Mowden Junior School

Name Mowden Junior School
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 27 June 2012
Address Conyers Avenue, Darlington, County Durham, DL3 9DE
Phone Number 01325380820
Type Primary
Age Range 7-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 332 (50% boys 50% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 23.1
Academy Sponsor Federation Of Mowden Schools Academy Trust
Local Authority Darlington
Percentage Free School Meals 3.9%
Percentage English is Not First Language 4.8%
Persisitent Absence 2.3%
Pupils with SEN Support 3.9%
Catchment Area Information Available Yes, our catchment area data is FREE
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

Information about the school

The school is slightly larger than the average-sized junior school. Most pupils are of White British heritage. The proportion of pupils from minority-ethnic groups, and the proportion known to be eligible for free school meals, is below the national average. The proportion of those learning English as an additional language is similar to that found in most schools nationally. The proportion of disabled pupils and those supported by school action plus or with a statement of educational needs is low. The school meets the current floor standards, which sets the government’s minimum expectations for attainment and progress. The school has achieved the Healthy School status and the Becta information and communication technology (ICT) award. The school has been in a hard federation with the infant school on the same site since March 2010, and shares the same headteacher and two deputy headteachers: one based in the infants and the other in the juniors. The two federated schools have been part of an academy trust since June 2012. The Ofsted inspection teams for both schools collaborated on the inspection and the production of the reports. Childcare is available before the start and after the end of the school day through a private provider. This provision is subject to a separate inspection. Inspection grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is satisfactory and 4 is inadequate Please turn to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms

Key Findings

This is a good school. It is improving rapidly. Comments made by parents and carers, such as, ‘We are delighted with the school and with the approachable and enthusiastic teachers’ are typical. The recent federation of the infant and junior schools has had a very positive impact on school development. The school is not yet outstanding because : pupil progress is not consistently rapid in every year group. Pupils make good progress during their time at school and leave with standards of attainment which are high when compared with the national average. The mentoring programme, in which individual learning targets are discussed with pupils, has improved pupils’ progress. However, inconsistencies in approach mean that pupils make faster progress in some year groups than in others. The quality of teaching is good. At its very best, teaching in school is creative and well planned, so that tasks are tailored to individual needs. Sometimes, however, the rate of pupils’ progress slows because they are not given enough chances to develop independence or to take control of their own learning. Opportunities to share the best teaching practice across the federation are developing, but are yet to be fully utilised. The behaviour of pupils is exemplary. They are courteous and polite to others and, as a result, the school is a safe and welcoming environment. In the classroom pupils are fully engaged in learning. They are brimming with enthusiasm about their lessons and their school. This outstanding attitude makes a very significant contribution to their learning. The headteacher and other leaders in the school, together with the committed and able governing body, have a clear vision for school improvement. The positive way in which the staff within the federation have been brought together is testament to their skilful leadership. All staff are held to account for their work and strong leadership of teaching has led to improved performance. Nevertheless, a few inconsistencies in the quality of teaching and rate of pupils’ progress remain.