Howletch Lane Primary School

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About Howletch Lane Primary School

Name Howletch Lane Primary School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs Helen Beattie
Address Pennine Drive, County Durham, Peterlee, SR8 2NQ
Phone Number 01915862765
Phase Primary
Type Community school
Age Range 2-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 373
Local Authority County Durham
Highlights from Latest Inspection


There has been no change to this school's overall judgement of good as a result of this ungraded (section 8) inspection.

However, the evidence gathered suggests that the inspection grade might not be as high if a graded (section 5) inspection were carried out now. Inspectors are recommending the next inspection to be a graded inspection.

What is it like to attend this school?

Leaders and staff have established a supportive ethos.

Most pupils feel happy and safe.

Leaders are focused on establishing high expectations for every child. This is beginning to improve the school.

However, the curriculum is not implemented consistently well. This means that pupils... learn more in some subjects than in others. Although improving, there remains some variability in how well the needs of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are met.

Pupils play well together at lunchtimes and breaktimes. They enjoy taking part in the range of activities available. Pupils mostly behave well in lessons.

Where this is not the case, new approaches and support introduced by leaders are beginning to have a positive effect. Bullying is rare. Where it happens, leaders take action to address this.

Pupils are confident that staff will help them with any concerns.

The school provides a range of opportunities for pupils' personal development. Pupils are proud of their various leadership roles, such as acting as reading ambassadors.

Educational visits to places such as Souter Lighthouse widen pupils' experiences. The school's 'Howletch 100' identifies the varied opportunities pupils will encounter through their educational journey at the school. Parents are positive about increased involvement with the life of the school.

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

Leaders' recent changes to the curriculum are beginning to improve how well knowledge is planned out in subjects.

In mathematics, pupils build their knowledge over time. They have secure understanding of recent topics such as perimeter and negative numbers.

However, some pupils have not established strong enough knowledge of multiplication. This can slow pupils' responses in number work.

Leaders have begun to prioritise the teaching of reading.

All staff have completed training in the teaching of phonics and early reading. Pupils read books that are suitably matched to their phonic knowledge. However, there remain some inconsistencies in the teaching of the school's phonics programme.

Too many pupils have not gained secure phonic knowledge by the end of Year 1. In key stage 2, some improvements have been made in the teaching of reading. For example, leaders have identified the quality texts that pupils will experience.

Opportunities such as reading club are widening pupils' reading experiences. However, a clear approach to teaching reading is not well established.

Leaders are beginning to revise the curriculum in foundation subjects.

These subjects need further refinement to build pupils' knowledge effectively. For example, in geography, pupils are developing suitable knowledge of people and places. However, their knowledge of maps does not build systematically and they have limited experience of fieldwork.

Sometimes, teachers do not select suitable activities for teaching the curriculum. Where this is the case, lessons do little to build on pupils' prior knowledge. Approaches to checking pupils' learning in foundation subjects are at an early stage of development.

Leaders' have identified that there is more to do to meet the needs of pupils with SEND. Suitable plans, including staff training, are in place to improve provision and outcomes for these pupils. There are some early signs that appropriate adaptations for these pupils are beginning to have a positive impact.

However, the academic, social and emotional needs of these pupils are not met securely.

Pupils' behaviour in lessons is variable. Teachers' expectations and approaches to securing good behaviour are not consistent.

Leaders' actions to improve the behaviour of pupils with high levels of social and emotional needs have substantially reduced incidents of poor behaviour. Pupils appreciate the new house points system.

The school's personal, social and health education curriculum is well matched to pupils' needs.

Training has increased staff expertise to support pupils' mental health needs. There are a range of clubs, for example, sport, music and cookery, to develop pupils' interests. Activities such as tree planting, visiting the local care home and performing at the Sage Gateshead all develop pupils' sense of community.

Pupils are proud of their ambassador roles where they support their peers.

Following a period of considerable changes in leadership and staffing, the school is now in a more settled position. Leaders' actions to address priorities are beginning to show signs of improvement in pupils' academic achievement, social and emotional development and behaviour.

Leaders take account of staff workload and well-being. Many subject leaders are new to their roles. Some of these leaders have not yet received training to develop their curriculum expertise or leadership skills to check their subjects.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Staff promptly identify pupils who are vulnerable to safeguarding risks. Leaders work effectively with agencies and families to secure the help that pupils need.

The school has suitable procedures to check the suitability of staff working at the school.

The school's curriculum provides pupils with guidance on how to stay safe. The school works in partnership with leaders from other local schools and the police to mitigate issues of anti-social behaviour within the community.

This aims to help keep pupils safe when they are outside of school and help them be more ready to learn when in school.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Pupils' achievements in phonics and reading are too low. This reduces how well pupils can access other curriculum areas.

Leaders need to ensure the recent improvements to teaching phonics and early reading are applied consistently across the school. They should review how reading is taught across key stage 2 to ensure that a consistent, effective approach is in place. ? The school's curriculum in some foundation subjects is not well sequenced.

Pupils do not build their knowledge and skills successfully. Leaders should work with subject leaders, particularly those new to their role, to improve the sequence of the curriculum in foundation subjects and the associated systems for checking on pupils' knowledge. ? Sometimes, teachers do not select suitable activities to teach the planned curriculum.

Pupils are not gaining the intended knowledge in an effective way. Leaders need to provide staff training to help teachers make suitable choices of worthwhile teaching activities. ? The needs of pupils with SEND have not been clearly identified.

Adaptations to support these pupils to access the curriculum successfully are not well devised. Leaders need to implement the school's improvement plans successfully for pupils with SEND. ? Leaders' plans to ensure that pupils behave well in lessons are not consistently applied across the school.

Some children and pupils do not display positive enough attitudes to learning in lessons. Leaders need to ensure that expectations and approaches to establishing positive pupil learning attitudes are consistently applied by staff.Background 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 an ungraded inspection, and it is carried out under section 8 of the Education Act 2005. We do not give graded judgements on an ungraded inspection. However, if we find evidence that a school would now receive a higher or lower grade, then the next inspection will be a graded inspection, which is carried out under section 5 of the Act.

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

This is the first ungraded inspection since we judged the school to be good in January 2018.

Also at this postcode
Howletch & Shotton Primary Childcare

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