Our Lady Star of the Sea Roman Catholic Voluntary Aided Primary

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About Our Lady Star of the Sea Roman Catholic Voluntary Aided Primary

Name Our Lady Star of the Sea Roman Catholic Voluntary Aided Primary
Website http://www.olsots.durham.sch.uk
Ofsted Inspections
Executive Headteacher Miss Joanne Jones
Address Thorpe Road, Horden, Peterlee, SR8 4AB
Phone Number 01915863895
Phase Primary
Type Voluntary aided school
Age Range 5-11
Religious Character Roman Catholic
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 106
Local Authority County Durham
Highlights from Latest Inspection


Our Lady Star of the Sea Roman Catholic Voluntary Aided Primary continues to be a good school.

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils are polite and welcoming. They were keen to tell us about all they like about their school. We saw them socialising and working together happily.

They told us that they feel safe at school.

Pupils respect their teachers' efforts to make lessons interesting and rewarding. Pupils behave sensibly, both in class and around school.

They respond well to their teachers' high expectations and work hard.

Teachers' subject knowledge sometimes does not help them plan learning to build on what pupils know and can do well enough....

Pupils are at the heart of this inclusive, friendly school community.

The school promotes pupils' personal, social and emotional development very well. Pupils show high levels of respect for each other, their school and their local community.

Through the curriculum, pupils develop an understanding of the importance of tolerance and fairness.

As a result, they do not put up with any bullying between each other. If any bullying occurs, adults make sure that it stops. This shows how well leaders put the school's values into practice.

Pupils are kind and supportive towards each other. Parents and carers are typically happy with the school and would recommend the school to other parents.

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

Relationships between staff and pupils and between pupils themselves are very positive.

Pupils across the school behave well. They try hard in lessons and work well with others. Pupils play happily together at playtimes.

They understand the importance of respecting difference.Leaders have high ambitions for pupils. They want pupils to achieve well across the curriculum.

They have worked on improving the planning of work in most subjects. Teachers know what to teach pupils and in which order ideas should be taught.

Mathematics is taught well.

Teachers make sure that pupils understand the most important ideas and can use their knowledge to solve problems. Teachers use images and equipment well to help pupils understand mathematics.

Early years children enjoy the plentiful indoor and outdoor activities available.

They are able to concentrate for long periods. They feel happy, safe and secure. Leaders work with parents, involving them in their children's learning.

They also offer parents' workshops, such as on how to read to their children.

Children get lots of opportunities to listen to stories and rhymes. This gets them off to a good start with their early reading.

In Reception, children grasp initial letter sounds and use them to read and spell simple words. Teachers plan activities in the outdoors to support pupils' learning further.

Pupils continue to improve their phonics knowledge as they move into key stage 1.

Teachers structure the programme for phonics well. The words in pupils' reading books match the sounds they know. Assessment information is used to make sure that pupils get the right support at the right time.

However, some lower-attaining pupils in Year 2 struggle to decode some basic words. Leaders know this and have put in place support programmes to help them catch up.

Leaders and teachers have a good understanding of pupils' needs.

This includes pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). Teachers plan learning well. This meets pupils' personal, medical and learning goals.

Pupils are generally eager to learn. They have positive attitudes to all aspects of school life. They are keen to take part in all that the school has to offer.

Pupils are rarely distracted in lessons. When necessary, teachers remind pupils of the need to behave and learning continues.

Lots of well-planned experiences support pupils' personal and social development.

Pupils learn about and respect all people, no matter their faith, race or lifestyle. Pupils embrace the school's shared values and mission statement of 'We are growing in God's love…achieving our dreams'.

Staff, pupils and parents are positive about the school.

They describe it as 'a community more than a school'. Staff are fully committed to the school's aims. They say that leaders support them well and make sure that they have a good work/life balance.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders work with parents and other agencies to promote a strong culture of safeguarding in the school. Records of pre-employment background checks of staff are clear and well organised.

There are well-understood systems in place for staff to report any concerns. Leaders, governors and the staff successfully implement the school's procedures to safeguard pupils including children in the early years.

Parents and staff agree that pupils are safe here.

Pupils are happy at school. Parents' views of the school's work are also positive. Pupils learn how to use the internet safely and the potential dangers of social media.

Staff maintain high levels of supervision to protect pupils' safety and well-being.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

In some subjects, such as history the curriculum is not as well sequenced as in other subjects. This means that leaders do not always know what is being taught and teachers do not always have sufficient guidance on what to teach and when.

Pupils' knowledge in history does not build as well as in other subjects. Leaders should further develop the curriculum so that it is well sequenced, has guidance for teachers and builds pupils' knowledge effectively over time. .

Leaders should further improve teachers' subject knowledge so that they are able to use this to help pupils to build on their prior learning and remember more. Stronger subject knowledge will help teachers to respond better to pupils' needs.


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 school or non-exempt outstanding school. We do not give graded judgements on a section 8 inspection. However, if we find some evidence that the school could now be better than good or that standards may be declining, 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 convert the section 8 inspection to a section 5 inspection immediately.

This is the first section 8 inspection since we judged Our Lady Star of the Sea Roman Catholic Voluntary Aided Primary to be good on 10–11 February 2016.

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