Downs Junior School
Headteacher: Mr Giovanni Franceschi
reveal email address
School holidays for Downs Junior School via Brighton and Hove council
480 pupils capacity: 107% full
250 boys 49%
260 girls 51%
Last updated: June 19, 2014
Primary — Community School
- Education phase
- Establishment type
- Community School
- Establishment #
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 531457, Northing: 106068
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 50.839, Longitude: -0.13438
- Accepting pupils
- 7—11 years old
- Census date
- Jan. 16, 2014
- Ofsted last inspection
- March 15, 2011
- Region › Const. › Ward
- South East › Brighton, Pavilion › Preston Park
- Urban > 10k - less sparse
- Free school meals %
- 0.1 miles Downs Infant School BN16JA (360 pupils)
- 0.1 miles The Connected Hub BN17GU (34 pupils)
- 0.2 miles Brighton and Hove Montessori School BN16FB
- 0.2 miles Brighton and Hove Montessori School BN16FB (30 pupils)
- 0.4 miles St Joseph's Catholic Primary School BN17BF (164 pupils)
- 0.5 miles Hertford Infant and Nursery School BN17GF (215 pupils)
- 0.5 miles Fairlight Primary School BN23AJ (408 pupils)
- 0.5 miles St Martin's CofE Primary School BN23LJ (229 pupils)
- 0.5 miles Bevendean Junior School BN23JP
- 0.5 miles Bevendean County Infant School BN23JP
- 0.5 miles Fairlight Junior School BN23AG
- 0.5 miles Fairlight Infant School BN23AG
- 0.6 miles Balfour Junior School BN16NE
- 0.6 miles Stanford Junior School BN15PR (380 pupils)
- 0.6 miles Balfour Primary School BN16NE (866 pupils)
- 0.6 miles St Bartholomew's CofE Primary School BN14GP (199 pupils)
- 0.6 miles Bellerbys College Brighton BN14LF (872 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Coleman Street Annexe BN22SQ
- 0.7 miles Coombe Road Primary School BN24ED (307 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Hertford Junior School BN17FP (154 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Castledean School BN17FP
- 0.7 miles Uplands School BN17FP
- 0.7 miles City College Brighton and Hove BN14FA
- 0.7 miles The Cedar Centre BN17FP (78 pupils)
Ofsted report transcript
Downs Junior School
114366Unique Reference Number
Brighton and HoveLocal Authority
8 July 2008Inspection date
Mike CapperReporting inspector
This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.
JuniorType of school
711Age range of pupils
MixedGender of pupils
Number on roll
The governing bodyAppropriate authority
12 July 2004Date of previous school inspection
Rugby RoadSchool address
01273 558422Telephone number
01273 330769Fax number
8 July 2008Inspection date
© Crown copyright 2008
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: Downs Junior School, 8 July 2008
The inspection was carried out by one Additional Inspector, who evaluated the overall
effectiveness of the school and investigated the following issues.
Standards and progress, especially in mathematics.
The way that enrichment of the curriculum encourages high levels of enjoyment and supports
an understanding of healthy living.
Provision for gifted and talented pupils.
The impact of leadership on raising standards in writing.
Evidence was gathered from observations of pupils at work and play, discussions with staff,
governors and pupils, scrutiny of documentation and an analysis of parents' views. Other aspects
of the school's work were not investigated in detail, but the inspector found no evidence to
suggest that the school's own assessments, as given in its self-evaluation, were not justified,
and these have been included where appropriate in this report.
Description of the school
Most pupils in this much larger than average junior school come from their local communities
in the northern part of Brighton. The school is housed in a listed Victorian building and has no
playing field. The proportion of pupils identified with learning difficulties is slightly above
Pupils' attainment on entry fluctuates significantly from year to year; in the current year groups,
pupils in Year 3 and Year 4 had much higher starting points than those in Year 6, where
attainment on entry was broadly average.
The school has an Activemark and Artsmark Gold for provision in physical education and the
arts respectively and also has a 'healthy school' award. The school's 'Investor in People'
accreditation was renewed in May 2008.
