School etc

Whitehouse Primary School

Whitehouse Primary School
Dunelm Road
Elm Tree Farm

phone: 01642 678212

head teacher: Mrs Shona Randle

reveal email: whit…

school holidays: via Stockton-on-Tees council

402 pupils aged 2—10y mixed gender
351 pupils capacity: 114% full

205 boys 51%


195 girls 49%


Last updated: June 19, 2014

Primary — Community School

Education phase
Establishment type
Community School
Establishment #
OSGB coordinates
Easting: 442539, Northing: 520044
GPS coordinates
Latitude: 54.574, Longitude: -1.3435
Accepting pupils
3—11 years old
Census date
Jan. 16, 2014
Ofsted last inspection
Jan. 29, 2014
Region › Const. › Ward
North East › Stockton South › Bishopsgarth and Elm Tree
Urban > 10k - less sparse
SEN priorities
PD - Physical Disability
Special classes
Has Special Classes
Free school meals %

School report

Whitehouse Primary School

Dunelm Road, Elm Tree Farm, Stockton-on-Tees, TS19 0TS

Inspection dates 29–30 January 2014
Overall effectiveness This inspection: Good 2
Previous 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

From their often below expected starting
Pupils with physical and medical needs
Teaching is typically good and some is
Pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural
points, pupils make overall good progress to
reach average standards by the end of Year 6
in reading and writing, and above average in
achieve particularly well because all adults
provide timely challenge and support.
outstanding. Teachers plan interesting
lessons which enthuse pupils and make them
want to learn.
development is strong. It is promoted very
effectively through the excellent relationships
in school, and a wide range of exciting
Arrangements to keep children safe are
Governors are highly supportive and effective
outstanding. Parents and carers say how much
this is a top priority of the school’s leaders.
Behaviour is good.
in holding the school to account. They share
the same ambition as the headteacher to
continue to improve it further. The
headteacher has managed effectively the
significant changes in Key Stage 1 staffing,
since the previous inspection, to sustain the
overall quality of good teaching across the
Some pupils do not make the progress they
Pupils sometimes lose interest in some
should across Years 1 and 2, particularly in
writing. This is partly due to changes in
staffing, in recent years, which have delayed
achievements in spelling, handwriting and
sequencing of ideas, across different
lessons that are slow to start, or that are not
sufficiently inspiring.
A small proportion of teaching in Key Stage 1
requires improvement. This is where
experiences do not stimulate pupils sufficiently,
and where some teachers do not check
systematically the progress that pupils make in

Information about this inspection

  • Inspectors visited 27 lessons, of which two were joint observations with senior leaders.
    Inspectors also observed adults working with pupils in small groups outside of lessons, and
    listened to pupils in Years 2 and 6 read.
  • Meetings were held with groups of pupils, governors and school staff, including senior and
    middle managers. Inspectors also talked to parents at the start of the school day.
  • Inspectors took account of 54 responses to the online questionnaire (Parent View).
  • Inspectors sampled pupils’ work informally in lessons, and looked at a number of Year 2 and
    Year 6 pupils’ English and mathematics books in detail. Inspectors also reviewed a number of
    documents, including the school’s own data on current pupils’ progress, planning and monitoring
    documentation, minutes of governors’ meetings, records relating to behaviour and attendance,
    and documents pertaining to safeguarding.
  • Inspectors visited informally the daily breakfast and after-school clubs managed by the school.

Inspection team

Andrew Swallow, Lead inspector Additional Inspector
Graeme Clarke Additional Inspector
Derek Sleightholme Additional Inspector

Full report

Information about this school

  • This is a much larger than average-size primary school.
  • It has specialist provision for up to 55 pupils with learning difficulties that arise from complex
physical and medical needs.
  • The proportion of students supported through school action is well below that found nationally.
  • The proportion of students supported at school action plus or with a statement of special
    educational needs is well above that found nationally. The proportion of pupils receiving support
    through the pupil premium is below the national average. The pupil premium is additional
    funding for those pupils who are known to be eligible for free school meals, children from service
    families and those who are looked after.
  • Almost all of the pupils are of White British heritage.
  • The school meets the government’s current floor standards, which set the minimum expectations
    for pupils’ attainment and progress.
  • Governors make provision for daily breakfast and after-school clubs which are well attended.
  • Since the previous inspection, there have been many changes to staffing in Years 1 and 2.

