Wootton Lower School
phone: 01234 768239
headteacher: Mr Chris Tavener
300 pupils capacity: 98% full
145 boys 49%
150 girls 51%
Last updated: June 19, 2014
Primary — Community School
- Education phase
- Establishment type
- Community School
- Establishment #
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 500890, Northing: 245281
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 52.097, Longitude: -0.52863
- Accepting pupils
- 5—9 years old
- Census date
- Jan. 16, 2014
- Ofsted last inspection
- Oct. 3, 2013
- Region › Const. › Ward
- East of England › Mid Bedfordshire › Wootton
- Town and Fringe - less sparse
- Free school meals %
- 0.5 miles Wootton Upper School MK439HT
- 0.5 miles Wootton Upper School MK439HT (1194 pupils)
- 1.2 mile Hastingsbury Business & Enterprise College MK427EB (724 pupils)
- 1.2 mile Ridgeway School MK427EB (72 pupils)
- 1.5 mile Balliol Lower School MK427ER (336 pupils)
- 1.6 mile Shelton Lower School MK430LS (72 pupils)
- 1.6 mile Kimberley 16 - 19 Stem College MK439LY (158 pupils)
- 1.7 mile Kempston Rural Lower School MK438RH (100 pupils)
- 1.8 mile Greys House MK427AB
- 1.8 mile Broadmead Lower School MK439NN (119 pupils)
- 1.8 mile The Student Support Centre MK427AB
- 1.8 mile The Manor Education Centre MK427AB
- 1.8 mile Greys House Residential School MK427AB
- 1.9 mile Greys Education Centre MK427AB
- 1.9 mile Greys Education Centre MK427AB (31 pupils)
- 2 miles Bedford Road Lower School MK428QH (291 pupils)
- 2 miles Robert Bruce Middle School MK428PU (439 pupils)
- 2.1 miles Springfield Lower School MK427LJ (343 pupils)
- 2.1 miles Marston Vale Middle School MK439NH
- 2.1 miles Marston Vale Middle School MK439NH (612 pupils)
- 2.2 miles Daubeney Middle School MK427PS
- 2.2 miles Daubeney Academy MK427PS (459 pupils)
- 2.3 miles Grange School MK428AU
- 2.3 miles Grange School MK428AU (108 pupils)
S c h o o l R e p o r t
Wootton Lower School
Bedford Road, Wootton, Bedford, MK43 9JT
|Inspection dates||3–4 October 2013|
|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
| Strong leadership by the headteacher has |
Pupils’ achievement is good. In all year
Standards at the end of Year 4 in reading,
resulted in improvements in the quality of
teaching and higher standards in reading,
writing and mathematics.
groups pupils make good progress.
writing and mathematics are rising steadily
and are above expectations for the age.
| Teaching is good with some examples of |
Pupils behave well and have a good
Pupils’ attendance is above average.
The governing body checks closely on the work
understanding of personal safety.
of the school and sets challenging but
appropriate targets for the headteacher.
| Occasionally teachers do not match the work |
Some teachers do not use supplementary
closely enough to the learning needs of each
questions often enough to check pupils’
understanding and to extend their thinking.
| Pupils have yet to develop the skills of |
The outdoor area in the Early Years Foundation
evaluating their own learning and commenting
on their classmates’ work.
Stage has not yet been fully developed as a
natural extension of the classroom and to fully
cover all areas of learning.
Information about this inspection
- Inspectors observed 19 lessons, of which four were joint observations with the headteacher. In
addition, the inspectors made a number of shorter visits to lessons and attended an assembly.
They heard some pupils in Year 2 and Year 4 read.
- Meetings were held with members of the governing body, staff, groups of pupils and a local
- Inspectors observed the school’s work and looked at a wide range of documentation, including
the data the school has collected on pupils’ attainment and progress, procedures for keeping
pupils safe and the school development plan.
- Inspectors took account of the 57 responses to the online questionnaire (Parent View), the
school’s parental surveys and 26 questionnaires returned by members of staff in making their
|David Wynford-Jones, Lead inspector||Additional Inspector|
|Elizabeth Griffiths||Additional Inspector|
|Elizabeth Buckingham||Additional Inspector|
Information about this school
- The school is an average-sized primary school.
- Most pupils are of White British heritage. The remaining pupils come from a number of different
minority ethnic backgrounds.
- A very small minority of pupils speak English as an additional language. None are currently at
the early stages of learning English.
- The proportion of disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs supported
through school action is below average. The proportion supported at school action plus or with a
statement of special educational needs is also below average.
