School etc

Parkside Sports College Closed - academy converter Feb. 29, 2012

see new Parkside Academy

Parkside Sports College
Hall Lane Estate
County Durham

phone: 01388 *** ***

headteacher: Mrs Linda Davies


school holidays: via Durham council

Secondary — Community School

Education phase
Establishment type
Community School
Establishment #
Close date
Feb. 29, 2012
Reason closed
Academy Converter
OSGB coordinates
Easting: 420078, Northing: 534680
GPS coordinates
Latitude: 54.707, Longitude: -1.6899
Accepting pupils
11—16 years old
Ofsted last inspection
March 14, 2011
Region › Const. › Ward
North East › North West Durham › Willington and Hunwick
Town and Fringe - less sparse
Admissions policy
Main specialism
Sports (Operational)
Learning provider ref #

rooms to rent in Crook

Schools nearby

  1. Parkside Academy DL150QF (695 pupils)
  2. 0.1 miles St Stephen's Church of England Primary School DL150QH (241 pupils)
  3. 0.3 miles Willington Primary School DL150EQ (243 pupils)
  4. 0.5 miles Our Lady and St Thomas Roman Catholic Voluntary Aided Primary DL150PB (122 pupils)
  5. 0.7 miles Sunnybrow Primary School DL150LT (79 pupils)
  6. 1.2 mile Byers Green Primary School DL167PN (88 pupils)
  7. 1.2 mile The Grange Learning Centre DL150TY (13 pupils)
  8. 1.4 mile Hunwick Primary School DL150JX (177 pupils)
  9. 2.1 miles St Cuthberts Roman Catholic Voluntary Aided Primary School DL159DN (228 pupils)
  10. 2.4 miles Crook Nursery School DL158QG (78 pupils)
  11. 2.4 miles Crook Primary School DL158QG (373 pupils)
  12. 2.4 miles Crook Infant School DL158QG
  13. 2.6 miles Hartside Primary School DL159NN (200 pupils)
  14. 2.6 miles Howden-le-Wear Primary School DL158HJ (87 pupils)
  15. 2.9 miles Stanley (Crook) Primary School DL159AN (95 pupils)
  16. 2.9 miles The Meadows School DL167QW (53 pupils)
  17. 3 miles Peases West Primary School DL159SZ (126 pupils)
  18. 3 miles Middlestone Moor Junior School DL167AT
  19. 3.1 miles Whitworth Park School and Sixth Form College DL167LN (1107 pupils)
  20. 3.2 miles Etherley Lane Primary School DL147RB (293 pupils)
  21. 3.3 miles Etherley Lane Nursery School DL147RF (69 pupils)
  22. 3.3 miles Rosa Street Primary School DL167NA (223 pupils)
  23. 3.3 miles Spennymoor West Infant School DL167DA
  24. 3.3 miles King James I Community Arts College DL147JZ

List of schools in Crook

Parkside Sports College

Inspection report

Unique Reference Number 114296
Local Authority Durham
Inspect ion number 357515
Inspect ion dates 14–15 March 2011
Report ing inspector Alison Thomson

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

Type of school Secondary
School category Community
Age range of pupils 11–16
Gender of pupils Mixed
Nu mber of pupils on the school roll 751
Appropriate authority The governing body
Chair Mr David Kingston
Headteacher Mrs Linda Davies
Date of prev ious school inspection 14 May 2008
School address Hall Lane Estate
Willington, Crook
County Durham DL15 0QF
Telephone number 01388 746396
Fax number 01388 746782
Email address reveal email: adm…
Age group 11–16
Inspect ion dates 14–15 March 2011
Inspect ion number 357515


This inspection was carried out by four additional inspectors. The inspectors observed 28
teachers and 28 lessons, and held meetings with the governors, staff and groups of
students. They observed the school's work and analysed 180 questionnaires from parents
and carers, 90 from students and 53 from staff. The team also looked at documents and
policies including those relating to the safeguarding of students, information the school
had collected about the students' progress and the school's records of its monitoring of
the quality of teaching and learning.
The inspection team reviewed many aspects of the school's work. It looked in detail at a
number of key areas.

  • What the current attainment and progress are in Key Stage 3 and also in
    mathematics and English across the whole school.
  • How strongly behaviour contributes to learning.
  • The extent to which students are directed successfully to learn independently and
    assess for themselves how well they are doing.
  • How effective the school's monitoring and evaluation of teaching and learning are,
    especially those of subject leaders, in accelerating improvement in areas that are
    less strong.

