School etc Great British

William Morris School

William Morris School
Bretch Hill

01295 258224

Headteacher: Mrs S Newman

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184 pupils aged 3—10y mixed gender
175 pupils capacity: 105% full

105 boys 56%


80 girls 43%


Last updated: June 20, 2014

Primary — Community School

Education phase
Establishment type
Community School
Establishment #
OSGB coordinates
Easting: 443655, Northing: 241193
GPS coordinates
Latitude: 52.067, Longitude: -1.3646
Accepting pupils
3—11 years old
Census date
Jan. 16, 2014
Ofsted last inspection
May 16, 2013
Region › Const. › Ward
South East › Banbury › Banbury Ruscote
Urban > 10k - less sparse
Free school meals %

Rooms & flats to rent in Banbury

Schools nearby

  1. William Morris Nursery School OX160UZ
  2. 0.3 miles Drayton School OX160UD
  3. 0.3 miles North Oxfordshire Academy OX160UD (1013 pupils)
  4. 0.4 miles Neithrop County Junior School OX160RD
  5. 0.4 miles Hill View Primary School OX161DN (522 pupils)
  6. 0.5 miles St Joseph's Catholic Primary School, Banbury OX160ET (222 pupils)
  7. 0.5 miles St Joseph's Catholic Primary School, Banbury OX160ET
  8. 0.6 miles Orchard Fields Community School OX160QT (400 pupils)
  9. 0.6 miles Hardwick Primary School OX161XE (196 pupils)
  10. 0.8 miles Frank Wise School OX169RL (108 pupils)
  11. 0.9 miles Banbury Pupil Referral Unit OX169QJ
  12. 0.9 miles North Oxfordshire College and School of Art OX169QA
  13. 1 mile Queensway School OX169NF (253 pupils)
  14. 1.1 mile St Mary's Church of England (VC) Primary School, Banbury OX162EG (228 pupils)
  15. 1.1 mile Hanwell Fields Community School OX161ER
  16. 1.1 mile Hanwell Fields Community School OX161ER (306 pupils)
  17. 1.2 mile Harriers Ground Community Primary School OX169JW
  18. 1.2 mile Harriers Banbury Academy OX169JW (334 pupils)
  19. 1.3 mile Dashwood School OX164RX
  20. 1.3 mile Bishop Carpenter Church of England Aided Primary School OX156AQ (112 pupils)
  21. 1.3 mile St John's Priory School OX165HX (108 pupils)
  22. 1.3 mile English Language Training OX169AH
  23. 1.5 mile Banbury School OX169HY
  24. 1.5 mile Banbury Academy OX169HY (1086 pupils)

List of schools in Banbury

Ofsted report: Newer report is now available. Search "122998" on latest issued May 16, 2013.

William Morris Primary School

Inspection report

Unique Reference Number122998
Local Authority
Inspection number340253
Inspection dates21–22 October 2009
Reporting inspectorDoris Bell

This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.
Type of schoolPrimary
School categoryCommunity
Age range of pupils3–11
Gender of pupilsMixed
Number of pupils on the school roll153
Appropriate authorityThe governing body
ChairDavid Bradley
HeadteacherSally Newman
Date of previous school inspection 18 October 2006
School addressBretch Hill
Oxfordshire OX16 0UZ
Telephone number01295 258224
Fax number01295 252317

Age group3–11
Inspection dates21–22 October 2009
Inspection number340253

© Crown copyright 2009


This inspection was carried out by three additional inspectors. The inspectors visited 18 lessons, and held meetings with the chair of governors, staff, pupils and parents. They observed the school's work, and looked at a wide range of documentation including teachers' planning, pupils' books, the school improvement plan, monitoring and evaluation records, assessment records, individual educational plans, minutes of meetings and the termly reports of the school improvement partner. The responses from the pupil and staff questionnaires were analysed, as were the responses from the 20 parents' questionnaires.

The inspection team reviewed many aspects of the school's work. They looked in detail at the following:

    • whether teaching is sufficiently challenging for all groups of pupils currently in the school, especially in mathematics in Key Stage 2
    • pupils' understanding of how to keep themselves safe, fit and healthy, and whether the school is doing everything it can to improve attendance
    • how well literacy, numeracy and information and communication technology skills are promoted in all subjects and whether this is helping to accelerate progress
    • the Early Years Foundation Stage as a possible strength of the school, giving children a secure springboard for further good achievement in older year groups.

