Danesholme Junior School
Headteacher: Mr Neil Blackwell
351 pupils, Mixed
|Unique Reference Number||122104|
|Inspection dates||17–18 March 2010|
|Reporting inspector||Maxine Clewlow|
|Type of school||Primary|
|Age range of pupils||7–11|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Number of pupils on the school roll||350|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Chair||Mrs Janet Askew|
|Headteacher||Mr Neil Blackwell|
|Date of previous school inspection||18 October 2006|
|School address||Motala Close|
|Telephone number||01536 741657|
|Inspection dates||17–18 March 2010|
© Crown copyright 2009
This inspection was carried out by three additional inspectors. The inspectors spent the majority of their time looking at learning, sampling parts of lessons throughout the school and 17 teachers were seen teaching a total of 17 lessons. Meetings were held with governors, staff and groups of pupils, and informally with parents and carers. Inspectors observed the school's work and looked at its documentation relating to: safeguarding, improvement plans, reports on its work and records of pupils' progress. They analysed 63 parental questionnaires, staff and pupil questionnaires.
The inspection team reviewed many aspects of the school's work. It looked in detail at the following:
This is an average-sized school of its type. The percentage of pupils eligible for free school meals is average. The proportion with special educational needs and/or disabilities is above average mostly with moderate difficulties relating to their learning. Most pupils are White British. A few pupils from minority ethnic groups are represented. The new headteacher was appointed in September 2009 and currently there are some shared teaching roles of classes. The school provides its own breakfast club care facility and holds the Healthy Schools Award and the Activemark.
|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|
Overall effectiveness: how good is the school?
The school's capacity for sustained improvement
Danesholme Junior is a satisfactory, but rapidly improving school. The new headteacher and his leadership team have worked tirelessly, in a short space of time, to improve teaching. There are considerable strengths emerging from the new leadership team and they are committed to making teaching and learning highly effective. Since September 2009, the school has been under an intensive support programme with the local authority. This rigorous approach has made leaders fully accountable for progress in English, mathematics and science and it is intended to accelerate pupils' progress, with these subjects a high priority. In two terms, the improvements to teaching are resulting in a large majority of pupils making at least satisfactory progress, which reverses the trend of inadequate progress over the previous three years. As a result of this set of measures, the vision of the new headteacher and the leadership team's energy, the school has satisfactory capacity for continued improvement. The school self-evaluation is incisive and provides an accurate framework to make plans for improvement and as a result the school is currently well placed to secure improvements in all aspects of its work.
Improvements have been concerted in Year 6 and the pupils are working at a pace to ensure that they are making satisfactory progress from their starting points. Teaching is generally satisfactory, and it now has significant strengths. Lesson observations confirm the school's evaluations that the majority of teaching is good but its quality is inconsistent. School leaders have further work to do to ensure that teaching is consistently good and that the whole-school strategies are adopted by all staff and used in the teaching of all subjects. Senior leaders and most teachers have embraced the new changes with vigour and demonstrate effective teaching. These changes have taken place rapidly and a few staff still need further support to adapt their teaching styles to focus on learning. The school has accurately identified the priority to improve information and communication technology (ICT) equipment for the pupils. While the teachers used interactive whiteboards effectively for their teaching, inspectors did not see pupils using ICT skills in learning in lessons, except in a weekly lesson in a computer suite.
Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities are also making satisfactory progress. There are now strong and established support systems in place to help pupils to make progress in their learning. Clearly targeted and improved provision in lessons ensures work is matched to their needs. Effective support by teaching assistants in mainstream lessons and in carefully planned groups is ensuring their attainment is improving and that they are making consistent progress.
As improving pupil progress is a key focus, the school has also started to identify those pupils whose attendance is significantly low. Rates of attendance, although average, could be higher and a few pupils are prevented from making adequate progress simply because they are not at school enough.
Outcomes for individuals and groups of pupils
Pupils enter the school with above-average attainment, but by the end of Year 6 attainment has been broadly average. Progress has, therefore, been inadequate over the last three years, but the school's tracking information clearly shows that this trend has been arrested. In Years 5 and 6, improvements have been concerted. Pupils are working at a pace to ensure satisfactory progress from their starting points. They are making most progress in mathematics and science with improvements in writing taking longer to have an impact. Observations of pupils' progress in lessons and scrutiny of their work over time shows that the improvements to teaching are effective. Pupils are engaging in their learning and the vast majority are eager to participate. Behaviour is satisfactory with pupils showing that they can fully engage in their learning when the teaching is challenging and has pace. Pupils are also adjusting to the new expectations, but there is still evidence of a slower and less focused approach to learning in a minority of lessons. The quality of teaching and consistency of classroom management systems are not always consistent when teaching roles are shared.
