The Willows Primary School
Welcome to the World of The Willows.
We are here to Learn
The Willows Primary School is situated in the middle of a social housing estate in Ipswich. We currently have approximately 310 children on roll but we are a growing school. Most pupils are British but there has been an increase of EAL children joining the school recently which is enriching our community. Pupil attainment is higher than would be expected from an area such as ours. The majority of children who attend the school are from the local catchment area.
Since 2010 we have worked very hard to raise standards in English and maths. Where the emphasis has been on assessment for learning this is linked to learning intentions, success criteria, next steps in learning and pupils being independent learners. The school has been very successful with the use of ‘Pit Stops’ (mini plenaries) to enhance learning. In the recent Ofsted report, which judged the school to be Good, it was highlighted that pupil progress accelerates rapidly from Year 2 and is consistently good or outstanding in the rest of the school. Pupils make good progress in reading and teaching is good or outstanding in mathematics.
Over the last 3 years, the school has developed its leadership team to drive learning. The Ofsted report highlighted that: ‘Highly ambitious senior leaders, staff and governors have brought about a significant rise in the quality of teaching and pupil attainment since the previous inspection in 2010. They work in unison sharing the commitment to raise pupil aspirations for their future and to make a real difference to their lives.’
The school rigorously tracks pupil progress and attainment from entry into the Nursery to Year 6. Regular meeting to discuss individual pupil progress takes place with teachers and TAs so that intervention and next steps are targeted quickly. The school knows that good and outstanding teaching is the best way for learning to progress. The school has also developed individual ‘My Next Steps’ folders for each child, which are reviewed with the children regularly.
The school prides itself in the care and wellbeing of all pupils. We have a Family Support Unit where nurture groups and pastoral care take place daily. The team build up a positive link between parents, pupils and the school by providing a friendly face and a listening ear.
The school is committed to working with other schools in ‘The Raising the Bar Project’ promoted by Suffolk County Council. We have joined a group of five ‘Like Minded’ schools who have been judged to be Good or Outstanding in the new Ofsted framework. We have a commitment to working together to improve outcomes for pupils. We all have a sharp focus on progress and attainment and challenge each other. Our aim is to become an Outstanding school.
The school prides itself on delivering a creative curriculum so that the children can learn with real-life activities. Pupils are taught both indoor and outdoor activities and these are linked to literacy and numeracy. Where possible staff enrich learning by inviting visitors into the classrooms and by planning well-linked trips to match both the schools development focuses and learning.
Our Outside Learning is supported by The Forest School. The children learn new skills such as cooking on fires, fire and knife safety and working with a range of natural materials, particularly willow which they harvest from our own site. Willow and Elder have been planted in the forest area to enable a sustainable resource for the children’s learning. The school also has an allotment with a recycled bottle green house and a thriving pond area which is used for science lessons.
We promote music and drama which builds the pupils’ confidence. All pupils from Year 4 to Year 6 learn a brass instrument and we have recently taken part in the highly-respected schools’ music celebrations at Snape Maltings. This unique, memorable experience was to commemorate the music of Benjamin Britton this year.
We are all very proud of The Willows. We have high expectations of all pupils and know that every child has a right to an excellent education.