What does the school need to do to improve further?

  • Accelerate the progress for some pupils, especially in writing, across Years 1 and 2 by:
    providing regular and more interesting experiences, in different subjects, that inspire pupils to
    want to write
    making sure that all pupils understand what good handwriting looks like
    paying greater attention to the spelling of common words and expressions
    helping pupils to set out their ideas in a logical manner.
  • Eliminate the small proportion of teaching that requires improvement in Key Stage 1, and
    increase further the proportion that is outstanding, by:
    ensuring activities, resources and experiences are relevant, meaningful and motivating and so
    grab pupils’ attention
    ensuring teachers systematically check pupils’ understanding in lessons, adapting work to take
    good account of their varying abilities, so that they learn exceptionally well.

Inspection judgements

The achievement of pupils is good
  • Children achieve well in the Early Years Foundation Stage. From below expected starting points,
    they make a good start in linking letters to the sounds they make, and become confident
    readers. By the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage, many write sentences using correct
    grammar and punctuation, and reach a good overall level of development. As a consequence,
    they are well prepared for learning in Year 1.
  • Significant changes in staffing in Key Stage 1, in recent years, have resulted in uneven progress
    by some pupils in reading, writing and mathematics. As a result, standards in Key Stage 1 have
    dipped. The school’s information on pupils’ current progress, together with their work, shows
    that attainment is now picking up, and is typically in line with that usually expected for their age.
  • Since the beginning of the academic year, many pupils have made good progress, especially in
    reading and mathematics. Some pupils still do not make enough progress in writing, largely
    because they are not given sufficient opportunities to develop their handwriting skills and to set
    out their ideas, in a range of different scenarios, in different subjects. Some teachers are not
    consistent enough in checking pupils’ accurate spelling of common words and expressions.
  • By the end of Year 6, attainment in reading is average and improving over time. It is above
    average in mathematics. This represents good progress from pupils’ previously lower starting
    points. Progress in writing is particularly good because pupils have many interesting experiences
    to stimulate their thinking, and are clear about what good writing looks like.
  • Pupils’ learning in lessons is good. They enjoy their lessons and they quickly gain the knowledge
    and skills they need to help them improve further. They work well together in groups and pairs
    and make good use of opportunities to discuss their ideas with ‘talk partners’ which helps them
    to consolidate their understanding and to work through problems on their own.
  • Pupils enjoy reading throughout the school. They use their phonic knowledge (sounds and the
    letters they represent) increasingly well to tackle unfamiliar words. As a result, many pupils
    across the school are reading in line with expected levels for their age, and some above.
  • In mathematics lessons, pupils make securely good progress. This is because they are frequently
    given practical and problem-solving activities set in ‘real-life’ scenarios and contexts. For
    example, in a Year 6 class pupils thoroughly enjoyed matching differently shaped line graphs,
    with no labels or clues, to a series of statements about daily activities.
  • The school promotes equality of opportunity well, providing effective additional support for those
    at risk of falling behind. Disabled pupils and those with special educational needs make similar
    progress to their peers. Those with complex physical and medical needs, and the small
    proportion of pupils from minority ethnic groups, make particularly good progress. All of these
    pupils receive well-targeted support within and out of the classroom, from teachers and teaching
    assistants who understand their particular needs very well indeed. Boys and girls make similar
    progress and attain equally well.
  • The most able pupils also make good progress because they are suitably challenged by the work
    set for them and are quickly engrossed in these activities.
  • Pupils for whom the school receives pupil premium funding are now achieving as well as their
    peers in lessons. The school’s information shows that former gaps between their outcomes and
    other pupils in the school have closed significantly. Attainment, including for those known to be
    eligible for free school meals, is rising and is close to national averages in English and
  • The teaching of physical education and sport is good. Teachers receive daily specialist coaching
