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Northumberland Heath Primary School Closed - academy converter Aug. 31, 2011

see new Northumberland Heath Primary School

Northumberland Heath Primary School
Wheelock Close
Northumberland Heath

phone: 01322 *** ***

executive headteacher: Mrs Angela Barry


school holidays: via Bexley council

Primary — Community School

Education phase
Establishment type
Community School
Establishment #
Close date
Aug. 31, 2011
Reason closed
Academy Converter
OSGB coordinates
Easting: 549876, Northing: 177175
GPS coordinates
Latitude: 51.474, Longitude: 0.15662
Accepting pupils
3—11 years old
Ofsted last inspection
Nov. 23, 2010
Region › Const. › Ward
London › Erith and Thamesmead › Northumberland Heath
Urban > 10k - less sparse
The Federation of Northumberland Heath and Peareswood Primary Schools

rooms to rent in Erith

Schools nearby

  1. Northumberland Heath Junior School DA81JE
  2. Northumberland Heath Infant School DA81JE
  3. Northumberland Heath Primary School DA81JE (557 pupils)
  4. 0.4 miles Bursted Wood Primary School DA75BS
  5. 0.4 miles St Fidelis Catholic Primary School DA83HQ (469 pupils)
  6. 0.4 miles Erith School DA83BN
  7. 0.4 miles Barnehurst Infant School DA83NL
  8. 0.4 miles Barnehurst Junior (Foundation) School DA83NL
  9. 0.4 miles Erith Secondary School DA83BN (1969 pupils)
  10. 0.4 miles Barnehurst Infant School DA83NL (233 pupils)
  11. 0.4 miles Barnehurst Junior (Foundation) School DA83NL (240 pupils)
  12. 0.4 miles Bursted Wood Primary School DA75BS (474 pupils)
  13. 0.5 miles Belmont Primary School DA81LE (467 pupils)
  14. 0.7 miles Lessness Heath Primary School DA176HB (649 pupils)
  15. 0.7 miles Colyers Primary School DA83PB
  16. 0.7 miles Normandy Primary School DA76QP (577 pupils)
  17. 0.7 miles Normandy Junior School DA76QP
  18. 0.7 miles Normandy Infant and Nursery School DA76QP
  19. 0.7 miles Break Through DA175JX (17 pupils)
  20. 0.8 miles Christ Church CofE VA School DA83DG
  21. 0.8 miles Christ Church, Erith,CofE VA Primary School DA83DG
  22. 0.8 miles Christ Church (Erith) CofE Primary School DA83DG (374 pupils)
  23. 0.9 miles St Thomas More Catholic Primary School DA74PH (385 pupils)
  24. 0.9 miles Trinity School, Belvedere DA176HT

List of schools in Erith

Northumberland Heath Primary School

Inspection report

Unique Reference Number 101447
Local Authority Bexley
Inspect ion number 354998
Inspect ion dates 23–24 November 2010
Report ing inspector Kath Beck

This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.

Type of school Primary
School category Community
Age range of pupils 3–11
Gender of pupils Mixed
Nu mber of pupils on the school roll 473
Appropriate authority The governing body
Chair John Mashader
Headteacher Angela Barry
Date of prev ious school inspection 12 September 2007
School address Wheelock Close
Erith, Kent
Erith DA8 1JE
Telephone number 01322 334638
Fax number 01322 351543
Email address reveal email: aba…
Age group 3–11
Inspect ion dates 23–24 November 2010
Inspect ion number 354998


This inspection was carried out by four additional inspectors who observed 20 lessons
taught by 15 teachers. Meetings were held with parents and carers, staff, representatives
of the governing body and groups of pupils. Inspectors observed the school's work, and
looked at documentation that included information about pupils' progress, examples of
pupils' work, and the procedures for safeguarding. The inspection team also looked at
records linked to the monitoring of the quality of teaching, the school development plan,
reports from the School Improvement Partner, school improvement plan and the school's
self-evaluation form. In addition to the responses to questionnaires from staff, pupils and
90 parents and carers were considered.
The inspection team reviewed many aspects of the school's work. It looked in detail at the

  • Is the school successful in raising standards, especially in writing?
  • How are leaders, managers and the governing body responding to the structural
    changes to the school?
  • Is provision in the Early Years Foundation Stage giving children a good start to their
    education?Is provision in the Early Years Foundation Stage giving children a good
    start to their education?

