The Weatheralls Primary School
phone: 01353 720456
headteacher: Mrs Chrissy Barclay
630 pupils capacity: 91% full
285 boys 50%
290 girls 51%
Last updated: July 21, 2014
Primary — Community School
- Education phase
- Establishment type
- Community School
- Establishment #
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 559462, Northing: 273476
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 52.336, Longitude: 0.33905
- Accepting pupils
- 3—11 years old
- Census date
- Jan. 16, 2014
- Ofsted last inspection
- June 12, 2014
- Region › Const. › Ward
- East of England › South East Cambridgeshire › Soham South
- Town and Fringe - less sparse
- Free school meals %
- 0.1 miles Soham County Infant School CB75BH
- 0.3 miles Soham CofE Junior School CB75HJ
- 0.5 miles Soham Village College CB75AA
- 0.5 miles Soham Village College CB75AA (1316 pupils)
- 0.6 miles St Andrew's CofE Primary School CB75AA (499 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Soham County Junior School CB75DD
- 1.1 mile The Shade Primary School CB75DE (32 pupils)
- 2.4 miles Wicken County Primary School CB75XW
- 2.9 miles Fordham CofE Primary School CB75NL (231 pupils)
- 3.1 miles Isleham Church of England Primary School CB75RZ (203 pupils)
- 4.1 miles Burwell Village College (Primary) CB250DU (435 pupils)
- 4.3 miles Little Thetford CofE VC Primary School CB63HD (108 pupils)
- 5 miles Stretham Community Primary School CB63JN (159 pupils)
- 5 miles Exning Primary School CB87EW (178 pupils)
- 5.1 miles West Row Community Primary School IP288NY (169 pupils)
- 5.3 miles The King's School Ely CB74DB (928 pupils)
- 5.3 miles Ely Pupil Referral Unit CB74DE
- 5.6 miles Spring Meadow Infant School CB74RB (448 pupils)
- 5.6 miles Ely St Mary's CofE Junior School CB74RB (360 pupils)
- 5.6 miles Acremont House Kings School Ely CB61AE
- 5.6 miles Ely Primary School CB74RB
- 5.7 miles Ely St John's Community Primary School CB63BW (479 pupils)
- 5.8 miles Highfield Special School CB61BD (104 pupils)
- 5.9 miles Laureate Community Primary School and Nursery CB80AN (259 pupils)
The Weatheralls Primary
Pratt Street, Soham, CB7 5BH
|Inspection dates||12–13 June 2014|
|Overall effectiveness||This inspection:||Good||2|
|Previous inspection:||Requires improvement||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
| Strong leadership has brought about |
Children in Nursery and Reception make good
Teaching has improved and is now securely
Teaching assistants make a valuable
Pupils’ behaviour is good and sometimes
considerable improvement since the last
progress, often from low starting points. This
continues through to Year 6, by which time
pupils attain broadly average standards in
reading and mathematics.
good, with some that is outstanding.
contribution to pupils’ learning.
outstanding in lessons and around the school.
| Procedures to ensure pupils are safe are |
The headteacher is well supported by other
The governing body makes a marked
effective. Pupils feel safe and are well looked
after by staff.
senior leaders, subject leaders, staff and
governors in raising achievement and
contribution to the success of the school. It has
an accurate view of the school’s performance
and governors are not afraid to ask demanding
questions and to hold the school to account.
| There are weaknesses in writing for some of |
Some work is not difficult enough for the
the older pupils in the school.
| Marking and the advice given to pupils about |
Some parents feel that their concerns are not
how to improve their work is better in some
classes in writing than it is in other subjects.
addressed quickly enough, particularly relating
to the behaviour of a very few pupils.
Information about this inspection
- The inspectors observed 21 lessons taught by 19 teachers together with a number of short parts
of lessons and other activities. They also observed groups led by teaching assistants. Some
observations were carried out jointly with the headteacher and assistant headteachers.
Inspectors also watched assemblies, lunchtimes and playtimes. They also observed pupils
arriving and leaving school.
- Discussions were held with pupils, parents, teaching and other staff, school leaders, members of
the governing body and a representative of the local authority.
- The inspectors looked at the work in pupils’ books and listened to pupils read.
- The inspectors took account of the 77 responses to the online survey Parent View and the 55
responses to the staff questionnaire. Inspectors also obtained the views of more than a dozen
parents bringing their children into different classes in the school and took into account the
views in twelve letters sent to inspectors by parents.
- The inspectors observed the school at work and considered a range of documentation. This
included data on pupils’ progress and attainment and future projections based on the school’s
analysis of pupils’ progress. They also looked at school improvement planning documents and
the school’s procedures to enable it to gain an accurate view of its performance. In addition, the
inspectors looked at minutes of governing body meetings and documentation relating to child
protection, safeguarding, behaviour and attendance.
|St.John Burkett, Lead inspector||Additional Inspector|
|Mark Redmile||Additional Inspector|
|Janette Daniels||Additional Inspector|
Information about this school
- Weatheralls is much larger than the average sized primary school. It is growing in size as it
changes from two classes in each year group to three.
