Simonside Primary School
Tyne and Wear
phone: 0191 4898315
headteacher: Ms H Bland
294 pupils capacity: 62% full
95 boys 52%
90 girls 49%
Last updated: June 19, 2014
Primary — Community School
- Education phase
- Establishment type
- Community School
- Establishment #
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 434001, Northing: 563542
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 54.965, Longitude: -1.4705
- Accepting pupils
- 4—11 years old
- Census date
- Jan. 16, 2014
- Ofsted last inspection
- March 12, 2014
- Region › Const. › Ward
- North East › Jarrow › Bede
- Urban > 10k - less sparse
- SEN priorities
- HI - Hearing Impairment
- Free school meals %
- 0.1 miles St Mary's RC Voluntary Aided Primary School NE324AW (255 pupils)
- 0.5 miles Monkton Junior School NE349RD
- 0.5 miles Monkton Junior School NE349RD (121 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Monkton Infants' School NE349SD
- 0.7 miles Valley View Primary School NE325QY (281 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Lord Blyton Primary School NE349BN (128 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Monkton Infants' School NE349SD (189 pupils)
- 0.8 miles Hedworthfield Primary School NE324QF (252 pupils)
- 0.9 miles Clervaux Nursery School NE325UP (63 pupils)
- 0.9 miles Biddick Hall Infants' School NE349JD (258 pupils)
- 0.9 miles Hedworth Lane Primary School NE359JB (302 pupils)
- 0.9 miles Springfield School NE325PR
- 0.9 miles Epinay Business and Enterprise School NE325UP (113 pupils)
- 0.9 miles Jarrow School NE325PR (589 pupils)
- 1 mile Biddick Hall Junior School NE349SP (213 pupils)
- 1 mile Ellison CofE Junior Mixed and Infants School NE325UW
- 1 mile St Matthew's RC Voluntary Aided Primary School NE325YT (208 pupils)
- 1 mile St Joseph's RC Voluntary Aided Primary School NE324PJ (205 pupils)
- 1 mile Hedworthfield Comprehensive School NE324QD
- 1 mile Jarrow Cross CofE Primary School NE325UW (223 pupils)
- 1.1 mile Bede Burn Primary School NE325NJ (203 pupils)
- 1.1 mile Fellgate Primary School NE324XA (143 pupils)
- 1.1 mile All Saints' CofE Junior School NE340TS
- 1.1 mile St Bede's RC Primary School, Jarrow NE323AJ (201 pupils)
Simonside Primary School
Glasgow Road, Jarrow, Tyne and Wear, NE32 4AU
|Inspection dates||12–13 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
| Children in the Early Years Foundation Stage |
Pupils continue to make good progress across
Teaching is good and sometimes outstanding.
settle into school routines well, they learn in a
warm welcoming classroom where they thrive
and develop as confident learners. They
make good progress due to the good
teaching they receive.
Key Stage 1. Across Key Stage 2, pupils make
at least good and outstanding progress in
Year 6. Standards, by the end of Year 6, are
well-above average in reading, writing and
Perceptive questioning promotes pupils’
learning and understanding and activities
engage pupils well in lessons. Strong
relationships foster pupils confidence and so
they learn well. Teaching assistants support
and guide the learning of pupils with specific
learning needs very effectively.
| Pupils who attend the Hearing Impaired Unit |
Pupils’ behaviour is good. They enjoy coming
The headteacher’s drive and enthusiasm is
Governors provide good support and challenge
make outstanding progress as their complex
learning needs are well understood by staff.
They are fully involved in lessons and school
to school and have good attitudes to learning.
They work and play together well and have a
good understanding of how to keep safe. They
say they feel safe and secure in school.
making a positive impact on improving the
school. She is very well supported by a strong
team of staff and a skilful deputy headteacher.
Together they are securing improvements in
teaching and standards are rising. In a short
period of time they have lifted the school’s
overall effectiveness to good.
to leaders. They have been instrumental in
appointing new staff and making sure that
teaching and standards are rising.
| Not enough teaching is outstanding to secure |
rapid progress for all pupils, particularly in
Key Stage 1.Teachers’ marking does not
always help pupils to improve their work.