Information about the school

This is a much larger than average school. The majority of pupils are of White British
heritage, while others come from a range of minority ethnic groups, especially Black
African and other White backgrounds. The proportion of pupils speaking English is an
additional language is below average. The percentage known to be eligible for free school
meals or identified as having special educational needs and/or disabilities is higher than
that found in schools nationally. Pupils' special educational needs relate mostly to speech,
language and communication, as well as moderate learning difficulties.
The school was federated in January 2010 with Peareswood Primary School under The
Woodland Federation. The two schools have the same governing body. The headteacher
of Northumberland Heath is the executive headteacher of both schools. Each school has a
head of school who is responsible for day-to-day operations. Senior staff have leadership
and management responsibilities across the federation.
A children's centre under the management of the governing body and executive
headteacher opened in 2008, but moved to purpose-built accommodation on the site in
2010. Day care provision for young children aged from three months to five years run by a
private provider operates from the children's centre. These provisions were not due to be
inspected at the same time as the school.

Inspect ion 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? 2
The school's capacity for sustained improvement 1

Main findings

Northumberland Heath Primary is a good school that is strengthening its role significantly
within the local and wider community. An experienced and highly capable governing body,
together with the executive headteacher working in close partnership with the head of
school, has been instrumental in devising an exceptional long-term plan. The
determination to make a real difference to the lives of pupils and their families underpins
the pursuit of excellence in all aspects of its work. Changes to the ways in which skilled
leaders and managers are organised together with sophisticated self-evaluation
procedures are having a significant impact on outcomes for pupils. Central to the school's
drive and ambition is the rigorous promotion of equal opportunities. The school's aim for
every child to fulfil or exceed their potential by the time they leave the school is frequently
met. Since the last inspection the school has undergone many changes that brought
substantial challenges, for example the building of the children's centre on site and the
federation of the schools. These changes have been faced with fortitude, and the focus
has remained on improving provision and achievement in the school. Able pupils are
challenged to do as well as they can. Attainment in writing has risen from a low base.
Marking and assessment give pupils a clear idea of what they do well. All these factors
contribute considerably to the school's outstanding capacity to improve.
Pupils are very proud of their school and have a comprehensive understanding of healthy
lifestyles. They know what constitutes a healthy diet and promote this strongly in school.
Many participate in sporting activities in and out of school. Pupils play an important role in
decisions that they consider will make the school better. High levels of care, guidance and
support promote pupils' learning, development and well-being very effectively.
Safeguarding is a key priority, not only within the school, but in enabling parents and
carers and children to feel safe, for example, when using the internet at home. In addition
much closer and highly effective partnerships with parents have resulted in a substantial
reduction in persistent absence, better punctuality and improved rates of attendance.
Determined action, including rigorous performance management and frequent reviews of
the impact of teaching on pupils' progress, are bringing about greater consistency in the
quality of teaching. Consequently much of it is good and some outstanding. More pupils,
including those with special educational needs and those learning English as an additional
language, make consistently good progress as they move through the school.
Consequently, pupils' skills in writing are improving, albeit slowly in Years 1 and 2 because
of their low level of skill when they start school. In 2010, pupils leaving Year 6 made
exceptional progress from their starting points, especially in mathematics, with some
pupils reaching particularly high levels in this subject. Senior leaders have accurately
identified the small pockets of satisfactory teaching and are working with staff to raise
expectations. Pupils and inspectors are clear that lessons would be even better if they
contained more practical work and were linked more closely to their interests.

Inspect ion 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

The curriculum is well organised and provides a broad range of experiences that promote
pupils' personal development and well-being, especially in how to keep safe. Through its
meticulous self-evaluation procedures the school has identified rightly that there are not
sufficient opportunities for pupils throughout the school to contribute their ideas about
how they learn best or to use and develop their imaginative and creative ideas.
The Early Years Foundation Stage gives children a good start to school life, helping them
to settle and establish positive attitudes to learning. The programme of work has
particular strengths in promoting children's, personal, social, emotional and physical
development and knowledge and understanding of the world. Planning does not include
enough opportunities for children to explore themes that offer continuity between their
learning indoors and outdoors.