Pupils have a good understanding of how to stay fit and healthy, supported through a good range of physical activities offered. The school's national awards rightly celebrate their achievements and pupils understand the importance of leading a healthy life. Pupils are beginning to have more opportunities to contribute to their school and wider community but at present these are limiting the nature of their involvement as ambassadors for healthy living. Pupils feel safe and trust adults will deal effectively with their concerns. They speak positively about the support offered by the learning mentor and pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities behave confidently around school. As a result of good partnerships pupils enjoy participating in a variety of clubs and activities in and out of school. With school improvement focused on improving teaching and learning, other aspects of the school's work have not developed as fast. School leaders are now looking at identifying more opportunities for pupils to take on further responsibility and contribute to the wider community. The pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is also satisfactory. A particularly successful cross-curricular feature has been where pupils are encouraged to participate in 'moral dilemmas' as part of their literacy learning. This has resulted in pupils demonstrating thoughtful and mature responses to moral issues. Pupils embrace and welcome different cultures in their school although their understanding of diversity is more limited.
These are the grades for pupils' outcomes
|Pupils' achievement and the extent to which they enjoy their learning|
Taking into account:
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 safe||2|
|The extent to which pupils adopt healthy lifestyles||2|
|The extent to which pupils contribute to the school and wider community||3|
|The extent to which pupils develop workplace and other skills that will contribute to their future economic well-being|
Taking into account:
|The extent of pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development||3|
1 The grades for attainment and attendance are: 1 is high; 2 is above average; 3 is broadly average; and 4 is low
The information derived from tracking pupils' progress is making all teachers more accountable. Teaching is improving securely as a result of a concerted drive to focus on the quality of learning. Teachers and teaching assistants support learning by planning tasks which enable pupils to take their next steps. This process is particularly strong in literacy and numeracy where activities are often matched to three levels, even within groups of similar ability. In most lessons, teachers have adopted whole-school strategies to improve pupils' speaking and listening and their well-structured delivery leads to brisk and engaging learning. When these strategies are used consistently and expectations are high, pupils make good progress. Teachers are receiving regular training to improve practice, and whole-school teaching strategies are effective in engaging pupils in their learning. The school is aware that much of this good practice could now be applied to the teaching of other subjects, for example, in humanities, arts and technology. A small minority of teaching remains inconsistent, which results in pupils not always making sufficient progress in these lessons.
The curriculum provides a broad range of interesting and well-planned activities that contribute to the improved progress this year. There has been a focus upon developing basic skills, but the strategies introduced this year have not been applied to other areas of the curriculum. There have been improvements to the science curriculum, which is now based more on research, investigation and participation. Subject leaders are starting to improve planning and make learning opportunities more meaningful in their areas. Enrichment activities are developing with a number of sporting and musical opportunities.
Care guidance and support in the classrooms are clearly targeted and reflect the positive relationships that prevail. There is good provision to support small groups of pupils who are in danger of falling behind and, in lessons, teaching assistants are given clear plans to help them provide effective support. At lunchtimes, there are few activities to engage pupils. The school realises that there is more to do in terms of making management systems run smoothly by keeping accurate records and updating polices so that the care of pupils is not compromised.
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 partnerships||3|
|The effectiveness of care, guidance and support||3|
The new headteacher provides the school with clear and effective strategic leadership and direction. Senior leaders and subject leaders say that they have been empowered to drive forward their ideas for improvement. Leaders at all levels are becoming proficient in monitoring and evaluating the quality of provision and pupils' progress. With the support of the local authority, information from the tracking of pupils' performance is collated regularly to monitor their progress. Leaders are now using that information to make changes to the curriculum and to the teaching strategies. There is a strong sense of collaboration and team spirit which is driving ambition. After two terms, these initiatives are starting to have an impact on pupils' progress across the school, but change is still in an early stage of development.
Governors have also been empowered and informed so that they are becoming more involved in the work of the school. Safeguarding is satisfactory overall, although the headteacher has accurately identified a number of policies which should be more detailed and robust. Monitoring of school systems, by governors, are not as thorough as they could be.
