Dedham Church of England Voluntary Controlled Primary School

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About Dedham Church of England Voluntary Controlled Primary School

Name Dedham Church of England Voluntary Controlled Primary School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs Gemma Chester
Address Parson’s Field, Dedham, Colchester, CO7 6BZ
Phone Number 01206322242
Phase Primary
Type Voluntary controlled school
Age Range 4-11
Religious Character Church of England
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 199
Local Authority Essex
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils thrive at Dedham Primary School.

The school's exceptional personal development provision ensures they become resilient, confident young people.

The school is determined for all pupils to learn and succeed. Lessons are usually well-matched to pupils needs, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).

As a result, pupils achieve well.

Pupils take part in a vast range of clubs and trips. Pupils enjoy attending forest school.

Pupils develop their leadership skills as worship leaders and as members of the school council. Pupils in Year 6 read with, and are 'buddies' for, children in Reception. Pupils know how keep themselves safe.

Pupils learn exceptionally well about the diversity of modern Britain. They visit different places of worship, including a mosque, and meet representatives from many religions to help them learn about a range of faiths. Year 5 pupils broaden their experience of life beyond their community and enjoy their connection with a primary school in East London.

Pupils are very proud to attend this school. They enjoy seeing their work in weekly newsletters and displayed in the village. Pupils strive to do their best for themselves and for others.

They work hard in class and play positively with each other.

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

The school provides a broad, ambitious curriculum. In many subjects, including English and mathematics, the curriculum is established and effective.

Leaders think carefully about what pupils need to know, and the order in which they gain knowledge best. In these subjects, the curriculum design ensures that pupils confidently grasp key knowledge before they move onto new content. Teachers introduce new topics skilfully and confidently.

Teachers check how well pupils are learning. They adjust the curriculum if any gaps in knowledge are identified. If pupils need support to access the curriculum, they receive it.

Consequently, pupils gain a rich body of knowledge throughout the curriculum.

In a few subjects, the curriculum is new or being revised. In these cases key knowledge has not always been identified precisely.

As a result, some learning activity choices are not clearly thought out. Staff sometimes lack the knowledge and confidence to teach the curriculum as well as leaders intend. As a result, in these subjects, pupils do not always gain the breadth and depth of knowledge that they need.

The school promotes a love of reading. In Reception, children learn how to blend sounds to read words. Books are closely matched to pupils' ability so that they become increasingly fluent and accurate.

Most pupils are enthusiastic readers who make good use of the well-stocked library. Pupils enjoy the diverse, ambitious texts that they read daily with their teachers. The school rigorously checks how well pupils can read.

Well-trained staff give weaker readers effective support so that they can access the curriculum.

Children in Reception get off to a secure start. Staff plan effectively to meet their needs.

However, as the curriculum is new, some aspects of this are not yet taught as leaders intend. Staff often, but do not always, use language skilfully to widen children's vocabulary and develop their oracy. Expectations of behaviour are not always consistent.

Children are keen to learn about the world around them. They learn how to work and play together and independently.

Most pupils behave well.

A few sometimes make the wrong choices. This can interrupt the learning of others. Staff work closely with these pupils to explain how they can make better choices.

Where pupils need support for their social, emotional, and mental health (SEMH), the school provides it. This helps them improve their behaviour and readiness to learn. Pupils enjoy school and attend very well.

The school's inclusive Christian ethos is at the heart of its work. Staff are determined that every child is able 'to be a light to the world'. In art and music, pupils encounter a broad range of artists and composers from around the world.

Pupils raise money for charity and help younger pupils. This gives them a rich sense of community and understanding of how they can contribute to it. The personal, social and health education (PSHE) curriculum is very well designed.

Pupils learn about topics such as healthy relationships and water safety.

In the last eighteen months, the school has made significant strides in developing the curriculum and in improving behaviour. Leaders, including governors, know where the school is doing well, and where, and how, it needs to improve further.

They are determined for it to be the best it can be. Staff feel supported with their well-being and workload.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• In some subjects, and in early years, the curriculum is not yet designed or taught as well as leaders intend. This means pupils do not always gain the breadth of knowledge they need. The school should ensure that staff receive the training they need to ensure that the curriculum is of a consistently high quality, and that pupils have high quality learning experiences, across all subjects and key stages.

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