What does the school need to do to improve further?

  • Increase the amount of good and outstanding teaching by July 2011 to ensure all
    have high expectations of what pupils know and can do
    provide more practical and engaging lessons that are linked to pupils' interests
    and enable them to be more active in their learning.
  • Monitor the changes to the curriculum over the next year to check that it is
    innovative and motivating all pupils to achieve as well as they can, especially in
    writing, by:
    providing memorable and rich opportunities that respond to pupils' views about
    how they learn bestgiving pupils further opportunities to use and develop their
    imaginative and creative ideas.
    giving pupils further opportunities to use and develop their imaginative and
    creative ideas.
  • In the Early Years Foundation Stage, provide more opportunities for planned,
    purposeful play that enables children to explore themes offering continuity between
    indoor and outdoor learning to extend their imaginative ideas and communication
Outcomes for individuals and groups of pupils 2

Most pupils enjoy school and take pride in writing neatly and presenting their work in
mathematics accurately. They prefer to be active in lessons and like practical work best. In
a Year 1 lesson pupils had to give instructions to a partner with the appropriate
ingredients to make a jam or cream cheese sandwich. They worked well with their partner
and gained a good idea of how to give clear instructions. It also motivated them to write
as they had something interesting to write about. This is one of the reasons why
standards in writing are improving in the younger classes.
Pupils make a very strong contribution to the community. Good behaviour and positive
attitudes mean there is a happy atmosphere in which to learn. Their comprehensive
understanding of healthy lifestyles was utilised effectively during the award of the contract
to provide nutritious school meals. The pupils' restaurant committee reviews the menus

Inspect ion 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

regularly to check that healthy meals are provided and makes suggestions for further
improvement. Over half of the pupils now eat a school meal each day and a high
proportion take part in sporting activities. Peer mentors, class monitors, active play
volunteers and representatives of the school council are proud of their roles and carry
them out sensibly. Pupils raise substantial sums of money for charity and contribute to the
annual community event, as well as performing musicals in the local secondary school
which members of the local community can appreciate. These events add much to their
personal development.

These are the grades for pupils' outcomes

Pupils' achievement and the extent to which they enjoy their learning 2
Taking into account:
Pupils' attainment¹
The quality of pupils' learning and their progress 2
The quality of learning for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities
and their progress
The extent to which pupils feel safe 2
Pupils' behaviour 2
The extent to which pupils adopt healthy lifesty les 1
The extent to which pupils contribute to the school and wider community 1
The extent to which pupils develop wor kplace 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 development 2


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?

A good curriculum, linked to the effective use of assessment, is enabling pupils to build
their skills systematically, especially in English, mathematics and information and
communication technology. It is particularly successful in promoting pupils' social,
emotional and behavioural skills. High levels of participation in out-of-school activities,
especially sports and cooking clubs, enhance pupils' health and well-being. The increased
number of visits to places of interest has resulted in a greater sense of purpose and
enthusiasm for learning. Residential visits and sailing classes in Year 6 and the opportunity
for all pupils in Year 4 to learn a musical instrument add much to pupils' social and
personal development. That said, such memorable experiences are not consistent
throughout the school. There are not enough planned activities to challenge pupils'

Inspect ion 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

individuality in expressing their creative or imaginative ideas in writing or through other
aspects of the curriculum.
Teachers and teaching assistants work well together to ensure that pupils of all abilities
are fully included and build up their knowledge, skills and understanding effectively.
Mostly, teachers have high expectations of what pupils should know and be able to do.
They use good strategies to engage pupils, capture their interest and make lessons
purposeful. For example, following on from a previous lesson in which pupils had designed
and made a piece of jewellery, they were invited to write a letter to persuade the head of
a design department that their design was the best one to make and sell to the public.
This activity enabled pupils to work together well, share their ideas, draw on previous
learning and apply their skills to a real-life situation. On occasion, however, teaching is not
as effective as pupils are too passive and spend too much time listening or waiting for an
adult to say what they are to do next. Consequently, they lose interest and the pace of
learning slows.
Effective marking, especially in Years 3 to 6, gives pupils a clear idea of what to do to
improve. They respond to the teachers' comments, and are given time to correct the
errors identified through the marking. This, together with very specific targets that pupils
can achieve in a short period of time, enhances their rate of progress.
Close links with the federated and local secondary school ease the transition when pupils
move to the next stage in their education. This is because pupils already know many of
those who are transferring at the same time. Sharply targeted, one-to-one help for pupils
with special educational needs enables them to make good progress. High quality support
from the learning mentor, parent support worker and other professionals has enriched
partnerships with parents and carers, so that pupils are helped successfully to overcome
difficulties that interfere with their learning.

