Rockcliffe First School

Name Rockcliffe First School
Ofsted Inspection Rating Outstanding
Inspection Date 12 December 2011
Address Grafton Road, Whitley Bay, Tyne and Wear, NE26 2NR
Phone Number 01916434100
Type Primary
Age Range 3-9
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils Unknown
Local Authority North Tyneside
Percentage Free School Meals 4.8%
Pupils with SEN Support 10.6%
Catchment Area Information Available Yes, our catchment area data is FREE
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

Information about the school

This is an average-sized primary school. It has a slightly lower proportion of girls than found nationally. The proportion of pupils known to be eligible for free school meals is well-below average. The percentage of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities is well-below that usually seen. Most pupils are of White British heritage. A small percentage is from minority ethnic groups and a few speak English as an additional language. The school has the Basic Skills Quality Mark and the Artsmark Gold award. 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

Main findings

Rockcliffe is an outstanding school. Children start the Early Years Foundation Stage with levels of development that are generally typical for their age. Attainment is consistently high by the end of Year 4 and this means that all groups of pupils make excellent progress across the school and achieve outstandingly well from their starting points. Pupils feel very safe in school partly because of the good site security. Pupils in the playground point to the high numbers of staff on duty and comment that they always have someone to turn to, including older pupils who act as ‘buddies’. Pupils develop very good workplace skills, as their basic skills in literacy and numeracy are exceptionally well developed and attendance is above average. The school encourages pupils to take on responsibility. For example, pupils in Year 4 were given an input into the school’s anti bullying policy. Behaviour is good in school and, as a result, the vast majority of pupils learn exceedingly well. The social, moral, spiritual and cultural development of pupils is excellent. Pupils demonstrate that they have a strong sense of the consequences to which their actions may lead. They show excitement and amazement in science and the pupils’ wide understanding of different cultures is demonstrated in their outstanding artwork throughout the school. Moreover, pupils work very well together in groups. The excellent care, guidance and support given to pupils ensure that all, including those whose circumstances make them vulnerable, reach their potential. Most pupils become very articulate and confident learners as a result. Pupils say that all staff care for them and in assembly all chanted the mantra ‘Every day is kindness day’. The curriculum is extremely well matched to the needs of all pupils so that they make outstanding progress. The school’s excellent partnerships with outside agencies have helped them to extend their curriculum in sports, in particular, as well as helping to give extremely good support to pupils who speak English as an additional language. The quality of teaching is good and there are examples of outstanding practice, but at times some tasks prevent pupils from having enough opportunity to work independently and find things out for themselves. Occasionally, teachers talk for too long and the balance of teacher input and pupil activity slows pupils’ progress. The impact of leaders and managers on school development is outstanding, because : they are continuously evaluating the effectiveness of their initiatives on pupil outcomes. The governing body is exceptionally well informed about school performance, including any areas of potential weakness, and provides excellent challenge as well as support. The headteacher’s drive and vision have had a major impact on school improvements: areas previously identified as weaknesses, attendance and writing, for example, have been tackled successfully. This demonstrates that the school has an outstanding capacity for sustained improvement. Support for the school from parents and carers is exceptionally high and several comment that the school helps their children to thrive in what they describe ‘a warm, friendly environment’. Nursery and Reception give children an excellent start to school. Leadership is outstanding and pupils make outstanding progress in the Early Years Foundation Stage.