Houghton Primary School

"Working hard to achieve our best"


The school was last visited by OfSTED inspectors in February 2014. The school was graded GOOD. The highlights of the report are given in below.

The full report is available on the OfSTED website (click here)

Pupils make good progress across the school.

Leaders' focus on helping each individual pupil to succeed, whatever their needs, has been successful.

Pupils achieve well in each year group because teaching is consistently good.

The school has tackled (a dip in standards in writing and maths in 2013) by focusing on the needs of each individual pupil, identifying gaps in their knowledge and understanding, and working to fill them rapidly. The impact of this has been considerable, with accelerated rates of progress in both writing and mathematics.

The use of online activities to support mathematics and reading has been especially successful.

A new mathematical calculations policy has been applied consistently across the school, and this has contributed greatly to pupils' good progress in mathematics, as they learn new skills systematically and solve problems efficiently.

The school makes sure that the most-able pupils recieve work that is of sufficient difficulty to enable them to reach the higher levels of attainment.

Teaching is consistently good and sometimes outstanding.

The contribution of teaching assistants to pupils' learning is a particular strength of the school.  They are highly skilled and trained well. They are very well briefed and fully included in planning activities for pupils and assessing how well they have completed them. As a consequence, the impact of their work is considerable, and this contributes in no small way to pupils' good progress.

Teachers are adept at grouping pupils so as to help them to get the most out of learning, paying particular attention to how they have been progressing.

Books show that pupils make good progress over time. They take pride in the presentation of their work. The quality of topic work is good... with opportunities for pupils to apply the English, mathematics and communication skills in a range of subjects.

Teachers regularly spend time individually with pupils reviewing their progress in reading, writing, mathematics and behaviour and agreeing what they need to focus on to reach the next level of attaniment so that they can set goals. This makes pupils very well aware of how they are doing and motivates them to progress rapidly.

Pupils behave well and say they feel safe in school. They enjoy school and their high attendance reflects this.

Pupils behave well in class and around the school. Parents, pupils and staff all have a positive view of behaviour... pupils understand very clearly how the behaviour system works and enjoy earning rewards.

Pupils' attitudes to learning are positive and they work well in groups and pairs as well as on their own. The school has a purposeful buzz to it as you walk around.

Pupils have excellent manners and are very welcoming and friendly. They have an awareness of bullying and are confident they can raise any concerns with staff safe in the knowledge that they will be treated seriously and acted upon promptly.

Pupils who attend that Phoenix before and after school club benefit from healthy food and well organised activities, and socialise well together.

The headteacher's outstanding leadership has been the catalyst that has enabled leaders, managers and governors to improve teaching and raise achievement since the previous inspection.

(This) leadership has created a dynamic and cohesive school where morale is extremely high and all pupils have equal opportunities to succeed.

School leaders are very ambitious to move the school to outstanding and have introduced key changes to raise pupils' achievement and improve teaching. The approach of treating each pupil as an individual and responding flexibly to their needs in the light of their progress has been a particular success.

The subjects the school offers cater well for pupils interests and aspirations. Pupils have a strong sense of what is right and take pride in their work. The school is brought to life with attractive displays of pupils work.

Parents are very happy with the school's work.

The governing body knows the school well and governors bring a good range of expertise so that they are in a strong position to hold leaders to account for the school's performance.


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