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https://www.westfieldprimary.co.uk

 

Background

Westfield Primary Community School is a larger than average primary school, one of the largest schools in the City of York, with 586 pupils including Nursery. We are situated to the west of the city in an urban area of Acomb.

The maximum admission limit was increased to 90 pupils 3 years ago, with current year groups ranging from 58 to 90 pupils per year group, resulting in the challenge of some mixed year group classes.

Children and their families live in a range of council and private housing, both private and rented, from within, and external to, the catchment area. 57% of residents in Westfield ward own their own home either outright or with a mortgage, 9% are private renters and 32% are social tenants. 16.6% of children in the area live in a household where a parent or guardian claims an out-of-work benefit. Less than 3% of residents are from ethnic minority community groups.

 

Catchment map

 

After a successful drive to raise standards in numeracy and literacy, the staff is now working towards strengthening and broadening the curriculum. The outcomes of a curriculum review have either been implemented or scheduled.

Teachers teach to a high level and progress results prove this. The school has its own nursery onsite and this year has offered 30 hours per week. Having the opportunity to work with pupils in a nursery setting enables Westfield to make a greater impact on the lives of children from an earlier age. These early interventions can also prove pivotal in reducing gaps.

 

  • The school deprivation indicator traditionally falls within quintile 2.
  • The proportion of children from minority ethnic groups is much lower than the national average; very few pupils speak English as an additional language making this a largely monocultural setting.
  • The proportion of pupils supported through School Action is above average.
  • The proportion of pupils supported at School Action plus or with a statement of special education needs is average.
  • The proportion of children known to be eligible for pupil premium is well above average.
  • Attainment in both Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 is broadly in line with national averages in reading, writing and mathematics, which taking into consideration pupils’ starting points, Ofsted recognised as ‘good progress’.      
  • Attendance remains below national average.

Currently the school is embarking on a LA funded £660,000 redesign of the kitchen and dining hall with the key aim of raising awareness of healthy lifestyles both in school and the local community. This will incorporate a state of the art kitchen and dining hall and a teaching kitchen that can be used by pupils and the local community.

The school runs a wide variety of extended school activities, including Breakfast club, Homework Hub, sports clubs including running, dodgeball, netball and football, and music clubs including ukulele. We have several award winning pupils, excelling in areas as diverse as dance and kick-boxing.

The school has an ethos of children as a shared family. Consequently, a number of teachers have been involved in providing support to other schools and academies. The current headteacher is a Local Leader of Education and the substantive Deputy headteacher and a member of STL are Subject Leaders of Education. Support plans have been devised using the entire team at Westfield and have included non-teachers, senior leadership and class teachers to deliver a range of appropriate strategies.

The buildings were initially constructed over sixty years ago to house separate Infant and Junior Schools, sharing the same site. Governors and staff face a number of challenges commensurate with its size, age, construction and low levels of capital funding. The property includes single storey and two storey buildings, with both flat and pitched roofs.

The large site, with extensive grounds and 3 playgrounds, includes a number of outside agencies, including a private day care nursery, an independent After School Club and a charitably run nursery facility. The school manages a number of joint premises arrangements through a series of lease agreements. The school’s nursery is sited in a stand-alone building shared with the private nursery, built in 2004. There are over 25 classrooms, (we currently have 19 classes) a large number of intervention rooms, offices, two large halls and a separate dining room.

 

Awards

Westfield has a number of accreditations including:

  • Early Years Steps to Quality: Step 3,
  • Sainsburys School Games Silver Award,
  • ICT / 360 degree Online Safety Mark
  • Eco Schools Silver Award.
  • School of the Year in the York Community Pride Awards in November 2016
  • Active York “Active Primary School of the Year” Award in March 2017.
  • Inclusion Award (Silver)
  • Healthy Schools Award

 

Staff profile

The deputy head is responsible for teaching and learning and MSA’s. The deputy head holding the substantive post is currently on maternity leave and will be returning to her post in the Autumn term. She is an outstanding leader and practitioner, who is highly regarded both at school, the LA and in the schools she supports as SLE. The acting deputy has ensured that the school is well served and led.

