Park View School

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About Park View School

Name Park View School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mr Andrew Finley
Address Church Chare, Chester le Street, DH3 3QA
Phone Number 01913882248
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1608
Local Authority County Durham
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Park View is a warm and welcoming secondary school.

One of the school's values is respect for self and others. This value threads through the school and is evident in the positive relationships between pupils and staff.

Leaders have put in place an ambitious curriculum.

However, teaching of the planned curriculum is sometimes inconsistent. It does not sufficiently allow all pupils to know and remember more. As a result, some pupils receive a better quality of education than others.

Pupils are polite and friendly. They feel well looked after by caring staff. Pupils told inspectors that they feel safe in the school.

Pupils say that bullying is... not common. Inspectors' evidence supports this view. Pupils have confidence that if bullying did occur, then staff would deal with it straight away.

Most pupils behave well in lessons and around the two school sites. Inspectors found the school sites were calm places to walk around.

Pupils participate in a large range of extra-curricular activities, including poetry club, the choir, drama and a range of sporting activities.

Pupils enjoy the Combined Cadet Force and value the leadership skills they gain.

Students in the sixth form learn and achieve well. They benefit from a well-taught curriculum and are well prepared for their next steps in education, employment or training.

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

Leaders have ensured that pupils study a broad and ambitious curriculum. Subject leaders are clear about the most important content they want to pupils to know and how this builds up over time. For example, in history, curriculum thinking ensures revisiting important themes such as conflict, monarchy, power and government is a focus for staff.

The implementation of the curriculum is sometimes inconsistent. Teachers typically have strong subject knowledge, and in most cases choose activities that meet the needs of pupils. However, this is not always the case.

Occasionally, some teaching activities do not consider precisely enough what pupils need to know. Some teachers do not break down learning so that all pupils learn and know more. As a result, some pupils do not remember the knowledge they are taught well enough.

Teachers use assessment well in some subjects. This is particularly clear in sixth-form lessons. In modern foreign languages, teachers use effective questioning to check pupils' understanding.

This allows staff to identify and address misconceptions. However, this is not consistent across subjects. This means that some pupils do not develop their subject knowledge over time effectively enough.

The way that leaders quality assure the curriculum is not rigorous or consistent. This means the inconsistencies are not always addressed quickly. As a result, the quality of education pupils receive is variable for some pupils.

Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) follow the same curriculum as other pupils and enjoy the wider aspects of school life. Leaders have clear systems in place which enable them to share information about pupils with SEND with their teachers. Pupils with SEND talk positively about the support they receive in class from teaching assistants.

Leaders identify those pupils who find reading difficult. Leaders have appointed staff with expertise in the primary phase to provide small-group support. One-to-one help also takes place.

This helps pupils improve their fluency in reading.

Students enjoy life in the sixth form. It is a strength of the school.

Students receive individual guidance and support, which allows them to progress successfully to a range of suitable destinations. Sixth-form students play an important role in the life of the main school through mentoring younger pupils.

Leaders' efforts to promote pupils' personal development are good.

Leaders have put in place an effective programme that prepares pupils for life in modern Britain. Pupils in key stage 4 can clearly explain the importance of healthy relationships. Pupils benefit from good guidance through a well-planned careers programme.

As a result, they are able to make informed choices about their next steps.

The school offers a wide range of extra-curricular activities. Many pupils grasp these opportunities.

The Combined Cadet Force is a feature of the school. A growing number of pupils, including pupils with SEND, benefit from the leadership and teambuilding activities that the Combined Cadet Force provides. Pupils develop a greater sense of responsibility and self-discipline.

In lessons and at social times, most pupils behave well. Most pupils can learn without disruption. Pupils who need additional help to manage their behaviour receive effective support from the Student Support Centre.

Leaders have high ambitions for their pupils. They have created systems to check how well the school is doing. However, a lack of sharp analysis and evaluation of how leaders act on management information means the school has not improved quickly enough.

Staff appreciate the way leaders are considerate of their workload.

Trustees are supportive of the school. They are proud of its heritage and place in the local community.

Trustees understand their statutory duties. However, they do not provide enough challenge for leaders. There is also a lack of urgency to ensure that priority areas, such as the performance of disadvantaged pupils, improve.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.Leaders have developed a strong culture of safeguarding in the school. They diligently carry out the necessary checks on adults prior to them starting work at the school.

Effective systems and processes are in place so that the most vulnerable pupils and families receive the help and support they need. Staff are aware of what to do if they have a concern about a child, as a result of regular safeguarding training.

Leaders have developed effective working relationships with external agencies.

They follow up their concerns in a diligent and timely manner.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• The implementation of the curriculum is variable across subjects. As a result, some pupils do not build on their prior learning, meaning that misconceptions occur over time.

Leaders should ensure they consistently quality assure the implementation of the curriculum in all subjects so that teaching deepens pupils' knowledge over time. ? In some lessons, teachers do not successfully adapt approaches and choose appropriate activities that meet the needs of all pupils. This is particularly the case for some less-able pupils.

As a result, not all pupils learn the curriculum as well as they should. Leaders should ensure that teachers are provided with additional training and support to become more proficient in delivering the curriculum to these groups of pupils. ? Systems and processes in place to check on the school's performance are not consistently implemented.

As a result, leaders are not identifying precise actions and areas to improve. This is having an impact on the quality of education at the school. Leaders should ensure that stronger analysis and evaluation of their systems become routine so as to drive improvement.

• Trustees have not checked sufficiently on the impact of leaders' work. This means they have been unable to hold leaders fully to account for school weaknesses and identified areas for improvement. Having now restructured governance arrangements, trustees must make sure that they provide the precise support and challenge leaders on the actions they are taking to improve the quality of education pupils receive.

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