Broom Cottages Primary & Nursery School

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About Broom Cottages Primary & Nursery School

Name Broom Cottages Primary & Nursery School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mr Stuart Shields
Address Broom Road, Ferryhill, DL17 8AN
Phone Number 01740651363
Phase Primary
Type Community school
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 278
Local Authority County Durham
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Broom Cottages Primary and Nursery School is a happy, caring place where pupils enjoy learning and playing together. Leaders have established positive partnerships with families.

Pupils and their families feel listened to. Relationships between adults and pupils are respectful. Pupils look after each other and feel safe.

Children in the early years are quick to settle and learn routines. They enjoy a wide range of activities and learn how to work with others. Parents and carers of children in the early years say that their children thrive.

Pupils learn about equality, positive relationships and how to recognise bullying. They know that adults will help them w...ith any concerns. Pupils have a strong sense of responsibility.

They say that anyone new to the school is welcomed and quickly makes friends. Older pupils learn how to help younger children through a peer support programme. The active school council works to improve aspects of school life.

Pupils behave well both in and out of lessons. They work hard and listen carefully to adults. There are very few incidents of bullying or poor behaviour.

Everyone understands the traffic light behaviour code. Pupils say it is 'good to be green'. Getting to red is very rare.

A small number of pupils do not attend school as often as they should. Leaders work with the local authority to support parents and improve this situation.

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

Leaders have developed a broad and well-planned curriculum.

Subject leaders make sure that teachers can deliver the curriculum effectively. Key subject themes and vocabulary are well established. In art, pupils discussed their learning about printing.

They took inspiration from the work of artists such as Jackson Pollock and Andy Warhol. In science, pupils spoke about investigating and testing scientific theories. In most lessons, teachers are quick to identify and support pupils who are at risk of falling behind.

However, some activities do not provide opportunities for teachers to check pupils' learning. In science, some teachers are unsure how well pupils learn investigative skills. In history, teachers have not identified weaknesses in some pupils' chronological knowledge.

This makes it more difficult for leaders to identify weaknesses in provision. Leaders are aware of this and have plans to review assessment.

Since the previous inspection, leaders have introduced a programme of work for mathematics.

Teachers introduce new content in small steps, building on what pupils already know. Pupils have regular opportunities to apply their learning through solving problems. Some pupils have developed gaps in their mathematical knowledge during COVID-19 lockdowns.

This includes those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). Leaders have deployed more staff to support these pupils in lessons. As a result, they are catching up.

Leaders have prioritised the teaching of reading. They have introduced a sequential phonics programme which starts in Reception class. All staff use the same approach.

Pupils have regular opportunities to apply their phonics knowledge through reading and writing. Leaders ensure that reading books match the sounds that the pupils know. Teachers are alert to any pupil who might be falling behind and the needs of those pupils with SEND.

These pupils receive extra phonics sessions, which helps them catch up. As a result, most pupils learn to read by the end of key stage 1. The few pupils who are not fluent readers in key stage 2 receive regular phonics teaching.

These pupils say that this is helping them to be more confident readers.

Most pupils read often. Teachers read regularly to pupils.

Pupils say they enjoy the 'Favourite Five' books and the core text for each term. They say the stories inspire them to read the books for themselves and seek other books by the same authors.

Leaders set high expectations for behaviour and for personal responsibility.

Pupils try hard to live up to these expectations. They learn about positive relationships, keeping healthy and staying safe. Pupils enjoy these lessons and say they are relevant and useful.

They learn about diverse cultures and world views in assemblies and religious education lessons. They learn about citizenship through fundraising for charities.

Some provision for pupils' development is less consistent.

Leaders recognise that many pupils suffer from poor communication skills and low self-confidence. In the early years, leaders have made changes across the curriculum to address this. They have provided more opportunities for children to try new activities.

Leaders have prioritised vocabulary and opportunities for children to talk about their learning. Provision in the rest of the school is not as focused on these issues. They are not included in leaders' plans for improvement.

Children make a strong start in the early years. Leaders have developed a curriculum that prepares children well for key stage 1. Adults are quick to identify children with SEND.

These children get the support they need and play a full part in all activities. Children enjoy the many stories that adults read to them. They want to learn to read and they engage well in their phonics lessons.

Children enjoy a wide range of activities which help build their knowledge. They identify and count the inhabitants of their 'bug hotel'. They use their bird hide to record the behaviour of wildlife.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders ensure a strong culture of safety. Several senior members of staff act as safeguarding leads.

They ensure that all record-keeping, checks and processes are robust. Staff are well trained to identify and report any issues that might cause concern. All concerns are recorded and followed up by safeguarding leads.

Leaders work closely with external agencies to support children and their families.

Leaders ensure that pupils are taught how to keep themselves safe. Pupils are aware of online dangers and know when to seek help from an adult if they are worried.

They also know how to keep themselves physically healthy.

Governors take their safeguarding responsibilities seriously. They meet regularly with senior leaders and have a thorough knowledge of current issues.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Leaders' priorities for improving the school do not always reflect the barriers to learning that many pupils face. For example, leaders have identified that the lockdowns have affected pupils' communication skills, but have not recognised the benefits that their work on vocabulary and activities in lessons could have on this. Leaders should review their priorities for the school, so that opportunities to address the needs of pupils are not missed.

• In some subjects, such as science and history, teachers are unsure whether pupils have learned all the intended subject content. This makes it difficult for leaders to identify which parts of the curriculum to improve. Leaders should carry out their plans to strengthen assessment, so that teachers use a range of strategies to regularly check pupils' learning.

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