Inspection of a good school: Anchorsholme Primary Academy

Eastpines Drive, Thornton-Cleveleys, Lancashire FY5 3RX

Inspection dates

5–6 November 2019



Anchorsholme Primary Academy continues to be a good school.


What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils are happy and safe in Anchorsholme Primary Academy. They find their work interesting. Teachers have high expectations. Pupils say that they enjoy the wide range of after-school clubs and activities. They also like going on trips and visits, for example to the beach to see how it has changed over time. Such trips also help them to remember more about things they have learned.

Pupils enjoy competing in music and dance festivals, art competitions and sporting events. Pupils are curious. They ask lots of questions. Pupils like to find the answers for themselves through experiments and research.

Staff care for pupils well, treating them with kindness and respect. Equally, pupils are polite and have good manners. They behave sensibly as they move around the school. In lessons, they work well with one another in pairs or small groups. Most listen attentively. They follow teachers’ instructions.

When we talked to some pupils about bullying. They told us that this very rarely happens. They were confident that teachers would ‘stamp it out quickly’ if it did happen. Leaders make sure that pupils know how to keep themselves safe outside of school. This includes when they are using the internet and social media.


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

The curriculum helps pupils prepare well for the next stage in education. Leaders know what pupils need to learn and in what order. Most teachers have good knowledge about all the subjects they teach. However, some teachers’ understanding of science is not secure.

Leaders place reading at the centre of the curriculum. They recently introduced a new way of teaching reading. This is helping pupils to become fluent and confident readers.
Children in the Reception class learn about letters and the sounds that they make. They quickly move onto reading simple books where these same sounds make up the words in a story. Teachers soon notice if children do not grasp new sounds. Teachers make sure that these pupils have some extra help to catch up. Once pupils are in key stage 2, they continue to read every day. They have a wide range of books to choose from. These include many by well-known authors. Older pupils typically say that they can use a much wider range of words. They develop a strong understanding of texts that they have read.

Teachers are ambitious for pupils to achieve as much as they can in mathematics. In the early years, teachers give children opportunities to talk to one another using simple mathematical terms. Children learn to measure solids and liquids using scales and measuring jugs. By the time pupils are in Year 6, most are confident in solving complex problems using a range of calculations. Pupils’ skills in writing are not as strong as they are in reading and mathematics. Reading has been a priority in the school. Leaders understand that there is more to do to develop the writing curriculum so that pupils can become successful writers.

All pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) do well in Anchorsholme Primary Academy. This is seen in the outcomes from national tests at the end of key stage 2. Pupils’ good attitudes to learning and sensible behaviour play a key role in their success.

Pupils methodically develop new knowledge in a broad range of subjects as they move through the school. In history, for example, children in the early years learn to order events like ages and birthdays in their own family. Older pupils learn about events from early civilisations to the present day. They can explain how we know what happened in the past from looking at artefacts and reading historical records. Similarly, in art, pupils learn about the methods used by great artists from the past as well as in modern times. They enjoy trying out some of these techniques in their own work. Pupils also learn about how to programme computers to perform increasingly complicated tasks. This helps them prepare well for life in modern Britain.

The range of clubs and activities taking place before and after school is varied and exciting. A sample of these includes art, crafts, music, drama, sports, gymnastics and photography.

Staff at the school support each other well. Senior leaders have considered staff workload and well-being. For example, they have simplified assessment systems. As a result, teachers say that they do not have to spend as long on marking pupils’ work. Staff give generously of their own time to run the wide range of clubs and activities.



The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders ensure that staff complete up-to-date safeguarding training. Staff are vigilant and know how to spot the early signs of neglect, abuse or radicalisation. They know what to do if they have a concern. Leaders and governors have procedures in place to ensure that any new staff are suitable to work with children. They also ensure that the school buildings and site are secure. Firewalls are effective in preventing pupils from seeing harmful materials on the internet. Leaders work well with outside agencies to give support for vulnerable pupils and their families.


What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

  • Leaders have focused effectively on improving pupils’ achievement in reading through an intensive, school-wide programme. Currently, pupils’ skills in writing are not as strong as in reading and mathematics. Leaders should further develop the curriculum for writing so that pupils achieve equally well in writing as they do in other subjects.
  • Teachers’ subject knowledge across most subjects is strong. However, some teachers have weaknesses in their subject knowledge of science. Leaders should ensure that staff receive appropriate training and development to improve this.


When we have judged a school to be good we will then normally go into the school about once every four years to confirm that the school remains good. This is called a section 8 inspection of a good school or non-exempt outstanding school. We do not give graded judgements on a section 8 inspection. However, if we find some evidence that the school could now be better than good or that standards may be declining, then the next inspection will be a section 5 inspection. Usually this is within one to two years of the date of the section 8 inspection. If we have serious concerns about safeguarding, behaviour or the quality of education, we will convert the section 8 inspection to a section 5 inspection immediately.

This is the second section 8 inspection since we judged the predecessor school, Anchorsholme Primary School, to be good in April 2013.

How can I feed back my views

You can use Ofsted Parent View to give Ofsted your opinion on your child’s school, or to find out what other parents and carers think. We use Ofsted Parent View information when deciding which schools to inspect, when to inspect them and as part of their inspection.

The Department for Education has further guidance on how to complain about a school.

If you’re not happy with the inspection or the report, you can complain to Ofsted.

Further information

You can search for published performance information about the school.

In the report, ‘disadvantaged pupils’ refers to those pupils who attract government pupil premium funding: pupils claiming free school meals at any point in the last six years and pupils in care or who left care through adoption or another formal route.


School details

Unique reference number 140124
Local authority Blackpool
Inspection number 10111050
Type of school Primary
School category Academy converter
Age range of pupils 4 to 11
Gender of pupil Mixed
Number of pupils on the school rol 606
Appropriate authority  Board of trustees
Chair of governing body Sharif Ela
Headteacher Graeme Dow
Date of previous inspection 2 February 2016


Information about this school

  • At the last inspection the academy was part of Blackpool Multi-Academy Trust. On 1 November 2019, this trust amalgamated with another trust to become Seaview Multi- Academy Trust.


Information about this inspection

  • During this inspection, we met with the headteacher and senior leaders.
  • We held meetings with teachers, support staff and subject leaders. The lead inspector met with four members of the governing body.
  • The chief executive officer of the trust attended team meetings with inspectors and senior leaders.
  • We visited lessons in each key stage. We spoke with pupils from each key stage and viewed examples of their work. We spoke with pupils about behaviour and expectations in the school and observed behaviour around the school and in lessons.
  • The lead inspector heard pupils read from key stages 1 and 2.
  • We considered the 87 responses to Parent View, Ofsted’s online questionnaire, and the 34 free-text responses. We examined records in relation to safeguarding.
  • As part of this inspection, we considered carefully how phonics and early reading are taught at Anchorsholme Primary Academy. We also considered how the curriculum is planned and delivered in mathematics, science and writing. During these activities, we met with subject leaders and visited samples of lessons. We spoke with teachers about the lessons that they had taught and with pupils who had been in the lessons. We viewed examples of pupils’ books.


Inspection team

Jan Corlett, lead inspector – Ofsted Inspector
Amanda Dodd – Ofsted Inspector


Extra Curricular Activities

Staff Members

Years Established