Corporation Road Community Primary School

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Corporation Road Community Primary School

Name Corporation Road Community Primary School
Ofsted Inspection Rating Requires improvement
Inspection Date 24 September 2019
Address Corporation Road, Darlington, County Durham, DL3 6AR
Phone Number 01325244940
Type Primary
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 287 (54% boys 46% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 15.5
Academy Sponsor Lingfield Education Trust
Local Authority Darlington
Percentage Free School Meals 39.3%
Percentage English is Not First Language 61%
Persisitent Absence 13.8%
Pupils with SEN Support 11.5%
Catchment Area Information Available Yes, our catchment area data is FREE
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils are delighted to come to this caring and nurturing school. They are happy and safe. Children settle quickly into Nursery and Reception. They make a secure start with their learning but more children need to be ready for the demands of starting Year 1.Pupils learn well in subjects such as mathematics. They enjoy learning in geography and science. But, sometimes, pupils have gaps in valuable knowledge. Teachers work hard to make sure that more pupils have secure phonics (letters and the sounds they make) knowledge and reading skills.Pupils behave well in lessons. There is a harmonious atmosphere of respect. Pupils and staff get on well together. Pupils told us that bullying is very rare. They are confident that staff will deal with their concerns.Parents and carers are very positive about the school. They told us that staff always listen and often go the ‘extra mile’ to support their children. They liked the clubs available, including the school’s breakfast club.The headteacher is successfully steering the school on a journey of improvement. Staff share her aspiration to provide the best for pupils. This team is growing in expertise. However, there is more to do to develop leaders who are new to their roles.

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

Leaders’ recently developed plans ensure that subjects are taught well. These plans are beginning to help staff know what needs to be taught. Assessments to check pupils’ learning are at an early stage of development in some subjects. While pupils enjoy learning in subjects such as geography and science, there are sometimes gaps in their learning. The teaching of phonics and reading has not been strong enough. Leaders have recently acted to address this. Some teachers have received training on phonics teaching. Leaders have bought books which better match younger pupils’ phonics knowledge. Helpful plans for teaching reading are in place. However, sometimes, teachers do not adapt these plans enough to meet the needs of all pupils. For example, the needs of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) and the most able pupils are not fully considered.

Pupils’ behaviour is good in lessons and at other times across the day. There is an atmosphere of mutual respect. Good attendance has a high profile. Most pupils attend school regularly and are punctual for the start of the day. There have been no exclusions in recent years. Bullying is very rare and dealt with promptly by staff.There are a wide range of opportunities for pupils’ personal development. The school council and visits by the local Member of Parliament help pupils understand the principles of democracy. Teaching of personal, social and health education is well planned and delivered. Pupils receive lots of support and guidance which show themhow to look after their physical and mental needs. The breakfast club and the sports coaches at lunchtimes help pupils develop an understanding of how to be healthy. The school’s staff are experts at supporting pupils’ social and emotional needs.

The headteacher has brought much improvement to the school over the last three years. Other leaders are working hard to develop the quality of the curriculum across all subjects. Some of these leaders are new to their roles. They are receiving appropriate training to develop their leadership skills. At the time of the inspection, there was a vacancy for the deputy headteacher post. The school aims to have appointed to this post soon. Lingfield Education Trust helps the school to train leaders and staff. The trust also helps the leaders to check that the school is improving. At times, this support could be more specifically tailored to the school’s priorities. The governors are supportive and understand the community the school serves. Sometimes, the questions governors ask leaders about their work could be more challenging. Governors do not fully consider the effect of the curriculum on pupils’ learning.

Engagement with parents is strong. The school regularly seeks their views. The headteacher’s meetings with key community leaders help to improve pupils’ education and safety, for example the community initiative to make the local park a safe place for pupils to play and learn.

Children make a settled start to school. They soon learn the routines and behave sensibly. Reorganised classrooms are now set up to deliver the early years curriculum effectively. However, the outside areas for learning are not as strong. The headteacher has secured resources to improve this area and has clear plans to create an area which will meet the children’s needs. The early years leader is further developing the curriculum. She has started to look at how children’s learning in the early years will help them in Year 1. Leaders and staff need to ensure that these developments improve children’s learning. In previous years, the proportion of children who achieved the expected standard by the end of Reception was not high enough.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Keeping pupils safe both inside and outside of school has the highest priority of everyone in school. Staff know what steps to take if they have any concerns. They receive regular safeguarding training to update their understanding. Procedures to identify pupils at risk are robust. The school seeks help for pupils and their families promptly. Leaders complete careful safeguarding checks for all staff, trustees, governors and volunteers. This ensures that they are suitable to work with children. The headteacher and staff are vigilant to the risks to children from going missing from education, female genital mutilation and county lines.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

Leaders have recently taken actions to improve the teaching of phonics. Their intention is to ensure that more pupils achieve the expected standard in phonics by the end of Year 1. Leaders need to check the impact of these developments. To provide consistency of approach, it would be beneficial for teaching assistants involved with the teaching of phonics to receive training in the new approach. . The teaching of reading is not consistently strong enough. Teachers do not plan work effectively enough to develop all pupils’ knowledge. Sometimes, pupils with SEND are given work which is not adapted to enable them to achieve success. Equally, at times, the planned work for the most able does not enable them to develop their knowledge sufficiently. Consequently, they are treading water rather than deepening their knowledge. . Leaders have recently reviewed the sequencing of knowledge in subjects such as geography and science. At present, while pupils are enjoying their learning in these subjects, they do not retain important knowledge, and earlier teaching has left gaps in their knowledge. The leader for foundation subjects has recently established well-sequenced plans and these are currently being implemented. Assessment arrangements are being developed alongside the implementation of these plans to identify if pupils are learning more and remembering more. This work needs to continue and be embedded consistently across the school. . The headteacher provides determined leadership and has brought evident improvements to the school. Currently, there are interim arrangements to cover the deputy headteacher role. Some subject leaders are new to their roles. They are enthusiastic but need to develop their leadership skills. Further developments in leadership capacity and skills are required to successfully develop the school to where it aspires to be. . Not enough children are well prepared for starting the Year 1 curriculum. Leaders need to implement their plans to improve the quality of the outdoor learning environment so that it supports children’s learning across the early years curriculum. They need to ensure that there is continuity of curriculum between Reception and key stage 1 so that more children are ready for the demands of Year 1. Leaders’ pupil premium plan to improve the proportion of disadvantaged children who achieve a good level of development needs to be delivered effectively. . The trust needs to tailor support for leadership and the quality of teaching to the specific priorities of the school. A more forensic consideration of the impact of support is needed. . Governors need to check that improvements to leadership, the curriculum and teaching are improving pupils’ learning.