Red Hall Primary School
phone: 01325 254770
headteacher: Ms Julie Davidson
210 pupils capacity: 102% full
95 boys 44%
120 girls 56%
Last updated: June 19, 2014
Primary — Community School
- Education phase
- Establishment type
- Community School
- Establishment #
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 431299, Northing: 515621
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 54.535, Longitude: -1.5178
- Accepting pupils
- 3—11 years old
- Census date
- Jan. 16, 2014
- Ofsted last inspection
- March 6, 2014
- Region › Const. › Ward
- North East › Darlington › Haughton East
- Urban > 10k - less sparse
- Free school meals %
- 0.6 miles Springfield Primary School DL12AN
- 0.6 miles Haughton Community School DL12AN
- 0.6 miles Beaumont Hill School DL12AN
- 0.6 miles Springfield Academy DL12AN (261 pupils)
- 0.6 miles Haughton Academy DL12AN (715 pupils)
- 0.6 miles Beaumont Hill Academy DL12AN (237 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Heathfield Nursery School DL11EJ
- 0.7 miles Heathfield Primary School DL11EJ
- 0.7 miles Whinfield Primary School DL13HT (622 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Heathfield Primary School DL11EJ (491 pupils)
- 0.8 miles Whinfield Infant School DL13HT
- 0.8 miles Whinfield Junior School DL13HT
- 0.9 miles Albert Hill Nursery School DL12ND
- 0.9 miles Gurney Pease Primary School DL12NG
- 0.9 miles Eastbourne Comprehensive School DL11LL
- 0.9 miles St Aidan's Church of England Academy DL11LL (626 pupils)
- 0.9 miles Gurney Pease Academy DL12NG (194 pupils)
- 1 mile Darlington College DL11DR
- 1.1 mile St Teresa's RC Primary School DL14NL (329 pupils)
- 1.1 mile St Bede's RC Primary School DL13ES
- 1.1 mile Darlington Alternative Centre for Education DL11ED
- 1.1 mile The Bridge DL11ED
- 1.1 mile St Bede's RC Primary School DL13ES (252 pupils)
- 1.2 mile Firthmoor Infant and Nursery School DL14SW
Red Hall Primary School
Headingley Crescent, Darlington, County Durham, DL1 2ST
|Inspection dates||6–7 March 2014|
|Overall effectiveness||This inspection:||Good||2|
|Achievement of pupils||Good||2|
|Quality of teaching||Good||2|
|Behaviour and safety of pupils||Good||2|
|Leadership and management||Good||2|
Summary of key findings for parents and pupils
This is a good school.
It is not yet an outstanding school because
| Pupils’ safety is outstanding because it is a |
By the time pupils leave in Year 6, most of
Teaching is good across the school. Learning
very high priority for the school. Pupils are
taught very well how to keep themselves safe
and to be healthy.
them achieve well. They reach standards that
are above the national average in reading
and writing and close to it in mathematics.
is well planned and all pupils understand from
the start of lessons what skills they are
aiming to achieve by the end.
| Behaviour is good around the school. Pupils |
The leadership of the new headteacher is very
Staff share the headteacher’s ambition and
The governing body has an accurate view of
take a pride in their appearance in school and
they are rightly proud of their work in class.
good and her management of teaching and
learning has improved the quality of teaching
in the school.
sense of purpose to further improve pupils’
already good achievement.
the school’s performance and ensures that
teaching is good.
| Standards in reading at Key Stage 1 are not |
as high as in mathematics or writing.
| Comments in pupils’ mathematics books do not |
provide sufficient guidance to pupils about how
to improve their work.
Information about this inspection
- Red Hall is slightly smaller than the average-sized primary school.
- The proportion of pupils supported by the pupil premium is well above average. The pupil
premium is additional funding for pupils who are known to be eligible for free school meals,
children from service families and children that are looked after by the local authority.
- The proportion of pupils supported through school action is well above average, as is the
proportion at school action plus or with a statement of special educational needs.
- Most pupils are of White British heritage.
- The vast majority of pupils speak English as their first language.
- There have been significant staffing changes to the school since February 2013.
- The present headteacher took up post in September 2013.
- The school meets the government’s current floor standards, which are the minimum
expectations for pupils’ attainment and progress in English and mathematics by the end of Year
|Frank Cain, Lead inspector||Additional Inspector|
|James Hannah||Additional Inspector|
Information about this school
- Inspectors visited 19 lessons or parts of lessons taught by eight different teachers. Two were
observed jointly with the headteacher and the literacy coordinator. The headteacher also joined
inspectors in the scrutiny of pupils’ work.
- Inspectors listened to pupils read and talked to them about how much reading they do, as well
as looking at their work in class.
- Discussions took place with members of the governing body, staff and groups of pupils; a
telephone conversation was held with a representative of the local authority.