Information about the school

Parkside is a smaller-than-average secondary school. The proportion of students known to
be eligible for free school meals is higher than average. Most students are of White British
heritage and there are very few from minority ethnic backgrounds or who speak English as
an additional language. The proportion of students with special educational needs and/or
disabilities is higher than average, but the proportion of students who have a statement of
special educational needs is lower than average. The school is a specialist school in sport.
The school has many awards, including Healthy School status and the International Award
for the development of students' understanding of other cultures.

Inspect ion grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is satisfactory, and 4 is inadequate

Please tur n to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms

Inspection judgements

Overall effectiveness: how good is the school? 1
The school's capacity for sustained improvement 1

Main findings

Parkside is an outstanding school that has improved considerably since the previous
inspection. Outcomes for students are outstanding because their achievement is good and
many aspects of their personal development, including feeling safe, their understanding of
a healthy lifestyle, contribution to the community and behaviour, are excellent. The vast
majority of students, staff, parents and carers are very positive about all aspects of the
school. The following comments illustrate well how highly the students regard their school;
'It's enjoyable and I want to come back every day' and 'We have a sense of proudness
here - everyone is so polite and nice to each other.'
Areas for development from the previous inspection have been addressed very well. For
example, governance is now good and the sport specialism impacts well in many areas,
including the students' excellent understanding of a healthy lifestyle and their contribution
to the community. Large numbers of students are Sports Leaders, promoting a healthy
lifestyle for pupils in nearby primary schools. Achievement at Key Stage 3 has improved
and is good. Progress in subjects where it had not been as good, such as in English and in
mathematics, is improving rapidly due to very accurate self-evaluation, rigorous
monitoring, and changes to the curriculum to ensure that courses are tailored much better
to the needs of all students. The curriculum is outstanding, not only in this respect, but
also in the wider enrichment experiences for students. The students, eagerly, told
inspectors of a visit to a premier league football club where they learnt about team-
building skills. Care, guidance and support are outstanding. Students are known well as
individuals and there is a strong focus on respect. This results in excellent relationships
and behaviour which impact very well on learning.
The headteacher and her strong leadership team are central to the improved success of
the school. Subject leadership is improving strongly. Embedding ambition and driving
improvements, effectiveness of partnerships and the quality of opportunity for students
are all outstanding. Self-evaluation is rigorous, resulting in significant improvements,
although the school agrees that its monitoring and evaluation of teaching and learning
have not always been focused clearly enough on learning or on the previous areas for
development. Despite this, teaching has improved considerably and is good overall,
although at present there are some inconsistencies in the quality of teaching and learning.
Outstanding practice is not shared effectively enough at present. In some lessons, there
are not enough independent learning tasks or clear enough guidance for students to be
able to tell if they are being successful in their learning. As a result, their attainment is not
always as high or progress as fast as they might be. However, the many substantial
improvements that have occurred since the previous inspection and the determined drive
to be even better, based on extremely accurate self-evaluation, mean that the capacity for
further improvement is outstanding.

Inspect ion grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is satisfactory, and 4 is inadequate

Please tur n to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms

What does the school need to do to improve further?

  • To raise attainment and accelerate the rate of progress further, improve the quality
    of teaching and learning so that even more of the teaching is outstanding by:
    sharing more effectively outstanding practice in teaching and learning
    giving students more opportunities to be involved in independent learning tasks
    always providing clear guidance in all lessons so that students can assess for
    themselves more easily how well they are learning
    improving all marking to the standard of the best so that all students are clear in
    all subjects about how they can improve their work
    observing lessons with a closer focus on learning and on the previous areas for
Outcomes for individuals and groups of pupils 1

Inspection evidence confirms that learning and progress are good overall, and sometimes
outstanding. Students leave in Year 11 with attainment that is average overall, but above
average in some subjects such as science, physical education and many vocational
subjects. From below-average attainment on entry to the school and clear enjoyment in
lessons, this means that students' achievement is good. There is no significant difference
in the progress of different groups of students. Expectations are high and students enjoy a
challenge. This was exemplified well in a Year 10 travel and tourism lesson when students
were asked to devise and explain methods to enhance passengers' experiences at airports.
In most lessons, excellent behaviour makes a significant contribution to learning and
students work very well together. This was seen to good effect in many lessons, including
a Year 7 history lesson on Guy Fawkes and in a Year 11 science lesson where students
worked in groups to explain how the structure of the different components of blood are
related to their functions. Students with special educational needs and/or disabilities also
progress well, in line with their peers. Much of the credit for this is due to the excellent
work of learning support assistants. Students in the Zone, where basic skills are learnt,
were seen engaging well with a visitor with a background in the armed forces, learning
about team building.
Students are very clear that they feel very safe in school and they have an acute
awareness of issues such as e-safety. They have an excellent understanding of what it
means to be healthy. They enjoy the many opportunities to take part in sporting activities
and there are excellent partnerships with local sporting clubs, resulting in some students

