Northwood Primary School

Name Northwood Primary School
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 16 January 2019
Address Pendleton Road South, Darlington, County Durham, DL1 2HF
Phone Number 01325267222
Type Primary
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 378 (52% boys 48% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 23.8
Academy Sponsor Lingfield Education Trust
Local Authority Darlington
Percentage Free School Meals 42.4%
Percentage English is Not First Language 8.5%
Persisitent Absence 19.3%
Pupils with SEN Support 11.1%
Catchment Area Information Available Yes, our catchment area data is FREE
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

Information about this school

This is the school’s first inspection since becoming part of Lingfield Education Trust. The school is larger than the average-sized primary school. Over half of all pupils in the school are disadvantaged. This is almost twice the national average. The proportion of pupils with SEND – and with an education, health and care plan – is above the national average. Most pupils are of White British heritage, with increasing numbers of pupils from the Traveller community, as well as refugees and asylum seekers. The school operates a breakfast club and an after-school club.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a good school The headteacher is uncompromising in her drive for excellence in all aspects of school life. She has boundless energy and passion for ensuring that pupils get the ‘best deal’. She has created and nurtured a committed staff who feel valued and supported. Shrewd appointments to senior and subject leader roles have enabled the entire leadership team to excel. Their complementary skills ensure that leadership at all levels is excellent. Governors are highly skilled and ambitious for the school’s future. They use their collective expertise to ensure that decision-making is measured and rooted in improving pupils’ outcomes, both socially and academically. The strong safeguarding culture is well embedded. Staff are fully aware of the important role they play in keeping pupils safe. They are vigilant in reporting any concerns, and referrals to other to other agencies are timely. Pupils’ absence is above average. Leaders impress upon parents, carers and pupils the importance of good attendance and punctuality. While recent improvements are noteworthy, there is still much to do. Teachers and teaching assistants work closely together. They know the pupils exceptionally well and this secures the warm and trusting relationships that exist in the school. Pupils behave well and are respectful of others. Pupils’ movement around the school is calm and orderly and their attitudes to learning are positive. Thus, pupils are happy in school and say that they feel safe. Teachers plan thoughtful activities that engage all pupils. Occasionally, activities are not sufficiently demanding or do not build upon what pupils already know and can do effectively. When this happens, the pace of learning slows. This is particularly the case in key stage 1. Leaders have a strong curriculum intent that places heavy emphasis on developing pupils’ technological skills. Detailed ‘progression documents’ provide excellent guidance to teachers of the important subject-specific knowledge and skills that are to be taught in each year group. This supports pupils’ good outcomes in a range of subjects. Children in the early years thrive in this exceptionally well-led setting.