These are the grades for the quality of provision

The quality of teaching 2
Taking into account:
The use of assessment to support learning
The extent to which the curriculum meets pupils' needs, including, where relevant,
through partnerships
The effectiveness of care, guidance and support 1

How effective are leadership and management?

Exceptional long-term strategic planning involving the governing body, leaders and
managers at all levels is inspiring the school community to enable all pupils to do as well
as they possibly can. They have risen to the challenges that face them and gained new
expertise and confidence which are bringing about improvements at a faster rate. New
staff have been inducted very well and are really clear about the school's ambition to
pursue excellence through its high expectations for the pupils. All are clear about their
roles and are held fully accountable, especially for the impact of their teaching on pupils'
progress. Rigorous monitoring through lesson observations, scrutiny of work and detailed

Inspect ion 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

tracking of pupils' progress identifies clearly the strengths and weaknesses in teaching.
Targets set for improvement are monitored closely and staff are supported through
training to raise their skills. As a consequence of this determined approach, the majority of
lessons are consistently good and occasionally outstanding.
The highly experienced and very well-informed governing body challenges the school's
performance robustly. It plays a very active role in taking the school forward and in
bringing about its long term aims. Policies and procedures, especially those relating to the
promotion of equal opportunities and safeguarding, are reviewed annually and monitored
regularly for their impact. This ensures pupils are safeguarded, that gaps in the attainment
of different groups are closing, and that pupils of all backgrounds contribute fully to the
school community. Discrimination is tackled rigorously. Visits to lessons result in changes,
for example in the effective deployment of teaching assistants.
Leaders and managers have a thorough understanding of the religious, ethnic and socio-
economic characteristics of the community. A good plan to promote community cohesion
shows the school is building on its significant local community links and extending pupils'
knowledge of different countries and cultures around the world gained over the last year.
This is being accomplished by supporting a child in Kenya and establishing pen pals and
email links with schools nationally and abroad.

These are the grades for leadership and management

The effectiveness of leadership and management in embedding ambit ion and driving
Taking into account:
The leadership and management of teaching and learning
The effectiveness of the governing body in challenging and support ing the
school so that weaknesses are tackled decisively and statutory responsibilities met
The effectiveness of the school's engagement with parents and carers 1
The effectiveness of partnerships in promoting learning and well-being 1
The effectiveness with which the school promotes equality of opportunity and tackles
discriminat ion
The effectiveness of safeguarding procedures 1
The effectiveness with which the school promotes community cohesion 2
The effectiveness with which the school deploys resources to achieve value for money 2

Early Years Foundation Stage

In order to enable children to make the best start to their education, senior leaders have
focused on improving provision and outcomes in this age group. Training to enhance skills
in teaching and assessing children's achievements means that progress towards the early
learning goals is good in most areas of learning except creative development. The new

Inspect ion 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

Early Years Foundation Stage leader is very clear about the initiatives to be undertaken to
improve provision further.
Children start in the Nursery with limited communication skills. Staff successfully help
children to become independent, settle quickly to engaging activities, make choices about
what they would like to do, and play happily together. During role play and adult-led
activities, staff pay close attention to developing children's vocabulary. In Reception,
children make a good start in learning to read. They know how individual letters and
sounds can be combined to make a word and that a series of words make a sentence.
They enjoy testing out their new learning when attempting to write on their own. While
most activities engage children's interest and concentration well, some opportunities to
enhance their creativity and communication skills are missed. This is because planning
does not give enough priority to activities that provide continuity between their indoor and
outdoor learning.

