School etc

The Lea Primary School and Nursery

The Lea Primary School and Nursery
Moorland Road

phone: 01582 767939

headteacher: Mrs Sharon Swinson

reveal email: adm…


school holidays: via Hertfordshire council

196 pupils aged 3—10y mixed gender
114 pupils capacity: 172% full

100 boys 51%


100 girls 51%


Last updated: Sept. 18, 2014

Primary — Community School

Education phase
Establishment type
Community School
Establishment #
OSGB coordinates
Easting: 513557, Northing: 215805
GPS coordinates
Latitude: 51.829, Longitude: -0.35353
Accepting pupils
3—11 years old
Census date
Jan. 16, 2014
Ofsted last inspection
Dec. 6, 2012
Region › Const. › Ward
East of England › Hitchin and Harpenden › Harpenden North
Urban > 10k - less sparse
Free school meals %

rooms to rent in Harpenden

Schools nearby

  1. 0.5 miles Manland Primary School AL54QW (248 pupils)
  2. 0.5 miles St George's School AL54TD
  3. 0.5 miles The King's School AL54DU (180 pupils)
  4. 0.5 miles St George's School AL54TD (1324 pupils)
  5. 0.6 miles Sir John Lawes School AL54QP
  6. 0.6 miles Harpenden Preparatory School AL52UE
  7. 0.6 miles Sir John Lawes School AL54QP (1222 pupils)
  8. 0.7 miles Batford Nursery School AL55HN (116 pupils)
  9. 0.7 miles Sauncey Wood Primary School AL55HL (183 pupils)
  10. 0.8 miles St Hilda's School AL52ES (162 pupils)
  11. 0.9 miles St Nicholas CofE VA Primary School AL52TP (155 pupils)
  12. 1 mile Roundwood Primary School AL53AD (355 pupils)
  13. 1 mile Roundwood Park School AL53AE
  14. 1 mile Elmfield School AL54DA
  15. 1 mile Roundwood Park School AL53AE (1235 pupils)
  16. 1.1 mile Crabtree Junior School AL55PU (257 pupils)
  17. 1.1 mile Crabtree Infants' School AL55PU (180 pupils)
  18. 1.1 mile Crabtree Infants' School AL55PU
  19. 1.1 mile Crabtree Junior School AL55PU
  20. 1.2 mile Wood End School AL53EF (494 pupils)
  21. 1.2 mile St Dominic Catholic Primary School AL51PF (296 pupils)
  22. 1.2 mile Wood End Junior Mixed School AL53EF
  23. 1.2 mile Wood End Infant School AL53EF
  24. 1.3 mile High Beeches Primary School AL55SD (240 pupils)

List of schools in Harpenden

School report

The Lea Primary School and


Moorland Road, Harpenden, AL5 4LE

Inspection dates 6–7 December 2012
Overall effectiveness This inspection: Good 2
Previous inspection: Satisfactory 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

Pupils achieve well and make good progress
Good and sometimes outstanding teaching
Teaching in the Early Years Foundation Stage
in their lessons and over time. Attainment at
the end of Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 is
above national figures, and at the end of Key
Stage 1 has risen rapidly.
motivates pupils to do their best. Teachers,
skilfully supported by well-qualified and
experienced teaching assistants, establish a
purposeful and productive atmosphere in
enables children to make good progress. As
well as effective teaching of key skills,
children are helped to think about what they
are learning and to develop the skill of
working by themselves.
The school is a safe and harmonious
Leaders across the school, including governors
Parents and carers, staff and pupils are full of

community where pupils’ behaviour is
consistently good. Pupils enjoy school and feel
safe, valued and well looked after.
want the best for their pupils. They use data to
identify pupils who could be making better
progress and provide them and the staff with
support to increase their rates of progress.
praise for the school.
Teaching is not yet strong enough to promote
outstanding progress across school. Although
pupils’ progress has recently accelerated, the
more-able pupils do not do as well in reading
and mathematics as they do in writing,
particularly in Key Stage 1.
Although some marking of pupils’ work is
Teachers do not always insist on high
excellent and helps them to understand how to
improve, this is not yet consistent across the
standards of presentation of pupils’ work.

