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Situated on the banks of the River Ure approximately 2 miles west of the A1(M), Roecliffe is an idyllic village. Communications are excellent with easy access to Harrogate (11 miles) and York (19 miles) as well as the wider motorway network. Additionally, fast, mainline rail links are available from York station. 

The village centres on the village green which doubles up as the school playing field. It also has a pub, The Crown Inn, which offers 5 star accommodation and a church, St Mary's at the heart of the village. The church is believed to be the only one in the country with an entirely vaulted roof.

Close to Roecliffe are the Dales and the Yorkshire Dales National Park which is known for its spectacular scenery and range of wildlife habitats.



Roecliffe Church of England Primary School is rated as Good by Ofsted (2017), our children are very well behaved, eager to learn and ‘high level’ on entry. As with most schools, we are anticipating a slight dip in numbers in the coming year.

The proportion of children from minority ethnic backgrounds is well below average as is the the number who speak English as a second language. The proportion of disabled children or those with a statement of educational needs is well below average and those who need extra support at school action and school action plus is average. The proportion of children for whom the school receives child premium funding (additional in this school for children known to be eligible for free school meals or are looked after) is well below average.

We have strong links with the North Star Teaching Alliance. This supports the work of the teaching staff with professional development opportunities, book and work scrutinies, and network events across all curriculum areas. In addition, the outgoing Head is on the executive board and leads maths workshops.


Friends of Roecliffe Church of England School (FORCES)

We are fortunate to have a supportive PTA with a programme of fundraising activities across the school year.



Our school offers a safe, happy and nurturing environment where our children will be inspired and have a love of learning. It is a school where children feel special, enjoy learning, build confidence and achieve their potential through an enriching education that will prepare them for a successful future. All our children have opportunities to shine regardless of their differences.

  • We believe all children are unique and that happy children learn.
  • We believe education is a partnership comprising families, children, educators and the wider community. We believe everyone in our school has a voice that should be heard.
  • We keep these values at the centre of all we do:



Teaching staff further their own professional development by undertaking subject leadership responsibilities. Subject leadership roles are in place for Mathematics, Literacy, Science, Special Educational Needs and EYFS.

We consider we have a strong teaching team. This consists of:

1x NQT

1x RQT

2x experienced teachers

1x 0.4 experienced teacher (leading science and RE)


In addition, we have:

1 x ft school administrator

6x TAs working on a mix of hours totalling 100 per week.

5 of the TAs are permanent, the other is on a fixed term contract.

While we have 1 experienced TA working exclusively in early years, the others work in class during the morning and do interventions in the afternoon.


Current Strengths

  • Continuing improvement across phases has led to a climate where teaching is consistently good
  • Successful partnerships with the teaching alliance and the local authority to develop and share expertise, monitor standards and accelerate improvement
  • High expectations and vision to engender a love of learning through engaging teaching and an absorbing curriculum
  • Children are very well behaved and demonstrate high levels of courtesy towards one another and adults
  • Children value opportunities to develop their resilience and independence on residential trips and through organising fund-raising activities
  • Children are positive learners who work well with one another and focus attentively when required
  • Rates of attendance are very high as children value their learning and find the school a welcoming and stimulating place in which to learn
  • The overall quality of teaching is typically good and new initiatives in mathematics are increasing opportunities for children to make stronger progress


Current areas needing improvement

Leaders and those responsible for governance should ensure that:

From Ofsted short inspection 28/11/17.

  • Children’ progress in writing is further accelerated through the consistent implementation of new initiatives to strengthen the quality of writing
  • The strong and improving progress in mathematics is matched in reading through the continued implementation of new strategies to add further challenge and deepen skills of inference and deduction

In addition the governors have highlighted: 

  • Need to strengthen middle leadership – with appropriate training and delegation of responsibilities
  • Clear and dedicated support for all members of staff, particularly NQT/RCT

Child achievement



Key findings:

  • Good school with outstanding features
  • Exceptional curriculum
  • Church school with distinctly Christian ethos
  • Positive relationships with the school community & wider community
  • Strong and supportive Governance
  • Culture of high expectations, positive behaviour and love of learning