- The proportion of disabled pupils and those with special educational needs supported through
school action is average. The proportion supported at school action plus or with a statement of
special educational needs is also average.
- The proportion of pupils known to be eligible for the pupil premium is average. This is additional
funding, which in this school supports pupils who are in local authority care and those known to
be eligible for free school meals.
- Most pupils are from White British backgrounds. Approximately one-tenth of pupils at the school
are from white backgrounds other than British.
- A before- and after-school club are situated within the main school buildings. They are managed
by organisations other than the school and inspected separately.
- The school meets the government’s current floor standards, which set the minimum expectations
for pupils’ attainment and progress in reading, writing and mathematics.
- The school is supported in its work by the East Anglian Gateway Teaching School Alliance.
What does the school need to do to improve further?
- Improve teaching and progress, particularly in writing by:
ensuring that marking is equally strong in all subjects, and that pupils always respond to the
consistently give more-able pupils harder work in lessons.
- Improve communication with parents by:
acting consistently to manage behaviour and to resolve any issue
making it easier for parents to speak to the school’s senior leaders
ensuring that teachers have enough time to talk to parents about how well their children are
|The achievement of pupils||is good|
- Pupils’ achievement is rising consistently across the school. Children start in the Nursery and
Reception classes with skills and knowledge that are below and often well below those typical for
their age. They make good progress and by the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage are
reaching standards closer to those expected for their age in reading, writing and mathematics.
- Pupils continue to make good progress so that since the previous inspection, pupils’ attainment
in Y2 has risen and is in line with the national average in reading, writing and mathematics.
- Standards attained by pupils have risen since the previous inspection and at the end of Year 6 in
2013 were in line with the national average, although they remain below in writing. Since the
previous inspection, the school has worked to improve the progress that pupils make. Evidence
seen during the inspection indicates that pupils are now making good and sometimes
exceptional progress in all year groups. However, the school’s tracking indicates that for some of
the school’s older pupils achievement in writing is below that in reading and mathematics, due to
weaknesses in teaching prior to the previous inspection.
- Pupils’ achievement is rising because teaching is improving and because they are keen to learn
and work positively together to develop their skills.
- Pupils make good progress in understanding and using the sounds that letters make to read and
write because the teaching of phonics is well structured. The proportion of pupils meeting the
required standard at the end of Y1 was in line with the national average in 2013 and is now
above average, according to the school’s own data. Pupils of all ages are competent readers and
enjoy reading a range of books. The work of the school librarian and the well-stocked library
contribute significantly to pupils’ positive attitude to reading.
- Pupil premium funding is used effectively to support eligible pupils. As a result, they are making
progress similar to and in some cases better than that of their classmates. In 2013 the
attainment gap had closed so that they were attaining at similar levels to other pupils.
- Pupils who are from other ethnic groups including those from other white backgrounds achieve
similarly to other pupils because they are well supported and have positive attitudes to their
- Disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs make good progress because of
effective teaching and the high quality support and guidance provided by teaching assistants.
- The school is using primary school sports funding well to develop the skills of staff and
consequently improve the learning and participation of pupils in PE. For example, teachers have
been trained to teach dance within the curriculum.
- More-able pupils are effectively challenged in most lessons. However, occasionally they are not
given work which is hard enough.
|The quality of teaching||is good|
- Teaching has improved since the previous inspection and is now securely good with some that is
- Teaching successfully engages pupils and promotes good progress for all groups. Teachers
establish positive relationships with the pupils and make good use of questioning to probe,
extend pupils’ understanding and improve their learning. Teachers generally have high
expectations for what pupils can achieve, and carefully plan work to ensure pupils can all make
- The improved teaching to ensure that all pupils can make good progress demonstrates the
school’s successful commitment to ensuring equal opportunities and eliminating any
- Pupils understand clearly what they are learning because teachers explain it well and because
the quality of marking and advice is mostly highly effective. It is usually detailed and thorough.
Teachers provide praise for good work and constructive comments to guide pupils to the next
stage of their learning. Pupils appreciate the care teachers take to mark their work and report
how the marking really helps their learning. However, in some classes marking gives pupils
clearer advice in writing than in other subjects. Although most pupils listen carefully to advice
and then improve their work, on a few occasions they do not have the opportunity to do so.
- The opportunities teachers provide to enable pupils to talk to each other about their work and
help each other in their learning is effective in raising the rates at which pupils learn.
- Teaching assistants work well with pupils of all ages. They are particularly effective in helping
those who find learning more difficult, or those who may need to be helped with their behaviour,
ensuring all pupils focus well on their learning and make good progress.
- In the Early Years Foundation Stage, pupils are taught well and make good gains in their
learning. They receive good guidance and instruction from adults in speaking, writing and
numeracy. Children are given good opportunities to explore, be creative and find things out for
- Teachers are accurate and thorough in checking pupils’ attainment. They use this information
well to plan their teaching and in most lessons to set challenging work for different groups of
pupils and to set them clear individual targets for learning. Occasionally, more-able pupils are
not given work which makes them think hard and improve their learning well.
