The Richard Heathcote Community Primary School
phone: 01782 720406
headteacher: Mrs Joanne Banks
140 pupils capacity: 134% full
105 boys 56%
80 girls 43%
Last updated: June 25, 2014
Primary — Foundation School
- Education phase
- Establishment type
- Foundation School
- Establishment #
- Open date
- Jan. 1, 2000
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 380490, Northing: 348545
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 53.034, Longitude: -2.2924
- Accepting pupils
- 3—11 years old
- Census date
- Jan. 16, 2014
- Ofsted last inspection
- Oct. 23, 2012
- Region › Const. › Ward
- West Midlands › Newcastle-under-Lyme › Halmerend
- Village - less sparse
- Free school meals %
- Trust school
- Is supported by a Trust
- The Sir Thomas Boughey Co-operative Learning Trust
- Fresh start
- Fresh Start
- Heathcote Primary School ST78BB
- 0.7 miles Sir Thomas Boughey High School ST78AP (741 pupils)
- 1 mile Wood Lane Primary School ST78PH (116 pupils)
- 1.3 mile St Luke's CofE (C) Primary School ST56QJ (148 pupils)
- 1.6 mile Ravensmead Primary School ST78QD (361 pupils)
- 1.6 mile Chesterton Community Sports College ST57LP
- 1.6 mile Chesterton Community Sports College ST57LP (572 pupils)
- 1.8 mile Dragon Square Nursery School ST57HL
- 1.8 mile Silverdale Primary School ST56PB
- 1.8 mile Silverdale Primary Academy ST56PB (175 pupils)
- 1.9 mile Crackley Bank Primary School ST57BE (190 pupils)
- 1.9 mile Churchfields Primary School ST57HY
- 1.9 mile Churchfields Nursery School ST57HZ
- 1.9 mile Churchfields Primary School ST57HY (294 pupils)
- 2 miles Chesterton Primary School ST57NT (198 pupils)
- 2 miles St John's CofE (C) Primary School ST55AF (191 pupils)
- 2.1 miles Cherry Hill Junior School ST56EB
- 2.1 miles Knutton Infant School ST56BX
- 2.1 miles Knutton St Mary's CofE (C) Junior School ST56EB
- 2.1 miles St Chad's CofE (C) Primary School ST57AB (351 pupils)
- 2.1 miles Knutton St Mary's Primary School ST56EB (269 pupils)
- 2.2 miles University of Keele ST55BG
- 2.3 miles Meadows Primary School CW39JX (94 pupils)
- 2.4 miles Bradwell County Primary School ST58JN (210 pupils)
The Richard Heathcote
Community Primary School
The Drive, Alsagers Bank, Stoke-on-Trent, ST7 8BB
|Inspection dates||23–24 October 2012|
|Overall effectiveness||This inspection:||Good||2|
|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 make good progress in reading, writing |
All groups achieve well, including disabled
Teaching is good. Teachers’ expectations are
and mathematics in Years 1 to 6.
pupils and those who have special
high and pupils work hard. Teachers provide
pupils with a wide range of interesting and
relevant experiences that they enjoy.
| Pupils’ behaviour is good so that the school is |
Pupils feel extremely safe in school and have a
The headteacher’s drive to improve the school
well-ordered and lessons flow smoothly. Pupils’
attitudes to learning are positive.
good understanding of how to keep themselves
safe and secure.
is enthusiastically shared by staff. Leaders,
including the governing body, successfully use
training to improve the quality of teaching.
| Teaching is not always demanding enough to |
Teachers do not always check that pupils
ensure that individual pupils do as well as
have acted upon the advice in their books.
| A rapid pace of learning is not always |
sustained in parts of lessons in the Nursery and
Information about this inspection
- The inspectors observed the teaching in all classes. They visited 19 lessons taught by six
teachers. The headteacher joined inspectors for several of these visits and inspectors observed
her reporting back to teachers on the quality of learning and pupils’ achievement seen.
- Inspectors held discussions with pupils, the headteacher, teachers and the Chair of the
Governing Body. The lead inspector held a telephone conversation with a representative of the
- The inspectors looked at a range of evidence including hearing pupils read, records of pupils’
progress, safeguarding documentation, behaviour logs and the results of the school’s checks on
the quality of teaching. They also examined the work pupils were doing in their books.
- The views of 20 parents were analysed through the Parent View website. The views of parents
who met an inspector at the school gate were also considered.
|Gerald Griffin, Lead inspector||Additional Inspector|
|Stephen Howland||Additional Inspector|
Information about this school
- This is a smaller-than-average sized primary school.
- A smaller-than-average proportion of pupils are known to be eligible for the pupil premium,
which provides additional funding for children in local authority care, those from families in the
services (such as the army) and pupils known to be eligible for free school meals.
- The proportion of disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs supported
through school action is below average.
- The proportion of pupils supported at school action plus or with a statement of special
educational needs is also below average.
- The majority of pupils are White British.
- The school meets the government’s current floor standards, which set the minimum expectations
for pupils’ attainment and progress in English and mathematics.
What does the school need to do to improve further?
- Raise teaching and rates of progress to outstanding by:
ensuring that the tasks set for pupils in lessons are sufficiently demanding for each member of
checking that pupils always act upon the written comments in their books
sustaining a rapid pace to learning in creative development lessons and those extending
children’s knowledge and understanding of the world in the Nursery and Reception classes.
|The achievement of pupils||is good|
- Children start school with knowledge, skills and understanding at expected levels for their age.
Last year they joined the school below expectations. Children make generally good progress in
all areas of learning and this summer reached attainment that was average at the end of their
- While children’s progress in gaining knowledge and understanding of the world and in creative
development is good, it is not as quick as in other areas of learning. This is because they do not
have enough opportunities to investigate ideas in detail and to perform together, for example, in
dance and music.
