Northgate Primary School

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About Northgate Primary School

Name Northgate Primary School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs Jane Tanner
Address Cricketfield Lane, Bishop’s Stortford, CM23 2RL
Phone Number 01279652376
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 458
Local Authority Hertfordshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils have a thirst for learning. They work hard and achieve well, particularly in reading and mathematics.

Pupils appreciate the opportunities they get to develop outside the classroom. Most pupils grow into articulate, well-rounded individuals by the time they leave.

Adults have established clear routines for pupils to follow.

They have high expectations of pupils' conduct and attitudes to learning. These are well understood, even by the youngest children. As a result, the atmosphere around the school is calm.

Pupils feel safe. They learn well in their classrooms and play happily on the playground.

Pupils enjoy the clubs on offer.
.../>Some of these are led by the older pupils. There are many such opportunities for pupils to develop responsibility and leadership skills. House captains enjoy running the school shop.

Executive councillors set the agenda for wider school council meetings. The well-being, diversity and inclusion council considers ways to support the whole school community.

A deliberately planned series of themed days or weeks enhances the curriculum.

On RE (religious education) day, pupils explored the creation story. They reflected on scientific alternatives. A 'take one picture' event generated high quality writing and artwork inspired by L S Lowry.

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

The school's curriculum is ambitious for all pupils,. The curriculum sets out the key concepts and knowledge that pupils will learn in each year group and each subject area. There is a sharp focus on developing pupils' vocabulary.

Curriculum plans identify the key language that is needed in each unit of work.

The curriculum is broad and balanced. Where possible, it is linked to the local area.

This makes it meaningful for pupils. In geography, for example, pupils went on a field trip to a new housing estate. They considered where would be the best location for a leisure facility.

Teachers explain new concepts clearly. They use skilful questioning to probe pupils' understanding. If teachers spot misconceptions, they address these quickly.

They adjust their teaching if they see more widespread misunderstandings.

The school has adopted teaching approaches that are designed to help pupils know and remember more. Teachers use these consistently and, in most subjects, highly effectively.

However, in a small number of subjects, pupils do not learn as well as the school would like them to. This is because the curriculum in these subjects has been reviewed. It is in a transitional or early stage of development.

Teachers need support to design sequences of lessons that will deepen pupils' understanding.

The school's sharp focus on language development starts in the early years. Children extend their vocabulary through daily stories, rhymes and songs.

They learn subject-specific language in other areas of learning. In mathematics, for example, Reception children practise the language of comparison, using groups of toy bears.

Reading is prioritised.

It is well-taught throughout the school. In the Nursery, children learn the early skills needed for letter and sound recognition. Through the Reception class and Year 1, pupils extend their repertoire of sounds.

Most pupils quickly learn what they need to become confident and fluent readers. Any pupils who struggle get effective, targeted support. Across the school, pupils learn to discuss texts and develop their comprehension skills.

The school is determined to enable pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) to succeed. In most cases, pupils with SEND access the same curriculum as their peers. Teachers make adaptations for them if these are needed.

A small number of pupils learn in the school's woodland group. These pupils get an individualised approach, delivered by skilled and nurturing adults.

Pupils have extremely positive attitudes to school life.

There is a strong culture of respect throughout the school. Pupils are friendly and courteous. Older pupils are excellent role models.

They actively promote positive behaviour in the corridors and dining room. The school acts quickly and effectively to support any pupils who struggle to meet expectations.

Pupils have a mature understanding of issues around diversity.

They are very well prepared for life in modern Britain. Older pupils tackle complex issues such as stereotyping. They are not afraid to challenge injustice if they see it.

All pupils learn about healthy relationships and personal safety at an age-appropriate level. A thoughtfully planned series of assemblies teaches pupils invaluable qualities such as resilience, patience and kindness.

Leaders have high expectations and are tenacious in their drive for school improvement.

Trustees are committed to the school's ambitious vision. Their oversight and challenge support leaders in their drive to realise the school's priorities. Staff are proud to work at the school.

They value the development opportunities they are offered. Staff appreciate that leaders are mindful of their workload.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• In a small number of subjects, the curriculum has been recently reviewed and is in a transitional or early stage of development. Pupils do not learn as well in these subjects as the school would like them to. The school should continue to prioritise the implementation of these new curriculums, including supporting staff to design sequences of lessons that will deepen pupils' understanding.

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