Key for inspection grades
3 of 9Inspection Report: Downs Junior School, 8 July 2008
Overall effectiveness of the school
In this good school, pupils achieve well and learn to become responsible citizens. Through its
good work, the school lays a strong foundation for the next stage of pupils' education and
their later life. Pupils develop good attitudes towards learning, are happy and sociable and
work together well.
Good academic support and good teaching mean that pupils make good progress from their
different starting points. Consequently, standards rise to above average levels by the end of
Year 6 in English, mathematics and science. Throughout the school, pupils make particularly
fast progress in developing writing skills. This has been a focus for school development over
the last two years and leaders have been very successful in ensuring rapid improvement. Pupils
have benefited enormously from sharper target setting, greater opportunities to write in
different subjects and additional support through activities such as the externally funded Young
Writer's Club. The school's termly newsletter, The Bell, which is written by older pupils, is a
good example of how writing is being made more purposeful. In mathematics, progress is
generally good, but there are some occasions when work is not pitched at the right level for
all pupils. When this happens, work is either too easy or too hard for some pupils, slowing the
pace of learning.
Throughout the school, teachers make good use of resources such as interactive whiteboards
to introduce new concepts and to bring subjects alive. Pupils with learning difficulties make
good progress because they are supported well by skilled teaching assistants. In the last term,
the school has made a good start to improving provision for pupils identified as being gifted
and talented, thus starting to address a concern of a small number of parents. Senior leaders
are doing the right things to ensure that new procedures are embedded across the school.
Whilst there is suitable challenge for gifted and talented pupils in most lessons, this is not
always the case, especially in mathematics.
Members of staff take good care of the pupils. The school has established some imaginative
ways of ensuring that any worries are tackled quickly. For example, the school's excellent
website includes a confidential 'worry box' for pupils to report anonymously any concerns. This
means that pupils are confident that they will get help when they need it and ensures that their
personal development and well-being are good. Pupils very happily take responsibility and
make a good contribution to the community. The school council carries out its role very
conscientiously. Councillors are diligent in their work and they play a good part in improving
the school. For example they are able to talk to the chair of governors about any areas they
would like to see improved. Some of these concerns focus on the school building which, despite
recent improvements such as the addition of a new dining hall, is rightly acknowledged by
pupils, parents and staff as being very cramped and needing extensive refurbishment. The
school does well to minimise the impact of these limitations on standards and has a rolling
programme of planned improvements. For example, toilets in Years 3 and 4 are due to be
Pupils are polite and courteous and work hard in most lessons, although they do not always
take enough care to present their work neatly. They generally behave well and when behaviour
does occasionally fall below the school's high expectations, either in lessons or at break times,
members of staff usually take swift steps to ensure that others are not significantly affected.
Nearly all pupils enjoy school, with several commenting on the exciting way that activities
4 of 9Inspection Report: Downs Junior School, 8 July 2008
beyond lessons are used to enrich the already good curriculum. Creativity is fostered very
imaginatively, with provision in music being outstanding. Pupils are very positive about the
way they are encouraged to learn to play a musical instrument and there is a very high uptake
for this. There are many opportunities for public performance, with the school's Samba band
recently participating in a children's parade through the centre of Brighton and pupils in Year
4 taking part in an opera workshop at Glyndebourne. Pupils produce very high quality work in
art, and this work is attractively displayed around the school. Pupils also like being able to learn
Spanish, because 'it will help us when we go to secondary school'. The school's extensive efforts
to promote positive lifestyles are reflected in the pupils' good knowledge of how to stay safe
and their excellent understanding of the importance of adopting healthy lifestyles. Although
the school has no playing field, members of staff compensate for this remarkably well. There
are many sporting activities and pupils compete very successfully against other schools in sports
such as rugby, football, netball, athletics and cross-country. Pupils are very comfortable with
the school's decision not to allow unhealthy snacks at playtime, and they provide good challenge
to outside caterers by talking to them about how to make school lunches even healthier.
