Higher Walton Church of England Primary School warned by Ofsted it could lose its ‘good’ rating

Preston school Higher Walton Church of England Primary has been told its standards may be declining by Ofsted, in a report released last week.

By Aimee Seddon
Wednesday, 27th July 2022, 12:30 pm

Higher Walton Church of England Primary School was rated good in it’s last full inspection in 2013, a classifciation maintained during a short inspection in 2017 and in its lastest inspection on June 8 this year.

However in this year’s short inspection, Ofsted wrote “the evidence gathered suggests that the inspection grade might not be as high if a full inspection were carried out now. The next inspection will therefore be a full (section 5) inspection.”

What does Higher Walton Church of England Primary School do particularly well according to Ofsted?

Higher Walton Church of England Primary School has been told it could lose its ‘good’ rating

The school is described as being “a happy place to play and learn”, with pupils feeling safe and valuing the strong friendships that they make.

The report said: “Pupils play happily with each other on the playground. They understand what bullying is and said that it rarely happens. They are confident that adults will listen if they report bullying and make it stop quickly.”

Pupils also achieve well in some subjects due to leaders’ high expectations, and generally behave well in class, whilst across the school, they “enjoy taking part in a wide range of clubs, competitions and trips.”

In terms of the curriculum, it is “broad” and “balanced”, with leaders considering “the essential knowledge that pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), should learn and the order in which they should learn it.”

Reading levels for Early Years and Key Stage 2 pupils were also praised, as was the school’s support for SEND pupils, and the opportunies provided for pupils to “broaden their horizons.”

The report added: “Pupils learn about different faiths and cultures. They visit the local church and celebrate a range of religious festivals. Pupils enjoy meeting people of different faiths who regularly visit the school. These experiences prepare them well for life in modern Britain.”

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What does Ofsted think Higher Walton Church of England Primary School can improve on?

Inspectors said: “In some subjects, leaders have not identified the essential knowledge that they want pupils to learn and the order that they want them to learn it", hampering their ability to “design activities that support pupils to build on what they already know”.

They added that some subject leaders are new to their role and do not have the “necessary expertise to check how effective their curriculum is”, with more training and support suggested.

In terms of the pupils, some in key stage 1 do not read as fluently as they should, probably due to the disruption of Covid 19, limiting their ability to access other areas of the curriculum.

Some staff also “do not apply the strategies to manage pupils’ low-level behaviour as well as they should. This means that some pupils lose concentration and disturb the learning of others.”

When will Ofsted next inspect Higher Walton Church of England Primary School?

Ofsted usually inspect good schools every four years, but having found evidence that this school may now receive a lower grade, the next inspection will be a section 5 inspection within one to two years.