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«This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005. Type of school Primary School category Community Age range ...»

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Seaton Sluice First School

Inspection report

Unique Reference Number 122234

Local Author ity Northumberland

Inspect ion number 359197

Inspect ion dates 5–6 October 2010

Report ing inspector Carole Snee

This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.

Type of school Primary School category Community Age range of pupils 3–9 Gender of pupils Mixed Nu mber of pupils on the school roll 149 Appropriate author ity The governing body Chair Mr David Campbell Headteacher Mrs Gillian Love Date of prev ious school inspection Not previously inspected School address Granville Avenue Seaton Sluice, Whitley Bay Tyne and Wear NE26 4BX Telephone number 0191 237 1839 Fax number 0191 298 0413 Email address admin@seatonsluicesouth.nor thumberland.sch.uk Age group 3–9 Inspect ion dates 5–6 October 2010 Inspect ion number 359197 Inspection report: Seaton Sluice First School, 5–6 October 2010 2 of 14 The Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills (Ofsted) regulates and inspects to achieve excellence in the care of children and young people, and in education and skills for learners of all ages. It regulates and inspects childcare and children's social care, and inspects the Children and Family Court Advisor y Support Service (Cafcass), schools, colleges, initial teacher training, work-based learning and skills training, adult and community learning, and education and training in prisons and other secure establishments. It assesses council children's ser vices, and inspects services for looked after children, safeguarding and child protection.

Further copies of this repor t are obtainable from the school. Under the Education Act 2005, the school must provide a copy of this report free of charge to certain categories of people. A charge not exceeding the full cost of reproduction may be made for any other copies supplied.

If you would like a copy of this document in a different format, such as large print or Braille, please telephone 0300 1234 234, or email enquir ies@ofsted.gov.uk.

You may copy all or parts of this document for non-commercial educational pur poses, as long as yougive details of the source and date of publication and do not alter the documentation in any way.

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Royal Exchange Buildings St Ann's Square Manchester M2 7LA T: 0300 1234 234 Textphone: 0161 618 8524 E: enquir ies@ofsted.gov.uk W: www.ofsted.gov.uk

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Introduction This inspection was carried out by two additional inspectors. Ten lessons were observed, which were taught by nine teachers. Work from all classes was scrutinised and meetings were held with groups of pupils, representatives of the governing body and staff. Parents' and carers' views were sought both inside and outside the school during the inspection.

The views of parents, carers, pupils and staff were also gathered through questionnaires.

Inspectors observed the school's work, and looked at planning, monitoring files and policies as well as the school's data on attainment and progress. The inspectors analysed the 85 questionnaires completed by parents and carers.

The inspection team reviewed many aspects of the school's work. It looked in detail at the


 How leadership and management at all levels contribute to the school's selfevaluation, so that strategies for improvement are clearly targeted at greatest need.

 The effective use of assessment by all staff to inform their planning and teaching.

 Provision in the Early Years Foundation Stage, to ensure that children are getting the best possible start in their school life.

Information about the school Seaton Sluice is smaller than other first schools nationally. The school is part of the Seaton Valley Learning Partnership of Schools that consists of eight schools, which provide for pupils aged three to 18 years. The proportion of pupils known to be eligible for fr ee school meals is below the national average. The proportion of pupils identified as having special educational needs and/or disabilities is broadly in line with the national average. There are currently no pupils with a statement of special educational needs. Almost all of the pupils are of White British heritage. There are no pupils who speak English as an additional language. The school has Healthy School status and the Eco award. The majority of teaching staff work part-time and job share responsibilities.

Inspection report: Seaton Sluice First School, 5–6 October 2010 4 of 14 Inspect ion grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is sat isfactory, and 4 is inadequate Please tur n to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms Inspection judgements

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Main findings Seaton Sluice First School provides a good standard of education. Pupils say they really enjoy coming to school and parents and carers are overwhelmingly supportive. Typical of the views held by parents is, 'My child asks to go to school even on the weekend! She always says, ''I love big school'' – what more can I say!' There are outstanding aspects of pupils' personal development. Behaviour, the degree to which they feel safe, preparation for their next stages in education, the way that they contribute to school life and the community, and their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development are all first-rate. These qualities make pupils' outcomes excellent; however, pupils' learning and progress fluctuate a little throughout the school. These minor patches of slower progress, particularly within Key Stage 1, do not however detract from the school's excellent promotion of equal opportunities.

The vast majority of children enter the Nursery with skills and knowledge broadly typical for their age. Good progress thereafter is demonstrated by the fact that by the end of Year 4, attainment is high when compared to that expected nationally for pupils of their age. This all makes pupils' achievement outstanding overall. The quality of teaching is good with some outstanding features. Interesting lessons are planned from a remarkably rich and varied curriculum. Pupils are actively involved and assessment is used thoroughly, in most cases, to check children's understanding and challenge them further.

The headteacher and the deputy headteacher make a strong team with a shared vision and determination to improve standards even further. Good systems of self-evaluation allow them to possess a detailed knowledge of the school's strengths and weaknesses.

