Northwood Primary School
phone: 01325 267222
headteacher: Mrs Zoe Beach Ba (Hons) Npqh
420 pupils capacity: 109% full
230 boys 50%
225 girls 49%
Last updated: Sept. 16, 2014
Primary — Community School
- Education phase
- Establishment type
- Community School
- Establishment #
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 429298, Northing: 516074
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 54.539, Longitude: -1.5487
- Accepting pupils
- 3—11 years old
- Census date
- Jan. 16, 2014
- Ofsted last inspection
- Nov. 23, 2011
- Region › Const. › Ward
- North East › Darlington › North Road
- Urban > 10k - less sparse
- Free school meals %
- 0.4 miles Gurney Pease Primary School DL12NG
- 0.4 miles Rise Carr Primary School DL30NS
- 0.4 miles Rise Carr College DL30NS (8 pupils)
- 0.4 miles Gurney Pease Academy DL12NG (194 pupils)
- 0.5 miles Albert Hill Nursery School DL12ND
- 0.5 miles Harrowgate Hill Infants' School DL30HQ
- 0.5 miles Harrowgate Hill Junior School DL30HZ
- 0.5 miles Harrowgate Hill Primary School DL30HZ (638 pupils)
- 0.6 miles Corporation Road Nursery School DL36AR
- 0.6 miles Corporation Road Junior School DL36AR
- 0.6 miles Corporation Road Infant School DL36AR
- 0.6 miles Corporation Road Community Primary School DL36AR (332 pupils)
- 0.7 miles St Bede's RC Primary School DL13ES
- 0.7 miles Longfield School DL30HT
- 0.7 miles Darlington College DL11DR
- 0.7 miles Longfield School DL30HT (889 pupils)
- 0.7 miles St Bede's RC Primary School DL13ES (252 pupils)
- 0.8 miles Springfield Primary School DL12AN
- 0.8 miles Reid Street Primary School DL36EX
- 0.8 miles Haughton Community School DL12AN
- 0.8 miles Beaumont Hill School DL12AN
- 0.8 miles Reid Street Primary School DL36EX (414 pupils)
- 0.8 miles Springfield Academy DL12AN (261 pupils)
- 0.8 miles Haughton Academy DL12AN (715 pupils)
8 June 2015
Mrs Zoe Beach
Northwood Primary School
Pendleton Road South
Dear Mrs Beach
Requires improvement: monitoring inspection visit to Northwood Primary
Following my visit to your school on 5 June 2015, I write on behalf of Her Majesty’s
Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills to report the inspection
findings. Thank you for the help you gave me and for the time you made available to
discuss the actions you are taking to improve the school since the most recent
section 5 inspection.
The visit was the first monitoring inspection since the school was judged to require
improvement following the section 5 inspection in March 2015. It was carried out
under section 8 of the Education Act 2005.
Senior leaders and governors are taking effective action to tackle the areas requiring
improvement identified at the recent section 5 inspection. The school should take
further action to:
tackle pupils’ poor attendance with increased rigour
deploy the teaching assistants more effectively in lessons to ensure
they have a greater impact on pupil progress.
During the inspection, meetings were held with the headteacher, other senior and
middle leaders, a representative of the local authority and the headteacher of
Heathfield Primary School to discuss the actions taken since the last inspection. A
telephone conversation was held with the Chair of the Governing Body. The school
action plan was evaluated. HMI visited lessons, spoke to pupils and reviewed a
range of documentation including pupil progress data and recent checks on
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An additional assistant headteacher, with responsibility for the Early Years
Foundation Stage, Key Stage 1 and mathematics, took up post in April.
The school’s post-Ofsted action plan is linked to each of the areas for improvement
identified in the section 5 inspection report. Evidence gathered during the visit
demonstrates that the school has made a positive start in addressing many of the
identified actions. For example, teachers’ weekly plans for English now include
learning activities which are more closely matched to the abilities of pupils in their
classes. However, the action plan requires amendment because it is not always clear
who is responsible for carrying out the identified actions, or who is responsible for
monitoring and evaluating the impact of the actions. In addition, there are
insufficient milestones in the plan to enable senior leaders, governors and the local
authority to accurately check the impact of the school’s work and the rate at which
progress is happening.
Senior leaders now have a more accurate picture of pupils’ attainment and progress
because of improved data management systems. The progress made by all pupils is
now discussed during half-termly pupil progress meetings and intervention activities
are identified, where necessary, to address areas of weakness. Systems to measure
the impact of these interventions require further development.
Effective action has been taken to improve the profile of teaching across the school.
Appraisal systems are now more rigorous and the teaching staff are more
accountable for the attainment and progress of pupils in their classes. However,
teaching assistants are not always effectively deployed during whole class teaching
sessions. For example, some sit with the pupils and listen to teachers’ explanations
when they could be leading the learning of an individual pupil or group of pupils.
Leaders have a more accurate picture of the standard of teachers’ feedback to pupils
because workbooks are now scrutinised more regularly. Pupils appreciate the advice
that teachers give them about how to make their work better but would like more
opportunities to act upon this advice straight away.
The well-judged and timely review of the way in which the English curriculum is
delivered is beginning to lead to improved outcomes in writing and reading.
Pupils’ attendance is slowly improving through the work of the professionals who
attend ‘Team Around the School’ meetings. However, improvements are too slow
and too many pupils still attend school for less than 90% of the academic year.
These pupils have at least one day away from school out of every ten days.
The external review of governance is underway. The external review of the school’s
use of the pupil premium has not yet taken place and leaders have not tackled this
important task with sufficient urgency.
Ofsted may carry out further monitoring inspections and, where necessary, provide
further support and challenge to the school until its next section 5 inspection.
The school’s systems to analyse pupils’ attainment and progress data are much
improved following advice and support from the headteacher of Heathfield Primary
School (a school in the Heathfield Academy Trust).
The school has brokered the services of a Specialist Leader of Education (SLE) who
has successfully supported the assistant headteacher with responsibility for English
in her work to drive up standards in reading and writing. Middle leaders are
beginning to have a greater monitoring role in school following high quality training
delivered by the SLE.
This local authority maintained school has found it difficult to find a school
improvement partner. However, one was engaged on the day before HMI’s visit.
Since the inspection, the local authority has attended a meeting to agree the terms
of reference for a school steering group. This steering group has not met to
interrogate the progress that the school has made since the inspection in March.
Consequently, the rate of progress that the school is making has been hampered.
I am copying this letter to the Chair of the Governing Body and the Director of
Children’s Services for Darlington.
Her Majesty’s Inspector