    from an expert practitioner, funded from the government’s recent national initiative for primary
The quality of teaching is good
  • Teachers are eager to share good practice across the school, and to improve their skills by
    visiting other schools to research effective teaching strategies. As a result, teaching is good and
    some is outstanding. Where pupils learn particularly well, they are quickly involved in the
    interesting and relevant activities. As a result, they are stimulated from the onset and persevere
    well. It is clear how much they enjoy the regular opportunities to collaborate with peers and
    work things out for themselves. In these successful lessons, teachers routinely check pupils’
    understanding, adapting activities accordingly and with a positive impact on the quality of
  • In the Early Years Foundation Stage, children enjoy interesting indoor and outdoor activities
    which cover all the areas of learning. Close attention is paid to developing children’s speaking
    and listening skills in the nursery which prepares children well for future learning. Reception
    children spoke enthusiastically about making sandcastles and using climbing equipment. They
    were engrossed in learning about Chinese traditions and using chopsticks to eat noodles.
  • Most teachers have high expectations of their pupils and want them to do their best. Pupils,
    including the most able, respond to these expectations and typically try hard to rise to the
    challenges set for them. Year 5 pupils are hugely excited by a clip from a ‘Harry Potter’ film that
    fires their imagination when considering language that might enthuse a reader in a short story.
    In Year 6, pupils spontaneously interact with partners to provide ‘pros and cons’ to scenarios
    tabled by the teacher, in preparation for a persuasive writing task about internet sites.
  • Significant changes in Key Stage 1 staffing, in recent years, have hindered continuity in teaching
    quality, resulting in some pupils not making enough progress. Staffing is now stable, although
    some teaching still requires improvement. This is particularly so in writing. Some teachers miss
    opportunities to reinforce basic handwriting skills, and make sure pupils set out logically key
    ideas, through interesting experiences in different subjects. Not all teachers in Years 1 and 2
    check carefully pupils’ accuracy in spelling common words and expressions. Sometimes, activities
    do not always stimulate pupils sufficiently, and teachers do not check carefully enough the
    progress that students are making in lessons.
  • Teaching assistants are deployed very effectively and carefully guide pupils’ learning. They have
    a very clear picture of the needs of different pupils, especially disabled pupils and those with
    complex medical and physical needs.
  • Most teachers mark pupils’ work diligently and make effective suggestions about how to
    improve. Increasingly, time is given for pupils to respond to their teachers’ suggestions.
The behaviour and safety of pupils are good
  • The school’s work to keep pupils safe and secure is outstanding. Pupils typically describe the
    school’s atmosphere as ‘caring and supportive’, and parents say they feel part of ‘one big family’.
    For these reasons they say that bullying is rare. They are confident that adults in the school will
    always be at hand to help, should it be needed.
  • In the playground and in the dining hall, pupils look after each other. They talk with pride about
    the anti-bullying ‘charter’ which they have developed, and the playground signs they have
    produced to ensure that no pupil feels left out. Pupils have a good understanding of the different
    types of bullying, including homophobic and cyber-bullying. Arrangements to look after children
    who attend the morning breakfast club, and who stay on after school, are very secure.
  • The behaviour of pupils is good. They move sensibly down corridors, between the open
    classrooms and shared areas, always showing due consideration for peers with physical
    disabilities and complex medical needs. Pupils are sociable with adults, opening doors with a
    smile on their face, and showing real pride in their school.
  • In lessons, pupils enjoy working in pairs and groups, saying that this is when they learn the
    most. In many classes, they support each other really well, benefiting from sharing ideas and
    tussling with problems. On occasions, when learning is slow to get underway, or when activities
    are insufficiently motivating and challenging, some lose interest and become restless.
  • Attendance has risen since the last inspection and is now above average.
The leadership and management are good
  • The school is well led by a determined and effective headteacher who has steered the school
    through a recent period of change. She is ably supported by senior leaders and all staff, and by