reaching high standards recognised in national awards. Students contribute very well to

the local community in many ways. An example of this is their lunch for elderly people
when they educate them on how to keep safe. There are many opportunities for students
to take on responsibility in school and students have a strong voice through the school
council. Students are particularly proud of roles in campaigning for a school uniform and in
the design of their school badge, and also in their roles as advisors, in which they act as a
'listening service' for their peers. There are extensive enterprise activities for a wide range
of students from Years 7 to 11. With their high attendance, good achievement in English,
mathematics and in information and communication technology (ICT), students leave
school with good skills and knowledge to pursue university courses, employment or

Inspect ion grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is satisfactory, and 4 is inadequate

Please tur n to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms

training. Students' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is good. Their
understanding of international cultures is particularly good, because the school's
promotion of community cohesion is good. However, their understanding of minority
ethnic religions and cultures, reflecting those found in the United Kingdom as a whole, are
less well developed.

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 1
Pupils' behaviour 1
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?

The school, rightly, says that one of its strengths is the way it looks after its students.
Members of staff work very effectively as a team, successfully creating an outstanding
network of care, guidance and support for the students at Parkside. This permeates all
years, even before students begin in Year 7. Well-established links with a very wide range
of specialist agencies mean that advice and guidance are deployed diligently in guiding
individuals and groups, especially those who are potentially vulnerable or at risk. The
curriculum is tailored exceptionally well to meet the needs of all learners. Well-focused
support and revision sessions in English and mathematics have been instrumental in
raising attainment there. These include Year 11 students leading weekly coaching sessions
for their peers in mathematics. The flexibility of the option choices in Years 10 and 11
allows for students of all abilities to specialise, whilst retaining breadth and balance in
their choices. There is a wide range of very successful vocational subjects on offer. These
link well to local industries and help to enhance students' interests and aspirations further.

Inspect ion grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is satisfactory, and 4 is inadequate

Please tur n to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms

The increasing number of students going on to higher education each year is a testament
to their improved aspirations. A bespoke programme for students with special educational
needs and/or disabilities enables them to achieve well and to be fully involved in school
life. The specialist school status ensures enhanced opportunities in sport and is having a
considerable impact on improving achievement. A broad range of extra-curricular activities
enriches the curriculum and participation rates are high. Students welcome the chance to
sample some unusual activities, such as designing and making paper ducks, one of the
many activities in Inspire Days, which they help to organise.
The quality of teaching is good, with examples of outstanding practice. Teaching is
characterised by interesting activities, good pace and good questioning that challenges
students well. Literacy is linked into other lessons very effectively. This was exemplified in
a Year 11 mathematics lesson when students were seen analysing different parts of a
distance-time graph and devising scenarios that these journeys might represent.
Assessment is used well to stimulate learning and raise attainment. For example, in a Year
9 English lesson, when students explored the use of language for different audiences, the
teacher checked the students' understanding frequently and gave advice on what could be
improved. Very occasionally, in lessons where learning is less secure, teachers talk too
much from the front of the class, giving students less opportunity to be involved in
independent learning tasks and there is not clear enough guidance for them to know how
well they are learning. Teachers' marking is usually clear and helpful, but it is inconsistent
in quality. Students have challenging, individual targets in each subject and most know
how well they are doing and how they can improve their work. This is helped by the
virtual learning environment on the school's website, where students can access their
homework and information about how well they are doing.

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?

The headteacher has provided the school with a very clear vision and direction that has
had a very significant and positive impact on its development. The needs of the students
remain at the heart of everything the school does. The senior leadership works extremely
well together and the whole staff shares a clear commitment to raising outcomes.
Improvement since the previous inspection three years ago, when the overall
effectiveness of the school was judged satisfactory, has been substantial. The aspirations
of the staff and students have been raised considerably. Team spirit is robust and
everyone's contribution is valued. The school, clearly, knows its strengths very well and
what to do to improve academic achievement. Monitoring and evaluation are meticulous at
all levels and any previous gaps in performance, such as those of the highest-attaining

Inspect ion grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is satisfactory, and 4 is inadequate

