Portobello Primary School

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About Portobello Primary School

Name Portobello Primary School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs Jayne Humphrey
Address Tamerton Drive, Birtley, Chester le Street, DH3 2LY
Phone Number 01914104571
Phase Primary
Type Community school
Age Range 4-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 195
Local Authority Gateshead
Highlights from Latest Inspection


Portobello Primary School continues to be a good school.

What is it like to attend this school?

Portobello Primary School is a calm and welcoming environment for pupils to learn.

Staff meet pupils arriving at school with warmth and care. Pupils feel safe in school. They know there is an adult to talk to if they are worried.

Some pupils, such as those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), have key workers who ensure that they participate fully in school.

Pupils want to achieve well and reach the school's high expectations of them. They participate in lessons and focus on their learning well.

Lessons are engaging and interesting. Staff ...know pupils and their families very well.

Staff encourage pupils to be responsible citizens.

Pupils engage positively in leadership roles, such as representing their peers on the school council or becoming a team captain. Pupils who hold these roles help to shape life in school. For example, pupils with leadership responsibilities discuss the changes they would like to make to the school site with governors.

Pupils are very aware of their rights and responsibilities. Pupils attend the 'Rights Responsible' club, where they engage in community and charity work. There are several other clubs and activities for pupils to attend, such as the football and performing arts clubs.

Many pupils are looking forward to taking part in the upcoming production of 'Matilda'. Their talents and interests are developed well.

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

The school reviews and evaluates the impact of the curriculum regularly.

Subject leaders have created logical and well-sequenced curriculums with clear end goals in the core and foundation subjects. The important knowledge and skills that pupils need to learn begins in the early years. For example, early years children are introduced to mathematical concepts such as heaviest and lightest.

Children in Reception predict which objects weigh more or less with increasing accuracy. This prepares children well for the mathematics curriculum in Year 1.

In lessons, staff check pupils' understanding regularly.

Teachers and support staff have an accurate picture of what pupils know. Teachers ensure that any misconceptions are addressed. Lessons begin with activities which help pupils to remember what they have been taught previously.

Teachers use this retrieval work to ensure that pupils' knowledge is secure before moving on to new topics and tasks. For example, in physical education pupils recall the different types of throws they could use for different activities before putting them into practice. There is also a sharp focus on ensuring that pupils learn the vocabulary they need to access the curriculum.

Teachers model the use of the important words and terms that pupils need to know. Pupils feel confident when using these words and terms themselves.

Pupils with SEND are supported to access the curriculum when working individually, as part of a small group and within a whole class setting.

Staff use appropriate resources to meet pupils' individual needs. One-to-one work is provided skilfully by teaching assistants. They are knowledgeable about the strategies needed to support pupils with SEND.

Adults use these strategies well to help pupils with SEND to meet their targets. Pupils with SEND are fully included in the life of the school and are prepared for the next stage of their education. Parents and carers are very pleased with the provision that their children with SEND receive.

The school has implemented a clear phonics programme. This begins in Reception. Adults assess pupils' phonic knowledge regularly.

Pupils who need help are quickly identified. These pupils receive help to catch up. The books that pupils read match the sounds that they know.

The school promotes a love of reading. Pupils demonstrate an enjoyment of reading and can name favourite books, stories and authors.

There are positive relationships between adults and pupils.

These create a positive foundation for learning. Pupils follow routines well. Staff quickly deal with any incidents of poor behaviour.

The school monitors attendance effectively and ensures that pupils attend well.

The school has ensured there is a carefully considered personal, social and health education curriculum in place. Pupils know how to keep themselves safe, including online.

They know about tolerance and respect. Pupils are taught about different faiths and religions. However, they cannot recall this knowledge readily.

Pupils confuse religions and cannot discuss meaningful aspects of faith.

Staff are very positive about the school and enjoy working here. Leaders ensure that staff are well supported.

Governors carry out their duties effectively and have a supportive and appropriately challenging relationship with the school. They have an accurate picture of the strengths of the school and the areas that require further development. The school keeps parents and carers well informed through regular newsletters.

They are very positive about the education and experiences their children receive at the school.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Some aspects of the curriculum to support pupils' personal development are not fully established.

For example, the curriculum does not raise pupils' awareness of different faiths and beliefs in sufficient depth. The school should develop this aspect of the curriculum so that pupils learn more about different faiths and beliefs.


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 second ungraded inspection since we judged the school to be good in May 2018.

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