Croft Church of England Primary School
Headteacher: Mrs Brenda Higgins
School holidays for Croft Church of England Primary School via North Yorkshire council
105 pupils capacity: 126% full
65 boys 49%
65 girls 49%
Last updated: June 20, 2014
Primary — Voluntary Controlled School
- Education phase
- Religious character
- Church of England
- Establishment type
- Voluntary Controlled School
- Establishment #
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 428439, Northing: 509837
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 54.483, Longitude: -1.5626
- Accepting pupils
- 3—11 years old
- Census date
- Jan. 16, 2014
- Ofsted last inspection
- Sept. 27, 2006
- Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales
- Region › Const. › Ward
- Yorkshire and the Humber › Richmond (Yorks) › Croft
- Village - less sparse
- Free school meals %
- 0.9 miles Hurworth School DL22JG
- 0.9 miles Hurworth School DL22JG (665 pupils)
- 1.3 mile Hurworth Primary School DL22ET
- 1.3 mile Hurworth Primary School DL22ET (216 pupils)
- 1.4 mile Hurworth House School DL22AD
- 1.4 mile Priory Hurworth House DL22AD (23 pupils)
- 1.9 mile Skerne Park Junior School DL15TY
- 2.1 miles Skerne Park Infants' School DL15TB
- 2.1 miles Skerne Park Primary School DL15AJ
- 2.1 miles Skerne Park Academy DL15AJ (375 pupils)
- 2.5 miles Polam Hall School DL15PA (251 pupils)
- 2.6 miles Dodmire Junior School DL14BH
- 2.6 miles Dodmire Infants' School DL14BH
- 2.6 miles St John's CofE (Aided) Primary School DL14UB
- 2.6 miles St Augustine's RC Primary School DL37HP
- 2.6 miles Dodmire School DL14BH
- 2.6 miles St John's Church of England Academy DL14UB (244 pupils)
- 2.6 miles The Rydal Academy DL14BH (553 pupils)
- 2.6 miles St Augustine's RC Primary School DL37HP (207 pupils)
- 2.7 miles Eastbourne Nursery School DL14AP
- 2.7 miles Firthmoor Junior School DL14RN
- 2.7 miles Abbey Infants' School DL38JA
- 2.7 miles Yarm at Raventhorpe DL38JB
- 2.7 miles Firthmoor Primary School DL14RW
Ofsted report transcript
Croft Church of England
121485Unique Reference Number
North YorkshireLocal Authority
27 September 2006Inspection date
Lesley ClarkReporting inspector
This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.
South ParadeSchool addressPrimaryType of school
Croft-on-Tees, DarlingtonVoluntary controlledSchool category
County Durham DL2 2SP
411Age range of pupils
01325 720528Telephone numberMixedGender of pupils
01325 722324Fax number104Number on roll (school)
Ms Alison RussellChairThe governing bodyAppropriate authority
Mrs Brenda HigginsHeadteacher
19 March 2001Date of previous school
Inspection numberInspection dateAge group
29213327 September 2006411
© Crown copyright 2006
This document may be reproduced in whole or in part for non-commercial educational purposes, provided that
the information quoted is reproduced without adaptation and the source and date of publication are stated.
Further copies of this report are obtainable from the school. Under the Education Act 2005, the school must
provide a copy of this report free of charge to certain categories of people. A charge not exceeding the full cost
of reproduction may be made for any other copies supplied.
Inspection Report: Croft Church of England Primary School, 27 September 2006
The inspection was carried out by one Additional Inspector.
Description of the school
This small Church of England primary school, based in Croft village, serves several
other small rural villages and isolated farms. A third of pupils come from further afield,
from more socio-economically disadvantaged urban areas. Most children therefore
travel some distance to get to school. The school is currently over-subscribed and has
a waiting list. The proportion of pupils with learning difficulties and/or disabilities is
a little above average at 20% and the proportion with statements of special educational
need is much higher than usual. Although there is no nursery, there is a pre-reception
class operating in the afternoons the term before children start full-time school. The
school gained an International School Award in the summer celebrating its commitment
to education in the wider world.
Key for inspection grades
1Inspection Report: Croft Church of England Primary School, 27 September 2006
Overall effectiveness of the school
This is an outstanding school. Standards are well above average by the end of Year 6
and have stayed at a high level for the past five years. Standards are particularly high
in reading, mathematics and science, and pupils clearly enjoy the lively participation
their teachers expect of them in these lessons. Standards in writing are similar but
usually a slightly smaller proportion reaches higher standards than in mathematics and
science. While there is outstanding provision for pupils to discuss and explain their
ideas, and to measure their writing against learning targets, there are comparatively
few opportunities for pupils to use writing for essential or enjoyable purposes through
drama or in real-life situations. Consequently, they tend to see writing as 'hard work'.
Pupils achieve outstandingly well throughout their time in school because teaching is
excellent. Children make very good progress in the Reception class. They quickly
become independent and purposeful learners because of outstanding provision in the
Foundation Stage which pays close attention to their individual needs. It is a similar
picture in Years 1 to 6 with lively teaching, together with carefully targeted support,
to help slower learners catch up.
