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School Reports

Ofsted Report

The last Ofsted inspection was carried out on 10th July 2013. Please use the link below to download a copy of the report.

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Staithes, Seton Community Primary School

Seaton Close, Staithes, Saltburn-By-the-Sea, North Yorkshire, TS13 5AU

Inspection dates

10–11 July 2013

Overall effectiveness  Outstanding 1

Previous inspection: Outstanding 1

This inspection: Outstanding 1

Achievement of pupils Outstanding  1

Quality of teaching Outstanding 1

Behaviour and safety of pupils Outstanding 1

 Leadership and management Outstanding 1

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is an outstanding school.

● Children are given an excellent start to their time in school in the warm and welcoming Early Years Foundation Stage. Children make outstanding progress due to exciting opportunities for learning, with a strong emphasis on promoting their personal development and speaking and listening skills.

● Pupils continue to make outstanding progress across the school because the school meets the needs of all pupils exceptionally well. Consequently, they reach standards that are above average by the time they leave the school in Year 6, although standards in writing are relatively weaker.

● Teaching is consistently outstanding as teachers inspire pupils to learn through well- structured activities. These capture pupils’ imagination and involve them in learning. Questioning is used exceptionally well to check on pupils’ understanding. As a result, they make excellent progress.

● Highly-skilled teaching assistants support pupils very well across the school. They are particularly effective at working with pupils with specific needs and these pupils make outstanding progress.

● Pupils’ behaviour is exemplary. They work and play together in harmony and love coming to school. Pupils have an excellent knowledge of how to keep safe in different situations. They readily take on responsibility and relish learning together, both in and out of the classroom.

● The school’s rich curriculum provides pupils with a wide variety of inspirational activities that promote pupils’ understanding of the world around them. Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is of a high order and underpins pupils’ learning and their personal development.

● The headteacher’s strong, determined and inspirational leadership gives very clear direction, ensuring that teaching is consistently outstanding. She is exceptionally well supported by a highly skilled and committed team of staff who strive to ensure all pupils achieve to the highest level.

● Governors challenge and support the school in its drive to be consistently outstanding. They have a wide range of skills and are very knowledgeable about their school. They are also very effective in supporting the school.


Information about this inspection

● The inspector observed 14 lessons or parts of lessons, of which one was a joint observation with the headteacher. He observed groups of pupils working with teaching assistants and specifically listened to Year 1 and 2 pupils read.

● The inspector talked to a range of pupils, including some of the school council, about their work and play in the school.

● Meetings were held with two governors as well as teaching staff, including subject leaders and the headteacher. The inspector also had a telephone conversation with a representative from the local authority.

● The inspector took account of 10 responses to the on-line questionnaire (Parent View) when planning the inspection. He also examined staff questionnaires and parent questionnaires sent out by the school.

● The inspector observed the work of the school and studied a number of documents including the school’s current data about pupils’ progress.

● The inspector looked at documents relating to safeguarding, including a sample of risk assessments, governance, behaviour and attendance. He also looked at a range of other evidence including displays, the website and work representing the school’s wider achievements beyond the classroom.

Inspection team David Shearsmith, Lead inspector Additional Inspector

Full report

Information about this school

● The school is smaller in size than an average-sized primary school.

● An above average proportion of pupils are known to be eligible for the pupil premium, which is additional funding for those pupils who are known to be eligible for free school meals, children from service families and those children who are looked after by the local authority.

● An above average proportion of pupils are supported at school action. An average proportion of pupils are supported at school action plus or have a statement of special educational needs.

● The majority of pupils are of White British Heritage.

● The government’s current floor standards, which set the minimum expectations for pupils’ attainment and progress in English and mathematics, do not apply to this school. When results are reported at the end of Year 6, the number of eligible pupils has been consistently below 11.

● The school has achieved the Science Silver Mark, Inclusion Quality Mark and Arts Mark Awards.

● The Early Years Foundation Stage is currently taught in one class, which includes Nursery and Reception children.

What does the school need to do to improve further?

● Improve standards in writing by: ensuring that pupils are consistently given clear points for improvement when their writing is marked and then dedicated time to act on the teachers’ comments, so they can reach higher levels in their work ensuring pupils know how to be successful in their writing so that they can check on their own learning and progress and reach higher levels in their writing.

Inspection judgements

The achievement of pupils is outstanding

● Achievement is outstanding because of the excellent teaching that pupils receive and because pupils’ progress set against very challenging targets is tracked meticulously.

● Most children start school with skills that are below and sometimes well below those typically expected for their age. Children often have significant weaknesses in their literacy skills. The school puts a strong emphasis on developing speaking and listening skills in the Early Years Foundation Stage. This is done with great skill and, consequently, children make outstanding progress overall. This is also due to high quality activities, materials and equipment that are used very effectively to promote pupils’ learning.