    an ambitious and effective governing body. All areas for improvement raised in the previous
    inspection have been successfully tackled. As a result, assessment procedures in the Early Years
    Foundation Stage are now good, and the checking of pupils’ progress across the school is
  • The school has an accurate picture of its strengths and areas for development, and produces
    clear plans with actions to tackle these. There have been recent improvements in both the
    achievement of pupils and the quality of teaching. However, leaders are yet to ensure all pupils
    make good progress across Key Stage 1, especially in writing.
  • The headteacher and key leaders carry out regular and accurate checks on the quality of
    teaching and learning. Governors complement this work with their own evaluations of the
    school’s work, and accompanying notes of visit. Performance management of staff is well
    organised, and appraisal procedures identify precisely the development needs of individual staff.
    Training opportunities draw on the experience and expertise of staff within school, as well as
    those from the local cluster of schools. The headteacher makes the right decisions about
    teachers’ movements up the salary scale on the basis of robust information about their quality of
    teaching and its impact on pupils’ learning.
  • The school knows its pupils as individuals and successfully removes barriers to learning. As a
    result, all pupils have an equal opportunity to do well. Historical gaps in performance between
    pupils in receipt of pupil premium funding, and their peers, are closing. In most years the gaps
    are slight or have entirely closed.
  • The curriculum has been carefully developed to provide first-hand, interesting experiences. In
    most classes, opportunities are taken to develop writing and mathematical skills across all
    subjects. Pupils speak highly of the many visits and extra-curricular activities on offer. They
    enthuse about opportunities to sing, dance and play musical instruments.
  • The range of sporting activities is extensive. The confidence of pupils with complex physical and
    medical needs is enhanced during ‘creative Fridays,’ and all pupils say how much they value
    ‘theme weeks,’ and the ‘Whitehouse has talent’ events. These experiences underpin pupils’
    strong spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
  • Parents are positive about the ways in which the school communicates with them about their
    children’s progress. Good partnerships exist within the local cluster of schools.
  • The local authority provides appropriate ‘light touch’ support to check the quality of evaluation
    within the school, and courses for governors, when required.
  • Safeguarding and child protection procedures are effective and meet current requirements.
  • The governance of the school:
    The governing body receives regular and up-to-date information about the achievement of
    pupils. Governors have a good understanding about the quality of teaching. Minutes of
    governing body meetings show that they are confident in challenging the headteacher and
    senior staff about these aspects of the school’s work.
    Governors have perceptive discussions about the value of spending decisions, in particular the
    allocation of pupil premium funding. For example, governors have authorised bespoke small
    group teaching and additional time for teaching assistants to enhance pupils’ reading, writing
    and mathematical skills. They have also authorised assistance for educational visits to boost
    pupils’ self-esteem. Governors have also taken decisions to boost full-time coaching in school
    to develop teachers’ leadership of physical education, and to support a local school’s
    programme of competitive sport. This is part of the government’s drive to enhance the
    provision of physical education and sport in schools through use of the primary school sports
    Governors receive detailed information about the salaries of all staff and decisions about
    teachers’ applications for promotion. As a result, governors have a good understanding of the
    effectiveness of the management of teachers’ performance throughout the school.

What inspection judgements mean


Grade Judgement Description
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.

School details

Unique reference number 111549
Local authority Stockton-on-Tees
Inspection number 440807

This inspection was carried out under section 8 of the Education Act 2005. The inspection was also
deemed a section 5 inspection under the same Act.

Type of school Primary
School category Community
Age range of pupils 3–11
Gender of pupils Mixed
Number of pupils on the school roll 405
Appropriate authority The governing body
Chair Angela Johnson
Headteacher Shona Randle
Date of previous school inspection 14 June 2011
Telephone number 01642 678212
Fax number 01642 678212
Email address reveal email: whit…


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