Information about this inspection

  • Inspectors observed 15 lessons, two of which were joint observations with senior leaders. They
    also made short visits to some other lessons to observe pupils receiving additional support.
  • The inspection team examined pupils’ work in their books and listened to pupils read. They also
    attended the school assemblies, and observed pupils’ Christmas performances.
  • Meetings were held with groups of pupils, two governors, including the Chair of the Governing
    Body, senior and middle leaders and a representative from the local authority.
  • Inspectors observed the school’s work and looked at documentation including policies and
    improvement plans, and documentation relating to staff development, pupils’ achievement,
    teaching, the curriculum, behaviour, attendance and safeguarding.
  • Inspectors took account of the 56 parents’ and carers’ responses to the on-line questionnaire
    (Parent View), discussions with parents and carers, and the views of staff in 11 staff
    questionnaires returned to inspectors.

Inspection team

Raminder Arora, Lead inspector Additional Inspector
Jackie Easter Additional Inspector

Full report

Information about this school

  • The school is smaller than average.
  • The proportion of pupils for whom the school receives the pupil premium (additional government
    funding) is below the national average.
  • A much higher proportion than found nationally is from minority ethnic groups. One-fifth of
    these pupils are learning English as an additional language.
  • The proportion of pupils supported by school action is below average, and for those on school
    action plus or with a statement of special educational needs is much higher than average.
  • The proportion of pupils joining or leaving the school other than at the usual times is higher than
  • Around 11% of pupils come from families who belong to the locally based ‘Youth with a Mission’
    and who do missionary work across the world. Their children attend school for varying periods of
    the school year.
  • The Early Years Foundation Stage includes a part-time Nursery and a Reception class. The
    Nursery offers the flexibility of attending for three full days or five mornings a week.
  • The school meets the government’s current floor standards, which set the minimum expectations
    for pupils’ attainment and progress.
  • The governing body manages a breakfast club.

What does the school need to do to improve further?

  • Improve the quality of teaching from good to outstanding and further accelerate pupils’ progress
    making sure the teachers have a clear understanding of what outstanding learning looks like
    ensuring that all teachers’ marking shows pupils how to improve, and that pupils are given the
    chance to improve their work by following the advice contained in marking
    ensuring that pupils are helped to improve the presentation of their work and handwriting.
  • Make sure that pupils’ progress in reading and mathematics is consistently good or better by:
    strengthening the systematic teaching of phonics (letters and sounds) and encouraging pupils
    to read more widely and for pleasure
    setting real-life, problem-solving tasks that are closely matched to the wide range of pupils’
    abilities, experience and knowledge of mathematics.