Information about the school

The school is smaller than average. Its Early Years Foundation Stage caters for 43 children of Nursery and Reception age; three-year-olds attend part-time and four-year-olds attend full-time. Almost all pupils are of White British heritage. The proportion of pupils known to be eligible for free school meals is well above average. Almost 50% of the pupils have special educational needs and/or disabilities, and in the current Year 3 this rises to 68%. These figures are well above average. The school has been awarded an Activemark for its work to encourage physical exercise.

Inspection grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is satisfactory, and 4 is inadequate
Please turn to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms

Inspection judgements

Overall effectiveness: how good is the school?


The school's capacity for sustained improvement


Main findings

This is a good school. It has improved considerably since its previous inspection and since the interim monitoring visit that recognised it was on its way. This is due in no small measure to the dynamic drive provided by the school's leaders and managers, including the governors, and especially the headteacher. Their persistent determination to improve pupils' learning has resulted in progress that has been significantly better than expected for several years. This is evident too from the school's tracking systems, although they also show clearly that the more able pupils do not always make as much additional progress as other pupils. More challenging work is always planned for them but they do not always get to it quickly enough, especially in mathematics lessons. The school knows this, having picked it up in its own monitoring.

All groups of pupils achieve well. Test results are affected by the differing proportions of pupils who have special educational needs and/or disabilities in each year group but overall, they are rising. Additional support for pupils who find learning difficult for whatever reason, regular and perceptive checks on teaching and learning, and opportunities for staff to observe and learn from each other all contribute to the pupils' good progress. The school's rigorous evaluation of its own work is accurate and well founded and it leads to well-considered priorities for improvement. All of the above demonstrates that the school has good capacity for sustained improvement in the future.

All adults adhere to the underlying principles of providing a rich, supportive learning environment that helps pupils thrive. This starts with the outstanding provision in the Early Years Foundation Stage, the impact of which is clearly evident in the good progress and much improved standards seen in Years 1 and 2. The current Year 2 group is the first to have benefited from the move to full-time education for four-year-olds. The well-planned curriculum rightly focuses heavily on communication skills, which are taught effectively through all subjects. Lessons build up the different skills required for pupils to write well but there are too few opportunities for them to write independently and at length. All work is marked. In literacy, marking includes, increasingly but not yet consistently, comments that show pupils how to improve. This happens only occasionally in other subjects. Pupils in Year 6 report that they have time to respond to the teacher's comments but this good practice is not evident elsewhere in the school.

Pupils behave well and they make an excellent contribution to the school and wider community. They feel very safe and secure in school and have an extremely good understanding of how to keep themselves safe. They single out the nurturing provision for special mention because of the way it helps them to deal with anger and solve personal problems that get in the way of their learning. Pupils who have special educational needs and/or disabilities, including those who have behavioural needs, all make good progress because of the effective provision made for them. All of this is part of the excellent overall care, guidance and support the school provides for all pupils, from the least to the most vulnerable. The school's excellent partnerships with external agencies contribute hugely to this aspect of its work, as do its good relationships with parents.

What does the school need to do to improve further?

  • Increase the pace of pupils' progress, especially in writing, by:
    • achieving consistency in marking so that it always shows pupils how to improve
    • extending the good practice of giving pupils time to respond to marking to all year groups
    • giving pupils more opportunities to write independently and at length and marking their writing skills when they do so in different subjects.
  • Accelerate the progress of the more able pupils, especially in mathematics, by moving them on sooner to the more challenging work planned for them.

Outcomes for individuals and groups of pupils


Pupils start school with skills that are much lower than expected for their age, especially in literacy, and they leave the school having reached broadly average standards. They work hard and in most lessons boys, girls and pupils at different ability levels all make good progress because work is usually pitched at the right level for them. This was particularly so in a Year 6 poetry session observed during the inspection, where the more able pupils used features such as personification and similes, the middle-ability group concentrated on similes, and less able pupils extended their understanding of how to use a range of adjectives to enliven their poetry. In mathematics, the progress of the more able pupils, although good overall, is limited by having to work through too many simple tasks and therefore running out of time to complete the more challenging work planned for them.

