School etc Great British

Benfieldside Primary School

Benfieldside Primary School
County Durham

01207 591369

Headteacher: Mr D Kerry


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288 pupils aged 2—10y mixed gender
357 pupils capacity: 81% full

150 boys 52%

≤ 283y304a34b44c65y236y207y198y109y1310y12

140 girls 49%

≤ 283y304a74b34c35y206y187y138y139y1110y14

Last updated: June 19, 2014

Primary — Community School

Education phase
Establishment type
Community School
Establishment #
OSGB coordinates
Easting: 409519, Northing: 551995
GPS coordinates
Latitude: 54.863, Longitude: -1.8532
Accepting pupils
3—11 years old
Census date
Jan. 16, 2014
Ofsted last inspection
Feb. 24, 2010
Region › Const. › Ward
North East › North West Durham › Benfieldside
Urban > 10k - less sparse
Free school meals %

Rooms & flats to rent in Stanley

Schools nearby

  1. Benfieldside Infant School DH80JX
  2. 0.2 miles Benfieldside Junior School DH88RX
  3. 0.3 miles Blackhill Infant School DH88PG
  4. 0.3 miles St Mary's RC Infant School DH88PG
  5. 0.4 miles St Mary's Roman Catholic Voluntary Aided Primary School, Blackhill DH88JD (214 pupils)
  6. 0.6 miles Shotley Bridge Infants' School DH80SQ (155 pupils)
  7. 0.7 miles Shotley Bridge Junior School DH80ES (151 pupils)
  8. 0.7 miles Consett Community Sports College DH85TW
  9. 0.9 miles Park View School DH85EA
  10. 1 mile St Patrick's Roman Catholic Voluntary Aided Primary School, Consett DH86LN (436 pupils)
  11. 1.1 mile The Grove Primary School DH88AP (182 pupils)
  12. 1.1 mile Consett Infant School and Nursery Unit DH86AF (172 pupils)
  13. 1.1 mile Derwentside College DH85EE
  14. 1.2 mile Beechdale Nursery School DH86AY (104 pupils)
  15. 1.2 mile Consett Junior School DH86AY (183 pupils)
  16. 1.2 mile St Pius X Roman Catholic Voluntary Aided Primary School DH88AX (95 pupils)
  17. 1.3 mile Villa Real School DH86BH (83 pupils)
  18. 1.4 mile Hassockfield Secure Training Centre DH86QY
  19. 1.6 mile Moorside Community Technology College DH88EG
  20. 1.6 mile Consett Academy DH88EG (1182 pupils)
  21. 1.8 mile Leadgate Infant & Nursery School DH87PN (134 pupils)
  22. 1.9 mile Leadgate Community Junior School DH87RH (95 pupils)
  23. 1.9 mile Delves Lane Primary School DH87ES (143 pupils)
  24. 1.9 mile Delves Lane Infant School DH87ES (187 pupils)

List of schools in Stanley

Ofsted report: latest issued Feb. 24, 2010.

Benfieldside Primary School

Inspection report

Unique Reference Number114045
Local AuthorityDurham
Inspection number338282
Inspection dates24–25 February 2010
Reporting inspectorAnn Wallis

This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.
Type of schoolPrimary
School categoryCommunity
Age range of pupils3–11
Gender of pupilsMixed
Number of pupils on the school roll287
Appropriate authorityThe governing body
ChairMrs Karen Brierley
HeadteacherMr David Kerry
Date of previous school inspection Not previously inspected
School addressMoorlands
Blackhill, Consett
County Durham DH8 0JX
Telephone number01207 591369
Fax number01207 591378

Age group3–11
Inspection dates24–25 February 2010
Inspection number338282

© Crown copyright 2009


This inspection was carried out by three additional inspectors. The inspectors spent 85% of the inspection looking at learning, visited 12 lessons and saw nine teachers teach. They held meetings with the Chair of the Governing Body, staff and groups of pupils. They observed the school's work, and looked at the school improvement plan, pupils' books, assessment and tracking data and other documentation. Inspectors also analysed the responses to questionnaires of 67 parent and carers and of 117 pupils.

The inspection team reviewed many aspects of the school's work. It looked in detail at the following:

    • the progress of all groups of pupils, particularly those who join the school during the school year, and progress in reading at Key Stage 1
    • the effectiveness of tracking systems in identifying pupils who need extra help
    • whether the quality of care, guidance and support pupils receive is a strength of the school
    • whether teaching is consistently good, as the school's self-evaluation suggests
    • the effectiveness of leaders and managers in improving the school.

