Kirk Merrington Primary School

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About Kirk Merrington Primary School

Name Kirk Merrington Primary School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs Nicola Murray
Address South View, Kirk Merrington, Spennymoor, DL16 7JB
Phone Number 01388816230
Phase Primary
Type Community school
Age Range 4-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 157
Local Authority County Durham
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

This school has extremely high ambition for all of its pupils.

Its all-encompassing curriculum, together with knowledgeable teaching, ensures that pupils make extremely strong progress across the whole curriculum. Kirk Merrington Primary School is a beacon of excellence.

Pupils thrive in the school's welcoming, safe and well-equipped environment for learning.

They benefit hugely from the range of educational opportunities the school provides, including those related to reading. Pupils access the school's high-quality library, situated in a railway carriage on site, regularly. They are inspired by meeting internationally renowned authors, such as Anne Fine and... Ian Whybrow.

Pupils' behaviour is exemplary. They look after each other. Pupils concentrate in lessons.

They understand and celebrate each other's individual differences. Pupils undertake a wide range of roles of responsibility diligently, such as being members of the sports crew. They enter school enthusiastically and attend regularly.

The pupils are wonderful ambassadors for themselves, their teachers and the school.

The school's vision and values are upheld by staff and pupils. Pupils excel academically while exhibiting kindness, courage, respect, perseverance and great teamwork.

These attributes prepare pupils exceedingly well for their next stage in education.

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

The school has developed and implemented an extremely high-quality curriculum across all subjects and key stages. Teachers deliver the knowledge, skills and vocabulary, known as the school's core learning, exceedingly well.

Pupils have ready access to this core learning. In physical education (PE), for example, this core learning is displayed in the school hall and revisited in all lessons. Teachers ensure that pupils recap and refresh their previous learning at the beginning of every lesson.

Educational visits play a pivotal part in fulfilling the planned curriculum. Recently, there have been educational visits to Locomotion Shildon, Yorvik Viking Centre, the Tees Barrage and Durham Castle.

Pupils, including pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) and those entitled to additional government funding, make exceptional progress in every key stage.

In 2023, the proportion of pupils reaching the expected standard in reading, writing and mathematics combined was significantly above the national average.

Reading is given the very highest priority at Kirk Merrington. The school's phonics scheme is delivered expertly by teachers and teaching assistants.

Children in Reception, who arrive at the school from 10 different childcare providers, begin phonics lessons straight away. Staff assess children's progress regularly. Gaps in children's knowledge are closed through the provision of additional phonics sessions.

All pupils are very proficient readers on entry to key stage 2.

Pupils develop a love of reading at the school. The school's library is well used and staffed by pupil librarians.

Pupils benefit from the wide range of fiction and non-fiction books available. They delight in reading books written by the authors they have met in school and online. Pupils have a deep knowledge of, and respect for, these authors.

Pupils are motivated to learn by the engaging curriculum and the school's high expectations of them. Staff create a calm and orderly atmosphere in lessons. The school makes sure that breaktimes are well organised and purposeful.

At lunchtime, pupils exercise through activities such as playing basketball in the multi-use games area and working out on the outdoor gym equipment. During afternoon breaktime, the sports crew of pupils lead physical activities and provide games for other pupils to play independently. The school ensures that pupils have a deep understanding of what constitutes bullying.

This rarely happens because of the harmonious environment that staff create.

Pupils with SEND have their individual needs identified and met well. The school works with other professionals, such as health professionals, productively.

Pupils with SEND are supported superbly by the well-trained staff in school. The school also supports pupils' mental health and well-being exceptionally well. Pupils access the school's well-being hub and counsellor when they are anxious or worried.

The school's provision for pupils' personal development is exceptionally strong. Pupils talk about the protected characteristics in respectful and insightful ways. Pupils' knowledge of fundamental British values is exceptional.

They have a heightened awareness of each other's individual differences and are especially respectful and tolerant. This exemplary provision is because of the school's extremely well-thought-out curriculum for pupils' personal, social and health education.

The school is extremely well-led and managed by leaders and governors.

Members of the governing body use their skills adeptly to support and challenge the school in equal measure. The school manages the workload and well-being of staff well, including through the provision of well-being days.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

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