● Pupils continue to make excellent progress across the school due to consistently outstanding teaching and teachers’ high expectations of what all pupils can achieve. By the time pupils leave Year 6, standards are above average overall.

● Standards in mathematics are well above the national average because the school is highly effective in teaching mathematics and ensuring that pupils acquire basic calculation skills. The school also ensures that pupils can apply these skills to investigations and problem solving. Consequently, pupils make outstanding progress.

● Standards in reading are well above the national average by the time pupils leave Year 6, because the school has a systematic approach to the teaching of reading. Pupils love reading and they read with expression and accuracy. Phonics (the sounds that letters make) are also taught well. Although the school did not perform well in last year’s Year 1 phonics test, this year’s results are well above the national average.

● Standards in writing are relatively weaker. Although children enter the Early Years Foundation Stage with literacy skills that are much lower expected for their age, they make outstanding progress overall. However, they do not reach the same level in literacy as in other subjects. The school has already started to improve standards in writing and there are signs that standards are rising rapidly. They are now above the national average in Year 6.

● Pupils eligible for the pupil premium, including those known to be eligible for free school meals, also make outstanding progress. They attain standards well above those of similar pupils nationally by two terms overall, particularly in mathematics and reading. The difference between those eligible for free school meals and those in school who are not, is closing more quickly in mathematics and reading than in writing.

● Disabled pupils and those with special educational needs make outstanding progress. They receive excellent support from highly skilled teaching assistants. Currently, they reach standards across the school that are well above those expected of similar pupils nationally.

The quality of teaching is outstanding.

● Teaching is consistently outstanding because teachers plan very effectively to meet pupils’ wide-ranging needs. Information and communication technology (ICT) is used exceptionally well to promote pupils’ understanding of computer programming and how to use a computer to control other devices. For example, in a Year 5 lesson, pupils made shapes by controlling such a device. They made outstanding progress in developing their skills, because the teacher was very effective at guiding their learning.

● Mathematics is taught very effectively. Teachers enable pupils to develop their basic calculation skills through challenging activities. During a mathematics lesson in a Year3/4 class, for example, the teacher planned a very effective session involving multiplication and problem solving. Work was planned at an appropriate level for all groups and met pupils’ needs. It was also sufficiently challenging to accelerate their progress at a very fast pace. Consequently, pupils made outstanding progress.

● In a Key Stage 1 lesson, pupils wrote an account of their visit to Saltburn. The teacher used photographs and very effective questioning that promoted pupils’ speaking, listening and observation skills exceptionally well. Outstanding progress was made in this aspect of the lesson. However, pupils did not know how to be really successful at writing their account because they were not given clear enough success criteria. As a result, some were not sufficiently challenged to reach higher levels in their writing.

● In the Early Years Foundation Stage, children made outstanding progress with their understanding of mini-beasts. The teacher very effectively planned the session so that children could work independently, collecting and observing mini-beasts. A highly-skilled teaching assistant was well deployed supporting other children with their water play. They made excellent progress discovering how to enable water to travel some distance using pipes and guttering. Throughout both activities, pupils’ speaking and listening skills were also significantly enhanced.

● Teachers mark pupils’ work thoroughly and give relevant points for improvement. This ensures pupils make outstanding progress, particularly in mathematics. The marking of pupils’ writing is not always as effective in showing pupils the steps they need to take to improve their writing skills. However, where guidance is clear and pupils are given time in the next lesson to act on the guidance, for example, in the Year 3/4 class, pupils reached higher levels in their writing.

The behaviour and safety of pupils are outstanding

● Pupils are unreservedly positive about the school. They say that they very much enjoy coming to school to work and play with their friends. They readily volunteer to take on responsibilities. Some support other pupils at playtimes as ‘playground buddies’. Older pupils support the running of the school acting as monitors during assemblies.

● The school fosters a real love of learning. Attendance is above average, because pupils very much want to come to school to learn. The school rewards good attendance through its ‘house point system’ and pupils strive to ensure that they come to school regularly. During the inspection, pupils in the Year 1/2 class were elated when they won the prize for 100% attendance.

● Pupils are exceptionally knowledgeable about keeping safe in different situations. The school ensures that it includes a range of different activities in its curriculum and through assemblies to remind pupils constantly about how to keep safe. Pupils were particularly knowledgeable about water safety because they attended an event called ‘Hit the Surf’ where they were given in-depth information about all aspects of water safety.

● The school ensures that pupils know what constitutes bullying. Pupils say that there is no bullying of any kind in school, but if it were to occur, they feel confident that staff in the school would help them sort it out.

● A strong emphasis is placed on pupils’ personal development. Pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is paramount to the work of the school. Pupils have an excellent understanding of right and wrong. They work and play together in harmony. Pupils love participating in school performances and they sing tunefully. Their confidence is enhanced and their personal development enriched by such activities.