Information about the school

This is a primary school of above average size which serves an area on the outskirts of Consett. A well above average proportion of pupils are entitled to free school meals. Most pupils are White British and few speak English as an additional language. The proportion of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities is well above average. A well above average number of pupils join and leave the school mid-way through their primary education. The school has gained Activemark, Basic Skills and Healthy Schools awards.

Inspection grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is satisfactory, and 4 is inadequate
Please turn to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms

Inspection judgements

Overall effectiveness: how good is the school?


The school's capacity for sustained improvement


Main findings

This is a good school where pupils make good progress overall and achieve well. From low starting points when they enter the Nursery pupils' progress accelerates as they move through the school. By the time they leave Year 6 they attain broadly average standards. Well above average numbers of pupils join and leave the school part-way through their education and these pupils also make good progress from their starting points because the school is welcoming and helps them settle quickly. Pupils have good relationships with their teachers and most behave well, work hard and enjoy lessons. Since the last inspection, pupils' attainment at the end of Year 6 has continued to rise, notably in mathematics and in the attainment of boys. Marking of pupils' work has improved. The school's good track record of improvement and its accurate self-evaluation show it has good capacity to improve further.

Children enter the Early Years Foundation Stage with skills which are particularly low in communication, language and literacy. Although their progress is satisfactory and they make good gains in mathematical development, they are not given sufficient structured guidance to help them develop their literacy skills as quickly as they might. Not all children make a sufficiently prompt start in learning to read.

Teaching is good overall in most lessons, but does vary across the school. In the good and occasionally outstanding lessons pupils make good progress because work is challenging, the pace is brisk and activities are varied and interesting. Some of this best practice is extending into other lessons but is not yet widespread enough to ensure good teaching in every lesson.

Pupils have a good understanding of how to stay safe and healthy which reflects the good care, guidance and support the school gives them. They clearly know the difference between right and wrong and respect each other and their teachers. While they contribute well to their school community, they have limited opportunities to engage with people from different religious, ethnic and cultural backgrounds beyond the local community.

What does the school need to do to improve further?

  • Raise attainment and accelerate pupils' progress, particularly in reading at Key Stage 1 and in communication, language and literacy in the Early Years Foundation Stage by:
    • extending good practice across the school to raise the quality of all teaching to good
    • ensuring that children make a prompt start to reading and that it is more effectively taught
    • giving children in the Early Years Foundation Stage more structured guidance in how to develop their communication, language and literacy skills and more opportunities to practise them.
  • Develop the school's work in promoting community cohesion by providing pupils with further opportunities to engage with people from different religious, ethnic and cultural backgrounds beyond the local community.

Outcomes for individuals and groups of pupils


Pupils were seen to be making good progress in most lessons. They are keen to succeed, contribute willingly to lessons and most work at a good pace so little learning time is wasted. Work seen in pupils' books, particularly those of the older pupils, confirmed the good progress they are making. From low starting points pupils make satisfactory progress in Key Stage 1, although results of tests show that their attainment in reading is lower than that in writing and mathematics. In Key Stage 2 pupils make consistently good progress because teaching is consistently good. They reach broadly average standards in tests in English and mathematics at the end of Year 6. Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities make good progress because they receive constructive individual support from teachers and teaching assistants.

Most pupils say how safe they feel in school and how much they enjoy learning. They especially like lessons where they can find out information for themselves and when activities are practical. Year 5 and 6 pupils were particularly enjoying learning how to follow a sequence of instructions as they used a recipe to make a bread pudding. Pupils work well together and share ideas and information sensibly. They have satisfactory basic skills and, consequently, are given a sound preparation for future life.

These are the grades for pupils' outcomes

Pupils' achievement and the extent to which they enjoy their learning
Taking into account:
          Pupils' attainment¹
          The quality of pupils' learning and their progress
          The quality of learning for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities and their progress
The extent to which pupils feel safe2
Pupils' behaviour2
The extent to which pupils adopt healthy lifestyles2
The extent to which pupils contribute to the school and wider community2
The extent to which pupils develop workplace and other skills that will contribute to their future economic well-being
Taking into account:
          Pupils' attendance¹
The extent of pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development3

1 The grades for attainment and attendance are: 1 is high; 2 is above average; 3 is broadly average; and 4 is low

How effective is the provision?

