Prince Bishops Community Primary School

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About Prince Bishops Community Primary School

Name Prince Bishops Community Primary School
Ofsted Inspections
Head Teacher Mrs Lynn George Claire Patchett
Address Gibson Street, Coundon Grange, Bishop Auckland, DL14 8DY
Phone Number 01388451278
Phase Primary
Type Community school
Age Range 2-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 231
Local Authority County Durham
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils are very well cared for at Prince Bishops Community Primary School. Adults build warm and supportive relationships with the pupils in their care.

This positive atmosphere encourages pupils to behave well. Staff make pupils feel welcome. For example, pupils and visitors are greeted each morning by Jess, the school dog.

Pupils learn about responsibility by helping to look after Jess.

Leaders are ambitious for what pupils can achieve. Pupils benefit from a strong start to their education in English and mathematics.

The curriculum for personal development is particularly impressive. Staff provide pupils with a wide range of experiences that help t...hem to be ready for the world beyond their local area. Pupils particularly value the Friday afternoon enrichment sessions, which provide an incentive and reward for their work during the week.

Staff teach pupils about the importance of honesty, ambition, responsibility and kindness. Pupils understand these core values that help them to show respect for others. The school is an inclusive environment, where the differences between people are celebrated.

For example, pupils learn about one another's cultures, including the different languages spoken by pupils. Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are particularly well supported to learn alongside their peers.

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

The school curriculum is ambitious.

The foundations of the effective curriculum are established in the Nursery Years. Teachers understand the starting points of pupils. The curriculum content stimulates pupils' curiosity and encourages them to ask good questions in lessons.

There are strong curriculum links to the local area, which allows pupils to make sense of the world around them. For example, in history, pupils visit a local Roman fort. Pupils develop their mathematical knowledge and use operations with increasing effectiveness as they progress through the curriculum.

This begins in the early years where children learn to count confidently.

Reading is given a high priority in the school. Pupils show enthusiasm for reading.

They are keen to explain about the characters and plots of the books they enjoy. There is a very effective approach to ensuring that pupils develop a broad vocabulary. The teaching of early reading is particularly effective.

There is a consistent approach to the teaching of phonics. Pupils improve rapidly through regular repetition and practice. Pupils with SEND benefit from specific adaptations to support them with their reading.

Pupils who are making slower progress than their peers are identified very quickly. These pupils have extra sessions that support them to keep up.

The strength in the reading and the mathematics curriculums is not reflected in the poor outcomes achieved by Year 6 pupils in 2023.

These pupils experienced significant disruption to their learning as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.Some pupils do not attend school as well as they could. Improving attendance is a priority for the school.

Rigorous monitoring and follow-up encourage and support families to improve pupils' attendance. Every member of staff is an attendance champion for a small number of pupils. These strategies are having an impact.

Attendance is higher this academic year than it was last year.

The breadth of the curriculum for pupils' personal development is exceptional. It is particularly well tailored to the individual needs of the pupils.

The school is rightly proud of the way in which it develops pupils' resilience and character. This is underpinned by the school values. Pupils have a well-developed understanding of safety, from water safety to criminal exploitation and how to stay safe online.

Pupils throughout the school enthusiastically take up enrichment activities that give them new experiences. These activities are well planned to provide a coherent programme. For example, younger pupils develop their camping and outdoor skills to prepare for a residential visit when they are older.

Understanding jobs in the outside world is part of the personal development programme. All pupils have a chance to apply for jobs in school as part of 'take-over day'. During this event, pupils will experience a range of roles, including caretaker, receptionist and even headteacher.

They can link this experience to what they learn about jobs and the world of work from visiting guests at the careers fair.

Governors have a well-informed understanding of the school. They come from a range of backgrounds and have the right skills to challenge and support school leaders.

The school works alongside external agencies to support safeguarding and pupils with SEND. The school draws on an effective network of support for staff development. Staff across the school are very committed to the pupils and to the community.

They feel valued and well supported to fulfil their roles. Consideration of staff workload and well-being is foremost in school decisions.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Some pupils have low attendance. This means that they are not routinely benefiting from the curriculum and enrichment opportunities offered by the school. The school should continue to embed strategies to monitor, encourage and support high attendance.

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