Newlaithes Junior School

Name Newlaithes Junior School
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 28 January 2020
Address Langrigg Road, Carlisle, Cumbria, CA2 6DX
Phone Number 01228512768
Type Primary
Age Range 7-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 234 (50% boys 50% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 21.9
Local Authority Cumbria
Percentage Free School Meals 13.2%
Percentage English is Not First Language 2.1%
Persisitent Absence 5.9%
Pupils with SEN Support 14.1%
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?

Newlaithes Junior School is a calm and orderly place for pupils to learn. The pupils that we spoke with told us that they enjoy coming to school and that they feel safe. Pupils’ attendance is higher than the national average.

Pupils said that learning is fun. They work hard in lessons. Pupils have many opportunities to take part in musical activities and play sports. Pupils’ learning is enriched by visits, residential trips and visitors to school. One pupil said that this made the school ‘unique’.

Teachers have high expectations of pupils’ behaviour. Throughout the school, pupils behave well. They enjoy receiving house points for their good behaviour. Pupils are polite and well-mannered. The parents and carers that we met spoke positively about pupils’ behaviour at the school.

Pupils take good care of each other on the playground. Older pupils look out for younger pupils. Pupils are trained to be ‘peace makers’. They take this role seriously and do all they can to help other pupils resolve any concerns that they may have.

Pupils told us that bullying is rare. Pupils are confident that if it does happen leaders and staff sort it out and make it stop.

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

The majority of pupils meet the expected standard in reading, writing and mathematics at the end of Year 6. However, the published data shows that pupils’ progress across key stage 2 is not as strong. In the past, pupils have not always been able to build on their previous learning when they enter Year 3. Partnership work with the infant school has strengthened recently. Leaders are beginning to adapt the curriculum more effectively to help make up for any gaps in pupils’ learning when they start in key stage 2.

In most subjects, such as reading, mathematics, computing and physical education (PE), leaders have thought carefully about the knowledge and skills that they want pupils to gain. Most current pupils are achieving well in a range of subjects. However, in some subjects, such as art and design, history and geography, pupils do not do as well as they could. This is because pupils’ learning is not sufficiently well-organised. Leaders are reviewing the current curriculum to improve this aspect of the school.

Leaders have successfully introduced a new curriculum plan for mathematics. Staff have been well trained. Teachers plan new learning that builds effectively on what pupils have learned before. They provide opportunities for pupils to apply their mathematical learning in other subjects. For example, pupils draw different graphs in their science work. Pupils talked confidently about their learning in mathematics.Leaders want every pupil to be a successful reader. Older pupils read widely. They are familiar with the work of many different authors. Pupils enjoy the class story times. Most pupils we spoke to said that they love reading.

Some pupils have gaps in their phonics knowledge when they join the school. They benefit from the extra support they receive from well-trained adults. Pupils read books that are well matched to the sounds that they know. Adults check the progress that pupils are making. However, this work is not helping some pupils to catch up quickly enough. This hampers their ability to do as well as they should in other subjects as they move from class to class.

Leaders have created an exciting PE curriculum. Pupils enjoy taking part in a wide range of sports, like football, golf and hockey. Every pupil works towards achieving their ‘PE passport’. Pupils know the importance of sport and exercise in developing a healthy lifestyle.

Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) receive effective support. Teachers adapt classroom activities so that pupils with SEND have access to the same curriculum as everyone else. Pupils with an education, health and care (EHC) plan progress well against their individual targets.

Pupils speak knowledgeably about British values, such as democracy. The school council spoke about being democratically elected. Pupils feel that they have a voice in the school and that leaders listen to their views.

Governors know the school well. They are ambitious for the school to improve further. The staff that we spoke to are proud to work in this school. They value the opportunities to develop their own learning. Staff appreciate that leaders are considerate of their well-being and workload.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders take the safeguarding of pupils very seriously. Staff are well trained to spot signs that a pupil may be at risk of harm. They know who to tell if they have concerns. Leaders keep detailed records of concerns and any actions taken to support pupils. Leaders ensure that staff recruitment procedures are rigorous. They make appropriate checks on all adults who work in the school.

Pupils learn how to keep themselves safe in various situations. For example, they understand the risks of using the internet. They know not to share their personal information online.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

Leaders have reviewed the design of the curriculum for most subjects. However, in subjects like art and design, history and geography the curriculum plans are in the process of being implemented. Leaders should ensure that these plans are embedded in all classrooms without delay, so that pupils can achieve well in all subjects. Ofsted’s transition arrangements were used in this inspection to confirm that pupils benefit from a good quality of education. . Pupils’ learning has not always been built on well enough when pupils enter the school in Year 3. Leaders are working in partnership with the infant school to ensure that a stronger bridge is in place to help pupils make a seamless transition when they enter key stage 2. Leaders should build on this work and ensure that gaps in pupils’ learning are identified quickly and the curriculum is adapted to help pupils make the progress of which they are capable in reading, writing and mathematics by the end of Year 6. . Some pupils enter Year 3 with gaps in their phonic knowledge. Catch-up programmes are in place, but these are not helping pupils to make up lost ground quickly enough. Leaders should review their strategies for supporting pupils’ reading in Year 3 to ensure that pupils are successful readers who can fully access the key stage 2 curriculum.