- Teaching across the school is becoming increasingly more effective and growing numbers of
pupils are experiencing outstanding teaching. Where teaching is particularly effective, pupils are
absorbed by what they are learning and make rapid progress.
|The behaviour and safety of pupils||are good|
- The behaviour of pupils is good. Pupils behave well and often in an exemplary manner in lessons
and around the school, for example, during and after playtimes or when leaving the hall. They
get on well with their teachers and other staff, and are polite and respectful to adults and to
each other. Pupils are confident speakers and express their views clearly, particularly when
talking about their work.
- Pupils work well in lessons, respond quickly to teachers instructions, cooperate well with each
other on tasks and are friendly and helpful. They are enthusiastic about learning, and teachers
are becoming increasingly skilful at talking to pupils about how to improve their work.
- Pupils take care over the content of their work and are proud of what they achieve. They look
after their books carefully and are neat and tidy when they set work out. However, at times
pupils’ handwriting can be untidy.
- The school successfully promotes a love of learning and is fostering pupils’ spiritual, moral, social
and cultural development through growing numbers of opportunities. For example, in a singing
assembly they were asked to think about the power of music and to reflect on their own
thoughts and feelings.
- The school’s work to keep pupils safe and secure is good. As a result pupils say that they feel
safe at school and very well cared for by staff. They remarked ‘All adults sort out any situation
you get into’ and that this included issues which took place out of school.
- Pupils have a clear understanding of bullying and its different forms, including name-calling and
cyber-bullying. How to deal with bullying is strongly promoted by the school through the use of
‘Bullying Ambassadors’ and the e-learning curriculum. Pupils understand the difference between
bullying and falling out with their friends. During the inspection, a number of parents expressed
concern at incidents in the past relating to a very few pupils, or uncertainty about how behaviour
was managed. Inspectors observed that pupils all got on well with each other and found that
behaviour was well-managed in classrooms and around the school.
- The school uses a red and yellow card system to manage behaviour. Not all staff are using this
as intended and so it is not working as well as it could.
- The school works hard to promote and check good attendance. Consequently absence has fallen
and the school’s own data shows attendance is now above average.
|The leadership and management||are good|
- The headteacher, together with other leaders and staff has successfully driven up improvement
in teaching and achievement since the previous inspection. Together, they have established high
standards in all classrooms and pupils are making improving progress.
- The school’s senior leaders work together to provide a strong team who are moving the school
forward. Subject and other leaders are keen to promote continuing improvement and are playing
a growing role in ensuring that a rising proportion of pupils are exceeding nationally expected
progress. Recent appointments have strengthened the quality of leadership and confirmed the
school’s capacity for further improvement.
- The school’s own view of its performance is accurate and realistic and it has written detailed
action plans to ensure that it continues to improve.
- The management of teachers’ performance is thorough and has contributed to improvements in
the quality of teaching across the school. Decisions regarding pay and progression are directly
linked to whether staff meet their targets and the impact they are having on pupils’
achievement. Training is matched to the school’s priorities for improvement and its effectiveness
is reflected in the improving quality of teaching and the adult support observed in lessons.
However, some teachers said they have sometimes been asked to take on additional work
beyond that which might normally be expected, and that their work is checked too often. As a
result, there is sometimes not enough time to talk to parents about how well their children are
- Until recently, subjects were focused on the core skills of reading, writing and mathematics in
order to raise standards of achievement in these areas. The school now provides a more suitably
broad range of subjects that meets the interest of pupils. Appropriate emphasis is now given to
developing pupils’ literacy and numeracy skills through other subjects. As a result, pupils strive
to achieve well. A range of clubs, residential and other trips, visits and visitors make pupils’
learning meaningful. Pupil’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is promoted
- The school is using the primary sport funding to support a range of initiatives that are designed
to increase pupils’ involvement. These include taking part in competitive sports days, with some
success, and joining in events with other local schools. A change for life club promotes healthy
lifestyles and awareness.
- The local authority supports the school well, particularly by working with senior leaders to check
on the progress and impact of the school’s work. Partnerships with local schools, particularly
through a Teaching Schools Alliance also helps the school to share and develop good practice.
- Some of those parents and staff who shared their views during the inspection told inspectors
that it is sometimes hard to tell the school’s senior leaders about worries they have about
children at the school and that sometimes things have not been made better straight away.
Whilst inspectors agree with these comments they found the leadership and management of the
school to be good overall because of the way leaders, teachers and staff work together and the
standards of achievement, teaching and behaviour seen during the inspection.
- The governance of the school:
The governing body is highly effective in its work. Governors are well-informed and ambitious.
They know the school well and bring a wide range of expertise to their roles. As a result they
hold leaders rigorously to account but are also able to provide good support and advice
regarding development priorities. They regularly review the quality of their own work and seek
to improve how they work with the school. They ensure financial management is robust and
teachers are rewarded for the quality of their work, although they have not considered the
work-life balance of teachers carefully enough. They visit the school regularly and draw on
what they learn from these visits to evidence improvement. They are confident the school is
improving and that the targets set for the end of the year will be met. Governors have a
detailed knowledge of safeguarding procedures and ensure statutory 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 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||110769|
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||570|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Date of previous school inspection||12 December 2012|
|Telephone number||01353 720456|