Primary school told it needs to improve

Howletch Lane Primary School in Peterlee. Pic: Google Maps.
Howletch Lane Primary School in Peterlee. Pic: Google Maps.
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A primary school has failed to make the top grade during an inspection by a Government watchdog.

Education bosses rated Howletch Lane Primary School in Peterlee as requiring improvement.

The school was recenlty inspected by Ofsted.

The Pennine Drive school got the third grading in all areas, apart from personal development, behaviour and welfare, which was dubbed good.

The watchdog outlined several areas where bosses had not improved enough.

In their report, inspectors said: “School leaders have not improved the quality of teaching, learning and assessment rapidly enough since the previous inspection.

“Leaders and managers do not have a shared understanding of assessment systems.”

Inspectors said the quality of teaching and learning at the East Durham school is variable, so not all groups of pupils make sufficient progress in lessons.

They added: “Children in the early years are not consistently supported to make the progress that should be expected of them.

“Expectations are too low.

“Pupils do not read and write frequently enough to enable them to develop skills swiftly, particularly in the early years and Key Stage 1.

“Outcomes for pupils in the early years and Key Stage 1 are too low and teachers do not always plan lessons and tasks that challenge pupils sufficiently.”

However, the Government inspectors said there is a distinctively caring ethos at the school and positive relationships are effectively embedded by the school’s leaders.

They said: “Pupils are courteous and sociable.

“Their healthy self-confidence, eagerness to please and empathy for others are creditable.

“Leaders use the extra money given by the Government to support disadvantaged pupils effectively, meaning the gaps between this group and others are narrowing across subjects and key stages.”

The inspectors praised the wide range of extra-curricular opportunities and said pupils with special needs are expertly supported.

To move forward the school needs to improve the effectiveness and impact of leadership and management and accelerate pupils’ progress particularly in the early years and Key Stage 1.