Short inspection November 2017

  • Strong leadership
  • Good quality of education
  • Culture of high expectations that is shared by all staff and members of the governing body
  • Love of learning across the school through teaching that is often enriched by practical engagement with the real world
  • Building leadership capacity by giving new leaders responsibilities for monitoring standards and leading improvements in key areas
  • Promotion of professional development activities and networking meetings to strengthen expertise and moderate standards
  • Children have achieved high standards and make good, and improving progress
  • School leaders have established an ethos of trust and consideration that informs all aspects of the school’s work
  • Parents and children value the climate of mutual respect that characterises relationships across the school
  • The exceptional curriculum promotes curiosity, independence and imagination, enabling children to create meaningful connections between their learning and its application in real world contexts. Residential trips at home and abroad, outdoor pursuits, diverse sporting experiences and inter-generational projects with a local nursing home are a small selection of the diverse experiences that stimulate interest and enable children to develop wider personal skills
  • Leaders engender a culture of mutual respect where children look after one another
  • Parents and children value the buddy system, where older children provide support for younger children in the school
  • Children value their education and this is reflected in the exceptionally high rates of attendance that you have sustained
  • Children are given a voice, such as their recent request to run a school-based talent show to raise money for the nurture centre
  • Children value the opportunities provided to develop their independence and self-confidence through outdoor pursuits, camping experiences and wider responsibilities at school
  • Strategies are in place to strengthen the curriculum and the quality of teaching in mathematics
  • All teachers review children’ progress on a half-termly basis and swiftly put tailored support plans in place to address emerging underachievement
  • Leaders and teachers work with external partners from neighbouring schools and the local authority to check standards and the quality of children’ work
  • Governors share high expectations and are committed to the success of the school. They receive regular information on children’ progress and question leaders on aspects of progress. Governors have specific areas of responsibility linked to their interests and experience.


 Budgetary Position

The school is in a stable financial position, with regular monitoring, analysis and management of the school budget overseen by NYCC’s Bursary service. It is reviewed termly by the Governing Board Resources Committee.

Currently, we are forecasting a small in year surplus. However, there is a possibility of a reduction in income due to fluctuation of child numbers, loss of outgoing Headteacher earning potential and costs associated with Headteacher recruitment and middle management training.

The school has maintained a stable financial position for at least the last 15 years.



  • In the short term, our aims are to:
  • Strengthen middle management, providing support and encouragement as required.
  • Improve child outcomes, particular in literacy
  • Maximise child numbers
  • Review contracts with external suppliers to ensure best value is achieved

In the longer term, we are looking to build on the success of our recent inspection by maintaining and improving educational standards and working to ensure the stability and well-being of teaching staff. In addition, there is agreement that the Headteacher should formally explore options for the future of the school. In this regard, there three main options:

  • Roecliffe to be the lead school of a federation of local schools
  • Roecliffe to formalise its partnership with STEM as a ‘centre of excellence’
  • Academisation – this has already been explored by the Governing Board but there are no plans to progress at this time

As already mentioned, child numbers need to be maximised, particularly as we, like most schools, are forecasting a reduction. This, coupled with a catchment area closely linked to other primary schools means that numbers will likely be a significant area of concentration for the foreseeable future. The situation is also not helped by the constrains of our Victorian (Listed) buildings though we continue to review and assess how we can adapt class sizes and make the best use of the spaces we have.


The wider community

We consider we have positive relationships with the wider community, examples being:  

  • Inter school sports competitions
  • Links with a Nursing Home in Boroughbridge
  • Close links with the church
  • Support for the Carers Resource, Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal
  • Strong links to CAFOD
  • Local charity support

Although we do not currently have a formal working relationship with the Diocesan Board of Education, their advisor visits and provides advice.

The Parish is just entering a period of vacancy but it is hoped that once a new vicar is appointed, they will play an active part in school life, delivering weekly collective worship, working with the collective worship committee and as a Foundation Governor. 


About living and working in North Yorkshire

North Yorkshire is England's largest county and one of the most rural. The area comprises the Yorkshire Dales and North Yorkshire Moors, three Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Pennines and a stunning coastline around Scarborough and Whitby. The area hosted the phenomenal Tour de France in 2014, and due to its success has created the Tour de Yorkshire with global recognition. There are ruined castles and abbeys, serene gardens, unique breweries, thrilling rides and industrial heritage. Something for everyone!

For outdoor enthusiasts North Yorkshire has plenty to offer. From the hard gritstone of Almscliff and Brimham rocks to the limestone of Malham, Gordale and Kilnsey climbing venues are in abundance. The Yorkshire Dales is the premier area for caving and for mountain biking there are the bridleways of the Dales and North York Moors as well as the renowned trail centre at Dalby Forest. The 7stanes trail centres are all easily accessible for days and weekends away as is the Lake District and the fells, crags and coast of Northumberland. There are a small number of sailing clubs on reservoirs around the county and fantastic, if chilly surfsport venues and sea kayaking on the east coast.

While the county is rightly known for its wide open spaces, it also incorporates attractive market towns including Northallerton and Skipton - judged the best place to live in Britain by the Sunday Times - the traditional seaside towns of Whitby and Scarborough, the Spa town of Harrogate, as well as the ancient city of York, the most visited city outside of London. There are a wide range of shopping, leisure and cultural facilities as well as excellent schools, universities, road and rail links, there really is everything to offer you and your family as a place to work, live and enjoy! 

Travelling further afield we have convenient connectivity, with close proximity to metropolitan cities of Leeds and Newcastle, with little over two hours commute on the main train line to London. We border the Lake District, Lancashire, County Durham, and Yorkshire & Humber regions with all they have to offer.



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