Shotton Primary School

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About Shotton Primary School

Name Shotton Primary School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs Heather Shaw
Address Grange Terrace, Shotton Colliery, DH6 2JP
Phone Number 01915262006
Phase Primary
Type Community school
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 295
Local Authority County Durham
Highlights from Latest Inspection


Shotton Primary School continues to be a good school.

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils are happy at school. There is a sense of fun in classes and outside.

Pupils cannot remember any bullying happening in the recent past. Teachers deal quickly with any falling-out or occasional rough play. Pupils describe their teachers as kind and thoughtful.

They know that they always have a friend or a teacher to talk to if there is a problem. Lunchtime staff encourage pupils to play together.

All members of staff expect the very best of pupils.

Relationships between adults and pupils are strong and respectful. Pupils appreciate it when teachers say how pr...oud they are of them. A cheery greeting between some pupils and the school caretaker reflects the positive environment that leaders have created.

Celebration assemblies reward pupils who display any of the school's 'magic powers'. These include motivation, gumption and positive attitudes. Pupils learn about acceptable behaviours out of school.

These range from table manners to quiet, respectful behaviour around churches. Pupils understand the 'happiness tree' display that helps keep their emotional well-being intact. They know that positive relationships, self-confidence and good coping skills are key to success.

Pupils learn how to look after themselves and keep themselves safe. This includes learning about water and road safety. They also learn basic first aid.

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

Leaders have identified gaps in pupils' learning due to the pandemic. These are being addressed through extra work in writing and basic number skills. Curriculum thinking in some curriculum subjects is clear.

Leaders have ensured that these subjects are built around key ideas that link learning. Knowledge is broken down into small pieces that build on what pupils already know. In subjects such as art and design and mathematics, the knowledge pupils need to learn and remember is clear and well ordered.

Subject leaders have pinpointed the key knowledge children must remember when leaving Reception. This means most pupils are ready for Year 1. Leaders are making sure that a consistent structure for all subjects is in place for the few subjects where these strengths in curriculum thinking are not yet the case.

In most subjects, teachers deliver lessons that build pupils' understanding and knowledge step by step. Pupils learn the curriculum because teaching is not rushed. Teachers are skilled at making daily checks on what pupils understand.

Teachers change lessons to help move pupils' learning forward. Extra support is provided for pupils who need help to keep up with their peers. This also includes pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities.

The special educational needs coordinator (SENCo) also plans additional support for some pupils. This includes individual adult support. In subjects such as geography and design and technology, assessment systems are not sharp enough.

Checks on pupils' learning do not capture what pupils have remembered in the long term.

Leaders are focused on making sure younger pupils quickly learn to read. Daily phonics lessons start in Reception.

Teachers deliver lessons using the same approach in each class. Regular training for all adults gives them the skills they need to teach phonics accurately. Pupils are given books to take home and practise their reading.

These books are chosen so that pupils do not get stuck on words that are too hard. Pupils are quickly becoming fluent readers, using expression. Teachers work hard to find books all pupils will enjoy.

Books read in story time, at the end of the day, are also chosen carefully to capture pupils' imagination.

Behaviour in phonics lessons is good. In Reception, children listen attentively and try their best.

Teachers insist on 'hands up' to answer questions. In Nursery, children maturely sit together to sing songs and listen to stories. They have good concentration and follow instructions.

Pupils say that behaviour in lessons is usually good. Any issues are quickly sorted out.

Leaders support pupils' all-round personal development well.

Pupils' well-being, mental health, aspiration, appreciation of their local area and a deepening love of the arts are central to this. Leaders provide lots of opportunities to broaden pupils' horizons. These include residential trips, visits from theatre groups, charitable work, the Year 6 leavers' assembly in Durham Cathedral and producing a bicycle safety film.

Staff trust their leaders and appreciate their 'well-being days'. Staff can use anonymous surveys to raise issues. Most have the confidence to speak directly with leaders about any issue related to their role.

Staff state that their workload is managed well by leaders. They feel assured that leaders want the very best for all staff in school.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders ensure that safeguarding training for every member of staff is up to date. This means adults are confident to raise even the slightest concern or worry about a pupil. Staff log these into the online record-keeping system.

All staff are aware of potential safeguarding risks in the local area. Leaders use external partners well to ensure pupils' safety. Links to the police community support officers exemplify this.

Teachers know the whistle-blowing policy, should this ever be necessary. Pupils learn how to keep themselves safe out of school, including online.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• In some subjects, the curriculum is not well sequenced.

The essential knowledge that leaders want pupils to know has not been clearly identified. As a result, pupils are unable to make the connections between their new learning and what they know already. The curriculum is not helping them to know and do more over time.

The essential knowledge pupils need at the end of Reception in each subject, so they are ready to start Year 1, is unclear. Leaders need to ensure that in all subjects the curriculum is carefully planned so that pupils' learning builds on what they know already. It is clear from leaders' actions that they are in the process of bringing this about and so the transitional arrangements have been applied.

• Leaders' approach to assessing pupils' learning in the wider curriculum is not precise enough. It does not identify what pupils know and can do in subjects such as design and technology and history. Systematic checks are not made to discover if knowledge pupils should have acquired is transferred to their long-term memory.

Teachers are unable to shape learning because what pupils know and remember is unclear. Leaders should ensure that they develop assessment systems across the curriculum so that pupils' knowledge and skills are accurately checked.


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 or outstanding school, because it is carried out under section 8 of the Education Act 2005. We do not give graded judgements on a section 8 inspection. However, if we find evidence that a school would now receive a higher or lower grade, 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 deem the section 8 inspection as a section 5 inspection immediately.

This is the second section 8 inspection since we judged the school to be good in March 2012.

Also at this postcode
Shotton Children’s Centre

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