- Pupils’ progress is good in Years 1 to 6 in reading, writing and mathematics. Last summer pupils
left Year 6 with above-average attainment. When writing, pupils use vocabulary and punctuation
skilfully to express their ideas clearly in many different ways, such as factual accounts, letters
- Progress in reading is good because pupils have well-developed skills in linking letters to the
sounds they make (phonics). They are keen to read and do so regularly. Attainment in reading is
currently above average in Year 2. Additionally, they have a good understanding of the material
they read and this is supported well by parents of younger pupils reading with their children at
- Progress in mathematics, which has been slower than that in English over the past few years,
has improved. This is because teachers are now skilled in teaching pupils to solve mathematical
problems. In an outstanding Year 2 lesson, pupils made very good progress in ordering random
numbers and writing down any that were missing. Pupils use their mathematics skills
competently to measure in science and in design and technology.
- Disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs concentrate well in lessons. Their
good progress is secured by effective teaching, which enables them to achieve small but
demanding steps in learning.
- The school provides effective support for those pupils known to be eligible for the pupil premium
and ensures that they, too, make good progress. For example, the school has trained adults to
support the needs of those pupils who have emotional difficulties so that they are able to
concentrate in lessons and make similar progress to their classmates.
- Pupil’s good progress and positive attitudes mean that they are well prepared for secondary
|The quality of teaching||is good|
- Teachers’ questions are probing and make pupils think deeply. They use resources such as
computers and educational games effectively to deepen pupils’ understanding.
- In the large majority of lessons, teachers use test and other data well to plan demanding tasks
that stretch all members of the class. Occasionally, work set for some pupils is either too hard or
too easy and their pace of learning slows.
- In the Nursery and Reception classes, teachers plan a good balance of adult-led and child-
chosen activities in an exciting setting. Learning takes place inside and outdoors, and develops
children’s understanding well. Teachers do not plan investigations and opportunities for children
to perform as well as they plan tasks in reading, writing and mathematics.
- Teachers plan many opportunities to develop pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural
awareness. For example, Year 6 pupils told an inspector that in a recent philosophy lesson they
had reflected deeply on how their actions might affect the feelings and emotions of those around
- Teaching assistants provide valuable support, especially for disabled pupils and those who have
special educational needs and those known to be eligible for the pupil premium. For example,
they take notes on pupils’ progress and pass them to the teacher to help plan the next steps in
- Marking and feedback provide pupils with a clear understanding of how they can improve their
work. However, teachers do not consistently check that pupils have acted upon this good advice.
|The behaviour and safety of pupils||are good|
- Parents, school records and discussions with pupils confirm that good behaviour is the norm.
- Pupils are polite, enthusiastic and have positive attitudes towards school and learning. They
cooperate and collaborate well in groups.
- Pupils have a good understanding of what constitutes bullying. They are fully aware of its
different forms, such as prejudice-based bullying. They say that there is no bullying in school.
Pupils are highly confident that if any bullying did take place it would be quickly resolved by the
- Pupils feel very safe and know precisely how to keep themselves safe, for example when moving
through the school’s narrow corridors.
- Attendance is above average, reflecting the pupils’ enjoyment of school.
|The leadership and management||are good|
- School leaders, including the governing body, aim high. Teaching has improved and there have
been more opportunities for pupils to use their basic skills in their work since the previous
inspection. Additionally, pupils can make choices about what they learn and so gain
independence. This shows the school is well placed to improve further.
- Leaders make thorough checks on teaching and the quality of learning, and plan purposefully to
tackle weaknesses and to improve teachers’ skills. For example, training is underway to develop
aspects of teachers’ planning in the Early Years Foundation Stage.
- Performance management of teaching is rigorous. Only those teachers that have met the
challenging targets set by the school for the progress of children in their class are considered for
- Leaders' regularly check on the progress made by each pupil and the resulting support and
guidance make sure that individual pupils quickly close any gaps in their knowledge and
- Teachers have a good understanding of the needs of disabled pupils and those who have special
educational needs. They use this information to provide good individual support. The help
provided for pupils whose circumstances may make them vulnerable is very effective.
- The local authority has made a strong contribution to the training of school leaders and to
improving the teaching of English.
- Nearly all parents expressed positive views about their children’s progress, teaching and the
leadership of the school. The school provides meetings that are well attended by parents, for
example about phonics, that help them to support their child’s learning at home.
- The way subjects are taught strongly promotes pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural
development. For example, the school provides many opportunities for pupils to gain an
understanding and respect for cultures that are different from their own. The school organises a
wide range of clubs for its pupils.
- The school completes all statutory checks on the suitability of staff to be employed. Child
protection training for staff is thorough, and leaders implement child protection policies
- Leaders have a clear commitment to combating discrimination and promoting equal
opportunities, as shown in the good progress made by all groups of pupils, from all
backgrounds. They foster good relations with outside agencies and other schools to improve
pupils’ life chances even more.
- The governance of the school:
Governors are well informed about the school’s performance and how well finance such as
the pupil premium funding is spent. This comes about through their visits to see the school
at work and from detailed reports by school staff. They use this information to ask searching
questions of senior leaders and, as a result, the quality of teaching and pupils’ achievement
has improved. Governors support strongly staff training, for example, through the sharing of
good practice with other local schools that has sharpened teachers’ skills and improved
pupils’ achievement. They also keep a careful eye on performance management
arrangements to see that robust targets are set and that performance is linked to pay.
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 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.
|Unique reference number||132043|
This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.
|Type of school||Primary|
|Age range of pupils||3–11|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Number of pupils on the school roll||181|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Date of previous school inspection||21 January 2010|
|Telephone number||01782 720406|
|Fax number||01782 720406|