Please tur n to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms

students have closed rapidly, reflected in the recent national Challenge Award. This, along
with the cohesive and harmonious nature of the school community and the non-tolerance
of any racism and discrimination, indicates that equality of opportunity is outstanding.
Procedures for safeguarding are very comprehensive and the school is at the forefront of
innovation in having a system whereby the students can report to the police online and
get feedback on their concerns. Engagement with parents and carers is good and there
are very effective lines of communication and evidence of acting on their views. The
school is reaching out very well into the local community and planned links with other
communities nationally and internationally are becoming increasingly well-established. The
school has very effective partnerships with the local services that have impacted well on
the high attendance and it is sharing expertise with other schools, for example, in the use
of data to improve achievement. Members of the governing body are well-informed and
both support and challenge the school very effectively in its drive towards further

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 supporting the
school so that weaknesses are tackle d decisively and statutory responsibilities met
The effectiveness of the school's engagement with parents and carers 2
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 1

Views of parents and carers

About one quarter of parents and carers returned the questionnaire. They were very
positive about all aspects of the school's work, particularly the extent to which the school
keeps their children safe, informs them of their progress and how well the school is led
and managed. These were aspects that the inspectors judged the school were doing
exceptionally well. A few parents and carers did not agree that their children enjoyed
school. Interviews with the students and the student questionnaires indicated that
generally the students did enjoy school. A small minority of parents and carers felt that
the school did not help them to support their children's learning. The inspectors judged
that this was something that generally the school was doing increasingly well. A few
parents and carers did not agree that the school dealt with unacceptable behaviour

Inspect ion grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is satisfactory, and 4 is inadequate

Please tur n to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms

effectively. Inspectors followed up this concern, but found behaviour to be excellent
overall and students reported that any misbehaviour was dealt with appropriately.

Responses from parents and carers to Ofsted's questionnaire

Ofsted invited all the registered parents and carers of pupils registered at Parkside Sports College 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 180 completed questionnaires by the end of the on-site inspection. In total,
there are 751 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 51 28 102 57 22 12 3 2
The school keeps my child
77 43 96 53 5 3 1 1
My school informs me about
my child's progress
72 40 98 54 8 4 1 1
My child is making enough
progress at this school
62 34 102 57 15 8 0 0
The teaching is good at this
64 36 104 58 10 6 1 1
The school helps me to
support my child's learning
50 28 100 56 22 12 3 2
The school helps my child to
have a healthy lifestyle
47 26 108 60 17 9 2 1
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
69 38 93 52 8 4 2 1
The school meets my child's
particular needs
64 36 100 56 11 6 1 1
The school deals effectively
with unacceptable behaviour
84 47 69 38 17 9 6 3
The school takes account of
my suggestions and concerns
44 24 98 54 17 9 7 4
The school is led and
managed effectively
71 39 98 54 6 3 2 1
Overall, I am happy with my
child's experience at this
77 43 92 51 9 5 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 59 35 3 3
Primary schools 9 44 39 7
Secondary schools 13 36 41 11
Sixth forms 15 39 43 3
Special schools 35 43 17 5
Pupil referral units 21 42 29 9
All schools 13 43 37 8

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 August 2010 and are consistent with
the latest published official statistics about maintained school inspec tion outcomes (see

The sample of schools inspected during 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.
Sixth form figures reflect the judgements made for the overall effectiveness of the sixth form in secondary
schools, special schools and pupil referral units.

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.

16 March 2011
Dear Students

Inspection of Parkside Sports College, Crook, DL15 0QF

Thank you for the very friendly welcome you gave us when we visited your school
recently. We enjoyed talking to you very much. We judged your school to be outstanding
and we would like to share with you why we think this is so.
Students' outcomes are excellent and your academic achievement is good. A key to your
success is the outstanding behaviour and attitudes to learning the vast majority of you
have. You tell us that you feel very safe in school and that you enjoy being there. We
agree that the outstanding curriculum and the very high levels of care, guidance and
support you receive are indeed helping you to develop personal and academic skills for
your daily lives. We judged teaching as good overall, but we also saw some outstanding
lessons during our visit when you were fully involved in learning independently and in
assessing your own learning. You feel that your headteacher and the senior leadership
team have a high profile around the school and are always trying to improve the school.
We agree with you.
Although your school has improved greatly, we believe that it can improve further,
particularly your academic achievement. We have asked your headteacher to ensure that
more teaching and learning is outstanding by sharing more effectively the best practice in
teaching. We have also asked her to make sure that marking is as good in all subjects as
in the best and that when lessons are being observed by senior leaders, there is always a
close focus on the quality of learning and on the previous area for development. You can
help by asking your teachers to tell you how you can judge if you are learning well during
your lessons.
We would like to wish you all the best for your future.
Yours sincerely

Alison Thomson
Lead inspector


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