Bullion Lane Primary School

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About Bullion Lane Primary School

Name Bullion Lane Primary School
Website http://www.bullionlane.durham.sch.uk
Ofsted Inspections
Head Teacher Miss Sarah Barningham
Address Bullion Lane, Chester le Street, DH2 2DP
Phone Number 01913882482
Phase Primary
Type Community school
Age Range 2-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 285
Local Authority County Durham
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils benefit from a strong curriculum in reading, writing and mathematics.

They achieve well. This prepares them effectively for the next stage in their education. Pupils enjoy coming to school.

They show an enthusiasm for learning. The atmosphere in school is welcoming and inclusive. Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are particularly well supported to learn and achieve alongside their peers.

This reflects the high aspiration that the school has for all its pupils.

Pupils enjoy warm and supportive relationships with their teachers and other adults in school. They are comfortable sharing any worries or concerns that th...ey may have.

Pupils understand and follow the 'golden rules' for good behaviour, such as kindness and respect. Sometimes, there is unkind behaviour in school and pupils may occasionally fall out with each other. However, pupils say that teachers help them to resolve things.

There is an exciting programme of enrichment activities available to pupils. The school has a swimming pool on site. Every pupil has the opportunity to learn to swim and become proficient in water safety.

Pupils also take part in regular school productions and sports festivals. They take part in ten-pin bowling, along with a range of other opportunities. Pupils also consolidate their learning outside the classroom through visits to places, such as Beamish Museum and Durham Cathedral.

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

Early reading is the foundation of the school's effective core learning offer. Leaders provide timely refresher training for all staff involved in teaching pupils to read. This training sharpens the support given to pupils who need more help with learning to read.

Regular, carefully targeted extra tuition is effective in helping these pupils to catch up quickly.

The wider enjoyment of reading shines through when pupils talk about books. They have access to a diverse range of texts and genres.

Pupils confidently explain the plots and characters from a variety of modern novels, along with some classics, such as Sherlock Holmes and 'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe'. Pupils are excited about the opportunity to choose books from the 'secret library' along with the main library.

Mathematics is also a strength of the school's curriculum.

Pupils demonstrate an age-appropriate grasp of mathematical vocabulary, problem-solving and reasoning. Although the breadth and scope of the curriculum in the foundation subjects is a strength, it is less well established. The school has carefully considered what pupils need to know and understand in subjects, such as history and art and design.

However, there is more work to do to ensure that pupils learn this curriculum effectively. The activities that pupils undertake in lessons are not routinely focused on the most important knowledge and skills.Pupils with SEND receive the support they need in order to succeed.

The school works effectively with parents to identify barriers to learning and to carefully prepare for the next steps that pupils need. As pupils with SEND progress through the school, they are supported to develop increasing independence. Pupils with SEND work alongside their peers and access the same curriculum offer and enrichment opportunities.

Children in the early years make a strong start to their school life. Staff are knowledgeable, responsive and patient as they listen and respond to children. Children make independent use of the indoor and outdoor environments to support their physical development.

There are strong foundations in place for pupils to develop their language and mathematical skills. Children are well prepared for Year 1.

Pupils' overall attendance at school has improved in the past year, this remains broadly in line with the national average.

Most pupils attend regularly but there are some pupils who are still not in school as often as they should be. The school ensures that attendance is a high priority. They are working effectively with families to show the importance of good attendance.

The school's programme for personal development is broad and balanced. Pupils are especially confident in their understanding of healthy relationships and how to keep themselves safe, both online and in the local community. The opportunity for pupils to share any concerns with the school's 'discuss with Gus' offer, is one of many strategies to develop positive mental health.

School leaders and governors have an unwavering commitment to the school and its community. They recognise the important role education plays in improving pupil's future prospects. Parents are very well represented on the governing body.

Staff enjoy working at the school. They recognise and value the support they receive to manage workload and well-being.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• In some foundation subjects, the resources and activity choices are not matched carefully enough to the important knowledge that the school wants pupils to learn. This means that pupils are not remembering the curriculum in the long term. The school should match activity choices and resources to focus precisely on the required key knowledge and skills so that pupils learn the intended curriculum and can recall this over time.

Some pupils do not attend school as often as they should. This means that they are missing out on important learning and personal development that will help them in the next stage of their education. The school should maintain their focus on applying consistent systems and strategies to support the high attendance of all pupils.

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