This year curriculum responsibility was reorganised into teams with a KS1 and KS2 lead within each team to reflect balance and breadth. SLT is made up of the leads for EYFS, KS1, KS2, SENCo, Head of English, School Business Manager (SBM) and Deputy Head. The SLT meet weekly. EYFS. KS1, and KS2 leads manage pupil progress and TA deployment within their own phases. SENCo leads her team of 1-1 TAs and she is currently training a senior teacher to take the lead in some MSPs. The school has a balance of L2, L3 and HLTAs. HLTAs and a local sports company cover PPA and TAs support learning and lead intervention groups. There are currently 35 teaching assistants. Each KS1 class has TA support every morning. In addition KS1 have 2 TAs that provide additional support in the afternoons. This support is shared across the 6 classes. Additionally each phase (KS1, Lower KS2 (LKS2) and Upper KS2 (UKS2) has a full day L3 TA. In EYFS TAs are full day.

There are 26 full and part time teachers, a non-teaching headteacher, a deputy headteacher and a SENCO who does not have responsibility for a class though does deliver intervention sessions. Some teachers have responsibility for areas including ICT, music, school council and science. Pastoral care and family support is delivered by three Children’s Champions (CC’s). They are all HLTA and full time. 2 CC’s lead KS2 and 1 leads KS1.

The school’s business function is led by the School Business Manager (SBM). Middle leadership is provided by the site manager, a cleaning supervisor and a senior MSA.

 

Ethos

Westfield Primary Community School is a place where children come first. This is not a hollow motto but a description of the school’s priority that is lived out every day. Children are happy at school. They work hard and they thrive. They are willing and able to engage in conversations with visitors and welcome visitors’ input to their education.

Our ethos is centred on respect for all members of our school community and developing children’s good character. We hold teamwork in high regard and have career aspirations for all our children and staff. We are proud to be an inclusive community school.

The behaviour for learning in the school is outstanding; the children tell us that they view our school as a peaceful purposeful hub in their lives and are proud to be a ‘Weggie’   [Note: The terms weggy, weggies are used in colloquial language to refer to pupils and staff who attend/work at Westfield Primary School.]

In the main, behaviour is good though there are a few children whose behaviour is closely managed using the recently updated behaviour policy. The team of Children’s Champions ensure that children who are concerned or worrying about something in school or beyond its gates are able to discuss these issues in a confidential, compassionate and supported way. Children’s Champions also monitor attendance and behaviour, and interface with parents and local agencies.

Over many years the fabric of the building had been poorly maintained, however, with careful stewardship from the current headteacher, SBM and governors throughout the last nine years, the building is in a good state of repair. There is an on-going window replacement project to improve the building’s energy efficiency and comfort factors. The current major capital project for refurbishment of the kitchen and dining halls is an 18 week project that spans Summer and Autumn terms 2018. Other projects include a partial new roof and playground maintenance.

The SBM maintains a Capital Projects Schedule which is priority led. (INFO TBA)

 

Current strengths

Strengths identified through self evaluation:

