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St Mary’s was rated as 'Outstanding' by OFSTED on their last visit in May 2022.

 

Overall effectiveness                 Outstanding

The quality of education            Outstanding

Behaviour and attitudes             Outstanding

Personal development               Outstanding

Leadership and management    Outstanding
Early years provision                  Outstanding 

 

You can see the report here:

 

What is it like to attend this school?

 

Pupils at St Mary’s flourish in an environment where they feel safe and happy. Their thirst for knowledge helps them to develop into committed and curious learners. Pupils are confident and articulate when expressing their thoughts and ideas to others. All staff have very high expectations for pupils to be successful. Pupils rise to the challenges that their teachers set for them, both academically and socially. They achieve very highly. Relationships between adults and pupils are exceptionally strong.  Pupils’ behaviour is exemplary. They show great consideration and politeness towards others. Bullying is not tolerated. Pupils are confident that staff would deal with any incidents swiftly.  One pupil’s comment summed up the views of many when they stated, ‘St Mary’s is a heart-warming place. Anyone gets help if they need it.

 

Pupils are proud to be part of this special community. They benefit from a wealth of experiences which helps to develop pupils into well-rounded citizens. They relish the opportunity to come together to celebrate events such as the annual, local lantern parade. Pupils also work with the local food bank and support recycling within the community. They enjoy a wide range of trips linked to their learning. These include theatre trips, art exhibitions, visits to Parliament and residential trips.

 

What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?

 

Leaders provide a highly effective curriculum from the early years to Year 6. In all subjects, they have thought carefully about the key knowledge that they want pupils to learn and when they should learn it. This helps pupils to achieve exceptionally well in all subjects. The provision in the early years is excellent. Children become confident and inquisitive learners. They are exceptionally well prepared for key stage 1. Staff receive highly effective training to deliver the curriculum. This helps them to make sure that pupils develop their understanding in logical, manageable steps. This is because their learning of complex ideas is broken down into smaller steps. Staff are confident and skilled in teaching all subjects. They check pupils’ prior knowledge often and new learning builds on what pupils already know. As a result, pupils understand how previous learning is relevant to their current learning. For example, in Spanish, pupils develop a secure understanding of grammar before they begin to write in Spanish by the end of key stage 2. Leaders have made reading a high priority.

 

Children begin their reading journey in the Nursery Year. Here, staff ensure that children listen to stories and learn rhymes and songs, as well as hear new vocabulary. This continues into the Reception class where children learn letters and sounds. Pupils are supported to read with books that closely match the sounds that they are learning. Teachers across the school readily promote a love of reading. Pupils eagerly talk about their favourite books and a wide range of authors. Teachers and other staff support any pupils who have fallen behind to catch up quickly. By the time pupils leave the school, the vast majority become confident and fluent readers.

 

Staff know pupils well. They identify any pupils who may have special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) quickly and accurately. When appropriate, leaders engage with outside agencies to help ensure that all pupils with SEND can access the same curriculum as their peers.

 

Staff keep parents regularly informed about their children’s targets and progress. These pupils are supported and challenged to achieve exceptionally well.

 

The school is a settled and calm environment.

 

Excellent relationships between pupils and staff help to maintain this environment in all parts of the school. Pupils have a positive attitude to their learning. When they are learning, they work exceptionally well, including with each other. Everyone can learn without disruption.

 

Leaders have a strong focus on pupils’ personal development. They ensure that pupils have as broad and rich an experience as possible. The outdoor grounds are used exceptionally well. This area has been well thought out to give pupils wider experiences which help to develop resilience and perseverance, such as when climbing. The COVID-19 pandemic halted some clubs and trips, but these have now resumed. There are numerous sports clubs, as well as other popular clubs such as those for computing and music. Pupils have many opportunities to take on responsibilities and take great pride in the roles that they have. These include being prefects, litter pickers, digital leaders and reading buddies for younger pupils.

 

Staff said that leaders consider their workload and well-being carefully. Staff appreciate the regular training opportunities made available in school and the federation.

 

Leaders throughout the school are focused on achieving the best possible outcomes for children in the early years and pupils across the rest of the school.

 

Governors and trustees are very knowledgeable about the school, for example the quality of education offered to pupils. They offer leaders support but are also ready to challenge when necessary.

 

Safeguarding

 

The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.  There is a strong culture of safeguarding in the school.  All staff know how to identify and report any concerns. Leaders follow up on any concerns quickly.  They work effectively with external agencies and supportively with parents and carers when required.  Leaders update staff regularly on any changes to safeguarding practice.  Staff know the risks that children may face, including when pupils use the internet. The curriculum successfully teaches pupils about keeping safe. From an early age, pupils learn how to report any worries that they may have. They learn where they can go for help

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