- Documents were examined, including those relating to safeguarding, the school’s improvement
plan and records of the school’s checks on teaching and learning, as well as the school’s own
- There were too few responses to the online questionnaire (Parent View) to be taken into
account. The inspection took into account the views of 64 parents and 147 pupils in the school’s
own survey. Twenty-six members of staff completed questionnaires about their views of the
What does the school need to do to improve further?
- Improve the quality of teaching further so that pupils do even better, by:
giving pupils more opportunities to develop a greater enjoyment of reading at Key Stage 1
ensuring that marking in mathematics informs pupils of what they need to do to improve
impressing upon pupils the importance of responding to the advice given and ensuring they
are given the opportunity to do so.
|The achievement of pupils||is good|
- When children enter the school, they have skills which are well below those typically expected
for their age. Although these skills are still below national averages by the time they leave the
Early Years Foundation Stage, children have made good progress from their starting points.
- Children in the Nursery engage enthusiastically in a range of activities, for example, clapping
their hands to develop early counting skills. Some are able to count to ten. A follow-up activity
from a recent farm visit saw children quickly developing their literacy skills by identifying the
sound that animal names begin with.
- Pupils in the Early Years Foundation Stage learn the sounds that letters in the alphabet make
(phonics) and they are able to recognise sounds, such as ‘ee’, in pieces of writing. Reading,
although improving over several years, is still a weakness in Key Stage 1, as pupils do not do
enough reading for pleasure. By the end of Key Stage 2, however, pupils read very fluently and
so are well prepared to move on to secondary education.
- Standards are rising in Key Stage 1, but progress here is slower. Over the last three years, pupils
in Key Stage 2 have made excellent progress: by the end of Year 6, they reach standards in
reading and writing that are above the national average and close to average in mathematics.
- Pupils from minority ethnic groups, including those learning English as an additional language,
make good progress.
- Pupils with a disability or special educational needs are more than two terms ahead of similar
pupils nationally by the time they reach Year 6. They achieve well because their needs are
quickly and precisely pinpointed, and additional support is carefully matched accordingly.
- The most able pupils make good progress and school’s records and inspection evidence confirms
this. In a Year 3 English lesson, the most able pupils were given a very challenging task of
making a direct comparison of two characters in a story. In Year 6, the most able pupils
compare Japanese haiku poetry with examples of English poetry.
- Pupils supported by the pupil premium funding, including those known to be eligible for free
school meals achieve well. In Year 6 in 2013, the attainment of eligible pupils overall in reading,
writing and mathematics was about a term behind others pupils in the school. This gap is
narrower than the gap between these groups of pupils nationally. The attainment of eligible
pupils is above the attainment of similar pupils nationally. This shows the school’s success in
narrowing the gap in achievement and in ensuring that pupils have equal opportunities to do
|The quality of teaching||is good|
- Teaching is typically good and occasionally outstanding. The school’s records show that
weaknesses in teaching are tackled and good support is given to teachers to help them to
- Pupils are given work that is appropriate and relevant, and has the right level of difficulty to
make them think hard.
- Pupils rate their teachers highly and enjoy their lessons. When a child in Nursery was asked if
she liked her schoolwork, she yelled, ‘Yeah’ at the top of her voice and ran off to join her
- Pupils know their targets for literacy and numeracy. These are clearly visible on laminated card
on their desks. Older pupils point to the back of their books where they can find out exactly
what they must do to hit their national curriculum target in forthcoming tests.
- There are high expectations of pupils and their understanding is checked with skilful questioning
before they move onto new work.
- Pupils always know what they are expected to achieve in lessons. They use self-assessment to
determine how well they are doing during lessons. This was seen, for example, in a Year 6
mathematics lesson on angles in triangles. Challenging questions make pupils think hard and
provide evidence of how well they are doing.
- Teaching assistants are a strength of the school. They work well with teachers to plan lessons
and assess how well pupils are doing. In the Early Years Foundation Stage, they give out
informative stickers to children to show what they have achieved in the lesson, such as ‘I know
where eggs come from.’
- The work in pupils’ books, particularly in English, is of a high quality. Pupils receive good
information on how to improve their work in English but this is not always the case in
|The behaviour and safety of pupils||are good|
- The behaviour of pupils is good.
- Pupils’ attitude to work is good and they waste little time getting down to their tasks.
- Pupils are polite and friendly to visitors. They smile and politely say ‘Hello’.
- Pupils are very proud of their work and their literacy books show that they care about the
presentation of their stories and poems. Pupils are encouraged to produce neat work with good
handwriting, by earning the right to work in pen rather than pencil. They show a sense of
achievement when they gain their ‘pen licences’.
- Pupils move around the school sensibly, showing consideration for others. There is very little
litter around the school.