  • Typically, the majority of our children enter the Early Years Foundation Stage with academic skills below age related expectations, and with a significant language deficit. Attainment gaps narrow to match national average during pupils’ time at Westfield.
  • Outcomes at all statutory assessment points have shown an upward trend (beginning in 2010) and we have continued to diminish the difference for disadvantaged learners.
  • Y1 phonics results have been above the national average for the past 4 years. The phonics results of disadvantaged pupils are strong.
  • The number of pupils retaking the phonics check in Year 2 has significantly reduced (31 pupils in 2013, 9 pupils in 2017).
  • KS1 attainment outcomes have improved significantly since the last inspection.
  • Since the introduction of the progress measure, Westfield’s KS2 progress scores have been above national figures in reading, writing and maths. In 2016, our progress was significantly above national averages in all three subjects, and in 2017 it was significantly above in writing and maths.
  • Disadvantaged pupils, those with SEND, and pupils with low prior attainment make good progress.
  • Steps taken by school leaders in 2016-17 to improve reading and writing outcomes were successful in increasing the number of pupils attaining the expected standard and higher standard at the end of KS2.
  • Pupils’ knowledge and understanding in science has significantly improved following a curriculum redesign in 2016.
  • School leaders and teachers use their secure understanding of pupils’ flightpaths to monitor progress between key stages.
  • Internal tracking and the work in pupils’ books show children are making good progress from their individual starting points in all year groups. Evidence from the pupils’ books, and moderated assessments, show the impact that the school’s actions have had on improving outcomes.
  • The Deputy Head holds the NPQSL and is an accredited SLE
  • The SENDco is undertaking the NASENco qualification.
  • The School Business Manager is a highly valued member of the SLT and the recent scrutiny of the school’s finances by Internal Audit secured the highest grade of assurance - 1 (October 2017).

 

Strengths of the school from the 2018 Ofsted letter: 

  • All teaching staff are judged good by school leaders.
  • CPD for staff is excellent and has a proven track record of developing staff from NQT to deputy head or members of SLT
  • Outreach work with other schools is highly regarded by those schools and the LA.
  • All aspects of monitoring identifies issues early and action is decided and delivered to improve each particular situation.
  • The Children’s Champions’ are highly valued by pupils, who have confidence in these adults to sort out any conflict. Pupils say bullying is rare and that adults are effective at dealing with it so that it stops.
  • Safeguarding is effective. The headteacher and the ‘children’s champions’ take effective action to make sure pupils who need help receive it as quickly as possible. Records are detailed and thorough, including the central record of the checks made on adults before they take up employment at the school. Governors regularly check the safeguarding arrangements.
  • Governors now bring a wide range of appropriate skills and experience to the table. Governors have become increasingly challenging and perceptive. They visit the school to check that leaders’ assertions are correct.

Current areas needing improvement  

School improvement plan

Leaders and those responsible for governance should ensure that:

Next steps for the school from the 2018 Ofsted letter:

  • The proportion of pupils that reach higher standards and greater depth in reading, writing and mathematics by the end of each key stage is at least closer to or above the national average
  • The work given to the most able pupils in all subjects, alongside reading, writing and mathematics, helps them to achieve a greater depth of understanding in their learning
  • All teaching in the early years is as good as the current most effective practice
  • The success measures in school improvement plans better help governors to keep a track of the impact of actions on pupils’ learning and progress and that information given to governors helps them to judge more clearly the progress of groups of pupils across the age range.

Constantly and consistently seeking to improve pupil attendance and punctuality is a priority. Comment by Ofsted “Leaders have worked hard to improve attendance, which remains a little below the national average. Despite your best efforts, the proportion of parents who take their children on unauthorised term-time holidays is high. This has a disproportionate, negative effect on overall attendance figures.

 

Pupil achievement 

 

The school was judged good in January 2013 and was again judged in January 2018 to be good. Ofsted acknowledged that the school has improved significantly in the time between inspections.Findings from the latest inspection: 

 

