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Gladstone Primary Academy


Gladstone Primary Academy had its Ofsted Inspection on the 31st October and 1st November 2023.  Please find below the key points from the report with the full report attached. 

Inspection of Gladstone Primary Academy

Overall effectiveness


The quality of education


Behaviour and attitudes


Personal development


Leadership and management


Early years provision


Previous inspection grade

Requires improvement

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils at Gladstone enjoy positive relationships with their classmates and adults.  Pupils are well cared for.   They know that adults act quickly and help them if they have any problems.  During playtime, pupils play games together and benefit from good levels of interaction with the adults.

All pupils understand and follow the school rules.  Pupils’ behaviour is good, both in class and during social time.  Pupils are safe and feel secure.  Consistent routines are well established from when children start in the early years.  Pupils get on well with their learning because there are very few interruptions. 

Pupils love learning.  They benefit from high expectations that are set for them by the adults.  There is a significant proportion of pupils who start the school mid-year.  These pupils receive individual support to make sure that they settle in quickly and make friends.  As such, they feel happy in school.

Children in early years receive a positive start to their education.  They enjoy a curriculum in which activities are well designed to support their development.

Pupils have the opportunity to participate in a range of clubs and activities.  This contributes well to their personal development.

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

Leaders have implemented an ambitious curriculum which meets the needs of pupils.  This includes the significant number of pupils who arrive at the school after Year 1, many of whom have gaps in what they know and remember.  Leaders ensure that whenever pupils join the school, they benefit from a curriculum that prepares them for their next stage of education.

Overall, teachers deliver the curriculum as leaders intend.  Where this is the case, adults provide clear explanations to ensure that pupils understand what is being taught.  Most teachers are skilled in adapting their teaching to meet the needs of all pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).  Often, teachers give pupils plenty of opportunities to practise what they have learned.  They check how well pupils remember what they have learned and use this information to identify exactly what pupils know or struggle with.  Teachers respond quickly to provide pupils with extra help or further opportunities to improve if needed.  This supports pupils to achieve highly throughout the curriculum.

However, there is some inconsistency in how well some of the curriculum is delivered.  A minority of teachers do not use assessment at the school intends.  On these occasions, some teachers’ check on pupils’ knowledge and understanding are not precise or timely enough.  They do not adapt their teaching quickly enough to give pupils, including those with SEND, the opportunity to improve in areas which they are less secure.  Over time, this leads to some pupils not achieving as highly as they should.

The school ensures that pupils receive expert support to learn to read.  Adults are well trained and deliver high-quality phonics sessions.  Leaders check how well pupils learn to read.  Adults intervene quickly if anyone falls behind.  The school ensures that older pupils who join the school without knowing how to read fluently receive high levels of appropriately targeted support.  Pupils speak very positively about the books they read.  They show good levels of resilience in their journey to becoming fluent readers.

In early years, an ambitious curriculum supports pupils’ development from age two to Reception.  Children are happy and well looked after.  Staff help children to develop their communication skills, both in English and, where possible, their home language.  Children love having stories read to them.  Consequently, the curriculum supports children to make good progress from their different starting points.

The school ensures that pupils’ attitudes to learning are good.  Adults are consistent in applying the behaviour policy.  This means that pupils learn in a calm and orderly environment without distractions.  The schools works closely and effectively with families and community groups to ensure that pupils’ attendance is high.

From early years, a well-planned personal development programme ensures that pupils learn about differences and respect.  Pupils benefit from interesting experiences that enrich their understanding of the curriculum.  This includes a trip to London, where pupils gain confidence in using public transport.

Leaders, including governors and trustees, have a clear understanding of their responsibilities and fulfil their roles effectively.  They provide appropriate challenge and support to ensure that all pupils benefit from a high-quality education.  Staff are very positive about how considerate leaders are about staff workload.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

A few teachers do not consistently identify where there are gaps in pupils’ knowledge or understanding.  Where this is the case, teaching is not adapted precisely enough to secure pupils’ learning throughout the curriculum.  The school needs to ensure that staff deliver the curriculum as leaders intend by using assessment systems to inform their teaching more consistently.  This will ensure that pupils do not develop gaps in their knowledge so that they can achieve well.