Denby Dale First and Nursery School

Name Denby Dale First and Nursery School
Ofsted Inspection Rating Requires improvement
Inspection Date 06 November 2019
Address Gilthwaites Lane, Denby Dale, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, HD8 8SG
Phone Number 01484866071
Type Primary
Age Range 2-10
Religious Character Does Not Apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 147 (45% boys 55% girls)
Local Authority Kirklees
Percentage Free School Meals 8.2%
Catchment Area Information Available Yes, our catchment area data is FREE

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils are very happy at this school. They really like and trust the staff. Pupils say that there is always someone who will help them. Staff care about the pupils. Theyencourage pupils to believe in themselves and have confidence. When pupils findtheir work hard, they do not give up. They say that if they ‘keep going’, they will get a better result. Pupils feel that the new ways of teaching English and mathematics are helping them learn.

Pupils behave well in their lessons and at playtimes. They are very polite. Pupils enjoy school, and nearly all of them attend every day. They like the clubs and after-school activities, which include archery, athletics and the choir. Pupils know how to live healthy, active lives.

What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?

Leaders are prioritising early reading and phonics. Pupils do well in phonics but not so well in reading. A new approach to the teaching of reading has been introduced recently. This is not yet used consistently across all classes. Teachers have very recently had some reading training. Support staff have yet to attend training. Staff subject knowledge is not always secure. Staff develop a love of reading among pupils. They use a dramatic and enthusiastic way to present stories.

The school has worked well with other schools to develop teachers’ subject knowledge in mathematics. Staff know what children need to learn. They build on what pupils already know successfully. Staff identify any gaps in pupils’ knowledge and act swiftly to address these. Teachers match tasks to most pupils’ needs. They revisit prior learning to help pupils know and remember more. Pupils say that teaching in mathematics has improved and they feel more confident. However, some teachers’ explanations confuse pupils. Not all pupils take pride in or complete their work. This includes pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). This happens when activities do not meet pupils’ needs.

The curriculum for subjects other than mathematics and English is developing. Leaders know that there is work to do. Some teachers’ subject knowledge in science is insecure. The leadership of science is not yet effective. Not all pupils, including those with SEND, are achieving well in science. Assessment to identify any gaps in pupils’ learning and knowledge is not yet helpful. Teachers do not build effectively on what pupils already know and can do.

Pupils’ behaviour and attitudes to learning are good. The new ‘rewards and consequences’ behaviour system is well understood by pupils. They say that it helps them improve their behaviour. They feel that behaviour has improved recently. Pupils behave well during lessons and at lunchtime. Most respond well to gentle reminders from their friends when standards slip. Pupils are eager and engaged during lessons. Any low-level misbehaviour is dealt with well by staff.

Pupils’ personal development is strong. Pupils show empathy with the characters in books. They can identify the thoughts and feelings of others. Staff have worked hard to develop pupils’ resilience. Pupils do not give up if work is challenging. There are many opportunities for pupils to develop leadership skills. They write letters to apply for a school council position and to be a play leader or librarian. Pupils confidently talk about and understand the rule of law. They show a strong understanding of the democratic process when discussing the upcoming general election.

Governors understand their role. They have a wide variety of skills and expertise. Governors have been particularly active in reviewing the school vision. They ensure that all staff are involved. Governors are addressing the correct priorities in partnership with the local education authority and a local leader in education.

Leaders are aware of potential pressures on staff. They have reduced their workload. Staff feel well supported in achieving a good work/life balance. Some staff feel that communication with leaders could be better. Leaders are responding. They are introducing weekly briefings and making better use of email. Leaders are making sure that all staff have the information they need to support pupils with SEND.

Children in Nursery and two-year-old provision settle quickly. Staff are skilled. They help children to learn new things right from the start. Staff design mathematics activities that excite and engage children. Staff develop children’s speech and vocabulary well. During the inspection, children were drawing fireworks. Staff use opportunities like this to develop early sound recognition. They stress the sounds in words like ‘swoosh’. Leaders know that children in Reception do not make enough progress. Adults’ expectations of what Reception children can do are too low. Tasks do not develop children’s learning well or match their needs. Teachers do not focus clearly on what children need to know and learn.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

The school has a strong culture of safeguarding. Leaders identify and help those pupils who are at risk and may need early help. The headteacher responds swiftly to concerns. She works well with partners to secure the support vulnerable pupils and their families need.

Staff are kept up to date in their knowledge and training. Governors understand their duty to protect and care for pupils. They make sure that staff know about any changes in how to keep pupils safe. Staff have a good understanding of the risks associated with county lines.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

Leaders should ensure that pupils’ achievement in mathematics improves. They should bring about better consistency in the quality of teaching and the approach to assessment and feedback. Teachers should make sure that all pupils take a pride in their work and complete the tasks set for them. . The new approach to reading is having a positive impact. Leaders should continue to promote reading and develop staff expertise, knowledge and skills in the teaching of reading. They should make certain that pupils use their developing knowledge of language and ideas to improve the quality of their writing. . Parts of the curriculum are poorly planned, particularly in the foundation subjects. This means that some pupils do not achieve as well as they should in subjects such as science, geography and history. Leaders should ensure that these subjects are coherently planned and sequenced. They should improve teachers’ subject knowledge and raise the achievement of pupils, including those with SEND and disadvantaged pupils. . Children in Reception do not make as much progress as leaders expect. Leaders should ensure that teachers’ assessment is accurate and their planning is based on a precise understanding of what children already know and can do. . Not all staff are fully aware of the needs of those pupils with SEND. Leaders must ensure that the appropriate information is shared with staff. Staff should receive SEND training for specific needs so that all pupils get the help they need to make better progress.