Etherley Lane Primary School

Name Etherley Lane Primary School
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 21 January 2020
Address Clarence Gardens, Etherley Lane, Bishop Auckland, County Durham, DL14 7RB
Phone Number 01388603105
Type Primary
Age Range 4-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 266 (41% boys 59% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 23.7
Local Authority County Durham
Percentage Free School Meals 27.1%
Percentage English is Not First Language 0.7%
Persisitent Absence 13.6%
Pupils with SEN Support 23.1%
Catchment Area Information Available Yes, our catchment area data is FREE
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils enjoy coming to school and they say learning is interesting and fun. Pupils are enthusiastic and eager to learn. The school is a caring and nurturing place where everyone is expected to try their best. Leaders and teachers have high expectations for everyone at school.

Parents are positive about the care and support their children receive at the school. One parent said, ‘My children thoroughly enjoy coming to school. They have flourished since starting both as individuals and academically.’

Pupils say that they feel safe and well cared for. Pupils learn about how to keep themselves safe, for example when using the internet. Pupils are enthusiastic about after-school clubs including dance and drama.

Pupils’ behaviour is good and their attitudes to learning are positive. They are resilient learners and have a well-developed respect for others. Pupils say that bullying is rare and is not tolerated in their school.

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

Senior leadership have led improvements to pupils’ behaviour and the quality of education. They are ambitious for all pupils to achieve their potential. Pupils’ achievement in English and mathematics are rising. Leaders have designed a curriculum that is well planned across a range of subjects. In some subjects, including history and geography, the curriculum is less well organised. Leaders have not planned the sequence of what pupils should learn well enough. Work to improve this has begun.

Learning to read has a high priority at the school. Leaders are passionate that pupils should enjoy reading. The teaching of phonics is effective. When pupils find learning to read difficult, they get the extra help they need to catch up. They get books that closely match the sounds they know. This helps them to learn to read well and with greater fluency. Older pupils say they enjoy the stories read to them in lessons. Teachers choose books from a wide range of authors to inspire and engage their pupils. One pupil said that they had become a fan of the author Michael Morpurgo having read ‘War Horse’ in lessons.

The mathematics curriculum helps pupils to become confident and skilled with number work. They are getting better at solving mathematical problems and explaining their thinking. Many pupils said that mathematics is their favourite subject at school. They enjoy challenges and feel well supported by their teachers.

Staff enjoy regular and high-quality training that helps them improve their teaching. Leaders have improved teachers’ subject knowledge in mathematics and early reading. Professional development is now needed in all other subjects.

Staff expect pupils to behave well at all times. Pupils work hard in their lessons and listen attentively to their teachers. Pupils follow the simplified school rules very well. They help each other and show respect for visitors.

The needs of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities are well met. Leaders are ambitious for this group of pupils who achieve well. They receive early help and support from well trained staff. Leaders know that some pupils need extra pastoral support. They work with other agencies and partner schools to make this happen.

Pupils learn about how to keep healthy through diet and exercise. They show interest in and respect for other faiths and cultures. Pupils understand what democracy is through opportunities to vote for school council members. They organise fundraising events for charities and in response to international disasters, for example the recent ‘Pyjamas for Bahamas’ special event.

Children in the early years get off to a good start. They do particularly well in early reading and mathematics. They play well together and have good cooperation skills. Children behave well and meet the high expectations held of them. Teachers develop strong relationships with parents. This helps children to settle at school quickly. The curriculum in early years is ambitious. For example, children learn about a wide range of local and international artists. More opportunities are being planned to develop their independence. This is particularly the case when learning outside.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

All staff have regular training on keeping children safe. There is a culture of vigilance and staff are aware of local and national safeguarding priorities. Leaders work closely with families to offer early help and support. Governors make sure that all appropriate checks are made on all adults who work with pupils at the school.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

In some foundation subjects, such as history and geography, curriculum plans are not developed well enough. Learning is not precisely sequenced, so leaders cannot be sure that pupils learn everything they should in these subjects. Leaders should ensure that curriculum plans for all subjects are sequenced effectively. . Teachers’ subject knowledge is not as well developed in foundation subjects as it is in early reading and mathematics. Implementation of the curriculum is not consistently as strong in these subjects. Leaders now need to extend professional development to include all other subject areas.