School etc

Walsall Wood School

Walsall Wood School
Brownhills Road
West Midlands

phone: 01543 452664

headteacher: Mrs J Garratt


school holidays: via Walsall council

237 pupils aged 3—10y mixed gender
210 pupils capacity: 112% full

115 boys 49%


120 girls 51%


Last updated: July 3, 2014

Primary — Community School

Education phase
Establishment type
Community School
Establishment #
OSGB coordinates
Easting: 405072, Northing: 303806
GPS coordinates
Latitude: 52.632, Longitude: -1.9265
Accepting pupils
3—11 years old
Census date
Jan. 16, 2014
Ofsted last inspection
May 17, 2012
Region › Const. › Ward
West Midlands › Aldridge-Brownhills › Aldridge North and Walsall Wood
Urban > 10k - less sparse
Admissions policy
SEN priorities
SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty
Free school meals %

rooms to rent in Walsall

Schools nearby

  1. 0.3 miles Shire Oak School (A Science College) WS99PA
  2. 0.3 miles Oakwood School WS99JS (61 pupils)
  3. 0.3 miles Shire Oak Academy WS99PA (1405 pupils)
  4. 0.4 miles St John's Church of England Primary School WS99NA (377 pupils)
  5. 0.5 miles Castlefort Junior Mixed and Infant School WS99JP (234 pupils)
  6. 0.8 miles Millfield Primary School WS86BN (203 pupils)
  7. 0.8 miles Holy Trinity Church of England Primary School WS87EG (234 pupils)
  8. 1 mile Ogley Hay Nursery School WS86AU (56 pupils)
  9. 1 mile Ogley Hay Infant School WS86AB
  10. 1 mile Chase House School WS86AR (5 pupils)
  11. 1.1 mile Shelfield Sports and Community College WS41BW
  12. 1.1 mile St James Primary School WS86AE (173 pupils)
  13. 1.1 mile Shelfield Community Academy WS41BW (1371 pupils)
  14. 1.2 mile Ogley Hay Junior School WS86AE
  15. 1.3 mile Shelford Infant School WS41QG
  16. 1.4 mile Leighswood Infant School WS98HZ
  17. 1.4 mile St Bernadette's Catholic Primary School WS86HX (183 pupils)
  18. 1.4 mile St Peter's CofE (C) Primary School WS99EE (163 pupils)
  19. 1.4 mile Leighswood School WS98HZ (563 pupils)
  20. 1.5 mile Leighswood Junior School WS98HY
  21. 1.5 mile St Francis Catholic Primary School WS41RH (214 pupils)
  22. 1.6 mile Ryders Hayes Community School WS34HX
  23. 1.6 mile Brownhills School WS87QG (649 pupils)
  24. 1.6 mile Ryders Hayes School WS34HX (468 pupils)

List of schools in Walsall

Age group 3–11
Inspection date(s) 17–18 May 2012
Inspection number 377030

Walsall Wood School

Inspection report

Unique reference number 104201
Local authority Walsall
Inspection number 377030
Inspection dates 17–18 May 2012
Lead inspector Bogusia Matusiak-Varley

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 240
Appropriate authority The governing body
Chair Rick Gamble
Headteacher Jenny Garratt
Date of prev ious school inspection 12 September 2007
School address Brownhills Road
Telephone number 01543 452664
Fax number 01543 453105
Email address reveal email: post…

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Inspection team

Bogusia Matusiak-Varley Additional Inspector
Robert Miller Additional Inspector

This inspection was carried out with two days’ notice. The inspectors visited 19
lessons taught by nine teachers. They heard pupils read and scrutinised their work in
workbooks and on displays. Groups that support disabled pupils, and those with
special educational needs and those falling behind in aspects of their class work,
were observed. Meetings were held with senior staff, members of the governing
body, pupils, and parents and carers. Inspectors took account of the responses to
the on-line questionnaire (Parent View) in planning the inspection. They observed

the school’s work, looked at a wide range of documentation including the school’s

self-evaluation, school improvement plan and systems of performance management
as well as assessment data to monitor the progress of different groups of pupils.
Questionnaire returns from 98 parents and carers, 50 pupils and 27 staff were

Information about the school

This is an average-sized primary school with a grant-funded nursery. The proportion
of pupils eligible for free school meals is above average. The proportion of disabled
pupils and those on school action plus or with a statement of special educational
needs is below average. The number of children from minority ethnic groups is below
average. Three looked after children attend the school.
The school has recently been accredited with the Healthy Schools Bronze Award,
Dyslexia Friendly award (level 2), International School award (level 2), Young

Leader’s Sports award, 360 E safety award and Advanced Level for Looked after

Children practice. Since the last inspection in 2007, a new headteacher has been
appointed. The school meets current floor standards, which set the minimum

expectations for pupils’ attainment and progress.