In all year groups, there are good examples in pupils' books of their learning to write effective introductions, construct plots and consider endings to stories. However, these are not often enough brought together in independent, extended pieces of writing to enable pupils to consolidate the skills they have learned on a regular basis. Pupils' ability to read and spell is improving as a result of the focus on phonics, and pupils are becoming increasingly confident in their use of language and their ability to read to or talk in front of the whole class.

Pupils very much enjoy their learning, saying this is because 'teachers make lessons fun' even when some pupils do not like the particular subject being taught. They very much appreciate that all teachers 'want us to do really good, you know'. They trust the staff fully, confident that help is always at hand. School councillors seek the views of other pupils and help to improve the school, and pupils have been involved in designing play areas in school and in a local park. They raise money for different charities, often choosing for themselves how to do this. They respect each other and adults, play and learn happily together, and successfully learn about different cultures and ways of life. Pupils have a good understanding of why it is important to eat healthily and take regular exercise, and over half of them participate in a wide range of sporting activities at different times in the school year. All of this, combined with their good progress and their satisfactory attendance, means they leave school adequately prepared for their future.

These are the grades for pupils' outcomes

Pupils' achievement and the extent to which they enjoy their learning
Taking into account:
          Pupils' attainment¹
          The quality of pupils' learning and their progress
          The quality of learning for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities and their progress
The extent to which pupils feel safe1
Pupils' behaviour2
The extent to which pupils adopt healthy lifestyles2
The extent to which pupils contribute to the school and wider community1
The extent to which pupils develop workplace and other skills that will contribute to their future economic well-being
Taking into account:
          Pupils' attendance¹
The extent of pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development2

1 The grades for attainment and attendance are: 1 is high; 2 is above average; 3 is broadly average; and 4 is low

How effective is the provision?

Teachers plan pupils' work well. They regularly evaluate their planning for its impact on pupils' learning and adapt it effectively to suit pupils' different learning needs. All teachers explain to pupils what they are going to learn in each lesson and how they will know if they have learned it. In the best lessons, they stop the class at different points to help pupils check their progress and learn from each other, and use a range of strategies to involve pupils in assessing their own, and sometimes each other's work in class. By Year 6, this extends to pupils checking and underlining key features in their work that show what they have learned. Teachers carefully check that pupils understand the vocabulary used in different subjects and they require pupils to speak clearly and listen carefully. They use techniques such as 'talking partners' effectively to give pupils time to formulate answers before sharing them with the whole class. This successfully builds pupils' confidence and enhances their speaking and listening skills. Nevertheless, some weaknesses in teachers' marking mean pupils are not always as clear about what they need to do to improve, or do not have time to respond to marking that does highlight this for them.

The curriculum is designed well to meet the particular needs of the pupils in this school, whose language skills are generally weak on entry and need much support throughout the school. It builds pupils' confidence and self-esteem, particularly because it includes tasks that pupils describe as 'challenging but not beyond us'. It also aids transition from one year to the next and from one key stage to another, and promotes pupils' health, safety and well-being very effectively. The high level of intensive and well-targeted care, guidance and support arises from the school's in-depth knowledge of its pupils and their backgrounds. The nurturing provision is especially effective in supporting pupils' personal development as well as their learning.

These are the grades for the quality of provision

The quality of teaching
Taking into account:
          The use of assessment to support learning
The extent to which the curriculum meets pupils' needs, including, where relevant, through partnerships2
The effectiveness of care, guidance and support1

How effective are leadership and management?

Governors say the headteacher embeds in the staff a 'relentless pursuit of the best for the pupils' and they are right. They support and challenge the school well and regularly monitor the impact of their decisions. This has resulted in good improvement in teaching and learning since the previous inspection. It is founded on the desire to raise the aspirations of the pupils and their parents regarding what pupils can achieve. The senior management team assists the headteacher effectively, engendering strong teamwork in the staff with a clear focus on continuous improvement. Staff respond well to the advice and support they receive through monitoring and evaluation, and welcome the opportunities to observe and work alongside each other to improve their skills.

