Mowden Junior School

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About Mowden Junior School

Name Mowden Junior School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mr Peter King
Address Conyers Avenue, Darlington, DL3 9DE
Phone Number 01325380820
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 7-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 337
Local Authority Darlington
Highlights from Latest Inspection


Mowden Junior School continues to be a good school.

What is it like to attend this school?

This is a friendly and caring school. Pupils and teachers are kind to one another.

Pupils are taught to celebrate difference. Year 6 pupils are proud of the recent assembly that they delivered on sign language.

Leaders expect everyone to do their best in school.

Pupils take pride in their work. They behave well in lessons and around school. At the end of break, pupils line up immaculately.

They play sensibly with each other at lunchtime. Pupils are happy and safe in school. On the rare occasion that bullying occurs, staff educate pupils so that they do not make the ...same mistakes again.

Pupils get lots of opportunities to develop as individuals. The boys' dance troupe enjoyed being on stage at a recent competition. Older pupils are excited that they get to be play leaders at the nearby infant school.

House captains relish the responsibility that they have to shape school life.

Reading is a vital part of the school routine. There are books everywhere.

Displays encourage everyone to read. In the afternoon, pupils read one-to-one with volunteer readers from the local community. Pupils talk passionately about their favourite authors.

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

Leaders have high expectations of what pupils can achieve. There is no less ambition for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). Leaders have set out a well-designed and ambitious curriculum which gives pupils the knowledge and skills that they need to be ready for secondary school.

The curriculum is well sequenced. This enables staff to ensure that pupils' knowledge builds over time. For example, in science, pupils first learn about electrical currents.

They then carry out experiments to test whether materials are conductors or insulators. This help pupils to deepen their knowledge of electricity.Teachers make effective choices of activities to help pupils to learn the curriculum.

Teachers and teaching assistants help pupils with SEND to make strong progress. Assessment is used well by teachers. Teachers regularly check what pupils know and remember.

Pupils who need extra support are swiftly identified and helped to keep up. Leaders spotted that some Year 6 pupils have gaps in their knowledge because of the disruption caused by COVID-19. Tutors are providing regular support to ensure that pupils have the knowledge that they need for secondary school.

Pupils value their tutoring.

Teachers have had training on how memory is developed. They share ideas with each other on what activities they have used to help pupils to remember important knowledge.

In reading and mathematics, pupils frequently revisit their prior learning. This helps pupils to remember important knowledge from these subjects. Teachers do not revisit knowledge in some other subjects as often.

They are not clear on what knowledge is the most important to check that pupils have remembered over time. This means that pupils forget some important concepts and ideas in subjects such as geography and French.

Reading is a central part of school life.

Pupils are passionate about the joy of reading. Pupils who need more reading practice get extra time reading to well-trained adults. Pupils are growing in confidence and catching up quickly.

The work to develop a culture where reading is cherished is impressive.

Pupils typically behave well. Very occasionally, some pupils get over-excited in some lessons and shout out.

Teachers manage this well when it occurs.

Pupils' wider development is a high priority for leaders. The personal, social and health education curriculum is effective.

It gives pupils a moral steer. Pupils learn about important world events. This curriculum broadens their horizons.

Leaders carefully monitor who participates in after-school clubs. They ensure that disadvantaged pupils take advantage of these wider opportunities.

The school is well led.

Leaders put pupils at the centre of decision-making. Trustees provide effective governance. They have a wide set of skills and provide effective support and challenge to leaders.

There is a real team spirit in school. Everyone who responded to Ofsted's staff survey said that they were proud to work at the school. All felt that leaders take workload and well-being into account when making decisions.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

There is a strong culture of safeguarding. Staff are vigilant and alert to safeguarding concerns.

Effective staff training means that everyone knows the signs that might indicate that a pupil may be at risk and how to report concerns. When pupils need help, leaders ensure that support is put in place in a timely manner. Safeguarding leaders liaise effectively with external agencies when required.

Pupils are taught important knowledge about the risks that they may face. For example, pupils explore fire safety and how to react if someone that they don't know tries to speak to them over the internet.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• In some foundation subjects, teachers do not systematically identify and revisit important knowledge that has been taught previously.

As a result, pupils do not consistently remember the key concepts they have been taught in some subjects. Leaders should identify the most important knowledge that they want pupils to remember in all foundation subjects and ensure that the curriculum supports pupils to embed this knowledge in their long-term memory.


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 a section 8 inspection of a good or outstanding school, because it is carried out under section 8 of the Education Act 2005. We do not give graded judgements on a section 8 inspection. However, if we find evidence that a school would now receive a higher or lower grade, then the next inspection will be a section 5 inspection.

Usually this is within one to two years of the date of the section 8 inspection. If we have serious concerns about safeguarding, behaviour or the quality of education, we will deem the section 8 inspection as a section 5 inspection immediately.

This is the second section 8 inspection since we judged the school to be good in June 2012.

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