Derwent Vale Primary and Nursery School

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About Derwent Vale Primary and Nursery School

Name Derwent Vale Primary and Nursery School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mr Daniel Lucey
Address William Street, Great Clifton, Workington, CA14 1WA
Phone Number 01900601233
Phase Primary
Type Community school
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 93
Local Authority Cumberland
Highlights from Latest Inspection


Derwent Vale Primary and Nursery School continues to be a good school.

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils are happy at Derwent Vale. They get a warm welcome each morning from caring, cheerful staff. Classrooms are fun, interesting places of learning.

Teachers and pupils get along well together. Pupils feel safe and well looked after. Pupils' good attendance shows how much they enjoy school.

Pupils behave well. Playtimes and lunchtimes are cheerful, sociable occasions. Bullying is rare.

Pupils know staff will sort out any small disagreements. Adults help pupils who need extra support with their work, emotions or behaviour, in a sensitive manner. Pupils w...ith special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) make good progress.

Leaders prioritise reading. Books are everywhere. Every spare moment is filled with adults and pupils reading.

Pupils leave Year 6 well prepared for the demands of the secondary curriculum. Changes to phonics and reading are taking place in the early years and key stage 1. However, new systems are not yet fully embedded.

Senior leaders have high aspirations for pupils. Pupils access the full primary curriculum. Exciting experiences promote pupils' interests in the great outdoors, sport, art, music and the world of work.

Recent staffing changes have affected subject leadership roles. Some subjects, such as mathematics, are planned and sequenced well. Others need more work.

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

Leaders want pupils to do well. They understand the importance of reading, writing and mathematics for pupils' success in later life. Reading, writing and mathematics take place every day.

Classrooms have good-quality displays and resources. Teachers' subject knowledge is strong. They mainly plan learning tasks carefully for pupils.

Pupils, including those with SEND, who need extra practice are supported well. Key stage 2 pupils' achievements in reading, writing and mathematics are above national averages year on year.

Leaders ensure that children in early years start learning about numbers straight away.

Teachers use technical mathematical vocabulary. They encourage pupils to do so too. New programmes of work and well-planned tasks in mathematics are making a difference.

Children are using numbers with more confidence and understanding right from the start.

Staff get pupils interested in words and language from the moment they enter school. Children start learning about phonics and reading right away.

Adults read stories aloud and with enthusiasm. A love of books develops well among children. They learn familiar nursery rhymes and stories by heart.

Anyone falling behind gets the extra help and practice they need to catch up. Most pupils reach the expected standard in phonics in Year 1. Pupils' outcomes match national averages over time.

Not all pupils, however, read fluently by the end of key stage 1. Some try to read books that are not closely matched to their phonics knowledge. This makes reading difficult for them.

Leaders recognise this. They have introduced a new phonics programme. Teachers are amending the way they teach phonics.

Staff training has taken place, and more is due. Teachers' familiarity with the programme is developing well. Children in the early years and key stage 1 are starting to benefit from teachers' increasing expertise.

Leaders think hard about the curriculum for pupils. Work with local business partners gets pupils thinking about future career possibilities. Year 6 pupils working on technology challenges acquire a healthy competitive edge and good eye for design.

Pupils reflect on their lives, and the lives of others, beyond the school gates. Taking part in activities within their local community inspires pupils to make a difference. The school choir regularly delights neighbours, including the elderly.

Pupils are thoughtful, have good manners and are respectful. The personal, social, cultural and moral development of pupils is a strength of the school's curriculum.

Pupils enjoy learning in many subjects.

They like science. Most teachers build on pupils' existing knowledge in science well. Teachers' own subject knowledge is secure.

Most pupils remember important vocabulary and scientific concepts as they move through school. In Year 3 and 4 pupils know a lot about sound. For example, they can explain how sounds are made and changed, and how sound travels to the ear.

The planning and order of learning in a minority of subjects are less well developed. Some leaders are new to the role of leading learning and teaching in their subject. Leaders are enthusiastic.

Most have strong subject knowledge themselves. Some subject improvement plans and programmes of work, however, lack detail. They do not spell out carefully enough how pupils' learning or teachers' teaching will be developed.

It is not always clear what needs to be taught or when.

Most parents are full of praise for the school and staff. They describe staff as 'wonderful', 'approachable' and 'helpful'.

Staff are confident that leaders value them. They say leaders are considerate of their well-being and workload.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders' checks on staff and adults working with pupils meet requirements. Records are well maintained and detailed. This minimises risks for pupils and staff.

Staff get up-to-date information and good-quality training. They talk knowledgeably about child protection advice, including matters to do with county lines. Staff know how to report any concerns they may have about pupils' welfare.

Pupils' attendance is above national averages. They feel safe. Pupils appreciate the way staff look after them.

They understand the need for school rules and routines, including fire drills. Almost all parents agree that their children are safe and well looked after here.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

Some pupils in key stage 1 and some children in early years read books which are not closely matched to the phonics they are learning.

This means that they sometimes struggle to read the books they are given. Teachers should ensure that books match pupils' phonics knowledge more precisely, so that pupils' achievements in reading continue to rise. .

Planning and programmes of work in a minority of subjects lack detail. The most important knowledge and content that pupils need to know and remember is not made as clear as it needs to be. This does not help pupils to know and remember more in these subjects.

Leaders should equip new subject leaders with the knowledge and skills needed to plan and sequence learning in their areas of the curriculum effectively. Ofsted's transition arrangements were used on this inspection to confirm that pupils benefit from a good quality of education.


When we have judged a school to be good we will then normally go into the school about once every four years to confirm that the school remains good.

This is called a section 8 inspection of a good school or non-exempt outstanding school. We do not give graded judgements on a section 8 inspection. However, if we find some evidence that the school could now be better than good or that standards may be declining, then the next inspection will be a section 5 inspection.

Usually this is within one to two years of the date of the section 8 inspection. If we have serious concerns about safeguarding, behaviour or the quality of education, we will convert the section 8 inspection to a section 5 inspection immediately.

This is the first section 8 inspection since we judged the school to be good on 5–6 November 2014.

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