Inspection judgements

The achievement of pupils is good
  • Children enter the Early Years Foundation Stage with skills that are generally below those
    expected for their age. By the end of Reception, they are working at average levels. They
    achieve well as a result of the recent improvements that have raised the quality of teaching in
    the Early Years Foundation Stage.
  • Standards at the end of Year 2 were well above the national average in 2012. This was a
    marked improvement over previous years. Attainment by the end of Year 6 has improved over
    the last few years and is now a little above average overall. Pupils make particularly good
    progress in writing; many are on course to reach higher levels than those expected for their age.
  • Pupils requiring extra support are identified early and receive skilful support in lessons and
    through one-to-one or small-group teaching to ensure that they make good progress. Those
    joining the school later than at the usual times catch up and make expected progress due to
    well-targeted support and the good checks made on their learning.
  • Pupils for whom the school receives pupil premium funding and those who speak English as an
    additional language also make consistently good progress. This is because of good teaching,
    teachers’ knowledge of each pupil’s needs, and an atmosphere where pupils are encouraged to
    do their best. Pupils from the local ‘Youth with a Mission’ families also achieve well through
    effectively organised extra support.
  • Most pupils develop their literacy skills well, and use them effectively in all subjects. Those who
    find reading more difficult do not consistently apply their knowledge of the sounds that letters
    make. Pupils enjoy reading and can recall favourite stories and authors. By Year 6, most pupils
    are confident and fluent readers, but they do not read much for pleasure or read a wide variety
    of texts.
  • While pupils are generally confident in their number work, those capable of doing harder work
    are not always fully stretched in their ability to apply their skills in everyday problem solving.
The quality of teaching is good
  • Teachers plan interesting and enjoyable lessons in which pupils are encouraged to play an active
    part. As a result, pupils pay attention, work hard and learn well.
  • Speaking and listening skills are developed well. In the Reception class, for example, when
    viewing their photos on the interactive whiteboard, children talked interestingly about the work
    they had been engaged in earlier.
  • The teaching of phonics, although regular and systematic, does not provide pupils with enough
    practice to use and apply their knowledge of letters and sounds learnt in the lesson.
  • Teachers carefully track all pupils’ progress through regularly assessing what they can and
    cannot do, and use this information to plan their lessons. Pupils who fall behind are quickly given
    extra help to catch up, particularly in numeracy and literacy.
  • The teaching of reading and writing is well supported, and pupils enjoy the activities designed to
    help develop these skills. As a result, pupils communicate ideas effectively. For example, in the
    Year 1 class, pupils enjoyed creating the start of their own stories through the group role play of
    ‘the butcher, the baker, the candle-stick maker’.
  • Some teachers’ marking is excellent and gives pupils a clear idea of how to improve. Pupils are
    then given the chance to improve their work by following the advice contained in marking. This
    good practice, however, is not carried out consistently by all teachers.
  • Not enough attention is given to encouraging consistently good presentation of work. Some
    pupils find it difficult to produce neatly formed joined-up writing.
  • Disabled pupils and those with special educational needs are given good support in lessons by
    teachers and by other adults. They encourage these pupils to think for themselves through clear
    explanations and skilful questioning.
The behaviour and safety of pupils is good
  • Pupils consistently behave well and they are kept safe. They are courteous and well mannered,
    and talk confidently to visitors.
  • Pupils have very positive attitudes towards learning and concentrate well. In lessons, they talk
    happily about their work, listening sensibly to each other’s opinions and showing respect for
  • Pupils feel safe and have a good awareness of how to avoid dangers at all times. The
    importance of staying safe when using computers is well understood.
  • A few pupils with challenging behaviour receive very good support so that they learn self-
    control. Adults show good understanding of the needs and use well-planned intervention to
    support pupils displaying behavioural or sometimes emotional difficulties.
  • The school successfully promotes equality of opportunity and ensures that there is no
    discrimination. Pupils from different backgrounds play together happily at break times and they
    support each other very well in lessons.
  • Pupils are proud of their school and keen to do well. They thoroughly enjoy learning and this is
    reflected in their good progress. The rate of attendance is average and improving.
The leadership and management are good
  • The determined leadership and high expectations of the headteacher mean that staff, governors,
    pupils, parents and carers, united in their drive to improve standards in all areas of the school’s
    work, have succeeded in improving the school’s effectiveness.
  • Lessons are checked regularly and feedback is provided against agreed criteria. The staff live up
    to the high expectations, and are appreciative of the guidance they receive and the opportunities
    provided for their professional development.
  • Senior leaders ensure that responsibilities for checking and analysing information on pupils’
    progress are shared more widely among teachers. This helps them to play an active part in
    driving improvements and to understand that they are responsible for the progress of the pupils
    they teach.
  • The school benefits well from partnerships, for example, the Harpenden Consortium’s training
    opportunities for all staff. Continuous support is also provided by the local authority for
    monitoring, consultancy and advice, for example, in improving teaching and learning.
  • The school curriculum is relevant and engaging. Cross-curricular links and a variety of interesting
    topics enthuse pupils to do their best. Additionally, museum visits, theatre groups and
    workshops make learning exciting and enhance pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural
  • Safeguarding, including pupils’ health and welfare, is given a high priority. Detailed risk
    assessments and emergency planning are kept up to date, and fire procedures are tested
    regularly. The trained teaching assistants on duty deal with all minor accidents quickly,
    reassuring and reminding pupils of the ways in which they can keep safe.
  • The school’s view of its strengths and weaknesses is accurate. Self-evaluation systems are well
    established and rigorous. Levels of attainment have risen steadily in recent years and the school
    is moving forward strongly on several fronts, indicating a good capacity for sustained
  • The governance of the school:

Governors are well involved in the life of the school because they make regular visits to gain a

better first-hand understanding of how well the school is working. This helps to ensure that all

staff maintain a tight focus on improving the quality of teaching and pupils’ progress. They

ensure good systems to check teachers’ performance and have very clear understanding of

the school’s strengths, how well pupils are performing and what more needs to be done to

raise their achievement. Governors use information about pupils’ progress effectively to ask
demanding questions of school leaders. Governors make sure that all financial resources are
used well. For example, the small amount of additional funding from the pupil premium is
used appropriately towards the additional support, visits and various experiences to enhance

their learning. The impact of this funding is evaluated well.

What inspection judgements mean


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
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 117327
Local authority Hertfordshire
Inspection number 401663

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 168
Appropriate authority The governing body
Chair Nigel McCarthy
Headteacher Sharon Swinson
Date of previous school inspection 18 January 2010
Telephone number 01582 767939
Fax number 01582 462945
Email address reveal email: h…


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