Victoria Lane Academy

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About Victoria Lane Academy

Name Victoria Lane Academy
Ofsted Inspections
Mrs Tracy Dodds
Address Victoria Lane, Coundon, Bishop Auckland, DL14 8NN
Phone Number 01388603588
Phase Academy
Type Academy sponsor led
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 189
Local Authority County Durham
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

At Victoria Lane Academy, staff know pupils extremely well. There is a strong sense of community.

Pupils are nurtured and very well cared for. As one pupil told inspectors, 'It's like being part of a family.' Pupils enjoy warm and happy relationships with their teachers.

They work hard in lessons. Parents praise the school for the high levels of care and support their children receive.

The curriculum is broad, well planned and clearly sequenced.

The school has thought carefully about what pupils need to know. Pupils, including pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), are given the support they need in lessons. Pupils achieve ...well.

The school is calm and orderly. School routines are well embedded and followed by all pupils. Pupils are motivated by the house points they receive in recognition of their achievements.

Bullying sometimes happens. Teachers resolve these issues quickly and efficiently.

There are opportunities for pupils to develop their leadership skills.

For example, pupils become sports ambassadors, members of the school council and/or house captains. Pupils also benefit from attending the range of extra-curricular clubs, including performing arts, cookery and a range of sports.

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

Pupils, including those with SEND, benefit from a broad and balanced curriculum.

The school's curriculum plans are embedded and reviewed regularly. Teachers are clear about the knowledge that pupils need to learn and the order that it should be taught. For example, key stage 2 pupils completed a scientific investigation on the impact of exercise on the heart.

To do this, pupils successfully drew on their detailed prior knowledge of the heart and its functions. Teachers have secure subject knowledge and provide clear explanations. The tasks pupils complete in lessons are well chosen.

Assessment is embedded into the curriculum. Teachers use this information to check what pupils know and remember. The needs of pupils with SEND are well met.

This is because teachers have received a wealth of training, including recent training on supporting pupils with autism and managing complex needs. They adapt the curriculum appropriately. As a result of effective teaching, by the end of key stage 2, pupils are prepared well for their future learning.

Reading is a priority at the school. Children are exposed to sounds and language from the moment that they join school. Staff are well trained in the teaching of early reading.

Phonics lessons are delivered effectively. They help children to learn, step by step, the sounds that letters make. Younger pupils read books that help them to build their confidence and accuracy in reading appropriately.

The school implements a range of successful strategies to assess pupils' reading. Staff provide support for pupils who need extra help to learn to read. Pupils continue to read regularly in key stage 2.

They read a wide range of stories and genres for pleasure. Pupils benefit from a weekly assembly that is dedicated to the celebration of reading and learning about a wide range of authors.

The school has high expectations of pupils' behaviour.

Most pupils behave well in lessons and engage enthusiastically in their learning. Playtime is a hive of activity as pupils play purposefully and cooperatively. Too many pupils are absent from school too often.

The school recognises that improving this is a priority. The school has begun to take action to address this. However, the school does not have effective systems in place to track and identify the barriers to attendance that some pupils face.

Children in the early years benefit from well-designed opportunities to play, explore and learn with adults. The school ensures that children develop early mathematical and reading skills as the foundations for their learning. Children form friendships and play happily together.

Effective modelling of language and communication by adults is helping children to become confident speakers.

Pupils are taught a comprehensive personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) curriculum. As part of this, pupils learn how to keep safe online, enjoy healthy relationships and live healthy lives.

The school teaches pupils about tolerance. As such, pupils understand and celebrate the differences in other people. However, pupils are offered limited experiences beyond the classroom, such as trips and visits to explore the wider world.

Leaders at all levels are passionate about providing pupils at the school with a high-quality education so that they have the best life chances. Trustees and governors fulfil their statutory duties and hold school leaders to account. Leaders have an accurate view of the school's strengths and areas that require further development.

Staff at the school are very well supported by leaders with their well-being and workload.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• The school does not analyse and address pupils' irregular attendance incisively enough.

As a result, pupils' rates of absence and persistent absence are too high. These pupils miss too much learning. The school must ensure that there are systems in place to quickly identify and address the barriers to pupils' non-attendance.

The school offers limited opportunities for pupils' cultural development. As a result, this is limiting pupils' understanding and experience of the wider world. The school must extend the curriculum to enrich pupils' cultural development to support them to become knowledgeable, understanding and responsible citizens.

Also at this postcode
St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Coundon

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