The quality of teaching is good. In good and outstanding lessons pupils make good progress because work matches their needs well. In these lessons teachers check pupils' learning regularly. They use these checks effectively to alter their lesson planning so it suits the learning needs of pupils better. These qualities were not as evident in the minority of lessons where teaching was no better than satisfactory. Teachers mark pupils' work regularly and give them clear and helpful pointers for improvement.

The school provides a balanced curriculum, well tailored to the needs of pupils. It is reviewed regularly. Linking subjects together has stimulated pupils' interest so they are keen to bring extra resources to school and find out more about topics at home. Visits to places of interest, visitors to the school and after-school clubs all enrich the curriculum and add to pupils' enjoyment of school.

The well above average number of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities who join Benfieldside during their primary education receive good support and guidance. The school has good partnerships with other schools and outside agencies that help support pupils' individual needs and ensure a smooth transition between schools.

These are the grades for the quality of provision

The quality of teaching
Taking into account:
          The use of assessment to support learning
The extent to which the curriculum meets pupils' needs, including, where relevant, through partnerships2
The effectiveness of care, guidance and support2

How effective are leadership and management?

Leaders and managers demonstrate a clear vision of how to improve the school and communicate this well to all staff. While recognising that the quality of teaching is good overall, they accurately recognise the need to ensure that it is good in all lessons. They are taking steps that share good practice, particularly in developing literacy and reading skills. There are effective new systems in place that track pupils' progress well and lead to extra help in learning for those who need it. Governors are supportive of the school and aware of its strengths and weaknesses, although not fully involved in determining its strategic direction. Safeguarding is robust. Staff are suitably trained and clear policies and procedures are in place to ensure that pupils, including the most vulnerable, are safe. The school promotes equality of opportunity well so by the end of Year 6 no groups of pupils are consistently achieving less well than others. The school communicates effectively with most parents and carers. However, it has not yet been successful in fully involving the 'hard to reach' parents and carers in their children's learning. Community cohesion is promoted satisfactorily, but links with a sufficiently wide range of different communities beyond the local area are underdeveloped.

These are the grades for leadership and management

The effectiveness of leadership and management in embedding ambition and driving improvement
Taking into account:
          The leadership and management of teaching and learning
The effectiveness of the governing body in challenging and supporting the
school so that weaknesses are tackled decisively and statutory responsibilities met
The effectiveness of the school's engagement with parents and carers3
The effectiveness of partnerships in promoting learning and well-being2
The effectiveness with which the school promotes equality of opportunity and tackles discrimination2
The effectiveness of safeguarding procedures2
The effectiveness with which the school promotes community cohesion3
The effectiveness with which the school deploys resources to achieve value for money2

Early Years Foundation Stage

Children enter Nursery with skills well below the levels expected for their age, especially in communication, language and literacy. They settle quickly in the positive Nursery environment, establishing good relationships with their teachers and with other children. This contributes well to their confidence as they play happily together, showing increasing levels of respect for others as they share and take turns. The strong emphasis upon developing children's personal and social skills drives their early learning. Children are encouraged to understand simple rules which contribute to their safety and well-being. By the time children are ready to enter Year 1 they have made satisfactory progress, particularly in mathematical skills, although their attainment is still well below national averages. Children enjoy a range of learning opportunities. In the Nursery, observations of children's progress are used well and there is a well-structured programme of exciting activities. These have an appropriate level of challenge and the pace of learning accelerates. However, this is not consistent across the Early Years Foundation Stage and progress slows during the Reception Year. This is particularly evident in communication, language and literacy, where there is insufficient guidance and opportunities for children to develop their skills. There are not enough opportunities for outdoor activities and this restricts children in their choices of how and where they may take part in all areas of learning.

These are the grades for the Early Years Foundation Stage

Overall effectiveness of the Early Years Foundation Stage
Taking into account:
          Outcomes for children in the Early Years Foundation Stage
          The quality of provision in the Early Years Foundation Stage
          The effectiveness of leadership and management of the Early Years Foundation

Views of parents and carers

The large majority of parents and carers are supportive of the school and pleased with the education it provides. A few parents and carers felt the school did not deal effectively with unacceptable behaviour and that the school did not keep them sufficiently well informed about their children's progress. Inspectors found no evidence to support these views.

Responses from parents and carers to Ofsted's questionnaire

Ofsted invited all the registered parents and carers of pupils registered at Benfieldside Primary School to complete a questionnaire about their views of the school.

In the questionnaire, parents and carers were asked to record how strongly they agreed with 13 statements about the school.

The inspection team received 67 completed questionnaires by the end of the on-site inspection. In total, there are 287 pupils registered at the school.