The school involves parents well in their children's learning, and parents feel they can approach any member of staff for help and support. Very close partnerships with external agencies have a strong impact on pupils' learning. For example, teaching assistants specialising in different aspects of special educational needs and/or disabilities are encouraged to take forward the support provided by external specialists such as speech therapists and those working with pupils with dyslexia pupils.

The school promotes community cohesion and equality of provision well. It is particularly successful in helping pupils understand how to contribute to the school and local community. It also successfully ensures that pupils learn about different cultures in Britain and abroad, and works hard to eliminate any form of discrimination.

Safeguarding procedures are effective. They are embedded well in practice, integrated into the curriculum, and regularly and extensively monitored, thereby assuring that all pupils, from the least to the most vulnerable, are protected well.

These are the grades for leadership and management

The effectiveness of leadership and management in embedding ambition and driving improvement
Taking into account:
          The leadership and management of teaching and learning
The effectiveness of the governing body in challenging and supporting the
school so that weaknesses are tackled decisively and statutory responsibilities met
The effectiveness of the school's engagement with parents and carers2
The effectiveness of partnerships in promoting learning and well-being1
The effectiveness with which the school promotes equality of opportunity and tackles discrimination2
The effectiveness of safeguarding procedures2
The effectiveness with which the school promotes community cohesion2
The effectiveness with which the school deploys resources to achieve value for money2

Early Years Foundation Stage

The impact of the excellent provision for children in this age group is evident in the outstanding progress children have made in the past two years, despite having joined the Nursery with poor language and communication skills, and considerably underdeveloped mathematical, personal, social and emotional skills.

Every effort is made to meet the children's individual needs and interests in the exceptionally well-planned curriculum. All activities, indoors and out, have a very clear learning focus and timely intervention by adults ensures that learning takes place at all times. Children start learning from the minute they walk through the door with their parents or carers. They participate fully in all activities, showing initiative, independence and good ability to work on their own, alongside or with others. They sustain concentration well, for example seeing tasks such as building a bridge to cross a river through to completion. They show a high degree of curiosity and imagination as they work.

The outdoor environment is exceptionally well set up to encourage all aspects of learning. For example, children are successfully encouraged to solve problems such as how to transport bricks to the top of the 'castle', or pump water down a tube and try to make it flow faster. In all activities, there is a very clear focus on developing communication skills. Key workers play a crucial role in this, constantly talking to the children and patiently eliciting full sentences as answers, even when speech is indistinct. Staff are meticulous about assessing and recording children's progress and using the information in their planning.

The driving force behind all of the above is excellent leadership and management that have resulted in an established culture of reflective practice, which in turn ensures children's learning is at the forefront of all planning. Excellent relationships with parents and carers contribute to this and to community cohesion, and much is in place to introduce children to and develop their respect for different faiths and cultures.

These are the grades for the Early Years Foundation Stage

Overall effectiveness of the Early Years Foundation Stage
Taking into account:
          Outcomes for children in the Early Years Foundation Stage
          The quality of provision in the Early Years Foundation Stage
          The effectiveness of leadership and management of the Early Years Foundation

Views of parents and carers

Most of the relatively small proportion of parents and carers who responded to the inspection questionnaires were overwhelmingly positive about the school's work and the efforts of the staff. Comments such as: 'All staff are very approachable, whether you need to sort out a problem or just need to chat', and, 'We feel that the level of care is also high and that the children are not only taught, they are nurtured', typify the responses on the questionnaires. One response indicated that 'unacceptable behaviour tends to be swept under the carpet, and suggestions tend to be overlooked'. Inspectors found no evidence to support these views.

Responses from parents and carers to Ofsted's questionnaire

Ofsted invited all the registered parents and carers of pupils registered at William Morris Primary School to complete a questionnaire about their views of the school.

In the questionnaire, parents and carers were asked to record how strongly they agreed with 13 statements about the school.

The inspection team received 20 completed questionnaires by the end of the on-site inspection. In total, there are 153 pupils registered at the school.