Key Ofsted findings

  • Leaders have identified all of the most able pupils in school, including those who previously have not demonstrated high standards in their earlier learning. You make sure these pupils are included in staff discussions and in the checks leaders make on teaching and pupils’ progress. Targets for these pupils are appropriately ambitious. For example, leaders are looking for progress in key stage 2 that is consistent with that of the top 20% of pupils nationally. Pupils’ work shows that teachers largely challenge the most able pupils well in reading, writing and mathematics, so that the proportion of pupils demonstrating learning at greater depth is increasing.
  • The extent to which teachers stretch the most able pupils’ thinking in subjects other than reading, writing and mathematics, such as in geography and history, is more variable. Sometimes, the prescriptive way in which teachers ask these pupils to record their learning limits their ability to think more deeply. In science, pupils have opportunities to develop and practise a range of scientific enquiry skills, but opportunities to apply this knowledge in more challenging ways is limited. Pupils write in a range of subjects, but often the writing tasks lack audience and purpose so are less challenging than they might be for this group of pupils.
  • Since the previous inspection, the proportion of children reaching a good level of development by the end of the early years has increased year on year so that it is now in line with the national average. Furthermore, more children are beginning to exceed the early learning goals, including in writing and in reading. Adults help children to use their growing knowledge of letters and sounds to attempt to read and spell words. Children learn to hold a pencil correctly and form letters properly so that most are ready to make quick progress in Year 1.
  • The majority of adults in the early years are particularly adept at joining in children’s role play and exploration to enhance learning. They ask open questions that help children to develop their talk. They model the vocabulary children most need to learn. They notice when some children are less engaged in learning and skilfully re-engage them. Children are often absorbed in their activities. They sustain interest and concentration and often challenge themselves. A few adults are less alert to the waning interests of some children, who consequently do less learning. Some of the learning activities for children to choose from are less enticing and do not make sufficient demands of them.
  • Last year, by the end of Year 2, attainment in reading was not substantially below the national average, but you and governors recognise the importance of reading and the need to increase the number of pupils who reach at least the expected standard. Just about all pupils meet the expected standard in the phonics screening check before they join Year 3, and most do this by the end of Year 1, but a minority do not develop all the reading comprehension skills they need. Some of these pupils catch up in key stage 2. A minority of pupils in Year 2 are still at a deficit in terms of the breadth of their experience that they bring to reading and in their language comprehension. Your renewed emphasis on making sure pupils receive a varied and rich curriculum and the effective way in which key stage 1 teachers develop children’s language skills is addressing these issues.

 

Budgetary position

The school employs a talented and widely experienced SBM who provides timely and accurate monitoring reports and budgets, each with a good commentary. She works very closely with the headteacher, who shares information to ensure that visions and proposals are costed and considered.

Two years ago governors took a prudent decision to reduce the in-year revenue deficit by focusing on recurring expenditure. The balance brought forward from previous years has been used to purchase one-off items, e.g. Chromebooks, reading books. This has ensured that the budget is in a strong position to weather the dual challenges of funding continuing to fail to meet increasing expenditure costs and the implementation of a new national funding formula. However the disparity between funding and expenditure is a challenge and is likely to be so into the future. The Capital budget is insufficient for most projects due to the size and age of the buildings and the inadequate £10,000 per annum Capital grant. However, the SBM seeks out grants and support for key projects. Capital Plan

In the past, the school’s budget benefitted from large number of newly qualified teachers. However after a successful retention strategy, the school is predominantly staffed by upper pay spine staff. After three years of achieving an almost full capacity 90 pupil intake, the return of a projection of 68 pupils continues to present the problem of split year groups and/or small class sizes.

The school enjoys a highly skilled group of Governors, for example, company and private sector directors and managers, independent consultants and professionals. Following an external full governance review and skills audit, led by the current Chair of Governors, the level of challenge and scrutiny is high.

 

Priorities    

In the short term, the continuation of excellent CPD opportunities for all staff is required. This will allow us to develop and grow our staff while enabling them to deliver excellent opportunities for children. It will also equip them to enjoy a rich and satisfying career whilst at Westfield and potentially beyond. 

In addition, maintaining an appropriate workload for staff is a key requirement of management. 

In recent years there has been an increase in the number of children entering Reception and projections indicated that this would continue. As a consequence, the school moved to a 90 pupil, three form entry. Current projections indicate that the number of children in this age group have not materialised in the numbers forecast and admissions for September 2018 are approximately 66 children. The new Headteacher will need to maximise numbers and manage intake accordingly.

There are no current plans for academisation. Governors feel that the children are better served via the autonomy that maintained schools access as opposed to being a member school of an academy trust. This decision is reviewed on an annual basis and reported to governors in the Spring term.

