Water Lane Primary praised by Ofsted following inspection

Education / Wed 21st Jun 2023 at 01:47pm

WATER Lane Primary Academy has been praised by Ofsted following an inspection.

The inspectors came to the Summers-based school in May.

It rated the school as Good.

Here are the main findings of the report.

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils feel happy and safe at school. They find it easy to make friends. They know who to report concerns to if they have worries. Bullying is rare. When it does happen, pupils trust leaders will sort it out.

Pupils behave well in class. They take turns and show courtesy towards each other. Teachers have high expectations for all pupils’ behaviour. As a result, pupils can get on with their learning. Staff and pupil relationships are warm. Pupils understand leaders’ rewards and sanctions. Staff apply these consistently across the school.

Pupils enjoy a range of extra activities linked to the curriculum. Leaders ensure all pupils can take part in these enrichment opportunities. Many pupils take part in after school clubs. Pupils take part in links with the local community, such as a sculpture project in the town.

Pupils know that the school’s values help them become better citizens. They take the meaning of values seriously by living the value in their life. They know these values make the school a nicer place. Pupils are polite and well-mannered towards visitors.

What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?

Leaders work hard to provide a high-quality education for all pupils. They have worked with the trust to develop the school’s ambitious curriculum. Curriculum leaders have identified the important knowledge pupils need to learn. This starts in the early years where activities are designed to support children’s development as independent learners. Adults ask meaningful questions about children’s learning. They encourage children to explore all the activities in the setting. Pupils talk confidently about their love of learning. Teachers use a variety of techniques to identify and address any gaps in pupils’ learning. However, this is not yet consistent across all subjects.

Curriculum leaders know their subject well. They receive regular support and training from the trust to help them lead their subjects. They know if pupils are on track. They plan staff training and development based on identified next steps.

In response to published data, leaders introduced a new phonics programme. There is a precise and consistent approach to teaching phonics across the school. Lessons build phonics knowledge. Pupils start learning to read as soon as they join Reception. Pupils’ books are matched to their phonics knowledge. Staff listen to pupils read regularly and check pupils’ progress. Where pupils are falling behind, high-quality support is swiftly put into place. This ensures their reading gets back on track. Leaders have provided phonics information sessions for parents. This enables parents to support their child’s reading at home. All staff have benefited from regular, ongoing training. Reading is celebrated across the school through activities such as ‘take one author’.

Leaders have developed an environment where all pupils’ social and emotional development is a priority. Teachers have high expectations for pupils’ behaviour. Pupils behave well in class and live up to these expectations. Pupils know the school’s rules. There are strong relationships between pupils and adults in school.

Leaders have planned additional activities to support pupils’ wider development. They are passionate about developing pupils as citizens for the future. Pupils are enthusiastic about these extra opportunities. They cannot wait to sleep out under the stars or ride a large animal. Leaders ensure all pupils have access to these activities.

Leaders ensure pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are well supported. Teachers adjust lessons to ensure all pupils can access the curriculum. As a result, pupils with SEND learn and achieve well alongside their peers.

Leaders have an accurate understanding of the school’s strengths and next steps. They act when provision needs to change. Staff feel valued by leaders. They know there is help to support their well-being. Teachers feel leaders support their workload. They welcome the regular training and development opportunities on offer to them.

Governors provide effective support and challenge for leaders. They check on the headteacher’s well-being. They know what is working well in the school and the next steps. The trust checks that improvement plans are appropriate and realistic. Most parents and carers are very positive about their child’s school experience.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

There is a strong culture of safeguarding. Leaders know pupils and their families well. They act quickly to ensure pupils get the support they need. Leaders have systems in place to ensure pupils stay safe online.
Staff receive regular safeguarding training. As a result, they know how to identify and report concerns. Leaders seek support from external agencies. Leaders complete all pre-employment checks required before staff start working at the school. These checks are recorded accurately.

The trust and governors make regular safeguarding checks to support the work of leaders.

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