Gosforth Park First School


Name Gosforth Park First School
Website http://www.gosforthpark.newcastle.sch.uk/
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 04 February 2020
Address Broadway East, Gosforth, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Tyne and Wear, NE3 5JQ
Phone Number 01912852559
Type Primary
Age Range 3-9
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils Unknown
Local Authority Newcastle upon Tyne
Percentage Free School Meals 6.9%
Pupils with SEN Support 2.3%
Catchment Area Information Available Yes, our catchment area data is FREE
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

Outcome

Gosforth Park First School continues to be a good school.

What is it like to attend this school?

Gosforth Park First School has a real sense of family. This is a view shared by pupils, parents and staff. The new motto, ‘together we make a difference’, is felt as you walk through the door. This is a caring, nurturing school. Pupils feel safe and well looked after. They say behaviour is good and they have no worries about bullying.

Pupils like the changes that the new headteacher and her senior leaders have made in school. They say learning is fun and talk enthusiastically about new curriculum projects. The ‘Gosforth is Great’ topic was a real hit. Pupils enjoyed the practical fieldwork in geography. They could remember lots of interesting facts.

School life is built around the four Cs: confidence, challenge, creativity and community. Teachers have high expectations of pupils and they rise to the challenge. The quality of education is good. Pupils show a sense of pride in their workbooks.

The school is outward looking and works closely with the community. Recent fundraising has supported a number of local charities, including a hospice.

Pupils take part in a wide variety of after-school clubs. Activities range from computing to debating and dance.

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

A new school leadership team has taken a fresh look at the curriculum. There has been a sharp focus on pupils knowing more and remembering more. The curriculum is planned carefully to help pupils build knowledge on what they already know. Pupils are beginning to make links between subjects to deepen their understanding. For example, in Year 2, pupils have discussed environmental issues in English and they can apply this knowledge in geography.

A structured curriculum is securely in place for most subjects. Where subjects are less well developed, such as religious education (RE) and personal, social and health education (PSHE), school leaders have a successful model to follow.

Pupils quickly settle into Nursery and get off to a flying start in the early years. Many parents commented that this is a real strength of the school. They say communication is good. Parents like the new online app for sharing their children’s achievements. Here, foundations are securely laid for future learning. For example, in Nursery, children can count up to 10 and use equipment to show ‘one more’ and ‘one less’. These skills are further developed in Reception. Here, children can use balance scales to compare the weight of objects, by counting the number of cubes.

A similar approach is taken to the teaching of phonics and reading. From Nursery, children quickly learn their letters. They enjoy hearing stories and taking books home to share. From the beginning of Reception, no time is lost in helping children learn to read. Teachers are well trained in the teaching of phonics. They intervene quickly if a child is at risk of falling behind. However, some children struggle to read independently in key stage 1. This is because reading books are not always closely matched to the sounds children are learning.

Pupils achieve well in mathematics. Working closely with local schools, leaders have developed an ambitious curriculum. Pupils now have access to a wider range of resources to support their understanding. Pupils I spoke to said they love maths. They particularly enjoy problem-solving and mathematical challenges. When I visited lessons and looked at pupils’ work, I could see that significant improvements have been made since the last inspection.

Staff effectively meet the needs of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). These pupils are supported well in the classroom to access the curriculum alongside their class mates. Recommendations from other professionals, such as the educational psychologist, are followed closely to support pupils with SEND.

The curriculum provides well for pupils’ broader development. Children learn to respect different families, faiths and cultures through a story-based approach. This work is supported in RE when pupils visit the local church, a synagogue and a Hindu temple.

Pupils’ behaviour is a strength of the school. I observed pupils moving sensibly along corridors. At playtime, pupils play well together. In the classrooms I visited, no learning time was lost as pupils listened carefully and followed instructions. Pupils were eager to learn.

Leaders take staff well-being and workload seriously. Teachers appreciate changes that have made to the school marking policy and planning arrangements. Staff are made to feel valued.

Safeguarding

The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.All staff are trained to recognise the signs and symptoms of abuse. Clear procedures are in place for reporting concerns. There is a culture of ‘it could happen here’. Leaders know how and when to make referrals for pupils. Records show that when a concern has been reported, appropriate action has been taken.

The curriculum helps pupils to stay safe. Pupils can explain why it is not appropriate to share personal details online or photographs which may identify where they live or which school they attend.

Rigorous recruitment checks are carried out to ensure that all adults are suitable to work in school.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

The school’s curriculum is not yet sufficiently coherently planned and sequenced in some subjects. However, it is clear from the actions that leaders have already taken to plan next year’s curriculum and train staff in how to deliver it that they are in the process of bringing this about. . Not all reading books in key stage 1 are closely matched to pupils’ level of understanding in phonics. Therefore, some pupils struggle to decode words and read independently. Leaders need to audit reading books and address gaps in provision to ensure all reading books are well matched to the sounds pupils are learning.

Background

When we have judged a school to be good we will then normally go into the school about once every four years to confirm that the school remains good. This is called a section 8 inspection of a good school or non-exempt outstanding school. We do not give graded judgements on a section 8 inspection. However, if we find some evidence that the school could now be better than good or that standards may be declining, then the next inspection will be a section 5 inspection. Usually this is within one to two years of the date of the section 8 inspection. If we have serious concerns about safeguarding, behaviour or the quality of education, we will convert the section 8 inspection to a section 5 inspection immediately.

This is the second section 8 inspection since we judged Gosforth Park First School to be good on 19-20 January 2011.