Osmotherley Primary School

Name Osmotherley Primary School
Website http://www.osmotherley.n-yorks.sch.uk/
Ofsted Inspection Rating Requires improvement
Inspection Date 18 September 2019
Address School Lane, Osmotherley, Northallerton, North Yorkshire, DL6 3BW
Phone Number 01609883329
Type Primary
Age Range 4-11
Religious Character Does Not Apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 42
Local Authority 815
Percentage Free School Meals 4.8%
Pupils with SEN Support 11.9%
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?

In this small, rural village school, staff and pupils know each other well. Staff have created positive relationships with pupils and parents. Pupils say they feel safe and well cared for. Staff expect pupils to be polite and well behaved. Pupils respond well. They display good manners, without being prompted by staff. Leaders deal with any bullying concerns quickly and effectively.

The headteacher ensures that pupils are taught all the national curriculum subjects. Many pupils also join clubs and extra-curricular activities. These opportunities help to enrich their curriculum. Pupils told inspectors that they enjoy the clubs and find new interests. The range available to them includes chess, yoga, running and Minecraft.

Pupils are encouraged to take an active part in the life of the school. They are proud to take roles such as playground buddies, school councillors, eco leaders and fundraising leaders. Pupils recognise the importance this plays in helping to prepare them for adult life. They are eager to come to school and attendance is high.

Leaders’ expectations of pupils’ academic achievement are not high enough for all pupils. In reading, for example, pupils do not become fluent readers as quickly as they should.

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

Leaders and governors are committed to improving the school. However, the curriculum does not give all pupils a flying start. This is especially the case in how well pupils learn to read. Pupils at the early stages of learning to read do not read with accuracy as soon as they should. Pupils who struggle with reading or those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are particularly affected. This limits them from reading with fluency and understanding, which affects how well they can achieve in other subjects.

Leaders do not prioritise the teaching of early reading sufficiently. A mix of different phonics (letters and the sounds they represent) schemes and a lack of clear planning leads to confusion about what staff should teach and when. In Reception, children already know some of the letter sounds. Teachers do not build on this knowledge quickly or systematically enough. For example, during the inspection, staff expected children to practise listening to sounds in the environment. The children can already do this well.

Some aspects of the Year 1 national curriculum for word reading do not feature in the teaching of phonics. For example, books are not well matched to pupils’ phonic knowledge. They require some words to be memorised by sight. Also, teachers do not expect pupils to reread books to help build their reading confidence and fluency.

Staff are well trained in some subjects, such as science and mathematics. However, training in other important areas of the curriculum, such as reading, is not up-to-date. This results in staff not giving pupils sufficient practice to become fluent readers. For example, pupils who need to practise blending sounds to read words spend too much time drawing pictures or waiting for their turn. Staff are aware what pupils struggle with. However, they do not have the expertise to address these issues precisely and with urgency.

The curriculum beyond English and mathematics, and in the early years, is taught mainly through cross-curricular topics. Pupils say they enjoy the topics they study. However, staff have not considered which parts of the curriculum they want pupils to remember over time. Curriculum planning does not make the necessary links between one topic and the next. For example, pupils do not build on their prior knowledge of rivers when they study coastlines. This means that pupils do not make the gains in their knowledge of which they are capable.

Leaders prioritise pupils’ personal development well. Visits from local artists, authors and various specialists broaden and enrich the curriculum. A recent example includes a visit from a past pupil who talked to pupils about her job as a shark guardian.

Staff have created a nurturing environment where children feel safe and behave well. They settle quickly into Reception and work with good levels of concentration. Warm relationships mean that pupils are keen to learn as they continue through school. The headteacher encourages a healthy lifestyle by example. Many pupils run with the her and some parents before school. Pupils appeared energised and raring to go as they entered the school to begin lessons.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

There is a well-established culture of keeping pupils safe. Training makes sure that staff know how to spot signs of concern. Staff are of the view that ‘it could happen here’. The designated safeguarding leader contacts external agencies when necessary. This makes sure that vulnerable pupils get the right support.

Staff know all the pupils well. They give pupils’ welfare high priority. Pupils say that the adults in school keep them safe. Pupils also appreciate learning about how they can keep themselves safe. For example, pupils learn how to be safe when they are online and how to contact Childline.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

The teaching of early reading, including phonics, needs urgent attention. While most pupils meet the expected standard in the phonics screening check, they are not reading with fluency, confidence and understanding quickly enough. A lack of rigour in the approach to the teaching of phonics means that it is even more difficult for pupils who have fallen behind, including those with SEND, to catch up. Leaders should ensure that all staff follow the national curriculum for teaching reading. To achieve this, they should prioritise the necessary training for staff. . Leaders have not put clear plans in place to support teachers in knowing what to teach and when. Planning in many subjects is based on assessment objectives. These describe the end points pupils should reach, rather than the specific knowledge pupils should gain along the way. Leaders need to make sure that plans identify the critical knowledge, understanding and skills which pupils should develop. Plans should ensure that pupils can build on their knowledge over time. Pupils should know more and remember more so they can reach the ambitious end points defined in the national curriculum. In early years and key stage 1, in particular, this means building on what pupils know and can do more swiftly to better prepare all pupils for the next key stage. . In some subjects, teachers do not have the subject expertise to make appropriate choices about the resources and activities needed to secure pupils’ understanding effectively. While teachers have a good awareness of what pupils are struggling with, they do not use this well enough to address the gaps in pupils’ learning. Leaders need to the determine what training staff need and in which subjects, in order that staff have the necessary subject knowledge for all the subjects they teach.