The school is well led and managed. The good work of the headteacher and other senior leaders
has helped the school to continue to improve since the last inspection. There are good systems
for checking how well the school is doing and this means that senior leaders are able to tackle
weaknesses quickly. The school is already taking the right steps to improve further pupils'
progress in mathematics. There is a strong sense of teamwork across the school and subject
leaders are keen and enthusiastic. However, they do not do enough to monitor teaching and
learning in their subjects by visiting lessons regularly. This means that minor inconsistencies
in provision such as variations in the quality of marking are not always picked up quickly enough.
Governors provide good challenge to the school, and manage available funds astutely. The
school sets itself challenging targets for development and it is well placed to improve further.
The school has good links with a range of partners, including other schools, support agencies
and parents. Most parents are generally happy with the school, although some rightly feel that
homework sometimes lacks challenge and does not always support learning well enough. One
parent summed up the views of many by commenting that, 'My daughter has always enjoyed
school and is moving towards secondary school as a well-rounded and mature 11-year-old,
confident and well prepared for what lies ahead.' A Year 6 pupil, talking about her time at the
school, said, 'I have had fun, made many friends and learnt a lot.' Comments such as these
accurately capture the essence of this successful school.
What the school should do to improve further
Ensure that teachers always provide the right level of challenge for all pupils, especially in
Strengthen the role of subject leaders in monitoring teaching and learning by visiting lessons
so that any minor inconsistencies are picked up more quickly.
5 of 9Inspection Report: Downs Junior School, 8 July 2008
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 website:
6 of 9Inspection Report: Downs Junior School, 8 July 2008
Key to judgements: grade 1 is outstanding, grade 2 good, grade 3 satisfactory, and
grade 4 inadequate
How effective, efficient and inclusive is the provision of education, integrated
care and any extended services in meeting the needs of learners?
Effective steps have been taken to promote improvement since the last
How well does the school work in partnership with others to promote learners'
2The capacity to make any necessary improvements
Achievement and standards
2How well do learners achieve?
reached by learners
How well learners make progress, taking account of any significant variations between
groups of learners
2How 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
2The extent of learners' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development
1The extent to which learners adopt healthy lifestyles
2The extent to which learners adopt safe practices
2How well learners enjoy their education
2The attendance of learners
2The behaviour of learners
2The 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?
2How 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.
7 of 9Inspection Report: Downs Junior School, 8 July 2008
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
2How effectively leaders and managers use challenging targets to raise standards
2The effectiveness of the school's self-evaluation
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?
8 of 9Inspection Report: Downs Junior School, 8 July 2008
Text from letter to pupils explaining the findings of the inspection
9 July 2008
Inspection of Downs Junior School, Brighton BN1 6ED
Thank you for welcoming me to your school and for showing me your work. You are well behaved
and very polite and friendly. I enjoyed talking to you. I agree that your school is good and that
it does a lot to help you to learn quickly.
Some of the things I found out about your school.
Good teaching helps you to learn well and to make good progress.
You get on well together and work hard in lessons, although some of your work is untidy.
Most of you are happy at school and greatly enjoy it because adults provide many interesting
activities. You produce some super artwork and are lucky to have so many opportunities to
take part in musical activities.
You have a good understanding of how to stay safe and a very strong awareness of how to
live a healthy lifestyle. You take a very good part in sporting activities, and the school council
is doing a good job in helping to make school lunches even healthier.
All adults in school are very kind and caring and they give you good help with your work
when you are struggling.
Your school is well led and managed, and the headteacher, governors and staff are working
hard to make it even better.
Most of your parents and carers are pleased that you come to this school.
What I have asked your school to do now.
Make sure that work is not too hard or too easy for some of you so that you can always make
good progress, especially in mathematics lessons.
Ensure that teachers who are in charge of different subjects visit lessons more frequently so
they can be sure that you are doing as well as possible.
You can help your teachers by trying to make sure that you always produce neat work.
I thoroughly enjoyed talking with you about your work and watching you learn. I wish you all
the best for the future.
Mr M Capper Lead inspector
9 of 9Inspection Report: Downs Junior School, 8 July 2008