Sometimes pupils’ weak handwriting skills
limit their progress.
| In Key Stage 1, activities do not always |
challenge pupils to work hard enough,
especially the most able. There are not enough
opportunities for pupils to investigate and solve
Information about this inspection
- Inspectors watched 27 lessons or parts of lessons, of which two were observed jointly with the
- Inspectors observed groups of pupils, as well as individual pupils, working with teaching
assistants. They listened to Year 2 pupils read, and heard pupils in other year groups read in
- Inspectors talked to a range of pupils about their work and play in school, including the school
council. They also studied a range of pupils’ work across the school.
- Meetings were held with six governors as well as teaching staff, including middle leaders and the
- Inspectors observed the overall work of the school and studied a number of documents including
the school’s data about pupils’ current progress. They also examined documents relating to
safeguarding, governance, behaviour and attendance.
- Inspectors took account of 10 responses to the online questionnaire (Parent View). They also
considered the school’s parent and staff questionnaires.
- Inspectors looked at school displays, its website and a range of other evidence relating to the
wider work of the school.
|David Shearsmith, Lead inspector||Additional Inspector|
|Graeme Clarke||Additional Inspector|
Information about this school
- The school is smaller than the average-sized primary school.
- A well-above average proportion of pupils is known to be eligible for the pupil premium, which is
additional funding for those pupils eligible for free school meals, children in the care of the local
authority and children of service families.
- A well-above average proportion of pupils is supported through school action. An above-average
proportion of pupils is supported at school action plus or has a statement of special educational
- The vast majority of pupils are of White British heritage.
- The school has achieved the Healthy School status and Green Tree Eco School awards.
- The school meets the government’s current floor standards, which are the minimum
expectations for pupils’ attainment and progress in English and mathematics.
- The Early Years Foundation Stage is taught in one Reception class and a class that also includes
Year 1 pupils.
- The school has a breakfast club managed by the governing body.
- The school has a Hearing Impaired Unit for Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 pupils taught in two
- The school appointed a new headteacher in September 2013.
What does the school need to do to improve further?
- Improve teaching further so that more is outstanding by:
making sure that marking enables pupils to improve their work and reach higher standards
improving pupils’ handwriting and presentation skills.
- Improve standards at Key Stage 1 by:
making sure that activities challenge pupils to work hard and reach their potential, especially
the most able
ensuring that pupils have more opportunities to investigate and solve mathematical problems.
|The achievement of pupils||is good|
- Achievement is good. Leaders carefully track and check the progress pupils make to ensure that
no-one is underachieving. They provide extra support to ensure that anyone falling behind is
supported to improve their learning. Consequently, the school ensures equality of opportunity for
all pupils to achieve well.
- Children enter the Early Years Foundation Stage with skills that are well-below what is typical for
their age. They have particular weaknesses in their literacy skills. Teaching is adept at helping
children to learn new skills. Children enjoy learning and make good progress; this prepares them
well for their learning in Year 1.
- Pupils make good progress across Key Stage 1. By the time they leave Year 2, standards are
below average overall being relatively weaker in mathematics. Although standards have been
rising over time, they could be higher in all subjects. This is because activities do not always
challenge all pupils to reach the higher levels in their work, especially the most able.
- Pupils make good and sometimes better progress across Key Stage 2. They make accelerated
progress in Year 6 because teaching is outstanding. By the end of Year 6, standards are well-
above average in reading writing and mathematics.
- The school has a good system in place for teaching phonics (sounds that letters make) and this
has had a very positive impact on results in the annual reading check. In the last two years
pupils reached well-above average standards. Older pupils are able to successfully apply their
reading skills to deepen their understanding and knowledge.
- Pupils’ literacy skills are developed well overall. However, more could be done to enhance pupils’
handwriting and presentation skills.
- Across Key Stage 2, teachers challenge and extend pupils’ mathematical knowledge and skills
well. However, in Key Stage 1, pupils are not always sufficiently stretched in their mathematical
work and there are insufficient opportunities for them to practise their skills by solving
mathematical problems and investigations.