Pupils follow an outstanding curriculum, full of variety and interest, which ensures
they have a wealth of learning experiences both with their classmates and with pupils
in other schools. It prepares them very well indeed for their future lives and for being
part of a European community. The school takes exceptionally good care of its pupils.
One of the main reasons why pupils do so well is the extremely good use of assessment
to track pupils' progress but also to help teachers decide what needs to be taught.
Many children follow individualised learning plans and this helps both those with
learning difficulties and/or disabilities and those who have special gifts to make the
most of their talents. Provision for learners who have difficulties is outstanding and
most achieve nationally expected standards as a result. Behaviour is good and Year 6
pupils are proud of their responsibilities in school which include acting as play leaders
for younger pupils. Personal development is outstanding as pupils learn tolerance and
sympathy for different views and needs in a family-like community; this also reaches
out to African and European communities where the school has strong links.
The school succeeds in its aims to provide 'a disciplined yet caring environment where
all children feel valued and secure' and 'to instil in children a sense of wonder about
their world'. This is because leadership, management and governance are outstanding.
The headteacher's part-time teaching commitment means she is instrumental in setting
high academic challenges and then 'doing her bit' to ensure that they are met. The
management is underpinned by crystal clear systems that work extremely well. The
school gives outstanding value for money and has excellent capacity to continue to
What the school should do to improve further
- Find ways to make writing an essential and enjoyable part of pupils' learning.
2Inspection Report: Croft Church of England Primary School, 27 September 2006
Achievement and standards
Standards are consistently well above average. Achievement is outstanding because
of excellent teaching and assessment. Children enter school at a broadly average level.
They settle quickly in the Reception year where outstanding provision both there and
in the infant class enables them to reach above average standards by the end of Year
2. The school sets, meets and sometimes exceeds its challenging targets. Typically,
nearly all pupils, including those with learning difficulties and/or disabilities, reach
nationally expected levels in English and mathematics by the end of Year 6 and over
half exceed them. This represents outstanding progress for all groups of pupils. Science
results in 2006 took a great leap forward with 90% of pupils reaching the standards
expected of more able pupils at the end of Year 6. This was because of very effective
specialist teaching, featuring report writing in literacy and data handling and graphs
in numeracy lessons. In addition, a science club gave pupils lots of practical experience.
A similarly fun approach is needed to bring up writing standards to match these.
Personal development and well-being
Pupils behave well and throw themselves wholeheartedly into lessons, playtimes and
extra-curricular clubs. Attendance is now above average because of the school's
effective drive to reduce authorised absences. Year 6 play a vital role in making the
school a happy place for younger ones and show a very responsible attitude both to
their school community and beyond. They take the initiative to raise funds for charities
and when they hold a 'French caf' the only language spoken is French. The school
council meets as a democratic body to sort out problems and suggest ideas, only
involving an adult if they feel the need. Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development
is outstanding and pupils' artwork admirably expresses their wonder at their world.
Links with schools at home and abroad give them insight into different cultures as
well as social experiences with larger groups of children of similar ages. Pupils are
exceptionally well placed in terms of their future economic well-being and fully aware
of the benefits of being physically healthy.
Quality of provision
Teaching and learning
From the moment children enter the Reception class, their individual needs are taken
fully into account. They make rapid progress because the high quality of adult support
ensures purposeful learning without compromising children's independence and
confidence to be curious and find out for themselves. Throughout the school, this
approach benefits the very wide range of learners' ability in each mixed age class.
Short bursts of intensive teaching are counterbalanced by games to practise specific
3Inspection Report: Croft Church of England Primary School, 27 September 2006
skills and times to work together or separately and to research and reflect. Liveliness
and a keen sense of fun characterise much of the teaching and pupils' learning is
correspondingly dynamic. Marking is first rate for it praises but makes developmental
points clear. Pupils know their targets and take responsibility for meeting them. Perhaps
the best feature of teaching is the use of assessment to determine precisely what
needs to be taught and why.
Curriculum and other activities
Not only does the school make extremely good provision for literacy, numeracy and
science but all other subjects are given due weight, from skills in information and
communication technology to historical research. Provision for personal, social and
health education is very strong and pupils have regular times to discuss with adults
matters that concern them, and so they feel secure and at ease. Speaking and listening
are strongly promoted. Taking part in public debates with other schools and speaking
French with foreign language teachers who have work placements in the school further
help develop confidence and social poise. Links between drama, real-life situations
and writing, however, are less fully exploited. Extra-curricular provision is very good
and a wide range of sporting and creative opportunities enrich the curriculum very
Care, guidance and support
Provision for pupils' welfare is outstanding and child protection procedures are robust.
The systems to support children with learning difficulties and/or disabilities are
outstanding and the school has the capacity to cope successfully with a wide range
of needs and abilities. Individual education plans give precise and achievable steps of
learning for pupils with learning difficulties and/or disabilities and these, together
with outstanding support from learning assistants in all classes, enable pupils to do
extremely well. The systems to support academic progress are outstanding and give
a clear overview of progress and challenging targets to aspire to.