● Pupils work alongside each other very well in lessons as partners and in groups. For example, in a lesson involving building a pier, after a visit to Saltburn, pupils worked together exceptionally well when making piers from various materials. Their models were very creative and, consequently, pupils’ personal development was enhanced, as well as their understanding of construction.

The leadership and management are outstanding

● The headteacher is very ambitious for the pupils in her care. She wants every pupil to achieve exceptionally well. She is very well supported by a skilful and committed team of staff. The headteacher rigorously checks on the quality of teaching. There is a strong focus on ensuring that all teachers provide pupils with activities that will promote outstanding progress.

Inspection report: Staithes, Seton Community Primary School, 10–11 July 2013 6 of 9

● Performance management is used very effectively to maintain and drive up standards. Teachers are set challenging targets and are provided with high quality training and support to help them improve the quality of their teaching. They are also appropriately rewarded for their performance as leaders and as teachers.

● The school rigorously checks on the progress that pupils make each term. This ensures that they are making the best progress possible. Teachers set challenging targets for their pupils. They meet pupils’ needs well and make sure that they are on track to perform as well as they are able, thus ensuring that all pupils have equality of opportunity to succeed.

● The teacher with the responsibility for pupils with special educational needs is very rigorous in ensuring that they get the appropriate level of support. She also works with a wide range of a support services to meet the complex needs of some pupils. Consequently, they make outstanding progress due to this outstanding leadership.

● The local authority provides light touch support to this outstanding school.

● The school’s curriculum both in and out of school provides pupils with highly memorable experiences and meets their needs exceptionally well. The school has a number of strengths, including the teaching of French across the school. Science is also taught extremely well throughout the school. Pupils’ experiences are wide and varied due to the visits and visitors that the school includes in its curriculum. All these contribute to high levels of achievement in the majority of subjects.

● Pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural experiences are outstanding because they are enriched by events such as the cultural week, where they experienced a range of other cultures. Pupils also benefit from a wide range of musical and performance experiences. These develop pupils’ confidence and the joy of being able to sing and play tunefully. The teacher responsible for this area provides outstanding leadership to the school’s performances and pupils’ musical experiences.

● The school’s safeguarding procedures and practices meet requirements.

● The school is very effective at working with parents, including providing them with ‘Awareness Raising Sessions’ regarding the teaching of mathematics, English and science. The school also links with the wider community, for example, parents and the school devised a ‘Staithes Trail’ and produced a pamphlet that explores the history of the village.

● The school has a wide range of partnerships that enriches the work of the school, including strong links with other local schools. This enables the school to share its own expertise as well as benefitting from a wider range of expertise.

● The governance of the school: Governors know the school extremely well. They regularly visit the school and check on pupils’ work in books and the quality of teaching alongside the headteacher. They use performance management effectively to challenge the headteacher to maintain the school’s outstanding performance. They have a very good understanding of the school’s and national data and are well trained. They also use the expertise of individual governors very well, to support the school’s overall leadership, by having specific responsibilities, such as safeguarding. Governors manage the school’s finances well and use the pupil premium funding to very good effect. They appreciate that pupils who are eligible for the funding achieve outstandingly well.

Inspection report: Staithes, Seton Community Primary School, 10–11 July 2013 7 of 9

What inspection judgements mean School Grade Judgement Description

Grade 1


An outstanding school is highly effective in delivering outcomes that provide exceptionally well for all its pupils’ needs. This ensures that pupils are very well equipped for the next stage of their education, training or employment.

Grade 2


A good school is effective in delivering outcomes that provide well for all its pupils’ needs. Pupils are well prepared for the next stage of their education, training or employment.

Grade 3

Requires improvement

A school that requires improvement is not yet a good school, but it is not inadequate. This school will receive a full inspection within 24 months from the date of this inspection.

Grade 4


A school that has serious weaknesses is inadequate overall and requires significant improvement but leadership and management are judged to be Grade 3 or better. This school will receive regular monitoring by Ofsted inspectors.

A school that requires special measures is one where the school is failing to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education and the school’s leaders, managers or governors have not demonstrated that they have the capacity to secure the necessary improvement in the school. This school will receive regular monitoring by Ofsted inspectors.

Inspection report: Staithes, Seton Community Primary School, 10–11 July 2013 8 of 9

School details Unique reference number

121301 Local authority

North Yorkshire Inspection number


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

3–11 Gender of pupils

Mixed Number of pupils on the school roll

87 Appropriate authority

The governing body Chair

Colin Bentley Headteacher

Ros Barningham Date of previous school inspection

30 September 2008 Telephone number

01947 840257 Fax number

01947 840257 Email address

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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 Advisory 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 services, and inspects services for looked after children, safeguarding and child protection.

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