Darwen St James CofE Primary Academy

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About Darwen St James CofE Primary Academy


Name Darwen St James CofE Primary Academy
Website http://www.darwenstjames.co.uk
Inspections
Ofsted Inspections
This inspection rating relates to a predecessor school. When a school converts to an academy, is taken over or closes and reopens as a new school a formal link is created between the new school and the old school, by the Department for Education. Where the new school has not yet been inspected, we show the inspection history of the predecessor school, as we believe it still has significance.
Address St James Crescent, Darwen, BB3 0EY
Phone Number 01254703260
Type Academy
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Church of England
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 183 (55.2% boys 44.8% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 24.0
Academy Sponsor Cidari Education Limited
Local Authority Blackburn with Darwen
Percentage Free School Meals 47.5%
Percentage English is Not First Language 13.7%
Persistent Absence 31.2%
Pupils with SEN Support 18.0%
Highlights from Latest Inspection
This inspection rating relates to a predecessor school. When a school converts to an academy, is taken over or closes and reopens as a new school a formal link is created between the new school and the old school, by the Department for Education. Where the new school has not yet been inspected, we show the inspection history of the predecessor school, as we believe it still has significance.

Main findings

St James' is a good school. It provides a warm, stimulating and friendly setting, where enjoyment is seen as an important element in all its work. The quality of care, guidance and support pupils receive, often on an individual basis from teachers and teaching assistants, is outstanding and underpins the ethos of the school.

This is supported by extremely effective partnerships with parents and carers, outside agencies and institutions. Pupils respond very positively, with consistently good behaviour. Parents and carers pay tribute to what the school does for the children through comments such as, 'Every day my child comes back from school beaming.'

The relatively new headteacher and other l...eaders have been the driving force behind the good improvement made since the last inspection. They have overseen a range of initiatives that have improved provision rapidly and accelerated achievement in all Key Stages. Children's skills on entry to reception are usually much lower than those typical for children of this age.

Although provision in the Early Years Foundation Stage is satisfactory overall, and the indoor environment offers a good variety of activities, planning does not focus enough on the use of the outside to accelerate children's learning. Pupils make good progress through Key Stages 1 and 2. As a result, attainment has risen to broadly average in English and mathematics by the end of Year 6.

Pupils say they feel extremely safe and indeed are ambassadors of safety, taking on roles such as class fire and safety representatives. Their wider roles extend into a variety of responsibilities in school, as prefects, play leaders and school councillors, for example. They make an exceptional contribution to the school and wider community through partnerships involving several very different schools.

Community cohesion is, therefore, highly developed. Opportunities to enjoy singing, and to explore and reflect on values such as 'justice' and 'aspiration' make a significant contribution to their outstanding spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. Attendance is average because, although pupils enjoy coming to school, too much time is taken off school by a small minority of families.

The quality of teaching is mostly good, with warm relationships between pupils and adults. Assessment is used effectively, but, in a small minority of lessons, the pace of lessons is too slow to accelerate pupils' learning. Pupils' confidence in using information and communication technology (ICT) to support their learning is well-embedded.

The good curriculum provides varied opportunities for enrichment, supporting pupils' creative and personal development, and it increasingly meets the academic needs of all pupils. The effective use of the complementary skills of the senior management team is moving the school forward at a good rate. Self-evaluation is accurate.

The school has established effective systems for checking pupils' progress in order to identify any possible underachievement. It has set high expectations for teaching that are increasingly being met. Based on all these factors, the school demonstrates a good capacity to sustain improvement and provides good value for money.

Information about the school

St James' is a smaller than the average sized primary school. The large majority of pupils come from White British heritages and there are a few who speak English as an additional language. An above average proportion of pupils are known to be eligible for free school meals.

The proportion of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities is also above that normally found. The school has appointed a new headteacher since the previous inspection. It is a nationally accredited Healthy School.

Inspection grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is satisfactory and 4 is inadequate Please turn to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms