|Ofsted Inspection Rating||Good|
|Inspection Date||25 September 2019|
|Address||Britannia Terrace, Fence Houses, Houghton le Spring, Tyne and Wear, DH4 6HL|
|Religious Character||Does Not Apply|
|Number of Pupils||448 (49% boys 51% girls)|
|Number of Pupils per Teacher||23.8|
|Academy Sponsor||Aim High Academy Trust|
|Percentage Free School Meals||22.3%|
|Percentage English is Not First Language||2.2%|
What is it like to attend this school?
Pupils are proud of their vibrant and welcoming school. Teachers care about pupils and expect them to work hard and succeed. This makes pupils feel happy and safe. Pupils achieve well in a range of subjects.
Pupils are tolerant, respectful and well behaved. They understand the importance of following the school’s rules. Pupils believe that their teachers are fair when they reward good conduct or address misbehaviour.
Pupils enjoy responsibilities such as ‘eco warrior’ or school parliament member. They take these roles seriously. Pupils are proud of the action they have taken to make changes to their school. For example, they have reduced the use of plastic.
Pupils appreciate a wide range of cultural visits, including to Paris and London. Residential visits also include outdoor sports and skiing. Pupils enjoy after-school sports clubs and breakfast club.
Pupils told inspectors that bullying rarely happens at their school. Pupils are confident that adults will deal with any incidents if they occur.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
The headteacher is new to the school. She understands the school’s strengths and weaknesses. She has gained the respect of pupils, staff and parents.
Leaders have created a climate where pupils feel confident, behave appropriately and achieve well. Teachers plan a wide range of educational visits and activities to complement the academic curriculum. These help pupils to develop a wider view of the world and the different cultures within it.
Leaders have improved the quality of education. They have reviewed the plans for what pupils will learn in each subject. Staff are relentless in their motivation to deliver these plans well. Teachers have strong subject knowledge. They make sure that pupils go back to important topics. Staff help pupils to make connections between their learning. Pupils can explain how their previous learning helps them to attempt new work. For example, in mathematics, pupils used their knowledge of place value to do column addition. Pupils learn the rules of English grammar and make use of these to write accurately. By the end of Year 6, pupils attain at least as well as other pupils nationally in reading, writing and mathematics. The curriculum in other subjects, such as science and history, is also planned and taught effectively. This helps pupils to achieve well.
Teachers encourage pupils to have high expectations of themselves. Pupils know the standards they are capable of reaching. Teachers support them to learn well. Pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) receive the right support in lessons so that they achieve well.In the early years, children settle well and gain confidence. They enjoy the outdoor learning in the woodland. Children often join Nursery with communication skills which are below those typical for their age. Sometimes, children in Nursery play alongside each other without talking. During these times, adults do not do enough to support children to develop their language. Children begin the Reception Year with communication and language skills lower than they should be. However, adults help children to catch up quickly during their time in the Reception class. Pupils start Year 1 with the reading, writing and mathematics knowledge that they need.
Leaders want every pupil to learn to read, regardless of their needs or abilities. Children get off to a strong start with phonics as soon as they arrive in Reception. Phonics teaching is effective across Reception and key stage 1. Pupils in the earliest stages of reading have reading books which match their abilities. Pupils confidently sound out unfamiliar words when reading. Their phonic knowledge helps them to spell words accurately when they write. Some pupils, including pupils with SEND, do not know how to spell trickier words that can’t be sounded out. For example, they struggle to spell words such as ‘said’ or ‘what’.
Teachers introduce new and important vocabulary to pupils. However, teachers do not make sure that pupils remember this vocabulary. Pupils use new words when they first learn them but cannot recall and make use of those words over time.
The chief executive officer (CEO) works closely with leaders. Together they have set a clear vision for the school. Governors ask challenging questions in meetings. They assure themselves of the accuracy of information provided by the headteacher about the school. Governors have taken steps to check that the quality of education is helping pupils to achieve well.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective. Staff and governors see safeguarding as everyone’s responsibility.
Staff attend relevant safeguarding training. They are aware of the risks that pupils may face in the local community and online. They make sure that the curriculum helps pupils to learn how to stay safe.
Staff are vigilant in how they identify and record any concerns about pupils’ safety. Leaders follow this up with the appropriate actions. Leaders work with professionals to provide advice and support to pupils and families.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
Pupils do not remember the new vocabulary that is introduced by teachers. Teachers have not planned well enough to revisit vocabulary so that it is retainedby pupils. Leaders should ensure that teachers develop effective strategies to help pupils to remember and apply new vocabulary. . The curriculum does not provide the right opportunities for pupils to learn and remember the spelling of words that cannot be sounded out phonetically. Leaders need to ensure that there is an agreed and effective approach to help pupils, including those with SEND, to learn the spelling of common exception words. . Children do not develop their language and communication skills well across the Nursery year. Leaders should ensure that adults in the Nursery use effective strategies to support children to develop language and communication skills during their play.