- In lessons, there is occasionally some low-level disruption but this is dealt with very effectively
by staff. All pupils are aware of the consequences of unacceptable behaviour.
- Pupils say that there is no bullying in school, although there is some boisterous behaviour on the
playground. A few parents and pupils express concern about behaviour but well-kept school
records show that there are few incidents of serious misbehaviour. There have been no
exclusions for more than two years.
- Pupils learn to behave well right from the Nursery. Well-chosen methods, such as singing and
clapping along to ‘Do as I do’, help pupils to learn to follow instructions closely.
- The attendance of pupils has been low but has improved significantly recently. It is now broadly
average, and the number of pupils absent for long periods has declined sharply to below the
- The school’s work to keep pupils safe and secure is outstanding.
- All pupils said they felt safe in school because of the security procedures. They said that visitors
have badges, doors have ‘special locks’ on them and there are lots of adults to turn to.
- Parents think that their children are very safe and inspection evidence confirms this.
- The primary school sport funding is contributing to giving pupils a particularly good
understanding of how to stay healthy.
- Older pupils are very aware of how to keep themselves safe, for example when using computers,
and all can explain what they have to do in case of a fire in school. Even the very youngest
children in school understand how to stay safe. For example, in the Nursery, a child playing with
a toy iron pointed out that at home irons get very hot. Another pretending to make toast said
that at home the toaster could ‘burn me and I’d have to go to hospital’.
- The school has exemplary records regarding its most vulnerable pupils, which not only indicate
what staff are doing to help them but also show how successful this work is in improving
attendance, behaviour and achievement.
- Staff have very good training regarding the safeguarding of children and they know precisely
how to react in the event of any incident involving the safety of the pupils.
|The leadership and management||are good|
- Staffing difficulties have temporarily reduced the number of senior and middle leaders in the
school, but those who presently hold posts of responsibility work well with the headteacher to
monitor teaching and learning.
- The headteacher, in a short time, has made a significant impact on the school. New procedures
to encourage children to attend and be punctual have been very successful.
- The headteacher’s leadership of teaching and learning is good. It is having a very positive
impact on improving the quality of teaching. She teaches ‘model lessons’ and helps effectively
with planning pupils’ learning.
- The quality of school documentation concerning the management of teaching and learning is
- All staff and members of the governing body support the headteacher’s aims for the school.
- Links with parents are good and improving, helped by the parent support worker who holds
popular sessions for parents.
- The leaders of key areas of the school monitor their subjects effectively and conduct lesson
observations as well as scrutinise pupils’ work. They report back to staff and give feedback on
how teaching and learning might be improved.
- The new primary school sport funding has helped to encourage more pupils to take part in
activities to promote a healthy lifestyle, such as considering the importance of diet on health.
Staff monitor the success of new sports coaching well, to ensure they are getting value for
- The local authority has provided valuable support to the members of the governing body so that
they are effective in challenging the school, but as yet there has been little support and
challenge for a newly appointed headteacher in a new authority.
- Safeguarding meets requirements.
- The governance of the school:
Many of the members on the governing body are new and admit that they have found the
experience to be ‘a steep learning curve’. Nevertheless, they now have a good understanding
of the information available to indicate how well pupils are doing and what the quality of
teaching is like. They check the impact of support paid for by the pupil premium funding on
the progress of those who are entitled to it. This allows them to challenge the headteacher
effectively. The governing body has worked well to ensure safeguarding arrangements are
robust and that pupils are kept safe. Governors make certain teachers’ rewards and career
progression is closely matched to classroom performance.
What inspection judgements mean
|Grade 1||Outstanding||An outstanding school is highly effective in delivering outcomes |
that provide exceptionally well for all its pupils’ needs. This ensures
that pupils are very well equipped for the next stage of their
education, training or employment.
|Grade 2||Good||A good school is effective in delivering outcomes that provide well |
for all its pupils’ needs. Pupils are well prepared for the next stage
of their education, training or employment.
|Grade 3||Requires |
|A school that requires improvement is not yet a good school, but it |
is not inadequate. This school will receive a full inspection within
24 months from the date of this inspection.
|Grade 4||Inadequate||A school that requires special measures is one where the school is |
failing to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education and
the school’s leaders, managers or governors have not
demonstrated that they have the capacity to secure the necessary
improvement in the school. This school will receive regular
monitoring by Ofsted inspectors.
A school that has serious weaknesses is inadequate overall and
requires significant improvement but leadership and management
are judged to be Grade 3 or better. This school will receive regular
monitoring by Ofsted inspectors.
|Unique reference number||114183|
This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.
|Type of school||Primary|
|Age range of pupils||3–11|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Number of pupils on the school roll||209|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Chair||Rev. S Bruce|
|Headteacher||Ms J Davidson|
|Date of previous school inspection||31 March 2009|
|Telephone number||01325 254770|
|Fax number||01325 254774|