Ofsted - Case Study of Good Practice in teaching of Maths 2012

In November 2012 we were visited by an HMI to assess the school and our teaching of Maths for publication in a Good Practice Case Study which has recently (February 2013) been published on the Ofsted website. Read the case study below:


Coxhoe Primary School - good practice example


Ofsted - Maths Survey July 2011
In July we were 'invited' to take part in the Triennial Maths Survey by Ofsted. As one of only 19 schools chosen to participate, both independent and maintained schools, we were happy to participate and received very good comments from the Inspector about the excellent provision and Maths teaching in our school. Look at the full report which I am sure you will see makes us extremely proud of both our pupils and staff. It shows the continuing 'Outstanding' provision of teaching and learning within our school.
Maths Ofsted Survey final report 2011

Ofsted Report

The school has undergone three very successful Ofsted Inspections. The most recent in September 2006 judged the school to be Outstanding. A copy of this report is available below.

Inspection Report

Unique Reference Number 114080
Local Authority Durham
Inspection number 289802
Inspection date 14 September 2006
Reporting inspector Ann Wallis

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 4–11
Gender of pupils Mixed
Number on roll (school) 212
Appropriate authority The governing body
Date of previous school inspection Not previously inspected
School address Cornforth Lane
  Coxhoe, Durham
  County Durham, DH6 4EJ
Telephone number 0191 3770294
Fax number 0191 3773816
Chair Mr Ritchie Heslington
Headteacher Mr John Brennan


The inspection was carried out by one Additional Inspector.

Description of the school

Coxhoe Primary is an average sized school whose pupils come from Coxhoe Village. The vast majority of pupils come from White British backgrounds and there are very few pupils whose first language is not English. The proportion of pupils eligible for free school meals is below average. Children arrive in the Reception class from several local nurseries with the skills and knowledge typical for their ages.


Key for inspection grades
Grade 1 Outstanding
Grade 2 Good
Grade 3 Satisfactory
Grade 4 Inadequate

Overall effectiveness of the school

Grade: 1

Coxhoe Primary is an outstanding school. Its modest self-evaluation that it is good reflects the school’s desire not to appear complacent and to continually strive to improve further. All staff have a very clear vision of where the school is going, the very high expectations of their pupils and of themselves are the reasons why pupils achieve so well. The safety, well-being, enjoyment and achievement of every pupil are at the heart of the school’s work. The school provides outstanding value for money.

Parents are overwhelmingly positive in their support for the school. Their comments included: ‘an excellent school that provides a high standard of education’, ‘approachable staff who set challenging homework and go the extra mile’, ‘give kids a real sense of teamwork and self-worth’ and ‘very caring leadership and management’.

Pupils make good progress in the Foundation Stage and in Key Stage 1 and reach above average standards. This progress accelerates to become outstanding as they move through Key Stage 2 and standards reached are high. Pupils’ attainment at the end of Year 6 has been consistently significantly above average for the last five years. This represents outstanding achievement for all pupils since entry to Reception. Measures of progress place the school in the top 2% nationally.

Teaching is never less than good across the school and some features of teaching and learning are exemplary. For example, teachers plan their work with great care to ensure that it is tailored to the needs of all pupils. Very flexible setting arrangements, excellent support for both the highest and lowest attainers and very high expectations all lead to outstanding achievement for all pupils.

Pupils’ personal development and well-being are outstanding. The school takes excellent care of all pupils and has a very warm and supportive ethos where pupils really feel valued and secure. Pupils enjoy their work immensely and want to succeed. Their behaviour is exemplary. In spite of the school’s exhaustive efforts to improve pupils’ attendance this remains average. Pupils benefit from a good curriculum which is rich and well matched to their needs. The school has a very firm focus on the core subjects which results in pupils having excellent basic skills in literacy and numeracy.

Leadership and management are outstanding. It is a great tribute to all staff at Coxhoe School that despite recent staff changes and absence through illness, pupils’ achievement has remained outstanding. The leadership of the deputy headteacher (in the temporary absence of the headteacher) and senior staff is excellent. They promote an atmosphere which is challenging yet supportive and where all staff are working in complete harmony to maximise the achievement of their pupils.

What the school should do to improve further

  • Improve attendance by actively targeting the minority of parents who are failing to send their children to school regularly.

Achievement and standards

Grade: 1

The achievement of all learners from their starting point when they enter the Reception class to the time when they leave school is outstanding. In the Foundation Stage, pupils make overall good progress but it is particularly good in literacy and mathematical development to reach above average standards. Results in national tests in 2005 and unvalidated test results for 2006 indicate that standards reached in English, mathematics and science are high. Pupils with learning difficulties and/or disabilities and those with English as an additional language make excellent progress because their needs are identified very accurately and they receive invaluable support from teachers and teaching assistants. This well targeted support is one of the keys to the school’s outstanding success. The school’s extensive analysis of pupils’ results has identified very minor differences in the performance of boys and girls and intervened in their learning to ensure that no groups of pupils achieve less than their best.

Personal development and well-being

Grade: 1

Pupils work in an outstanding spirit of cooperation with their teachers and with each other. They clearly enjoy learning. A parent commented that her Year 1 child enjoyed school so much he wanted to go back after only the first week of the summer holidays! Year 6 pupils talked at length when asked about the things they liked about their school but found it difficult to think of anything that could be improved. They talked knowledgeably about how they would keep safe and eat healthily. They have a clear sense of right and wrong and show this in the way they care for each other. Older pupils are enthusiastic about the responsibilities they are given. For example, they enjoy being members of the school council and carry out important tasks such as looking after younger children in a very responsible and independent way. Pupils are very knowledgeable and curious about their community and the wider world and have a good understanding of other cultures. Pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is excellent. In an uplifting assembly pupils sang enthusiastically as they prepared for the harvest festival in the local church.

