Didsbury CofE Primary School

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About Didsbury CofE Primary School

Name Didsbury CofE Primary School
Website http://www.thrive-dce.com
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Miss Victoria Rippon
Address Elm Grove, Didsbury, Manchester, M20 6RL
Phone Number 01614457144
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Church of England
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 238
Local Authority Manchester
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), enjoy school, behave themselves and mostly achieve well. In some subjects they achieve highly. Pupils said that they learn 'fun details about facts'.

Nevertheless, sometimes in the early years, children learn less successfully. Pupils learn to understand values such as self-belief and determination. They know that staff expect them to try hard and to do their best.

Pupils form meaningful friendships. A typical pupil comment was 'On my first day at school, I made a really nice friend and we're still friends years later.' They enjoy supportive relationships with staff.

This helps... pupils to feel happy. Pupils' thoughtful behaviour and kind words reflect the high expectations that leaders and staff have of them. Pupils feel safe because leaders listen to them and deal effectively with any issues of bullying.

Pupils with SEND, as well as many other pupils, profit from a wide range of extra activities. The art club is especially popular and pupils said that the art activities help them to express their feelings and learn how to compliment other people's work. Pupils are very proud of how they support one another and help the school.

For example, inspectors met with pupils who act as members of the school council, librarians, sports ambassadors, house captains and ethos ambassadors.

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

Leaders' curriculum is broad and mostly ambitious for pupils. Leaders' successful work with parents, pupils and staff throughout the COVID-19 pandemic has meant that pupils achieve highly as readers and mathematicians.

Pupils also achieve well in other curriculum subjects. Despite some variability in leaders' thinking about the curriculum in early years, pupils leave Didsbury CofE Primary School ready for their continued learning at secondary school.

Leaders have spent valuable time working with staff to refine their thinking about the curriculum.

Mostly, subject curriculums are well considered and teaching helps pupils to successfully learn the rich foundational knowledge that they need. However, in some subjects, particularly in the early years, leaders' curriculums are less well thought out. This means that some teachers do not focus sharply enough on the knowledge that pupils should know and remember.

This hinders some pupils' learning.

Most of the time, teachers select activities carefully to suit the curriculum. Pupils complete work that is demanding and builds on what teachers have covered before.

However, on occasion, some teachers organise learning activities that are not well matched to leaders' curriculums. This risks teachers not teaching all the curriculum, nor in the order needed. These issues are more pronounced in the early years.

That said, leaders are well on their way with this work in early years, pursuing clear plans to address these weaknesses.

Teachers use assessment strategies effectively to identify any knowledge that pupils have not fully understood. Leaders ensure that such assessment information is used by staff to adapt their teaching.

In early years, leaders have successfully reduced the workload of staff by halting any unnecessary recording of children's learning.

Pupils achieve highly in phonics, reading, spelling, grammar and punctuation. Even so, leaders are ambitious to further enrich pupils' learning to read.

Trustees and governors have substantially invested in successfully establishing and resourcing a new phonics programme that staff use for teaching. Reading books match the sounds that pupils know. Leaders prioritise pupils with weaker reading skills for extra help, so that they catch up quickly.

Staff teach phonics skilfully and in line with the school's phonics programme. Nevertheless, some small inconsistencies remain in how well staff listen to pupils read from their new reading books. Leaders have already organised additional training and support to further refine staff's teaching of reading and to ensure a wholly consistent approach.

Leaders weave consideration of the needs of pupils with SEND throughout their work. Leaders ensure that the needs of pupils with SEND are identified and prioritised quickly and accurately by teachers. Recently, leaders including those from the academy trust, have taken effective action to make sure that pupils with SEND are taught by teaching staff alongside their classmates.

This ensures that these pupils do not miss out on the ambition that others are expected to achieve.

Leaders make sure that staff provide pupils with help to manage their emotions, so they continue to have a rewarding and settled experience at school. Pupils' positive behaviour means that lessons are rarely disrupted.

Staff can focus on teaching the curriculum.

Leaders carefully identify the knowledge that pupils need to know as part of their personal, social and health education. Leaders also provide pupils with a beneficial set of experiences that help them to understand the wider world.

Staff help pupils to understand important events; for instance, to understand the reasons why British forces recently helped to evacuate 15,000 British nationals, Afghan staff and others from Kabul airport in Afghanistan. Pupils develop a mature attitude towards their own responsibilities for helping other people. As one pupil told inspectors 'As a job, I want to be like David Attenborough because I don't like the fact that the planet is struggling.'

Governors and trustees challenge and support leaders well. Leaders manage change carefully. They ensure that staff have access to worthwhile training and development.

Leaders are considerate of staff's well-being and their workload.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders' thorough systems and arrangements ensure that pupils are safeguarded.

Leaders and staff spot pupils who need early help or are at risk of harm. They record information carefully about any concerns to help to build an understanding of pupils' needs. Leaders act to protect pupils where necessary, including by working with other agencies and parents.

The academy trust and governing body make sure that leaders keep a close check on the quality of safeguarding. Leaders at the school are well trained and up to date in their knowledge of safeguarding, including about important issues, such as domestic abuse. They ensure that staff have secure safeguarding knowledge.

Staff teach pupils how to keep themselves safe, including when online. Pupils told inspectors that they know that they can tell staff their worries.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• In a minority of subjects, teachers' delivery of some of the curriculum does not match the content that leaders have identified to be taught.

This is a whole-school issue but requires the greatest attention from leaders in the early years. This weakness risks causing gaps in pupils' knowledge. Leaders should make certain that what happens in classrooms matches the curriculum.

• Leaders do not identify all the essential knowledge that pupils, particularly children in the early years, need to build up more complex knowledge. This means that pupils do not learn some subject curriculums as well as they should. Leaders should consider more carefully the knowledge that teachers will teach throughout the school.

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