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About Ditchingham Church of England Primary Academy
They understand and live up to the school's values of friendship, creativity and respect which underpin school life. In this safe environment, pupils develop independence and confidence. They engage maturely in conversation and are courteous and kind.
Every parent who responded to Ofsted Parent View, Ofsted's online survey, said their child feels safe and happy at school.
Pupils know that teachers want them to do their very best at all times. Pupils enjoy learning because the curriculum is broad and interesting.
Pupils are proud of their achievements. This is evident in the many examples of pupils' work displayed... around the school and in the subject-specific display books.
Pupils behave well in lessons and during playtime.
They are keen to learn and get on well together. Relationships between pupils and adults are encouraging and positive. Pupils trust the adults in school to help them if they have any worries.
Although they know what it is, pupils are unaccustomed to bullying. They know staff will give reminders and support to help a pupil make the right choices.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
Leaders have planned the curriculum carefully to meet the needs of pupils.
All pupils study an appropriate breadth of knowledge for each national curriculum subject. This includes those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).
In most subjects, leaders have ensured learning is broken down into well-sequenced steps.
This helps pupils to build on what they already know and to remember more of what they learn. Teachers check pupils' understanding carefully. Teachers also provide pupils with many opportunities to revisit what they have studied in the past.
Pupils remember what they have been taught. They produce good-quality work. For example, in art, pupils build on their prior knowledge of colour and tone to produce increasingly complex paintings.
These strengths across most of the curriculum are not as evident in a few subjects.
Children in the early years get off to a flying start in their education. They practise what they learn in lessons as they explore the stimulating environment.
Staff ensure that they take every opportunity to extend children's learning. Children are very settled due to the calm learning environment. Adults help children develop confidence.
Children, including those with SEND, achieve well and are well prepared for the curriculum in Year 1.
Teachers make sure everyone in school enjoys reading. Their enthusiasm is infectious.
They read to pupils for pleasure whenever they get a chance. There is a wealth of interesting books for pupils to enjoy. Not only do these books inspire pupils to read, but they also complement the English curriculum and topic-based learning well.
Children begin to match sounds to letters as soon as they start Reception Year. They practise reading with books that match the sounds they know. Teachers are quick to spot those pupils needing extra support.
Teachers give these pupils extra help, and this prevents them from falling behind.
Leaders routinely check attendance records. Leaders work closely with families to help them understand the importance of sending their child to school.
However, a small number of pupils do not attend school as regularly as they should. Leaders continue to address this issue so pupils develop good habits of attendance.
Staff cater well for pupils' personal development.
Staff provide a range of extra-curricular clubs to develop different talents and interests such as gardening, archery and dance. Pupils learn to be confident, considerate citizens through the school's personal, social and health education. For example, older pupils hold events such as cake sales to raise funds for their residential trip.
Pupils are confident when discussing values and understand the need for school rules.
Local governors and trustees are very well informed about the school's priorities. They carefully check whether leaders' actions are effective in improving the quality of education for all pupils.
The trust ensures leaders meet regularly to share knowledge and expertise. They provide regular professional development and training for all staff which is closely aligned with the school's improvement plan. Leaders support staff's well-being.
Staff appreciate these opportunities to help them carry out their roles effectively.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Leaders ensure that pupils are safe.
Any concern, however minor, is recorded and reported to the correct people, including relevant external agencies. All staff understand that keeping pupils safe is a shared responsibility. Staff are well trained and have regular briefings.
Leaders check that all staff have the most up-to-date knowledge about risks to pupils online and in the community.
Teachers teach pupils how to keep themselves safe, such as when in the community and online. Teachers ensure older pupils know how to maintain positive physical and mental health.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
• In a few subjects, leaders have not broken down the curriculum into small steps. This leads to some variability in how well teachers identify gaps in knowledge and help pupils build on prior learning. Leaders should break down the knowledge and skills they want pupils to learn in all curriculum subjects consistently well.
A small number of pupils continue to be routinely absent. This results in these pupils having gaps in their learning and knowledge. Leaders should continue to work with families to ensure that all pupils attend well.