South Hetton Primary

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About South Hetton Primary

Name South Hetton Primary
Ofsted Inspections
Nicola Mayo
Address Frederick Terrace, South Hetton, Durham, DH6 2TJ
Phone Number 01915261662
Phase Academy
Type Academy sponsor led
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 217
Local Authority County Durham
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils at South Hetton benefit from a curriculum that helps them to respect themselves and others and to learn about the wider world. From the very beginning, pupils learn that good behaviour is important.

They understand the school behaviour system. Pupils know that it is 'good to be green'. Red cards for repeated poor behaviour are rare.

Bullying is not a problem in this school. Pupils are confident that adults will sort it out if it does happen.

The school's values of perseverance, ambition, independence, nurture and teamwork influence everything that happens in school.

Pupils learn that it is important to try hard even when something is difficult.... They know how important reading is for their future. They understand how to be a good citizen.

Leaders have designed the school's curriculum to give every pupil the opportunity to 'branch out' and learn about the wider world. Recent changes to the curriculum are helping pupils to achieve more. Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are fully included in the life of the school.

Parents and carers are positive about the school. They particularly value the support they receive and the 'family feeling' created by school leaders. Many parents comment on how happy and safe their children feel.

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

The school has recently strengthened the curriculum. In every subject, content has been organised so that pupils can 'grow' in their understanding. Pupils make connections between what they already know and new knowledge.

In the early years, children are taught the essential knowledge and vocabulary they need to make a strong start in key stage 1.

In many subjects, such as mathematics and physical education (PE), the school has identified clearly the most important knowledge pupils need to learn. This means that teachers can check what pupils know and use this information to plan their next steps.

However, this is not the case in all subjects, for example in science, where the curriculum is at an earlier stage of development.

Leaders provide staff with effective guidance, professional development and resources to ensure that the curriculum is taught consistently well. Pupils achieve well in some subjects because they remember what they have been taught and can apply that knowledge.

For example, in PE, older pupils can play netball because they apply what they have learned about team games, throwing and catching, attacking and defending. In Nursery, adults support children to practise balancing, but also take the opportunity to reinforce learning about number and colour. However, in some other subjects, some pupils struggle to recall important prior learning and vocabulary.

Teachers ensure that pupils with SEND can access the key knowledge they need to learn well in different subjects. These pupils benefit from additional adult support before, during or after lessons. Teachers carefully select different resources, or structure lessons in different ways.

This helps to ensure that every pupil can access the whole curriculum.

The school is committed to ensuring that every child learns to read well. Leaders ensure that staff who teach phonics are well trained.

Pupils who need extra support with their reading receive the help that they need. However, a small number of pupils at an early stage of learning to read do not have books that match their phonics knowledge. These pupils struggle to gain fluency and confidence.

Every pupil has opportunities to listen to, read and discuss a wide range of well-selected books during their time at South Hetton Primary. Staff have chosen books to ensure that pupils hear and read a wide range of vocabulary to support their learning. Many books also support pupils to develop their knowledge of the wider world.

Pupils are proud of their school library. They talk enthusiastically about the books they have read. Pupils know that reading is enjoyable as well as important.

Pupils learn routines and expectations for behaviour and learning right from the start of Nursery. Adults encourage pupils to develop independence and respect for others. Staff encourage and reward good behaviour.

As a result, most pupils behave well. A small number of pupils do not attend school often enough. Leaders are taking action to improve this.

The curriculum to promote pupils' personal development is strong. Visits, visitors and well-chosen resources enhance the curriculum. They help pupils to learn about other cultures and to value diversity.

Beginning in Year 1, all pupils can take part in annual residential trips. School assemblies explore themes such as equality and democracy. Pupils experience a wide range of sports through PE lessons, competitions and after-school clubs.

They learn about their local community and take part in charity events. Right from the start, the school teaches pupils the knowledge and skills they need to be good citizens in modern-day Britain.

Effective support from the trust and governors has ensured that the headteacher and other leaders have been able to bring about change and improvement.

Staff have frequent opportunities for professional development. They feel valued and supported in their work. They know that leaders consider their well-being and workload when making decisions.

All staff are committed to ensuring the best for the pupils who attend the school.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• In some subjects, such as science, the school has not identified the most important knowledge pupils need to learn.

This means that some teachers cannot efficiently check that pupils are ready to take the next step in learning. Leaders should ensure that they clearly identify what they intend pupils to learn in all subjects. They should support teachers to check what has been learned and to use this information to plan pupils' next steps in learning.

• Some pupils who are at the early stages of learning to read, do not read from books that match their phonics knowledge. This means that some do not develop reading fluency and confidence. Leaders should make sure that these pupils read books that allow them to practise the sounds that they know.

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