- The school makes good use of its funding for pupils supported by the pupil premium, including
those known to be eligible for free school meals. They typically make good and sometimes
outstanding progress across the school particularly at Key Stage 2. Teaching assistants provide
flexible support through individual teaching sessions as well as targeted help in the classroom.
Consequently, pupils reach standards that are two terms ahead of pupils nationally and close to
their peers in reading, writing and mathematics.
- The most able make good and sometimes outstanding progress at Key Stage 2 and reach high
standards in their work, particularly in mathematics. In Year 6 some pupils are on track to reach
Level 6 this year. While progress for the most able is good in Key Stage 1, it could be better.
This is because pupils are not given work that is sufficiently demanding to ensure they fulfil their
- Disabled pupils and those with special educational needs usually make good progress. Individual
and small-group teaching generally ensures that these pupils achieve as well as their peers,
particularly at Key Stage 2. Pupils make outstanding progress in the Hearing Impaired Unit.
Teachers fully understand their complex needs and give them work that gets the best out of
them. In the afternoons pupils are fully integrated into school life where they happily learn
alongside their peers.
|The quality of teaching||is good|
- Teaching is typically good and sometimes outstanding. Pupils respond well to their teachers’
skilful questioning that often promotes pupils’ deeper understanding and progress. Pupils have
good attitudes to learning because their work is usually interesting and fun.
- In the Reception class, children are typically taught in small groups for literacy and mathematics.
They benefit from this close interaction, which enables them to successfully increase their skills
in these areas.
- In a Year 1 lesson pupils were thoroughly enjoying writing about the different seasons. They
were highly engaged and keen to learn. Pupils had been given a helpful introduction to writing a
non-fiction text. Their concentration on the task was sustained as the teacher and teaching
assistant provided support to develop their writing skills during the lesson. Pupils were also given
a check-list to use to ensure they had included the features of a non-fiction text. This enabled
pupils to make faster progress as they understood exactly what was required of them.
- For the most part, carefully planned work enables pupils to make the best progress that they
can. However, in Key Stage 1, when activities do not challenge pupils, including the most able,
to work hard enough, their learning slows.
- In a mathematics lesson in Year 6, pupils were challenged to tackle very difficult problems
involving multiplication. Pupils responded exceptionally well to the challenges and quickly
warmed into rapidly solving the problems. They were able to confidently explain their thinking
when challenged. They were also very competent at applying different methods of multiplication.
However, in Key Stage 1, pupils do not have enough chances to investigate and solve number
problems to extend their skills.
- In a Year 3 writing lesson, pupils were retelling a story. Having previously planned their story
they were now redrafting it using their plan. Most pupils made good progress during the lesson.
Some pupils, however, were hindered by weak handwriting skills and this slowed their learning
and progress. Weaker handwriting skills are a feature for some pupils in all classes.
- Pupils’ presentation skills, particularly in mathematics where they mix up columns in their
calculations, inhibit some pupils’ learning and progress across the school.
- Pupils welcome their work being marked so they know how to improve. Teachers typically mark
pupils’ work diligently. Comments on how to improve are not always targeted well enough to
enable pupils to reach the next level in their work. Some teachers give pupils the opportunity to
improve their work, but this is not always the case and this slows pupils’ learning and progress.
|The behaviour and safety of pupils||are good|
- Pupils’ behaviour is good. They behave well over time in this organised school. Pupils enjoy
coming to school to work and play with their friends. They are supported at playtimes and
lunchtimes by ‘playground buddies’ who help them to play harmoniously with their friends.
Prefects are also keen to take on responsibility and support the work of the school.
- Movement around the school is good with pupils being well-mannered and courteous at all
times. They sit and listen attentively in assembly and respond well to their teachers. Pupils are
well-behaved in the dining hall. They enjoy playing outside with a range of equipment at
- Pupils’ attendance is now average, as the school has put rigorous systems in place to ensure
pupils attend well. The school’s learning mentor has been instrumental in improving attendance
by working with parents and rewarding pupils for good attendance.
