir Tree Primary School and Nursery RG142RA (201 pupils)
  20. 2 miles Engaging Potential RG142PR (12 pupils)
  21. 2.1 miles Cold Ash St Mark's C.E. School RG189PT (180 pupils)
  22. 2.2 miles The Quay Rapid Response and Home Education RG142FG
  23. 2.3 miles The Turnpike School RG142PS
  24. 2.3 miles Sek International School RG74ST

List of schools in Thatcham

5 December 2014
Mr Nathan Butler-Broad
Spurcroft Primary School
Spurcroft Road
RG19 3XX
Dear Mr Butler-Broad

Requires improvement: monitoring inspection visit to Spurcroft Primary

Following my visit to your school on 2 December 2014, I write on behalf of Her

Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills to report the

inspection findings. Thank you for the help you gave me and for the time you made
available to discuss the actions you are taking to improve the school since the most
recent section 5 inspection.
The visit was the first monitoring inspection since the school was judged to require
improvement following the section 5 inspection in September 2014. It was carried
out under section 8 of the Education Act 2005.
Senior leaders and governors are taking effective action to tackle the areas requiring
improvement identified at the recent section 5 inspection. The school should take
further action to

  • embed systems for monitoring and evaluating the school’s work, so that
    plans stay on track and leaders focus on the impact on achievement and
    what more can be done to improve pupils’ learning.


During the inspection I met with you and senior leaders, middle leaders, members of
the governing body and a representative of the local authority to discuss the action
taken since the last inspection. We walked around school to see classes at work. I
evaluated the school development plan and looked at other key documents.

Kings Orchard
One Queen Street
T 0300 123 1231
Text Phone: 0161 6188524
reveal email: enqu…
Direct T 0117 311 5359
Email: reveal email: chri…


There have been no staff changes since the inspection. The English leader is leaving
at Christmas. Her responsibilities will be covered by other teachers in the spring
term. You have appointed a replacement. She will join the school in April 2015.

Main findings

It is clear that you and your senior leaders, middle leaders and governors all fully
accept the findings of the recent inspection. Senior leaders had identified the
improvements needed and put plans in place to address them last school year. You
know that pupils should be achieving more, especially in writing, and that key to this
is ensuring consistently high-quality teaching.
There is a greater sense of urgency to the work to improve the school following the
inspection. The development plan has been reviewed, with more detail about the

steps that will be taken to improve teaching and pupils’ achievement. The overall

goals in the plan are explicit, suitably ambitious and follow logically from one to the
next. You are aiming for all teaching to be good by January 2015 and for every pupil
to have made good progress by July 2015. Ultimately, you want Spurcroft to be a
good school again within two years. The priorities for this school year, and the
actions taken so far, are appropriate. The plan has sufficient detail about activities
this half term, how progress will be monitored and by who. It is too vague, however,
about what will happen term-by-term and start and finish dates are not always
specific. Without a clear overview there is a danger of slippage or overload. The
targets you have set for pupils’ attainment in in July 2015 will enable you to measure
how successful you have been. The termly milestones will not, however, help you to
easily check progress. They are based on predictions of what pupils will achieve by
the end of the year, rather than their actual attainment at that point.
You and your senior leaders acknowledge that monitoring of the school’s work has
not been effective enough in the past. To this end, you have developed a monitoring
timetable which sits alongside your development plan. The intention is that each
week leaders across the school will monitor the same aspect of teaching or
achievement, discuss findings as a team and decide on next steps. Middle leaders
have action plans for their areas of responsibility and are expected to evaluate the
impact of their work each half term. Talking to leaders, it is evident that there is
more to do to embed these systems and make sure everyone fully understands
them. Leaders do not always focus enough on the impact on pupils’ learning when
they review their plans. There is no check that all the actions have been taken. It is
early days, but senior leaders have begun to review the overall development plan
more regularly and identify what needs to happen next. At this point, it is more a
check on implementation than impact. The key questions you have set out should
help you evaluate if different aspects of teaching are improving and having a

positive effect on pupils’ learning.

It was evident from our walk around school, and discussions with leaders, that as a
team you have a clear picture of where teaching is stronger and where it needs to
improve. You are investing a good deal in improving teaching. Appropriate time is

being given to developing all teachers’ understanding of how effectively marking and

feedback can help pupils learn and improve their work. Senior and middle leaders,
well led by the deputy headteacher, are coaching and supporting teachers according
to need. They use individual action plans to target support where it is most needed
to try and improve teaching as quickly as possible. You, in turn, monitor how
effective their support has been by observing lessons. There is a better emphasis on

the impact teaching has on pupils’ learning than in the past. When leaders observe
lessons they focus more on pupils’ progress, although they tend not to explain

clearly what pupils have actually learnt. More weight is given to the impact teaching

has on pupils’ learning over time, by looking at their books and using information

from assessments. Rightly, you expect pupils’ behaviour in class to improve as
teaching does. Nevertheless, you are reviewing procedures for managing and
rewarding behaviour.
Governors know what needs to improve. Minutes of recent meetings show they are

asking leaders more challenging questions about pupils’ achievement. Individual

governors are linked with members of the leadership team to support and challenge
their plans for improvement. Since the inspection governors have decided that one
meeting per term will be used for discussing standards in detail, to help them
evaluate improvement.
Ofsted may carry out further visits and, where necessary, provide further support
and challenge to the school until its next section 5 inspection.

External support

You have been proactive in making links with local schools to learn from each other,
including a headteacher who is a national leader of education. The local authority
has increased the level of support it provides since the inspection. A new
improvement adviser is linked to the school. It is important that she confirms exactly
how she will support the school as soon as possible. This should include challenging
leaders and governors to ensure the pace of improvement is quick enough.
I am copying this letter to the Chair of the Governing Body and the Director of

Children’s Services for West Berkshire.

Yours sincerely
Alison Bradley

Her Majesty’s Inspector

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