Leadership and management
The school is extremely well run. The headteacher inspires and leads others, taking
her fair share of teaching, assessment and leading subjects as well as fulfilling her
commitment to the local authority as a consultant leader. This means that Year 5 and
Year 6 pupils can be taught in year groups for literacy and numeracy, which gives them
an extra boost. The decision to employ a science teacher to cover statutory preparation
time and staff absences means that older pupils experience a range of teaching styles
and younger ones have the security of a familiar face if their teacher is absent.
Management systems are simple, clear and effective, enabling the headteacher to
provide outstanding support for newly qualified teachers and those on initial teacher
4Inspection Report: Croft Church of England Primary School, 27 September 2006
training. Everything is based on stringent monitoring and evaluation to ensure that
teaching and learning are as good as they can be. This is reflected in the school
improvement plan which embodies the commitment to high standards and the shrewd
management of financial resources to achieve them. The school's self-evaluation is
absolutely accurate. Governors make an outstanding contribution to shaping
educational provision and their action plan, based on similarly rigorous self-evaluation
to that undertaken by the school, helps shape the school improvement plan.
5Inspection Report: Croft Church of England Primary School, 27 September 2006
Any complaints about the inspection or the report should be made following the procedures
set out in the guidance 'Complaints about school inspection', which is available from Ofsted’s
6Inspection Report: Croft Church of England Primary School, 27 September 2006
Key to judgements: grade 1 is outstanding, grade 2 good, grade 3 satisfactory, and grade 4
How effective, efficient and inclusive is the provision of education, integrated
care and any extended services in meeting the needs of learners?
How well does the school work in partnership with others to promote learners'
1The quality and standards in the Foundation Stage
1The effectiveness of the school's self-evaluation
1The capacity to make any necessary improvements
Effective steps have been taken to promote improvement since the last
Achievement and standards
1How well do learners achieve?
reached by learners
How well learners make progress, taking account of any significant variations between
groups of learners
1How well learners with learning difficulties and disabilities make progress
Personal development and well-being
How good is the overall personal development and well-being of the
1The extent of learners' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development
2The behaviour of learners
2The attendance of learners
2How well learners enjoy their education
1The extent to which learners adopt safe practices
1The extent to which learners adopt healthy lifestyles
1The extent to which learners make a positive contribution to the community
How well learners develop workplace and other skills that will contribute to
their future economic well-being
The quality of provision
How effective are teaching and learning in meeting the full range of the
How well do the curriculum and other activities meet the range of needs
and interests of learners?
1How well are learners cared for, guided and supported?
Grade 1 - Exceptionally and consistently high; Grade 2 - Generally above average with none significantly
below average; Grade 3 - Broadly average to below average; Grade 4 - Exceptionally low.
7Inspection Report: Croft Church of England Primary School, 27 September 2006
Leadership and management
How effective are leadership and management in raising achievement
and supporting all learners?
How effectively leaders and managers at all levels set clear direction leading
to improvement and promote high quality of care and education
How effectively performance is monitored, evaluated and improved to meet
How well equality of opportunity is promoted and discrimination tackled so
that all learners achieve as well as they can
How effectively and efficiently resources, including staff, are deployed to
achieve value for money
The extent to which governors and other supervisory boards discharge their
Do procedures for safeguarding learners meet current government
NoDoes this school require special measures?
NoDoes this school require a notice to improve?
8Inspection Report: Croft Church of England Primary School, 27 September 2006
Text from letter to pupils explaining the findings of the inspection
Thank you for making me feel so welcome and for talking to me so openly about your school.
I spent time talking to your headteacher, teachers and the chair of governors as well as joining
you in lessons and spending time talking to you. I came to the conclusion that your school is
outstanding and that you help to make it so. Here is why!
Your school is exceptionally well led and managed so that everyone feels fully included in school
life. You are extremely well taught and that is why you achieve high standards in your work.
You behave well and older pupils take on a lot of responsibilities, particularly helping younger
children to have a good time at playtimes.
You certainly work and play with a great deal of energy and enthusiasm. No wonder your
teachers want to make learning fun because you help them by being so open and responsive!
I was impressed by the wide range of subjects you study and that you enjoy so many things.
Your school gives you expert support and guidance to ensure you are well cared for and develop
confidence in yourselves. All this adds up to an extremely effective school where it is fun to
be a pupil.
It is part of my job to point out what could be improved. Did you know that you read better
than you write and that you tend to do slightly better in mathematics and science than in
English? If you had the chance to do more drama or to write in situations where it really mattered
what you wrote, it would improve your writing. Therefore, I have asked your headteacher and
teachers to give you the chance to do this. I'm sure you'll help by working with great enthusiasm
when they do.
I wish you all the best for the future and thanks again for making my time in your school so
9Inspection Report: Croft Church of England Primary School, 27 September 2006