Diamond Hall Infant Academy

Name Diamond Hall Infant Academy
Website http://www.diamondhallinfantacademy.co.uk
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 20 June 2012
Address Well Street, Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, SR4 6JF
Phone Number 01915640222
Type Academy
Age Range 2-7
Religious Character Does Not Apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 320 (52% boys 48% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 18.8
Percentage Free School Meals 40.9%
Percentage English is Not First Language 22.5%

Information about the school

Diamond Hall is a larger than average-sized infant school located just outside Sunderland city centre, near the main hospital. The catchment area for the school has changed significantly over recent years as the type of housing has changed from owner-occupied to mainly rented accommodation. The proportion of pupils known to be eligible for free school meals is well above average and has increased over the last three years. The percentage of pupils supported by school action plus or who have a statement of special educational needs is below that found nationally. The proportion of pupils from minority-ethnic backgrounds, while similar to the national average, continues to increase. There are currently 18 languages spoken within the school community. Most pupils who join the school after the normal age of admission are new arrivals to the United Kingdom and speak English as an additional language. The school has a Nursery which supports 61 children on a part-time basis. It is also linked to a Children’s Centre and offers extended services to families before and after school. The school has recently become the first school in the North East to be accredited as achieving the core standards for ‘Reading Recovery’ within the ‘Every Child a Reader’ national programme. 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

Key Findings

Diamond Hall Infants is a good school. It is not yet outstanding because too few pupils are attaining at the highest levels, particularly in writing at the end of Key Stage 1. Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is a clear strength of the school. As a result, pupils develop into considerate, well behaved and caring individuals, who feel safe and clearly demonstrate the school’s key values which include perseverance, respect and kindness. Most children enter school with skills and abilities well below those expected for their age. They make good and sometimes better progress throughout the school and leave Year 2 with attainment that is broadly in line with that found nationally. However, there is a recognised need to improve attainment further in writing, particularly in relation to the proportion of children attaining the highest levels. The school has worked with success to ensure that boys, disabled pupils and those with special educational needs, and those for whom English is an additional language make the same good progress as their peers. The quality of teaching is mainly good, with some that is outstanding. All staff have high expectations of the children and use their in-depth subject knowledge to challenge children effectively in the classroom. There is a consistently applied, whole-school approach to marking and feedback, which informs pupils as to the next steps in their learning. However, sometimes feedback in books lacks sufficient challenge as pupils have limited opportunities to respond to these comments and edit and improve their work further. The ambition and drive of the senior leadership team have been central to the school’s sustained improvement in achievement. This, coupled with rigorous systems for the monitoring and evaluation of teaching and learning and management of performance, ensures there is a well developed and knowledgeable staff team who have high expectations for their pupils.