- The proportion of pupils supported through the pupil premium (additional government funding
for pupils who are known to be eligible for free school meals, who are looked after by the local
authority and other eligible groups) is below average.
- The headteacher was appointed for the start of the summer term 2011. Two existing members
of staff took on senior leadership roles from the start of the autumn term 2013.
What does the school need to do to improve further?
- Improve teaching by making certain that all teachers:
closely match the work to the needs and ability of the different groups of pupils
make better use of supplementary questions to challenge and consolidate pupils’
provide pupils with more opportunities to assess their own learning and to evaluate their
- Maximise the use of the Early Years Foundation Stage dedicated outdoor area to provide wider
learning opportunities for children.
|The achievement of pupils||is good|
- Most children enter the Reception classes with skills and knowledge similar to those expected for
their age. They settle quickly and grow in confidence in a safe and secure environment. This is
because the fostering of good relationships between adults and the children and between the
children themselves is a priority.
- Children make good progress in their learning because the activities are well planned. Their
progress through the year is checked carefully and support is provided when it is needed. By the
end of the year the large majority reach and some exceed the expected levels for a typical five
year old child in all areas of learning.
- The children enjoy learning in the spacious classrooms which are well organised. However, the
use of the outdoor area, although used well to promote the children’s social and physical skills,
has not as yet been fully developed to enhance children’s skills in the other areas of learning.
Nevertheless, outcomes at the end of the Reception class have risen steadily over the last few
- Pupils continue to make good progress and achieve well as they move through the school.
Standards at the end of Year 2 and Year 4 are above expectations in reading, writing and
mathematics. The more-able pupils are being suitably challenged. The last two years has seen a
marked improvement in standards.
- Pupils say they enjoy reading and using the school library. They read with fluency and where
appropriate use their knowledge of the sounds that letters make (phonics) to read unfamiliar
words. Pupils understand the use of dictionaries to find the meaning of words and to help them
with their spelling. Pupils in Year 1 performed well when compared to national expectations in
the phonics screening test at the end of Year 1.
- Pupils’ writing skills are developing well. They write for a range of purposes and in different
styles. They draft out their work and present it neatly. Older pupils use adjectives and
sometimes similes to bring their writing to life.
- In mathematics, pupils have a secure understanding of number and are given opportunities to
investigate and to solve problems. For example, in a Year 2 lesson, pupils were asked to find out
how many different types of sandwiches could be made using different combinations of fillings.
The pupils responded positively to the task and demonstrated a good attitude to learning.
- Pupils known to be eligible for the pupil premium make good progress because the school has
used this additional funding well to provide additional support staff and further support for
literacy and numeracy. In 2013, pupils in Year 4, generating the additional funding, reached
broadly similar standards to their peers in writing and mathematics and made a similar rate of
progress. Performance information shows that pupils entitled to pupil premium in Years 2 made
slightly better progress than the others in reading and writing. The school is monitoring their
performance closely to ensure that any gap in their performance in mathematics closes rapidly.
- Pupils who speak English as an additional language, disabled pupils and those who have special
educational needs make better progress than their peers nationally. Their progress is checked
regularly and additional support is provided to move learning on when necessary.
- Pupils enjoy taking part in sporting activities and have a good understanding of healthy living.
The primary school sports funding has been allocated appropriately including to support the
development of football and sporting links with other schools.
|The quality of teaching||is good|
- Most of the teaching is good with some examples of outstanding teaching. As a result, pupils are
making good progress, especially in literacy and numeracy. There is no inadequate teaching.
- Teachers strive to ensure that all pupils, including potentially vulnerable pupils, pupils who speak
English as an additional language, disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs
are fully included and have equal access to the same learning opportunities as other pupils.
- Most lessons are well planned with the work pitched at the right level across the full range of
ability. However, in some lessons this is not the case and for some the work is too hard and for
others too easy. As a result, they do not make rapid progress in that lesson.
- Nearly all lessons proceed at a quick pace. Teachers manage pupils’ behaviour well and
encourage them to share their ideas with each other and with the adults. Most use questioning
strategies skilfully building on pupils’ earlier learning, but at times, some teachers do not ask
supplementary questions to clarify pupils’ ideas, challenge their thinking and to extend and
consolidate their learning. Teaching assistants support group work effectively and help the pupils
to make good progress.
- During and at the end of lessons some teachers regularly ask pupils how well they think they are
doing but this has yet to become routine in all classes. There is limited evidence in the pupils’
books of them evaluating their own work or that of their classmates. The marking of pupils’ work
is developing well with some good examples of marking which help pupils towards their targets.
