This is a good school Leaders have very high expectations of the pupils, the staff and themselves.
They are relentless in their efforts to provide a high quality of education for pupils and, by doing so, improve the standards pupils reach and the progress that they make. Excellent leadership has transformed the school in just 30 months. Leaders' actions to establish a stable and collaborative teaching staff have paid rich dividends.
Staff morale is very high. Teachers describe their work/life balance as 'fantastic'. Teaching and support staff benefit from the high-quality support and training they receive from their colleagues within Outwood Grange Academies T...rust (OGAT), the school's sponsor.
Governance is strong. Academy council members understand their roles and responsibilities thoroughly. Trust governance is established, strategic and well-honed.
Governors challenge and support well. Pupils in key stages 1 and 2, including disadvantaged pupils, those who speak English as an additional language (EAL) and pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), make good progress in mathematics and English overall. Leaders, quite rightly, have identified that the school's provision for phonics and reading is not as strong as its provision for writing and mathematics.
Subject leaders are knowledgeable about the strengths and areas for development in their subjects. Their leadership is very effective. Teachers use their comprehensive subject knowledge to plan learning activities that challenge pupils well.
Staff explain new concepts clearly and ask probing questions which deepen pupils' learning. Pupils are happy at Outwood Primary Academy Darfield and wear their uniform with pride. They are polite, engaging and respectful.
Parents and carers are supportive of the school. They appreciate the difference that current leaders have made to their children's education. Pupils' attendance is improving but some still do not attend school often enough.
Too many are taken out of school for unauthorised holidays during term time. These pupils do not make the progress of which they are capable. Children are happy in the early years.
They feel safe, secure and welcome. Relationships between home and school are strong. Children's differing needs are recognised and met increasingly well.
Leaders' plans to improve the outdoor environment and the proportion of children who reach a good level of development, especially for girls and disadvantaged children, are well under way.
Information about this school
The school is a sponsored academy. It became one of 31 schools in the Outwood Grange Academies Trust on 1 May 2016.
The trustees of OGAT are the school's accountable body and carry out a strategic role. Members of the school's academy council carry out the trustees' vision, policies and priorities, provide internal quality assurance and develop links with the local community and employers. The associate principal is responsible for the day-to-day running of the school and is supported by the associate executive principal who, in turn, is supported by the chief executive principal.
The chief executive principal reports to OGAT's executive board. The school is smaller than the average-sized primary school. The proportion of pupils with SEND receiving support is below average.
The proportion who have an education, health and care plan is in line with that usually found. The proportion of disadvantaged pupils, those eligible for support through the pupil premium funding, is above the national average. Most pupils, approximately four-fifths, speak English as their first language.