These are the grades for the Early Years Foundation Stage

Overall effectiveness of the Early Years Foundation Stage 2
Taking into account:
Outcomes for children in the Early Years Foundation Stage
The quality of provision in the Early Years Foundation Stage 2
The effectiveness of leadership and management of the Early Years Foundation

Views of parents and carers

The parents and carers responding to the questionnaires, and those who met with a
member of the inspection team, were overwhelmingly supportive of the school and the
education it provides. The results of a recent survey of 190 parents' and carers' views,
carried out by an independent company, were also scrutinised during the inspection.
These too showed very strong support for the school. It is not clear why some parents
and carers believe their suggestions are not taken into account as no comments were
added to the questionnaires about this issue. Where comments were added, these related
positively to the good teaching and progress pupils are making, the school's sense of
community and the inclusion of parents in their child's education. Only three
questionnaires had negative comments that related to personal viewpoints and were
drawn to the attention of the school.

Responses from parents and carers to Ofsted's questionnaire

Ofsted invited all the registered parents and carers of pupils registered at Northumberland Heath 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 90 completed questionnaires by the end of the on-site inspection. In total,
there are 473 pupils registered at the school.
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%.

Statements Strongly
Agree Disagree Strongly
Total % Total % Total % Total %
My child enjoys school 67 74 21 23 0 0 0 0
The school keeps my child
64 71 25 28 0 0 0 0
My school informs me about
my child's progress
46 51 43 48 0 0 0 0
My child is making enough
progress at this school
48 52 36 40 4 4 0 0
The teaching is good at this
50 56 35 39 3 3 0 0
The school helps me to
support my child's learning
49 54 35 39 4 4 0 0
The school helps my child to
have a healthy lifestyle
47 52 40 44 1 1 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
37 41 43 48 2 2 1 1
The school meets my child's
particular needs
48 53 40 44 1 1 0 0
The school deals effectively
with unacceptable behaviour
42 47 39 43 3 3 0 0
The school takes account of
my suggestions and concerns
44 49 33 37 7 8 0 0
The school is led and
managed effectively
52 58 33 37 3 3 0 0
Overall, I am happy with my
child's experience at this
55 61 33 37 1 1 0 0


What inspection judgements mean

Grade Judgement Description
Grade 1 Outstanding These features are highly effective. An outstanding 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 of schools

Overall effectiveness judgement (percentage of schools)
Type of school Outstanding Good Satisfactory Inadequate
Nursery schools 58 36 4 2
Primary schools 8 43 40 9
Secondary schools 10 35 42 13
Sixth forms 13 39 45 3
Special schools 33 42 20 4
Pupil referral units 18 40 29 12
All schools 11 42 38 9

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 are for the period 1 September 2009 to 31 March 2010 and are the most
recently published data available (see Please note that the sample of schools
inspected during the autumn and spring terms 2009/10 was not representative of all schools nationally, as
weaker schools are inspected more frequently than good or outstanding schools.
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

Common terminology used by inspectors

Achievement: the progress and success of a pupil in their learning,
development or training.
Attainment: 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.
Learning: 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
Outcomes for individuals and groups of pupils.
The quality of teaching.
The extent to which the curriculum meets
The effectiveness of care, guidance and
pupils' needs, including, where relevant,
through partnerships.
Progress: 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.

25 November 2010
Dear Pupils

Inspection of Northumberland Heath Primary School, Erith DA8 1JE

Thank you for being kind, friendly and helpful when we visited your school recently. You
answered all our questions politely and patiently. You told us you feel safe and enjoy
coming to school, especially when lessons are practical and capture your interest. You
would like more lessons like this because you say you learn a lot in them and we agree.
You go to a good school. Adults take very good care of you and work very hard to make
sure that you achieve well and are successful. You contribute well to this through the
lively contributions you make to the daily life of the school through the school council,
restaurant committee and play volunteer scheme, for example. Your involvement with
making the decision about the provider of school lunches has been particularly important
in raising the profile of healthy eating.
The school is led and managed exceptionally well and adults are always keen to find ways
to improve it even more, so we have asked them to make sure that:

  • they all expect you to do as well as you can and that more of your lessons involve
    you in practical activities that interest you
  • more of the work you do takes into account your preferred ways of learning so that
    you can express your imaginative and creative ideas clearly, especially in writing
  • the youngest children in the school have more opportunities to use their creative
    imagination in their play indoors and outdoors so they can be more confident in their
    use of spoken language.

We know you will help by sharing your ideas sensibly with your teachers and working as
hard as you can.
Yours sincerely

Kath Beck
Lead inspector


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