Inspection judgements

Overall effectiveness 2
Achievement of pupils 2
Quality of teaching 2
Behaviour and safety of pupils 1
Leadership and management 1

Key findings

  • This is a good school. Pupils achieve well because of good teaching and make
    excellent progress in their personal, social and emotional development. It is not
    yet outstanding as there are some average-attaining pupils who are not
    reaching the higher levels in writing, but have the potential. There are also a
    few inconsistencies in teaching related to marking and the frequency with which
    pupils’ understanding is checked in lessons. Furthermore, in the Early Years
    Foundation Stage, children’s’ progress in knowledge and understanding of the
    world is not as fast as in other areas of learning.
  • Achievement is good for all groups of pupils including those with disabilities and
    special educational needs, and pupils who are eligible for free school meals.
    From below average starting points, pupils reach broadly average levels of
    attainment in English and mathematics by the time they leave the school.
    Progress is accelerating and current Year 6 pupils are attaining at higher levels.
  • Teaching is good. Staff are determined to become outstanding teachers and the
    school’s highly stringent performance management procedures are moving
    them securely towards this goal.
  • Pupils’ behaviour, safety and attitudes to learning are outstanding. This is due
    to excellent relationships, robust systems for safeguarding and a well-thought-
    out curriculum promoting very high levels of engagement in learning and
    outstanding spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
  • Leadership and management at all levels are outstanding. Members of the
    governing body are highly ambitious, well-informed ‘critical friends’ who offer
    excellent support. Relentless commitment to improvement, and rigorous
    monitoring of teaching and learning by the headteacher and senior leaders,
    have ensured that teaching is consistently good and continuing to improve. This
    is leading to accelerating progress for pupils in reading, writing and

What does the school need to do to improve further?

  • Improve the quality of teaching and learning from good to outstanding by
    ensuring that all teachers:
    check pupils’ understanding regularly in lessons to consolidate learning
    identify the next steps in learning when marking topic books.
  • Develop the writing skills of those average-attaining pupils who, with extra
    targeted support, could reach higher standards.
  • Provide children in the Early Years Foundation Stage with a wider range of
    opportunities to develop their knowledge and understanding of the world by
    ensuring that planning precisely identifies the skills and knowledge that children
    need to learn.

Main report

Achievement of pupils

The achievement of all groups of pupils is good. Parents and carers are delighted
with the school. They state that the headteacher and senior leadership team do
everything possible to ensure that all groups of learners make accelerated progress.
This is fully supported by inspection evidence.
Outstanding relationships, underpinned by a good sense of humour, put pupils at
ease. An ‘I can’ culture permeates learning in the school. When asked how well the
national tests went in mathematics, a Year 6 pupil said, ‘I did my best. I was well
prepared because I knew that I could tackle any question.’ Attainment in English and
mathematics by the end of Year 6 is in line with the national average. All pupils,
including disabled pupils, those with special educational needs, those eligible for free
school meals, from minority ethnic backgrounds and looked after children achieve
well. This is because of excellent analysis of their progress and targeted support for
each pupil. This was observed in a supplementary reading session where a pupil in
Year 3 used her knowledge of letter sounds to decode unfamiliar words. Skilled
teaching assistants work with small groups to ensure that any gaps in learning are
quickly closed. Nevertheless, there are times in lessons when pupils who are average
attainers could be pushed a bit more to get higher standards, especially in writing.
In the Early Years Foundation Stage, the vast majority of children arrive with skills
and understanding below those expected. They make good progress in all areas of
learning, other than in personal, social and emotional development, where progress
is outstanding, and in knowledge and understanding of the world, where progress is
satisfactory. They enter Year 1 at the expected levels and well equipped to start

formal learning.
Throughout the school, all groups of pupils make good progress in reading because
they have a strong grasp of letters and sounds and they have a love of books. While
attainment in reading is broadly average by the end of Year 2, an above average
proportion of pupils achieve higher levels, and this trend is continuing into Year 6.
Pupils eagerly talk about their favourite authors being Roald Dahl and Jacqueline
Wilson. They can explain the different techniques used by them to create moods and
feelings, and to captivate the reader.
Pupils achieve well in mathematics, particularly in problem solving. All groups of
pupils are confident mathematicians and use their secure knowledge of the four rules
of number to solve mathematical problems. While standards in writing are improving
rapidly, with the proportion of pupils attaining average levels surpassing the national
average, there are nevertheless missed opportunities in lessons to ensure that a
greater proportion of average-attaining pupils reach higher levels. Attainment is
rising rapidly and this year, pupils in Year 6 are attaining at higher levels in both
English and mathematics.