The school, itself, is a cohesive community. School leaders have started to analyse its context and identify points for action from their evaluation. A policy for community cohesion has been agreed with governors supporting the next steps, but this is at an early stage of development. The school's inclusive ethos supports equal opportunities and pupils' entitlement to education. The recent focus to track carefully pupils' progress is ensuring that the school knows how well all groups are doing. School leaders are then quick to put in place support for pupils who are not yet achieving as well as they should.
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 carers||3|
|The effectiveness of partnerships in promoting learning and well-being||2|
|The effectiveness with which the school promotes equality of opportunity and tackles discrimination||3|
|The effectiveness of safeguarding procedures||3|
|The effectiveness with which the school promotes community cohesion||3|
|The effectiveness with which the school deploys resources to achieve value for money||3|
A very small minority of parents and carers responded to the questionnaire. Of these a large majority have positive views about the school. Parents and carers say that their children enjoy school and feel safe. They are generally pleased with the level of care that is provided by the school. A small minority expressed concerns about their children's progress and that they are not kept informed. The new headteacher has made a positive start to try to address these concerns by making improving pupils' progress a priority. The school is fully aware that more could be done to involve parents and carers in their children's school life. A few had concerns about behaviour and were worried about bullying and classroom conduct, especially in classes where their children had more than one teacher. Where teaching is shared, the school is aware that it must work harder to ensure consistency in its systems and expectations. The inspection team discussed all these matters with learners, observed lessons and considered pupils' questionnaire returns. The vast majority said that they felt safe in school. If there were incidents of bullying, pupils knew who to talk to and teachers dealt with incidents effectively. The inspection team agree that, occasionally, behaviour in a few classes is not as focused on learning as it could be.
Ofsted invited all the registered parents and carers of pupils registered at Danesholme Junior 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 63 completed questionnaires by the end of the on-site inspection. In total, there are 350 pupils registered at the school.
|My child enjoys school||24||38||37||59||1||2||0||0|
|The school keeps my child safe||24||38||39||62||0||0||0||0|
|My school informs me about my child's progress||22||35||33||52||8||13||0||0|
|My child is making enough progress at this school||20||32||33||52||9||14||1||2|
|The teaching is good at this school||21||33||35||56||5||8||0||0|
|The school helps me to support my child's learning||16||25||36||57||9||14||1||2|
|The school helps my child to have a healthy lifestyle||17||27||44||70||2||3||0||0|
|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)||18||29||39||62||4||6||1||2|
|The school meets my child's particular needs||16||25||37||59||9||14||0||0|
|The school deals effectively with unacceptable behaviour||11||17||39||62||6||10||3||5|
|The school takes account of my suggestions and concerns||10||16||39||62||7||1||1||2|
|The school is led and managed effectively||16||25||41||65||2||3||1||2|
|Overall, I am happy with my child's experience at this school||26||41||31||49||6||10||0||0|
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%.
|Grade 1||Outstanding||These features are highly effective. An oustanding school provides exceptionally well for all its pupils' needs.|
|Grade 2||Good||These are very positive features of a school. A school that is good is serving its pupils well.|
|Grade 3||Satisfactory||These features are of reasonable quality. A satisfactory school is providing adequately for its pupils.|
|Grade 4||Inadequate||These 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 judgement (percentage of schools)|
|Type of school||Outstanding||Good||Satisfactory||Inadequate|
|Pupil referral |
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.
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 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.
Friday 19 March 2010
Inspection of Danesholme Junior School, Corby, NN18 9DT
Thank you for making us so welcome when we came to visit your school recently. Thanks also to those who returned questionnaires with their views of the school. We enjoyed seeing you at work and at play. We would like to share with you what we found.
You get on well with your teachers, adults and your friends. You know how to lead safe and healthy lives. You are making satisfactory progress in your learning and we know that many of you are really becoming positive about it. My colleague particularly enjoyed the assembly and he was impressed with how well you presented your learning to your parents and carers. There are some areas of the school's work that your teachers and headteacher are to try to improve further.
We have asked your school to:
I am sure you will want to help your school improve further by working hard. I wish you all the very best for the future.
|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: ofsted.gov.uk. If you would like Ofsted to send you a copy of the guidance, please telephone 08456 404045, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.|