Kenton Bar Primary School

Name Kenton Bar Primary School
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 15 October 2019
Address Ryal Walk, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Tyne and Wear, NE3 3YF
Phone Number 01912860536
Type Primary
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 298 (48% boys 52% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 15.6
Academy Sponsor Smart Multi Academy Trust
Local Authority Newcastle upon Tyne
Percentage Free School Meals 51.1%
Percentage English is Not First Language 30.5%
Persisitent Absence 12.9%
Pupils with SEN Support 24.8%
Catchment Area Information Available Yes, our catchment area data is FREE
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils enjoy coming to Kenton Bar Primary. They like the structure and organisation the school provides for them. Older pupils think the school has improved a lot in recent years. Many pupils enjoy meeting their friends at breakfast club. Pupils say every day is busy. The teachers make sure there is no wasted time. The lessons are well organised. Most topics start off with a memorable experience. This is usually a trip to somewhere interesting. Usually, the work set for pupils gets them thinking, but sometimes the most able pupils are not challenged enough.

Pupils know exactly what bullying is. They say it does not happen much because teachers will not tolerate it. If it does happen, they tell an adult and trust them to sort it out. Everyone in the school says behaviour is a lot better now. Teachers have clear rules and stick to them. Pupils don’t get away with anything anymore. Pupils who used to misbehave have learned this. Behaviour is calm and orderly. Pupils are polite and friendly towards one another. After school, there are lots of sports clubs available. There are also clubs for pupils interested in film and musical theatre. Many pupils stay after school to attend.

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

The school went through a turbulent time in the recent past. Too many changes in leadership meant some parents lost confidence. Teachers became demotivated. However, since the headteacher’s arrival, this improved. She has sorted out behaviour, restored the staff’s morale and won back the trust of the community. The standards that pupils achieve have quickly improved.

Leaders have worked on the quality of curriculum planning. Planning in English and mathematics is very thorough. Topics are carefully sequenced to build pupils’ knowledge. Each topic starts with a memorable experience, such as a visit to a place of interest. The lessons that follow introduce new content well. The well-structured topics mean that most pupils are making much better progress. Teachers make sure that disadvantaged pupils don’t fall behind. Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) get lots of extra help. This is making a real difference. Sometimes, though, the most able pupils are not challenged enough. In English, the most able pupils are not pushed to write at length or with enough detail. In mathematics, teachers set challenges to deepen pupils’ understanding. But some of the challenges set are not hard enough for the most able pupils.

Across the curriculum, most subjects are well planned. Teachers are knowledgeable in subjects such as science, history and geography. Because of this, pupils know and remember lots of information. But teachers are not so confident in subjects such as art, music and design and technology. This means that pupils do not understand as much in these subjects.

Reading has a high priority. Standards are rising because teachers are relentless. They never give up on any pupil. They teach phonics systematically. Children whoshow interest start learning phonics in the nursery. Children who speak English as an additional language get lots of help with vocabulary. Many make rapid progress. The headteacher has invested in new reading books which the pupils like. Some teachers have real expertise. The headteacher has plans to provide more training for the staff this year.

Everyone says behaviour in school has been transformed. The headteacher set out her expectations from the start and made rules clear. The staff work hard to praise good behaviour. They promote values such as perseverance and kindness. Incidents of poor behaviour and exclusions are now rare.

All the staff are determined to help pupils know more about the world. They often take them out on trips or bring visitors into school. These opportunities are wide-ranging. There are many cultural experiences and events that encourage healthy and safe lifestyles. Parents are often invited in for workshops and other events.

Leaders keep a careful eye on staff workload. They involve the staff in many decisions. They also encourage them to develop their ideas for the school. This has improved their morale and built a strong team approach.

The quality of education in the early years is good. Many children join the nursery with under-developed skills for their age. They benefit a lot from their time in the Nursery and Reception Years. Teachers keep checking what children can do. This means that they know what activities children need next. They focus a lot on their language and physical development. Teachers adapt activities to suit each child. Teachers use stories, songs and nursery rhymes well. Teachers stop play activities to teach early reading, writing and number skills. Children develop their knowledge and skills because teaching is purposeful and engaging.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders know exactly how to keep pupils safe. Their policies are up to date. They make sure that members of staff know what to do if they have any concerns. There are many displays around school about keeping safe. The staff get regular safeguarding training and daily reminders in the bulletin.

Leaders know when they need to refer a concern about a child’s safety to other professionals. They keep detailed records and push hard to get things resolved.

Staff are always vigilant. The school’s safeguarding plan worked well when the school ‘locked down’ during a serious incident last year.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

Leaders have improved the quality of the curriculum by giving topics a consistentstructure. This was necessary, because there had been a lack of rigour in the past. Although these changes have accelerated pupils’ progress, standards of attainment in reading, writing and mathematics have remained just below national averages. Leaders should make topics more flexible, so that teachers have scope to challenge and extend the most able pupils more. In addition, teachers should be trained in how to extend and deepen the most able pupils’ knowledge further. . Teachers have grown in confidence and developed their practice through the effective training they have received. However, their depth of knowledge is still variable across different subjects. Leaders should provide training to build teachers’ subject-specific knowledge further in art, music and design and technology, so that they can teach these subjects with the same confidence they show in other subject areas.