Quality of provision

Teaching and learning

Grade: 1

Teaching and learning are outstanding. Lessons are challenging and lively and teachers ask probing questions which make pupils think for themselves. Older pupils make good use of their handheld computers to do further research and complete homework. Year 6 pupils are encouraged to become skilled in assessing their own work and that of others. In the Reception classroom, pupils have a good range of opportunities to develop their skills through well structured play. Pupils’ work is assessed very regularly and marking is outstandingly thorough and constructive so pupils are left in no doubt about how to improve their work. Pupils are set very precise and challenging targets, they know how to reach them and talk proudly about achieving them. Because pupils’ progress is tracked so carefully, teachers are able to quickly intervene in their learning and give them excellent extra support when they need it.

Curriculum and other activities

Grade: 2

The good curriculum has an appropriate focus on the core subjects but it is also broad and varied. In Reception, although teachers are creative in providing good opportunities for outdoor learning, the further development of this area has been held back by the need for adjacent building work to take place. There is good, imaginative and continually improving provision for the use of information and communication technology by both pupils and staff. Many pupils enjoy varied enrichment opportunities such as learning to play a musical instrument or to take part in pantomimes and plays. Amongst the many activities on offer, pupils talked particularly enthusiastically about a recent trip to Paris, the outstanding success of the girls’ football team and their use of the personal handheld computers which the school provides. The school has outstanding links with other agencies and with the local community and makes maximum use of the expertise of classroom assistants and parents, one of whom teaches the pupils French.

Care, guidance and support

Grade: 1

Care, guidance and support are outstanding. Pupils receive excellent academic guidance and because parents are kept fully informed about what their children are doing at school they are closely involved in their children’s learning. Pupils recognise and value the huge amount of extra help and support they are given with their work which helps them to achieve so well. The school takes great care to ensure that pupils are kept safe and healthy. All appropriate safeguarding procedures are fully in place and understood by all staff. Recent changes to school meals have ensured that most pupils eat fresh, homemade food at lunchtimes.

Leadership and management

Grade: 1

Outstanding leadership and management are key factors in the school’s success. Senior leaders are sharply evaluative of the school’s work. They are firmly focused on raising standards further and are very clear about their priorities for development. These priorities are shared by all staff who fully understand their roles and responsibilities and are continually analysing and evaluating their own and their pupils’ work in order to bring about further improvement. Governors are experienced, have a detailed knowledge of the school and support it very well. The school has made excellent progress since the last inspection and has an outstanding capacity to improve further.

Annex A

Inspection judgements

Key to judgements: grade 1 is outstanding, grade 2 good, grade 3 satisfactory, and grade 4 inadequateSchool Overall
Overall effectiveness
How effective, efficient and inclusive is the provision of education, integrated care and any extended services in meeting the needs of learners? 1
How well does the school work in partnership with others to promote learners' well-being? 1
The quality and standards in the Foundation Stage 2
The effectiveness of the school's self-evaluation 1
The capacity to make any necessary improvements 1
Effective steps have been taken to promote improvement since the last inspection Yes
Achievement and standards
How well do learners achieve? 1
The standards1 reached by learners 1
How well learners make progress, taking account of any significant variations between groups of learners 1
How well learners with learning difficulties and disabilities make progress 1
1 Grade 1 - Exceptionally and consistently high; Grade 2 - Generally above average with none significantly below average; Grade 3 - Broadly average to below average; Grade 4 - Exceptionally low.
Personal development and well-being
How good is the overall personal development and well-being of the learners? 1
The extent of learners' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development 1
The behaviour of learners 1
The attendance of learners 3
How well learners enjoy their education 1
The extent to which learners adopt safe practices 1
The extent to which learners adopt healthy lifestyles 1
The extent to which learners make a positive contribution to the community 1
How well learners develop workplace and other skills that will contribute to their future economic well-being 1
The quality of provision
How effective are teaching and learning in meeting the full range of the learners' needs? 1
How well do the curriculum and other activities meet the range of needs and interests of learners? 2
How well are learners cared for, guided and supported? 1
Leadership and management
How effective are leadership and management in raising achievement and supporting all learners? 1
How effectively leaders and managers at all levels set clear direction leading to improvement and promote high quality of care and education 1
How effectively performance is monitored, evaluated and improved to meet challenging targets 1
How well equality of opportunity is promoted and discrimination tackled so that all learners achieve as well as they can 1
How effectively and efficiently resources, including staff, are deployed to achieve value for money 1
The extent to which governors and other supervisory boards discharge their responsibilities 2
Do procedures for safeguarding learners meet current government requirements? Yes
Does this school require special measures? No
Does this school require a notice to improve? No

Annex B

Text from letter to pupils explaining the findings of the inspection

15 September 2006

To the pupils of:

Coxhoe Primary School

Cornforth Lane



County Durham


Dear Pupils

Thank you for giving me such a warm welcome to your school when I visited yesterday. I really enjoyed seeing your excellent work and hearing all the things you liked about your school.

These are some of the many outstanding things that I found out about your school during my visit:

  • your behaviour is excellent, you enjoy school and you work very hard
  • you make outstanding progress and pupils in Year 6 reach high standards
  • your teachers and all the classroom helpers teach you very well and give you excellent help to do the very best you can
  • your school takes great care of you and helps you to become very responsible people.

You are very lucky to go to such an excellent school. You can help your school improve even more by always doing your best and making sure that you come to school regularly.

Best wishes

Ann Wallis

Lead Inspector