- Teachers encourage pupils to read on a regular basis and encourage them to take their books
home to read with their parents. As a result, pupils are developing their reading skills well.
- Teachers are successfully raising the expectations of all pupils, including the more able, to strive
to reach higher standards. They skilfully bring the pupils’ learning in different subjects together
through carefully thought out topics or themes and provide opportunities for pupils to find things
out for themselves. As a result, pupils have a positive attitude, are keen to learn and make good
|The behaviour and safety of pupils||are good|
- Pupils’ good and sometimes exemplary behaviour, together with their positive attitudes to
learning help them to make good progress. Their attendance has improved steadily and is now
above average for primary schools. This is because pupils enjoy coming to school and they find
the lessons are more interesting.
- Lessons are very rarely interrupted by incidents of inappropriate behaviour. Pupils are polite and
routinely demonstrate good manners as they move around the school. Most generally respond
quickly to instructions.
- Pupils say that all the pupils get on well together. There have been no bullying incidents, such as
name-calling, fighting, racial, religious or cyber-bullying. They are confident that if an incident
occurred, it would be dealt with quickly and fairly.
- Pupils know how to keep themselves and others safe and have a good understanding of
potential dangers, for example when using computers to access the internet, around the school
or when approached by strangers.
|The leadership and management||are good|
- The headteacher provides strong leadership and is working effectively with governors, senior
leaders and staff to bring about improvements. In the last two years teaching has improved and
standards throughout the school have risen steadily. The school is well placed to improve
- The headteacher sets high expectations. He monitors and checks on pupils’ progress regularly
and sets the teachers challenging targets. Teachers are asked to explain if any pupil is not on
track to achieve their individual targets and what the teacher intends to do about it. This
information is used by the governing body when reviewing staff salaries.
- There is a positive attitude amongst staff. All staff are keen to see the school move forward.
They have attended courses and whole staff training sessions to improve their professional skills.
- As part of the headteacher’s program to ensure continuity of leadership provision by staff
development, two established members of staff have recently undertaken additional
responsibilities as senior leaders. They are developing these roles well and know what has to be
done to secure further improvement. This includes supporting their colleagues to consistently
teach well and contributing to the long term development of the school.
- In all classes, there is a focus on developing pupils’ literacy and numeracy skills. All subjects of
the national curriculum are taught and, where possible, brought together through a theme or
topic approach. Pupils are responsive to this approach and speak enthusiastically about their
- The wide range of activities promotes pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development
well. Pupils are given many opportunities to enrich their education, for example by playing a
musical instrument, undertaking various responsibilities such as being members of the school
council, taking part in educational visits and cultivating small raised gardens which were
constructed by pupils from a local upper school.
- Parents are generally pleased with their child’s education. The school’s questionnaire returns
over the last few years show an increasing level of satisfaction.
- In accordance with the local authority policy officers have monitored the school’s performance.
As the school has demonstrated good outcomes there has been minimal additional support. The
additional support has been effective in developing the governing body and enhancing the
quality of teaching.
- The governance of the school:
Governors undertake regular training and are effective in fulfilling their roles and
responsibilities. They are allocated to different committees and asked to undertake areas of
responsibility based on an audit of their skills. Governors have an accurate understanding of
the school’s strengths and weaknesses and use this knowledge well to set challenging yet
realistic targets. The headteacher’s detailed reports give governors a good understanding of
the quality of teaching and how well pupils are doing compared with similar schools and
against national data. Governors ensure that equality of opportunity is promoted and
discriminatory practices are not tolerated. They are fully involved in planning the future
development of the school and monitor the school’s progress against the school development
plan, which is based on an accurate evaluation of the school’s strengths and areas for
development. Following the review of the school’s Appraisal Policy, governors know where
teaching is good. They have a good understanding of how targets are set for teachers to
improve and the process for rewarding good teaching. The governing body makes sure that
pupil premium funding is being spent wisely and that the impact of the expenditure on pupils’
progress is checked. There are suitable plans being considered for the spending of the Primary
Sports funding and processes are in place to monitor the expenditure. The governing body
makes sure the school meets requirements for safeguarding pupils.
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||109494|
|Local authority||Bedford Borough|
This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.
|Type of school||First|
|Age range of pupils||4–9|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Number of pupils on the school roll||291|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Date of previous school inspection||13 October 2008|
|Telephone number||01234 768239|
|Fax number||01234 764389|
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