Oakley Cross Primary School and Nursery

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About Oakley Cross Primary School and Nursery

Name Oakley Cross Primary School and Nursery
Website http://www.oakleycross.durham.sch.uk/
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs Sian Atkinson
Address Lomond Walk, West Auckland, Bishop Auckland, DL14 9UD
Phone Number 01388833186
Phase Primary
Type Community school
Age Range 2-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 164
Local Authority County Durham
Highlights from Latest Inspection


Oakley Cross Primary School and Nursery continues to be a good school.

What is it like to attend this school?

Oakley Cross is a welcoming, inclusive school.

New pupils who arrive appreciate how easy it is to make new friends and to fit in. Staff are sensitive and caring. They help the youngest children settle quickly.

Pupils feel safe. They have warm, secure relationships with staff who they trust to help and support them at all times. Pupils respond well to high expectations.

Pupils work diligently during lessons and move around school in an orderly way. Poor behaviour is rare and dealt with promptly. Bullying and the use of discriminatory language occur very inf...requently.

When incidents happen, adults resolve them, and they do not recur.

Pupils are encouraged to be independent from a very early age. Adults guide two-year-old children to serve themselves at snack time.

All older pupils take a leadership role or a responsibility. This includes helping younger pupils with their reading and mathematical skills.

The local area is used as a rich resource to stimulate pupils' enjoyment of the curriculum.

Geographical fieldwork takes place at the local river. Visits to a nearby Roman Fort enhances pupils' historical knowledge. Pupils experience powerful emotions when studying paintings at an art gallery.

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

The school prioritises reading. The library is at the heart of the school so that pupils visit it regularly to select books that interest them. The curriculum is well organised to help pupils read a broad range of texts and authors.

The phonics programme is carefully sequenced and taught well by staff. They check pupils' knowledge to make sure those who need extra support receive it. As a result, pupils become fluent readers.

Pupils blend sounds together with increasing speed. Older pupils who are not so fluent get more support to help them catch up.Younger children settle quickly into the early years.

Staff are warm and caring. They give children the confidence to be independent and have a go. The curriculum supports children's language and reading skills effectively.

Staff help children learn a wide vocabulary and more complex language. Staff teach children in Reception class the sounds they need to help them read.

Pupils enjoy learning mathematics.

They build their knowledge gradually in small steps. Staff provide the right resources and guidance to help pupils build their knowledge. Teachers ask pupils probing questions to check their knowledge.

They tackle misunderstandings straightaway. As a result, pupils develop the skills to grapple with mathematics that is more difficult.

The curriculum is ambitious for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).

Staff know pupils well. Staff provide the right help and resources so pupils can join in lessons. Pupils who need very close support are helped to do things for themselves.

Skilled and enthusiastic staff give tailored help to pupils who need it.

In many foundation subjects, pupils' knowledge and skills continually build sequentially and effectively on what pupils already know and can do. Pupils regularly revisit knowledge taught previously.

There are clear goals for what pupils should know and remember. However, this is not consistently the case in all subjects. In geography and history, for example, pupils do not have a good grasp of the links and themes between the different topics they study.

Pupils are not able to use subject-specific terminology confidently. There are gaps in pupils' map-reading skills. Some pupils struggle to use the maps they are given to read.

This hampers their progress.

Pupils enjoy a wide range of opportunities to enhance their personal development. Memorable visits give pupils a strong sense of their own heritage.

Visits develop their cultural understanding. Pupils learn about the world beyond their own local area and gain values of tolerance and respect. Achievements, whether from school or home, are celebrated.

The school knows that some pupils are absent for lengthy periods. Appropriate steps are in place to reduce this. Staff are tenacious and continue to work with families to deal with the reasons for absence.

Strong teamwork is characteristic of staff in school. They want to do the very best for all pupils. They feel well supported by leaders.

The governing body is proud that the school is so welcoming. Governors have sharpened their monitoring and checks since the last inspection. They provide the right level of support and challenge to help the journey of improvement.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• In some foundation subjects, such as geography and history, pupils' knowledge of the links and themes between the topics they study is insecure. Pupils lack confidence in using subject-specific terminology.

The school needs to clearly identify the links and themes in subjects and the key terminology they intend pupils to learn. It needs to ensure this is used to plan and provide logically sequenced learning which enables pupils' knowledge and skills to build consistently and effectively on what they already know and can do in all subjects. ? Gaps in pupils' map-reading skills hamper their ability to use the resources they are given.

As a result, pupils find the activities given are, sometimes, too difficult. The school must ensure pupils develop the map-reading skills needed so that pupils can be successful in the activities they undertake.


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

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

This is the first ungraded inspection since we judged the school to be good in May 2018.

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