St Oswald’s Church of England Aided Primary and Nursery School

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About St Oswald’s Church of England Aided Primary and Nursery School

Name St Oswald’s Church of England Aided Primary and Nursery School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs Alice Hassall
Address Church Street, Durham, DH1 3DQ
Phone Number 01913868029
Phase Primary
Type Voluntary aided school
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Church of England
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 139
Local Authority County Durham
Highlights from Latest Inspection


St Oswald's Church of England Aided Primary and Nursery School continues to be a good school.

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils enjoy attending this school. They feel safe and love learning with their friends. Pupils like their teachers because they are caring.

They know who to speak to when they have worries. Pupils say adults listen and know how to help.

There are respectful relationships between staff and pupils.

Pupils listen well to adults. This means lessons proceed without disruption. Pupils are helpful and polite, holding doors open for adults and each other.

They enjoy breaktimes and playing with their friends.

Pupils learn a...bout healthy relationships. They understand what bullying means and know how to build and restore friendships.

Pupils say that bullying rarely happens at school. If it does, pupils know to tell a trusted adult who will sort it out and help them.

Staff have high expectations of what pupils can achieve.

This includes pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). The school's Christian values of 'courage, compassion and thankfulness' underpin the curriculum. Pupils say the values help them to be resilient and learn from their experiences.

They know the values will help them in school and later in life.

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

Leaders and governors have given careful consideration to the content of the curriculum. They are mindful that many pupils join the school mid-way through the year.

Some pupils arrive from different countries. Therefore, leaders have developed a curriculum to make sure pupils gain a sense of place and identity. In art and design, pupils study the works of the British sculptor Anthony Gormley.

Pupils learn about the Angel of the North. For each foundation subject, such as geography and history, leaders have created 'take aways'.These end points highlight to pupils the knowledge leaders want them to understand in detail.

Leaders have designed specific curriculum plans for each subject from Nursery to Year 6. The plans show the order of learning and the knowledge pupils must develop year on year. In most subjects, staff build knowledge in a way that helps pupils achieve well.

However, in art and design, leaders have not identified the specific knowledge and skills pupils need to help them build on prior knowledge. Sometimes, teachers teach the same knowledge and skills to different year groups. They do not adapt the curriculum to build on what pupils already know and can do.

This means that some pupils do not have the opportunity to apply what they already know to something new. As a result, some pupils do not develop knowledge and skills over time.

There is an ambition for all pupils in most subjects.

Pupils with SEND are well supported. They do not miss out. Teachers explain and model learning clearly.

Some pupils with SEND have extra time to ensure they keep up. This prepares them well for new learning. As a result, in mathematics, pupils with SEND remember their learning from last year well.

They make connections to new learning.

Reading is a priority in the school. Pupils say they enjoy starting the day reading.

Books are chosen to reflect pupils' interests and to support pupils' learning in other areas of the curriculum. In the early years, adults read to children from books they come to know well. In Reception and Year 1, pupils enjoy favourite stories such as 'The Squirrels who Squabbled' by Rachel Bright.

Pupils say the books are interesting and encourage them to read widely. Older pupils talk with enthusiasm about reading 'The Explorer' by Katherine Rundell. Phonics is well taught.

All staff have been trained to teach phonics. They follow the chosen phonics programme well. Teachers use assessments to make sure pupils only read books that contain the letters and sounds they know.

As a result, pupils learn to read fluently. Working in smaller groups helps some pupils to catch up when they need help.

In mathematics, teachers revisit the knowledge that pupils have learned in past lessons.

This helps them to remember previous learning and make connections to new learning. Older pupils say, 'Practise and practise to get better.' Pupils in Year 3 talk confidently about using larger numbers to at least 1000 to solve problems.

Teachers make checks on what pupils learn to help plan what pupils need to learn next.

Children behave well right from the start in the Nursery. Clear routines and expectations ensure children are kind to each other.

They stay focused on the activities adults provide for them. In the early years, children recognise quantities without counting. They explore patterns, using the correct vocabulary for common shapes such as 'square'.

Older pupils say they love achieving golden certificates in recognition of good behaviour. They say this encourages them to behave well. Pupils are rarely distracted in lessons.

This helps them learn well.

Pupils participate in opportunities to develop responsibility by being on the school council. The school council took action to introduce 'worry boxes' in each class.

Parents who have expertise in curriculum areas visit the school to talk to pupils. This helps pupils to learn about a variety of careers and to deepen their knowledge of subjects such as geography.

Governors and senior leaders are considerate of staff's workload.

Teachers appreciate recent changes to feedback and marking to reduce their workload.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Staff know the safeguarding issues that could affect their pupils.

Regular safeguarding training is provided for all staff. This helps to ensure staff have the knowledge they need to identify pupils who could be at risk of harm. Leaders act on safeguarding concerns quickly.

They work with external agencies when appropriate. Record-keeping is detailed.

Appropriate safer recruitment procedures are in place in the school.

Checks are made on new staff to make sure they are suitable to work with children.

Pupils are taught about a variety of risks to their safety, including online.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• In art and design, the curriculum does not show the specific knowledge and skills that pupils must acquire at each stage of their learning.

As a result, pupils do not have the detailed knowledge and skills to prepare them for the next stage of learning. Leaders should ensure the curriculum is clearly sequenced to build on what pupils already know from Nursery to Year 6. ? In art and design, some teachers have not had professional development opportunities to give them the knowledge they need to teach lessons that build on what pupils already know and can do.

This means that some pupils are not introduced to new learning. Leaders should explore ways to offer subject-specific training to enable teachers to help prepare pupils to learn new knowledge and skills.


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 first ungraded inspection since we judged the school to be good in September 2017.

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