My child enjoys school284231465700
The school keeps my child safe324833490000
My school informs me about my child's progress203040604611
My child is making enough progress at this school203044662311
The teaching is good at this school284239580000
The school helps me to support my child's learning243640602300
The school helps my child to have a healthy lifestyle284237551100
The school makes sure that my child is well prepared for the future (for example changing year group, changing school, and for children who are finishing school, entering further or higher education, or entering employment)223337554600
The school meets my child's particular needs253740600000
The school deals effectively with unacceptable behaviour253738573400
The school takes account of my suggestions and concerns263937553400
The school is led and managed effectively284234512300
Overall, I am happy with my child's experience at this school294333491100

The table above summarises the responses that parents and carers made to each statement. The percentages indicate the proportion of parents and carers giving that response out of the total number of completed questionnaires. Where one or more parents and carers chose not to answer a particular question, the percentages will not add up to 100%.


What inspection judgements mean

Grade 1OutstandingThese features are highly effective. An oustanding school provides exceptionally well for all its pupils' needs.
Grade 2GoodThese are very positive features of a school. A school that is good is serving its pupils well.
Grade 3SatisfactoryThese features are of reasonable quality. A satisfactory school is providing adequately for its pupils.
Grade 4InadequateThese features are not of an acceptable standard. An inadequate school needs to make significant improvement in order to meet the needs of its pupils. Ofsted inspectors will make further visits until it improves.

Overall effectiveness of schools inspected between September 2007 and July 2008

Overall effectiveness judgement (percentage of schools)
Type of schoolOutstandingGoodSatisfactoryInadequate
Nursery schools395830
Primary schools1350334
Secondary schools1740349
Sixth forms1843372
Special schools2654182
Pupil referral
All schools1549325

New school inspection arrangements were introduced on 1 September 2009. This means that inspectors now make some additional judgements that were not made previously.

The data in the table above were reported in the Annual Report of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Education, Children's Services and Skills 2007/08.

Percentages are rounded and do not always add exactly to 100. Secondary school figures include those that have sixth forms, and sixth form figures include only the data specifically for sixth form inspection judgements.

Common terminology used by inspectors


the progress and success of a pupil in their learning, development or training.


the standard of the pupils' work shown by test and examination results and in lessons.

Capacity to improve:

the proven ability of the school to continue improving. Inspectors base this judgement on what the school has accomplished so far and on the quality of its systems to maintain improvement.

Leadership and management:

the contribution of all the staff with responsibilities, not just the headteacher, to identifying priorities, directing and motivating staff and running the school.


how well pupils acquire knowledge, develop their understanding, learn and practise skills and are developing their competence as learners.

Overall effectiveness:

inspectors form a judgement on a school's overall effectiveness based on the findings from their inspection of the school. The following judgements, in particular, influence what the overall effectiveness judgement will be.

  • The school's capacity for sustained improvement.
  • Outcomes for individuals and groups of pupils.
  • The quality of teaching.
  • The extent to which the curriculum meets pupils' needs,  including, where relevant, through partnerships.
  • The effectiveness of care, guidance and support.

the rate at which pupils are learning in lessons and over longer periods of time. It is often measured by comparing the pupils' attainment at the end of a key stage with their attainment when they started.

This letter is provided for the school, parents and
carers to share with their children. It describes Ofsted's
main findings from the inspection of their school.

26 February 2010

Dear Pupils

Inspection of Benfieldside Primary School, Consett, DH8 0JX

Thank you for making the inspection team so welcome when we visited your school this week. We would particularly like to thank those of you who took time to talk with us and tell us all about the many things you enjoy doing at school.

These are some of the things we have said about your school in our report.

    • Yours is a good school where you make good progress and reach average standards.
    • You behave well, enjoy learning and know how to stay safe and healthy.
    • You are taught well and learn about interesting topics.
    • Your school is well led and managed by your headteacher and senior staff.
    • You are given good care, guidance and support by all the adults at your school.

This is what we have asked your school to do now.

    • Help you to make even better progress, particularly the younger children in reading and literacy.
    • Make sure teaching is equally good in all lessons.
    • Give you more opportunities to find out about people from other countries and communities which are different from your own.

You can help your school to improve even further by working with your teachers to achieve the very best you can.

Yours sincerely

Mrs Ann Wallis

Lead Inspector

Any complaints about the inspection or the report should be made following the procedures set out in the guidance 'Complaining about inspections', which is available from Ofsted's website: If you would like Ofsted to send you a copy of the guidance, please telephone 08456 404045, or email

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