Denby Church of England Voluntary Aided First School


Name Denby Church of England Voluntary Aided First School
Website http://www.denbyfirstschool.kirklees.sch.uk
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 10 October 2011
Address Goose Green, Upper Denby, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, HD8 8UN
Phone Number 01484866511
Type Primary
Age Range 4-10
Religious Character Church of England
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils Unknown
Local Authority Kirklees
Percentage Free School Meals 1.4%

Information about the school

Almost all of the pupils at this much smaller than average-sized school are White British. From September 2011, pupils, including children in the Early Years Foundation Stage, are taught in three mixed-aged classes most mornings and two mixed-aged classes each afternoon. Pupils transfer to middle school at the end of Year 5. The proportion of pupils known to be eligible for free school meals is below average, as is the proportion with special educational needs and/or disabilities. The school has been accredited with Activemark, and it has achieved Healthy School status. The headteacher has been in post since January 2011. Inspection grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is satisfactory and 4 is inadequate Please turn to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms

Main findings

This is a good school. In this very friendly, safe, warm and welcoming setting, pupils demonstrate good attitudes to learning and their behaviour is consistently outstanding. The quality of care, guidance and support is good. Pupils’ welfare is continually kept in firm view. These factors, along with the confidence pupils have that any problems encountered will be dealt with quickly, ensure they feel safe. Pupils are eager to contribute positively towards their school. From a young age, they enjoy taking on opportunities for making their school a healthy and happy place to learn, and play an active role within their local community. However, pupils’ understanding of diverse cultures within the United Kingdom and further afield, is not fully-developed. This is because pupils do not have enough opportunities to develop their knowledge through first-hand experiences. Parents and carers express their overwhelming support. They say that this is a `great environment for their children to grow and learn and has a real personal and family feel’. The extremely small numbers of pupils in each year group mean that children’s starting points can vary significantly year to year, but overall, are broadly average. Children make good progress in the Early Years Foundation Stage and, after this successful start, continue to learn well until the end of Year 5. As a result, pupils’ attainment is usually above and, sometimes, well above average. In Years 3 to 5, progress is consistently good because assessment information is used effectively to provide activities well-matched to pupils’ varying abilities. Teachers ask direct, fast-paced, targeted and individualised questions that challenge pupils’ thinking, particularly the more-able. Older pupils also have a good understanding of what they need to do to reach their challenging learning targets. Such practices however, are not consistently well-embedded in Years 1 and 2, particularly in reading and writing and, as a result, pupils’ progress is inconsistent. In writing, younger pupils do not always have enough opportunities to practise their skills by writing at length, either independently or creatively and, sometimes the activities provided lack challenge. In reading, pupils’ progress is sometimes hampered because not all staff are fully trained to deliver the adopted reading programme effectively. The headteacher, staff and members of the governing body work successfully together to drive forward improvement. Staff take on additional responsibilities willingly in order to share the workload, particularly to review regularly the achievement of each pupil. Even so, the responsibility for monitoring the consistency of the quality of provision across the school rests mainly with the headteacher. There is however, an accurate, realistic and shared evaluation of the school’s effectiveness, which in turn ensures that appropriate improvement priorities are pinpointed. This, along with the positive impact of their efforts, which reflects in improved attainment, particularly in mathematics by Year 5, demonstrates that there is a good capacity to improve further.