We are committed to supporting schools who are currently requiring help to improve. This is been undertaken in the past with academy trusts and maintained schools.

 

Future opportunities

Our school is keen to take on challenges and opportunities and, as ever, governors will look with interest and enthusiasm at action required and innovation identified that puts children first.

 

Wider community

The school is situated in Acomb on the west of the city of York in the Westfield Ward, which is an urban location. It serves an area in the bottom 10% of the most deprived areas in England with high levels of crime and poverty, and poor health outcomes (Ward data). High numbers of children live in households where agencies have safeguarding concerns linked to drug and alcohol abuse, domestic violence, crime, poverty and neglect. Our school:

  • is a larger than average primary.
  • has a majority White British pupils – increasing % ethnic mix
  • has typically two thirds of children who enter EYFS with below average academic and social skills.
  • has pupil stability slightly higher than the national average
  • 2 pupils are LAC, 5 pupils have Child in Need plans, 5 pupils have FEHAs and 11 pupils are on Child Protection plans. 12 children have EHCPs
  • 142 pupils are entitled to PPG (27%) 

The school has high expectations of pupils and staff. Progress in EYFS is strong: typically two thirds of our children enter Westfield with skills below age related expectations, however by the end of Reception outcomes are in line with national scores.

The quality of teaching in EYFS is good with many aspects of outstanding practice. It is important that we build on this throughout each child’s life at our school so they can build a good future for themselves and their families.

The school is highly regarded by the majority of parents and the wider community. On the whole, parents are supportive of the school and are encouraged to raise any concerns they have with staff. There is a clear management structure to facilitate this. Parents are also reminded regularly to complete Ofsted’s Parentview survey.

There are regular parental engagement opportunities such as open phonics / maths classroom visits, weekly celebrations & story times in EYFS and INSPIRE workshops. Parents’ evenings inform parents of their child’s strengths and share personal targets. The phonics challenge in KS1 and Learning Journeys in EYFS encourage parental involvement with their child’s early learning.

Various methods of communication are used to keep parents up to date with day to day life and special events. These include face to face communication, letters, text messages and a very active Twitter account @WfieldPrimary. A strong Twitter following allows curriculum expectations to be shared and children’s successes to be celebrated.

There are a number of valued partners operating on the school site. These are a school operated daily Breakfast Club, a private playgroup, nursery and after school club.

We offer extra-curricular activities to our pupils, using external providers to reduce teachers’ workload. There is also a fenced community garden where garden holders from our local community are able to use a marked space to grow their own vegetables, fruit, flowers, etc. Governors and SLT meet with the garden holders at a Summer tea each July.

Each year a local business is chosen to be included in the Year 6 Summer Performance. It usually includes references to local businesses, which are often tongue in cheek, and have cameo mini-me elements. Local business owners/managers often visit school to talk about their job for careers awareness.

The school does not currently have a PTA as this was regarded as a distraction at the time it was requiring improvement. It also ensures that staff workload is focused on key academic and pupil based activities.

Westfield is a school where the children and staff are happy and thrive. Pupils are proud to attend our school. Consequently, ex-pupils and staff stay in touch. The terms weggy, weggies are used in colloquial language to refer to pupils and staff who attend/work at Westfield Primary School. Ex-pupils and ex-staff are proud to be weggies.

The school supports ‘Acomb Alive’ taking the children in Year 6 to perform their show dances at this local trade association community event. The school hosts a large number of elderly local residents at our annual ‘Tea and Tunes’ Christmas event. It also enjoys good relationships with local religious leaders who regularly attend assemblies.  

The school has a good, professional relationship with the LA. There is appropriate challenge and support from both sides. The Council provides a range of key services for schools to access through its statutory duties framework and a range of services and support for schools to purchase. Our school provides experienced members of staff with a proven track record of excellent practice to support and challenge schools in need of help. The school’s existing headteacher is a member of the Schools Forum.

The headteacher and staff from across the school have also worked with the local Teaching School Alliances and with Outwood Academy Trust to provide training and support for a range of staff.