My child enjoys school13657350000
The school keeps my child safe12608400000
My school informs me about my child's progress84011551500
My child is making enough progress at this school12607351500
The teaching is good at this school12607350000
The school helps me to support my child's learning10509451500
The school helps my child to have a healthy lifestyle13656301500
The school makes sure that my child is well prepared for the future (for example changing year group, changing school, and for children who are finishing school, entering further or higher education, or entering employment)94511550000
The school meets my child's particular needs10509451500
The school deals effectively with unacceptable behaviour115563021015
The school takes account of my suggestions and concerns94584031500
The school is led and managed effectively11558400000
Overall, I am happy with my child's experience at this school12607350015

The table above summarises the responses that parents and carers made to each statement. The percentages indicate the proportion of parents and carers giving that response out of the total number of completed questionnaires. Where one or more parents and carers chose not to answer a particular question, the percentages will not add up to 100%.


What inspection judgements mean

Grade 1OutstandingThese features are highly effective. An oustanding school provides exceptionally well for all its pupils' needs.
Grade 2GoodThese are very positive features of a school. A school that is good is serving its pupils well.
Grade 3SatisfactoryThese features are of reasonable quality. A satisfactory school is providing adequately for its pupils.
Grade 4InadequateThese 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 improves.

Overall effectiveness of schools inspected between September 2007 and July 2008

Overall effectiveness judgement (percentage of schools)
Type of schoolOutstandingGoodSatisfactoryInadequate
Nursery schools395830
Primary schools1350334
Secondary schools1740349
Sixth forms1843372
Special schools2654182
Pupil referral
All schools1549325

New school inspection arrangements were introduced on 1 September 2009. This means that inspectors now make some additional judgements that were not made previously.

The data in the table above were reported in the Annual Report of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Education, Children's Services and Skills 2007/08.

Percentages are rounded and do not always add exactly to 100. Secondary school figures include those that have sixth forms, and sixth form figures include only the data specifically for sixth form inspection judgements.

Common terminology used by inspectors


the progress and success of a pupil in their learning, development or training.


the standard of the pupils' work shown by test and examination results and in lessons.

Capacity to improve:

the proven ability of the school to continue improving. Inspectors base this judgement on 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 headteacher, to identifying priorities, directing and motivating staff and running the school.


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. The following judgements, in particular, influence what the overall effectiveness judgement will be.

  • The school's capacity for sustained improvement.
  • Outcomes for individuals and groups of pupils.
  • The quality of teaching.
  • The extent to which the curriculum meets pupils' needs,  including, where relevant, through partnerships.
  • The effectiveness of care, guidance and support.

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.

This letter is provided for the school, parents and
carers to share with their children. It describes Ofsted's
main findings from the inspection of their school.

23 October 2009

Dear Pupils

William Morris Primary School, Banbury OX16 0UZ

What a delight it was to meet you and talk to you about your school. You made us feel very welcome indeed and it is clear that you very much enjoy school. You are right to feel that you are very safe and secure in school. All of the staff care very deeply for you and want you to do well, just like you said, and you clearly very much appreciate the support you get from them and from the nurturing provision in your school.

You and your parents are right in thinking that you go to a good school. Children get off to a really good start in Nursery and Reception and the school is building well on that to make sure that you all reach higher and higher standards in your work. Those responsible for leading and managing the school work very hard to make sure you all make good progress. It was good to see that you make much better progress in your school than pupils do in many other schools. This is because teachers make good use of what they know about how well you are doing to plan what you will do next.

We noticed that you make less progress in writing than in reading, and that those of you capable of reaching higher standards in mathematics do not always do so. We have therefore asked the school to work on these areas as a priority.

    • In writing, we have asked that teachers must always tell you clearly how to improve your work when they mark it, and give you time to respond to what they say about improving your work in lessons. We would also like them to give you more opportunities to do longer pieces of writing by yourselves and to mark your writing skills even when you use them in different subjects.
    • We would like teachers to ensure that those of you who are capable of reaching higher standards move onto more challenging work sooner especially in mathematics lessons.

You can help your teachers to help you by taking their advice and trying to improve your own work.

Thank you once again for the warm welcome you gave us. We hope you will continue to enjoy school as much as you do now.

Yours sincerely

Doris Bell

Lead inspector

Any complaints about the inspection or the report should be made following the procedures set out in the guidance 'Complaining about inspections', which is available from Ofsted's website: If you would like Ofsted to send you a copy of the guidance, please telephone 08456 404045, or email

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