Very good use has been made of the strong partnerships with other schools to enrich and strengthen the curriculum. Not least in the excellent opportunities for pupils to relate to others from different cultures and backgrounds, which enhance strongly their sense of community cohesion.

The school's good capacity to improve even further is demonstrated by the positive advances made since its last inspection. Standards are now high and behaviour is outstanding. The curriculum contains wider horizons for pupils and the Early Years Foundation Stage has been improved well in the respect of outdoor learning and a general focus on children initiating their own learning.

What does the school need to do to improve further?

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Inspect ion grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is sat isfactory, and 4 is inadequate Please tur n to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms improving the quality and impact of teaching, particularly where responsibilities for classes are shared between staff.

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Pupils' attainment is high and their progress is good because lessons have a positive impact on learning. Pupils behave very well in lessons and are keen to work together to produce their best work. They listen attentively and are enthusiastic about rising to the challenges set by ambitious teaching. They respond very well to teachers' questions and listen to the contributions of others with respect.

All major groups of pupils achieve outstandingly well. There are no particular differences between the progress of boys and girls, for example. Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities are identified early and supported well by an effective mix of carefully targeted support. Consequently, they too make good progress. Only occasionally does progress falter in Years 1 and 2 where some pupils work at tasks that are too easy or too hard.

The many outstanding qualities of pupils' personal development are recognised within the completed questionnaires that they presented to inspectors. These were extremely positive and highlighted how much pupils enjoy school. A typical view was that, 'Learning in this school is fun – but sometimes tricky.' All are convinced that recent developments to the curriculum make learning more interesting and help them achieve more. They feel very safe in school and readily take on additional responsibilities to help the school run smoothly. They also express confidence about moving onto the middle school and feel, correctly, that they are very well prepared. Their understanding of recycling and its impact on the planet, as part of their work towards an Eco award, is outstanding. Pupils' excellent spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is reflected in their extremely positive attitudes towards school, each other and the world in general.

Inspection report: Seaton Sluice First School, 5–6 October 2010 6 of 14 Inspect ion grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is sat isfactory, and 4 is inadequate Please tur n to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms These are the grades for pupils' outcomes

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How effective is the provision?

Teaching is good overall. At its best, learning is planned systematically to include interesting and challenging tasks that engage the pupils, who consequently work at a brisk pace and make good progress. Teachers and their assistants motivate pupils well by identifying and praising their achievements. The school has recently introduced very clear guidelines for assessing pupils' work. In the best lessons, pupils are given clear information on how to improve their work.

The new system of assessment is not used so well in every case. This results in some work being set that does not match pupils' capabilities entirely: interest in work wanes under these circumstances. This is more often the case where two teachers share the responsibility for a class. The school appreciates this issue and is working hard to resolve it. However, there is, on occasions, some slower progress compared to that found in the most successful lessons.

The outstanding curriculum results in first rate achievement and outcomes generally. It has been very carefully tailored to provide a wide range of interesting and challenging activities. Opportunities to use and apply the basic skills of literacy and numeracy are woven skilfully throughout. Imaginative use is made of information and communication technology. The school's partnership with other local schools in introducing a new strategy to improve writing has been very successful, and significantly increased expertise in this area.

Inspection report: Seaton Sluice First School, 5–6 October 2010 7 of 14 Inspect ion grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is sat isfactory, and 4 is inadequate Please tur n to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms Care, guidance and support are good. Adults work hard to foster good relationships with all children. There are no exclusions and the school has effective links with outside agencies and neighbouring schools. Support for transition to the middle school is particularly strong, with visits beginning in Year 2. Staff know the pupils well and provide any additional help that is required.

These are the grades for the quality of provision

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How effective are leadership and management?

The headteacher and deputy headteacher work closely with the governing body, which is knowledgeable and supportive. It is very well led by a chair whose expertise in managing budgets has already benefited the school considerably. The governors are now, rightly, focusing on monitoring strategies to improve the consistency of pupils' progress across the school. Despite some training needed for newly appointed subject managers, leadership at all levels has the necessary ambition and drive to help make every aspect of the school as outstanding as the outcomes in pupils' personal development.

Parents and carers are regularly consulted and are encouraged to play a full part in the learning and personal development of their children. Discrimination is not tolerated and, notwithstanding some minor differences in pupils' progress, the promotion of equal opportunities is excellent. The school has developed very productive partnerships with other organisations and schools that enhance provision for vulnerable pupils and enrich the curriculum. Community cohesion is outstanding, partly because recent developments have resulted in pupils having a very strong recognition and respect for those from different cultures and religions, including those from within their own community.

The school's systems to safeguard pupils are good, with all staff being suitably trained in all key areas. Even the youngest children are being supported to have a good understanding of how to keep safe by the use of two 'safety checkers' to make daily checks in the Early Years Foundation Stage.

Inspection report: Seaton Sluice First School, 5–6 October 2010 8 of 14 Inspect ion grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is sat isfactory, and 4 is inadequate Please tur n to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms These are the grades for leadership and management

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Early Years Foundation Stage Children's confidence grows enormously as soon as they enter school. They become keen explorers and learners in both classes. Consistently good teaching enables children to progress well and reach above expected levels by the end of Reception.

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