Darley Dale Primary School

Name Darley Dale Primary School
Website http://www.darleydale.derbyshire.sch.uk
Ofsted Inspections
Address Greenaway Lane, Hackney, Matlock, DE4 2QB
Phone Number 01629732226
Type Primary
Age Range 4-11
Religious Character Does Not Apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 203 (42.4% boys 57.6% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 26.5
Local Authority Derbyshire
Percentage Free School Meals 10.3%
Percentage English is Not First Language 0.5%
Persistent Absence 4.4%
Pupils with SEN Support 9.4%%
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

The headteacher and his team make sure that pupils receive a good education at Darley Dale. Staff want all pupils to achieve their potential and to be well prepared to attend their secondary school.

Lessons are interesting and challenging. As well as teaching pupils to read well, teachers show them how to write imaginative poems and stories. Pupils learn their multiplication tables and complete their mathematics work with efficiency.

They learn about Hercules, the Great Fire of London and how to speak phrases in French. They take part in lots of sporting activities.

Pupils also grow beans and strawberries in the school's magnificent grounds.

They pre...ss apples from the school's fruit trees to make apple juice. They take on positions of responsibility, becoming library monitors and sports ambassadors.

Pupils behave well.

They pay attention in class and complete their work with pride. They get on together at breaktimes. They eat their lunch chatting happily.

Pupils say that there is very little bullying, and staff sort it out if it ever happens. Pupils feel safe and cared for.

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

The headteacher leads the school well.

He and his team have high expectations for the success of all pupils. Staff work closely together and always put pupils first. They say that they are proud to do their job.

Children get a good start to their education in Reception Year. Staff are kind and skilled. Children settle in and begin to learn well straight away.

Staff teach children to read from the start. Lessons and activities across the curriculum are interesting. The well-stocked 'construction site' and spacious mud kitchen make children excited to learn.

They leave fully ready for Year 1.

Good education continues in the rest of the school. Staff sometimes give the weakest readers books that are too hard for them.

However, phonics teaching is effective overall. Well-trained staff know precisely what sounds pupils do not yet know. They show pupils how to learn them.

A very large majority develop the skills they need in reading. Pupils are also developing a genuine love of books. Many choose to spend much time in the school library.

They love the daily sessions when their teachers read them stories such as 'War Horse'.

Teachers adapt the curriculum well to meet the needs of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). These pupils are well supported and included.

All groups of pupils achieve well. Nevertheless, pupils do not learn and remember as much as they could in some subjects. For example, in science and music, teachers do not plan their lessons well enough.

These do not always build on what pupils already know. As a result, pupils' achievement is not exceptional.Staff work together to develop 'the whole child'.

They teach pupils how a 'growth mindset' helps them to learn from their mistakes. Pupils enjoy regular residential visits to activity centres. They work together in the school's wooded area, which builds their 'can-do' attitude.

Teachers arrange for them to help at a local home for the elderly and to meet pupils from a special school in Derby. Staff provide many opportunities for pupils to volunteer and contribute to the school and community. Pupils learn about the importance of respecting others and to celebrate the diversity in the world.

Pupils attend the Open Centre to learn about different faiths and cultures.

Teachers teach pupils how to stay healthy. Pupils enjoy the school's many clubs, which are open to all, such as those for rugby and hockey.

Pupils are also taught yoga so that they can learn to relax.

Pupils' behaviour is good. Their attendance is at least in line with the national average.

Pupils do not disrupt lessons, but listen and follow instructions. They work hard. They cooperate well.

They are keen to learn new things. They keep the school tidy and look after each other's property. Pupils leave as young people who are knowledgeable, but also resilient and confident.

They embrace challenge.

The school is a happy learning environment to which everyone likes to come each morning. Staff enjoy their work.

They say that senior leaders are very supportive and are understanding of their work–life balance. Pupils in turn feel valued by staff, and like their lessons. Given all this, it is not surprising that the school is popular with parents and carers.

Most parents would recommend it to others.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders have ensured that staff understand their responsibilities to do all they can to safeguard pupils.

Staff are well trained, including in online safety and in identifying extremism. They observe continually for the many warning signs that might mean a pupil is being harmed. They let leaders know of any concerns without delay.

Leaders make referrals to external agencies as appropriate. They work well with them to support vulnerable pupils. Pupils we met told us they can speak to staff if they feel worried about something.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

The school's curriculum is not yet sufficiently coherently planned and sequenced in some foundation subjects. Where this is the case, pupils do not learn and remember as much as they could, because lessons do not build up their knowledge well enough over time. Leaders have begun to plan an improved curriculum for the following academic year and to train staff in how to deliver it.

Leaders should ensure that this curriculum is implemented effectively across all subjects. . On some occasions, pupils who need to catch up with their early reading are not given books that are well matched to the sounds they know.

When this happens, it can hamper the ability of these pupils to read well. Leaders already have plans to address this. They should make sure that the weakest readers receive appropriate reading books so that they become confident and fluent in reading as quickly as possible.