Quality of Teaching

Teaching is good and improving due to the headteacher’s and senior leaders’
rigorous monitoring of teaching and learning, coaching, identification of specific
targets for improvement and regular checks to ensure implementation. Pupils say
that teachers help them learn effectively and parents and carers are overwhelmingly
positive about the quality of teaching in the school. Inspection evidence from lesson
observations and scrutiny of pupils’ work over time supports this judgement.
Teachers go to great lengths to make learning exciting and plan work that enthuses
pupils. For example, in Early Years Foundation Stage, the children, joined by their
parents, dressed up as pirates and went on a treasure hunt. This enthusiasm for
learning is a hallmark of this school. When a group of underperforming boys were
reluctant to write, the teacher set up some writing opportunities for them based on

Ricky Gervais’s characters called the ‘Flanimals’. This inspired the boys to develop

their use of descriptive vocabulary. Pupils with disabilities and special educational
needs are taught well because activities are tailored well to meet their needs.
Teaching in this school is characterised by high expectations, a culture of ‘reach for

the stars’ and generally accurate matching of work to meet pupils’ needs. In an

outstanding literacy lesson in Year 2, for example, the teacher persistently
encouraged pupils to use descriptive vocabulary to write about a story strip. The
staff’s consistent use of ‘Writing in codes’ (an in-house system used for raising
standards in writing) is paying dividends as pupils are clear as to how to structure
their sentences. Reading is taught well with teachers sharing their interest in books
with the pupils. This makes a positive contribution to their spiritual, moral, social and
cultural development.
Learning in lessons is characterised by a hub of activity, with pupils helping one

another to make improvements in their work, asking questions of the teacher and
solving problems using higher-order thinking skills. The well-planned curriculum has
a very high focus on learning about international perspectives, learning through first-
hand experiences and providing excellent opportunities for spiritual, moral, social and
cultural understanding, which contributes to pupils’ excellent attitudes to learning.
Teachers use assessment data well to plan the next steps of learning for all groups
of pupils but on a few occasions they do not check pupils’ understanding in lessons
sufficiently and do not always give enough feedback in their marking in topic books.
This slows down learning and prevents teaching from being outstanding. Very
precise marking is undertaken in pupils’ English and mathematics books and this
contributes to pupils’ good rates of progress. Teachers endeavour to find the
teaching style that best suits pupils’ learning, and this is why learning is consistently

Behaviour and Safety

The behaviour and safety of pupils are outstanding. Pupils are rightly proud of their
school, as demonstrated by above average attendance and excellent attitudes to

learning. Parents and carers say that their children cannot wait to come to school

every morning and only wish that school would be open every day of the year. They
also consider that the school is an extremely safe community and that they know
that their children are very well looked after. The vast majority of parents and carers
say that over time behaviour is exemplary, and inspectors endorse this view. Pupils
are excellent ambassadors of their school and demonstrate high levels of
thoughtfulness. They make every effort to ensure that others learn and thrive in an
atmosphere of respect and dignity. The school council, school mayor and playground
play leaders take their responsibilities very seriously, resulting in a well-ordered and
safe, cohesive community.
Pupils are very knowledgeable about the different forms of bullying, particularly
cyber, emotional and physical bullying. The school hosted a competition called ‘Stop
and think, words can hurt’ and presented the Mayor of Walsall with an anti-bullying
T-shirt. Pupils are adamant that there is no name-calling and there have been no
racist incidents in the school. Contributory factors to pupils’ excellent behaviour are
the implementation of the international dimension of learning where pupils learn
about different cultures and the sterling work done by the learning mentor . This is a
good improvement on the last inspection. Participation in the ‘Children’s University’ is
helping raise aspirations, as is the pupils’ access to an excellent range of learning
opportunities outside of school hours.

Leadership and Management

The headteacher leads the school with drive and determination, and the pursuit of
excellence is shared by all members of staff and is at the heart of all the school’s
activities. This is leading to rapidly improving teaching which is accelerating progress
for all groups of pupils. Leaders at all levels rigorously evaluate all aspects of

provision and this is underpinned by well-communicated systems for improvement.
Staff are clear as to which pupils need extra support in overcoming barriers to
learning because very accurate use is made of data. The school is moving towards
being outstanding because performance management systems are proving to be very
effective, as seen in the rise in standards in mathematics and reading over three
years. This is supported by high quality professional development.
All staff with responsibilities execute their duties very well. As a result of this and the

school’s accurate and thorough self-evaluation, the school has made significant

improvement since the last inspection. The headteacher and other leaders continue
to move teaching on to a much higher level by working alongside staff and
encouraging them to ‘go the extra mile’ to improve their work. The governing body
plays a very important role in school development and offers respectful, but rigorous,
challenge to leaders at all levels. It is involved in all aspects of school life and
ensures that the school’s arrangements for safeguarding meet all statutory

requirements. All this confirms the school’s strong capacity for sustained
improvement as everyone is ambitious to improve the school’s performance still

The monitoring of teaching and learning by the headteacher and senior leaders has
turned satisfactory teaching into securely good and rapidly improving teaching with
several examples of outstanding teaching. The curriculum offers memorable learning
opportunities for the development of basic skills and excellent opportunities to

develop pupils’ understanding of all aspects of spiritual, moral, social and cultural

development. Equality of opportunity is at the heart of all of the school’s work and no
pupil is left behind because performance is rigorously monitored and staff
understand what they have to do in order to improve.


