Dene House Primary School

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About Dene House Primary School

Name Dene House Primary School
Ofsted Inspections
Mr Lee Blake
Address Manor Way, Peterlee, SR8 5RL
Phone Number 01915862937
Phase Academy
Type Academy sponsor led
Age Range 5-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 263
Local Authority County Durham
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Dene House Primary School is a happy, caring school where everyone is welcome. Leaders have a clear vision of putting children first in every decision. Leaders make pupils' physical and mental health a priority, particularly since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

This focus ensures that the needs of each pupil are catered for, leading to a calm and purposeful learning environment.

Leaders and staff are ambitious for every pupil. They have high expectations for pupils' behaviour and learning.

Pupils' behaviour in lessons and around school is good. They have excellent attitudes to learning. Relationships are a real strength of the school.

There is very lit...tle bullying. If pupils are worried, they know that staff will help them. In early years, children have time to talk through their feelings.

Leaders want all pupils to 'Aspire, Achieve, Smile' and be involved in every aspect of school life. Pupils enjoy visits to the local area and opportunities to learn about the wider world. They are encouraged to take part in extra-curricular activities.

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

Senior leaders have worked with the whole school community to set a clear vision and mission. Leaders have prioritised curriculum development. They have redesigned the curriculum from early years through to Year 6.

Leaders have thought carefully about how the curriculum can be taught successfully in the school's mixed-age classes.

Pupils at the early stages of reading get off to a great start. Staff are well trained to deliver the school's chosen phonics programme.

The books that pupils read are well matched to the sounds they learn. They have plenty of opportunities to read these books. The disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted on the ability of some pupils to read fluently.

Staff have a very clear understanding of these gaps and are supporting pupils well to catch up.

Pupils enjoy their mathematics lessons. They can recall mathematical facts and explain their reasoning.

They are not afraid to make mistakes. Teachers use a range of resources well to clearly illustrate mathematical concepts. This helps pupils to quickly grasp new learning.

In English, mathematics and science, teachers make regular and precise checks to see how well pupils are learning. Teachers use this information to give additional support to pupils where needed. In some other subjects, such as geography and music, checks are not as thorough.

This means that in these subjects, teachers do not know if pupils are remembering important knowledge.

Some subject leaders are new to their roles. They have not had recent experience or training in checking how well the curriculum is helping pupils to learn.

These new subject leaders are at an early stage in supporting other teachers in delivering the curriculum.

The provision for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) is highly effective. The leader is well trained and knowledgeable about the needs of pupils with SEND.

They accurately identify pupils' needs and plan a range of effective support. This includes support from external agencies. This means that pupils with SEND are fully included and achieve well.

Work to support pupils' personal development is a strength of the school. Pupils are aware of their rights and the rights of others. Pupils understand that differences should be respected and celebrated.

They are very well informed about current affairs and enjoy discussions with their classmates.

Governors know the school well. They know what leaders need to do to improve the school.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, governors have been in contact with the headteacher on a regular basis. Governors use their monitoring visits to ask questions and check on progress against priorities. They fulfil their statutory duties effectively.

Staff are very positive about the support they receive from the trust and leaders in school. They appreciate the leaders' open-door policy and their response to tackling issues with workload. They value the support from the well-being champion provided by the trust.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

There is a very strong culture of safeguarding that permeates throughout the school. Leaders always act in the best interests of the pupils.

Staff know the pupils and their families well. Pupils are taught how to keep safe, including staying safe online. Pupils know who they can go to for support if they need it.

Staff receive regular safeguarding training. They know how to identify signs of abuse and how to record concerns appropriately. The school's systems for record-keeping and support for pupils are monitored closely by leaders.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• In some subjects, leaders and teachers do not have a precise knowledge of how well pupils know and remember the taught curriculum. This means that teachers do not know if pupils have acquired secure foundations for future learning.Leaders should ensure that systems are in place in all subjects to enable staff to check how well pupils are remembering the intended curriculum.

• Some subject leaders who are new to their roles have had limited training and expertise in leading their subjects. They lack the expertise to check precisely how well pupils are learning the curriculum. Leaders should ensure they provide high-quality training for new subject leaders to enable them to carry out their roles effectively.

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