- Pupils conduct themselves well in lessons and when discussing their learning with staff. They
enjoy working with partners in discussions and as groups when they have problems to solve
together. Pupils enjoy the school’s breakfast club which gives them a good start to their day.
- Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is fostered well across the school. Leaders make
sure that pupils develop a good understanding of right and wrong and are developing the pupils’
growing awareness of other cultures. Pupils have many opportunities through the school’s
curriculum for personal development.
- The school’s work to keep pupils safe is good. Pupils have pertinent opportunities, through the
school’s curriculum, to recognise how to manage risk in different situations. They know about
fire and road safety and have a good understanding of how to keep safe on the internet.
- The school’s records show that bullying is rare. Pupils confirm that if it does occur that members
of staff will support them in resolving it. Leaders make sure that it give due regard to anti-
bullying, with regular discussions about what constitutes bullying and different types of bullying.
Consequently, pupils are very knowledgeable about this.
- The school is very diligent in ensuring pupils are safe and secure at school with good systems in
place. Governors give it due regard investing in fencing and ensuring that safeguarding
procedures are followed.
|The leadership and management||are good|
- The new, highly motivated headteacher has quickly established how well the school is doing and
has a very accurate picture of its strengths and weaknesses. She is very well supported by a
strong team of teachers and a skilful deputy headteacher. Within a short period of time they
have already improved the quality of teaching and standards are continuing to rise.
- Middle leaders who are responsible for subject areas provide good support in their subjects.
They check on the quality of work in pupils’ books as well as helping to improve the quality of
teaching and raising standards. The school’s plans to improve are clear and are based on a very
accurate understanding of the school’s performance and its priorities.
- The school uses performance management effectively to improve the work of the school.
Teachers have clear targets for improvement based on school priorities as well as their own
training needs. Teachers are rewarded appropriately for their work in the classroom as well as
any leadership responsibilities they may have.
- The school’s curriculum provides extensive opportunities for pupils to develop their skills. There
are, however, not enough chances for pupils in Key Stage 1 to solve mathematical problems.
More could be done to enhance pupils’ handwriting and presentations skills across the school.
The school offers a whole range of activities during and after school to enrich pupils’ learning.
Sport is important in the school. Pupils participate in a wide range of activities out of school
including competitive sporting events and the school also hosts some local events.
- Pupils’ spiritual, moral, and social development is strong. Pupils enjoy a diverse range of musical
and creative experiences which enrich their learning. The school has links with schools in other
countries and this is contributing to pupils’ cultural experience.
- Leaders are very keen to engage with parents and welcome every opportunity to involve them in
the school’s work. Family learning events are held regularly. The school makes sure that staff
are readily available to talk to parents.
- The school works with a range of partners and particularly with those that support pupils with
specific needs from the local authority. It also links with a range of other partners to support
pupils’ wider learning needs particularly in sport, where pupils access a wide range of physical
- The local authority gives good support to the school. It has provided school reviews and other
activities that have contributed to its on-going improvement.
- Safeguarding meets requirements as the school gives due regard to pupils’ health, well-being
- The governance of the school:
Governors have a wide range of experiences which they use to good effect to support the
work of the school. They have attended various training events to further their skills.
Governors have been instrumental in appointing new staff to enhance the school. They know
the school well and understand its key strengths and how it needs to develop further. They
are keenly aware of the need to improve their skills further and support and challenge the
school to do even better. They have a good understanding of the school’s data as the
headteacher provides thorough information about the school in her reports. They know about
the quality of teaching from observing lessons and about the overall work of the school from
‘learning walks’ and discussions with staff. Consequently, they understand how the pupil
premium funding has been spent and its impact on pupils’ progress. They manage the school’s
budget well. The primary school sport funding has been spent wisely to increase pupils’
participation and teachers’ skills in delivering physical education lessons. Performance
management has been used appropriately with governors rewarding teachers for their
endeavours in the classroom when targets have been achieved.
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||108698|
|Local authority||South Tyneside|
This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.
|Type of school||Primary|
|Age range of pupils||4–11|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Number of pupils on the school roll||184|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Date of previous school inspection||14 March 2012|
|Telephone number||0191 4898315|
|Fax number||0191 4838500|