Sidegate Primary School

Seize Opportunity, Create Success

School Context

Sidegate is a three-form entry primary school with children from Reception to Year 6. 


The school hosts a 25 place Specialist Unit for pupils with complex needs and moderate learning difficulties, these pupils are placed by the Local Authority and all have an Education and Health Care Plan; the Unit pupils are on the school’s roll and their data is reflected in all statutory assessments. The majority of these pupils move on to special school provision for their secondary education.


The number of pupils on roll at any one time is close to the Permitted Admission Number of 655.


An independent pre-school provider (age 2 to 4) and an independent before/after school club lease part of the school building and grounds.


The school became an academy with The Active Learning Trust in May 2014. The most recent Ofsted inspection in April 2017 rated the school as “Good” in all categories.


The school is located in the north of Ipswich and serves a densely-populated, mixed catchment that mainly consists of owner-occupied housing. Within one mile of the school are five other primary schools: St Mary’s RC Primary (1 form of entry), St John’s CEVA Primary (1 form of entry), St Helen’s Primary School (2 forms of entry), St Margaret’s CEVA Primary (2 forms of entry) and Rushmere Hall Primary (3 forms of entry). The majority of pupils move on to Northgate High School or Copleston High School for their secondary education.

As of September 2019:

  • 15% of pupils are eligible for free school meals and/or are entitled to pupil premium funding.
  • 18% of pupils speak English as an additional language.

  • 15% of mainstream pupils are SEND.


Sidegate is a diverse community with pupils experiencing social and financial disadvantage through to pupils from affluent families. With such diversity it is essential that we strive to ensure that all pupils have access to the opportunities and experiences we offer within and beyond our curriculum. To this end we endeavour to provide an “equity” of offer, rather than an “equality” of offer to enable our pupils to develop the Cultural Capital that will facilitate their progression through education and into the world of work.


Suffolk is a coastal county and Ipswich is located 15km inland at the head of the River Orwell. Ipswich is a diverse community that has seen many waves of immigration over the last century. Suffolk is a mainly rural community, with services, farming, tourism and light industry as its major economic drivers. The Port of Felixstowe is one of the largest ports in the world. Nuclear and renewable energy are also key employers. Ipswich is a base for a number of large service industry companies, including Willis and AXA Insurance. The town has a rich history dating back to the Roman times and has been a settlement since the 7th century. Suffolk has only had a university since 2016, which now has a student population of approximately 5000. Ipswich is home to DanceEast and New Wolsey Theatre (both National Portfolio Organisations) and Snape Maltings Concert Hall (an international classical music venue) is within a 40 minute drive. You can travel to London from Ipswich on an intercity train in just over an hour.


Many of our families select Sidegate as their school of choice because it does not have the religious character of many other local schools. On admission, 77% of families select either “no religion” or do not declared a religion.


The Sidegate Curriculum is mainly aligned with the National Curriculum, however we are tailoring and emphasising some aspects of our curriculum to meet the specific needs of our community, examples include:

  • The history and heritage of Ipswich and Suffolk.

  • A knowledge and understanding of Religion and Worldviews.

  • Learning to swim from an early age.

  • Exposure to and experience of the wide range of arts and culture available in Suffolk.

  • An understanding of the geographical diversity of the county of Suffolk - urban, rural and coastal - and its place in the world.

  • Broadening horizons, sowing seeds for future employment opportunities and leisure interests - both within Suffolk and beyond.

Keep up to date with the latest school news through our weekly and year group newsletters.