 

The Role

Your overarching responsibility will be to lead and be responsible for the day to day activities of the school, ensuring that children come first.

Other areas that will require your attention include:

  • Contributing to, and delivering, the school improvement plan, including the next steps set out in the school’s most recent Ofsted inspection letter. Leading the school forward to its next stage of development to continue to improve outcomes for children, both in school and the wider area. Governors agree that we aspire to being outstanding for children, not for plaudits.
  • Tackling non-attendance and poor punctuality are a priority. The social and parental support provided by the children’s champions should continue to evolve so that this area of children’s need is supported and satisfied.
  • Ensuring equal opportunities for all staff without disadvantaging outcomes for children. Deliver distributed leadership at all levels of teaching and support staff areas to grow our own skilled practitioners. Staff workload should be considered when innovation is designed.
  • Ensuring the school meals capital project is a springboard to ensure that children eat healthily and provide opportunities for the local community and pupils to experience a training kitchen.

 

Key challenges

  • Initially getting to know our school and its wider community, the usual challenges of balancing the budget whilst delivering the school’s key priorities.
  • Non-attendance and lack of punctuality of pupils.
  • The attitudes and expectations of some parents will require outstanding soft skills that are underpinned by strength of character.
  • Delivering for children whilst ensuring staff workload is well managed.

 

Headteacher Support

Governors are supportive of actions taken to innovate and improve current practice identified by the headteacher where it benefits children. The Chair of Governors provides 1:1 support and challenge to the headteacher as a critical friend.

The local authority is very supportive of its schools and the local Ward committee is also very supportive where issues are council responsibility, e.g. traffic outside the school at key parts of the day, pupil crossing warden.

 

Location

York is a beautiful, thriving city with low unemployment and highly performing tourism, cultural and entertainments industries.

Road, rail, bus, car and cycle routes are very good. The city is on several main rail lines served by York Railway Station. Outside the station is a significant bus hub that serves the further reaches of the city and beyond, but particularly those to Acomb. There are nine park and ride hubs and a thriving cycle network around the city

 

About living and working in North Yorkshire

North Yorkshire is England's largest county and one of the most rural. The area comprises the Yorkshire Dales and North Yorkshire Moors, three Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Pennines and a stunning coastline around Scarborough and Whitby. The area hosted the phenomenal Tour de France in 2014, and due to its success has created the Tour de Yorkshire with global recognition. There are ruined castles and abbeys, serene gardens, unique breweries, thrilling rides and industrial heritage. Something for everyone!

For outdoor enthusiasts North Yorkshire has plenty to offer. From the hard gritstone of Almscliff and Brimham rocks to the limestone of Malham, Gordale and Kilnsey -climbing venues are in abundance. The Yorkshire Dales is the premier area for caving and for mountain biking. There are the bridleways of the Dales and North York Moors as well as the renowned trail centre at Dalby Forest. The 7stanes mountain bike trail centres are all easily accessible for days and weekends away as is the Lake District and the fells, crags and coast of Northumberland. There are a small number of sailing clubs on reservoirs around the county and fantastic, if chilly, surfsport venues and sea kayaking on the east coast.

While the county is rightly known for its wide open spaces, it also incorporates attractive market towns including Northallerton and Skipton - judged the best place to live in Britain by the Sunday Times (2014). In addition to the traditional seaside towns of Whitby and Scarborough, the Spa town of Harrogate, as well as the ancient city of York, the most visited city outside of London. There are a wide range of shopping, leisure and cultural facilities as well as excellent schools, universities, road and rail links, there really is everything to offer you and your family as a place to work, live and enjoy!

Travelling further afield we have convenient connectivity, with close proximity to metropolitan cities of Leeds and Newcastle, with little over two hours commute on the main train line to London. We border the Lake District, Lancashire, County Durham, and Yorkshire & Humber regions with all they have to offer.

 

LINKS TO:

https://www.york.gov.uk/

https://www.visityork.org/explore 

www.yorkshire.com

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