What inspection judgements mean

Grade Judgement Description
Grade 1 Outstanding These features are highly effective. An outstanding
school provides exceptionally well for all its pupils’ needs.
Grade 2 Good These are very positive features of a school. A school
that is good is serving its pupils well.
Grade 3 Satisfactory These features are of reasonable quality. A satisfactory
school is providing adequately for its pupils.
Grade 4 Inadequate These features are not of an acceptable standard. An
inadequate school needs to make significant
improvement in order to meet the needs of its pupils.
Ofsted inspectors will make further visits until it

Overall effectiveness of schools

Overall effectiveness judgement (percentage of schools)
Type of school Outstanding Good Satisfactory Inadequate
Nursery schools 54 42 2 2
Primary schools 14 49 32 6
20 39 34 7
Special schools 33 45 20 3
Pupil referral
9 55 29 8
All schools 16 47 31 6

New school inspection arrangements have been introduced from 1 January 2012. This means that
inspectors make judgements that were not made previously.
The data in the table above are for the period 1 September to 31 December 2011 and represent
judgements that were made under the school inspection arrangements that were introduced on 1
September 2009. These data are consistent with the latest published official statistics about
maintained school inspection outcomes (see
The sample of schools inspected during 2010/11 was not representative of all schools nationally, as
weaker schools are inspected more frequently than good or outstanding schools.
Primary schools include primary academy converters. Secondary schools include secondary academy
converters, sponsor-led academies and city technology colleges. Special schools include special
academy converters and non-maintained special schools.

Percentages are rounded and do not always add exactly to 100.

Common terminology used by inspectors

Achievement: the progress and success of a pupil in their

learning and development taking account of their

Attainment: the standard of the pupils’ work shown by test and

examination results and in lessons.

Attendance: the regular attendance of pupils at school and in

lessons, taking into account the school’s efforts to

encourage good attendance.

Behaviour: how well pupils behave in lessons, with emphasis

on their attitude to learning. Pupils’ punctuality to

lessons and their conduct around the school.

Capacity to improve: the proven ability of the school to continue

improving based on its self-evaluation and what
the school has accomplished so far and on the
quality of its systems to maintain improvement.

Leadership and management: the contribution of all the staff with responsibilities,

not just the governors and headteacher, to
identifying priorities, directing and motivating staff
and running the school.

Learning: how well pupils acquire knowledge, develop their

understanding, learn and practise skills and are
developing their competence as learners.

Overall effectiveness: inspectors form a judgement on a school’s overall

effectiveness based on the findings from their
inspection of the school.

Progress: the rate at which pupils are learning in lessons and

over longer periods of time. It is often measured

by comparing the pupils’ attainment at the end of a

key stage with their attainment when they started.

Safety: how safe pupils are in school, including in lessons;

and their understanding of risks. Pupils’ freedom

from bullying and harassment. How well the school
promotes safety, for example e-learning.

22 May 2012
Dear Pupils

Inspection of Walsall Wood School, Walsall WS8 7BP

Thank you for the warm welcome you gave us when we visited your school and
thank you for taking the time to tell us, both in discussions and through your
questionnaires, how much you enjoy learning, and how much you respect and like
your teachers. We found that your school gives you a good quality of education.
These are some of the things that we liked most.

  • You make good progress in reading, writing and mathematics. We were
    particularly impressed by the way you ask for help and how well you evaluate
    each other’s learning.
  • You are exceptionally polite, well behaved and friendly, and are good
    ambassadors for your school.
  • You take your responsibilities in respect of the school council and playground
    mentors very seriously and this has a positive effect on developing your early
    leadership skills.
  • You are extremely safe in school and you get on very well with all of your
  • Your teachers take good care of you and they teach you well.

We have asked your headteacher, staff and governing body to do the following
things to improve the school.

  • Work towards getting more examples of outstanding teaching through the
    school by making sure teachers check your learning more regularly in lessons
    and show you how to improve your topic work when they mark your books.
  • Plan interesting activities for children in the Reception and Nursery class so that
    they do better in getting to know about the world around them.
  • Push those of you who are just on the cusp of getting higher levels in writing a
    bit more so that you can get even higher levels in your national tests.

All of you can help by always doing your very best and continuing to behave well.
I wish you all the very best for the future.
Yours sincerely
Bogusia Matusiak-Varley
Lead inspector


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