Barling Magna Primary Academy

Name Barling Magna Primary Academy
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 09 October 2019
Address Little Wakering Road, Southend-on-Sea, Essex, SS3 0LN
Phone Number 01702218961
Type Primary
Age Range 4-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 143 (48% boys 52% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 20.6
Academy Sponsor The Brickfields Trust
Local Authority Essex
Percentage Free School Meals 22.9%
Percentage English is Not First Language 0%
Persisitent Absence 8.4%
Pupils with SEN Support 9.1%
Catchment Area Information Available Yes, our catchment area data is FREE
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils enjoy a calm and positive atmosphere for learning at this school. They get on very well together. Pupils respond well to teachers’ high expectations of behaviour. School is a happy place where pupils can thrive. Leaders and staff have high expectations of what all pupils can do. Pupils achieve well across the curriculum, particularly so in reading, writing and mathematics.

The school’s motto is ‘caring, learning and achieving together’. The day-to-day life of the school reflects this well. Comments from parents included, ‘This is a lovely school with a small village feel.’

Pupils say they feel safe at school. Bullying is rare. Pupils know there are caring adults they can turn to if they are sad. Pupils attend well and enjoy the extensive variety of subjects that they learn.

Pupils say school is fun. They join lots of different clubs. They experience exciting outings, including to the theatre and the planetarium.

Leaders know what needs to improve. Teachers need to provide pupils with ways to check the meaning of some difficult words they learn to spell. New subject leads need time to further develop teachers’ knowledge so they are equally skilled and confident in all subjects as they are in English, mathematics, science and computing.

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

The quality of education has improved markedly since the appointment of the new head of school. Leaders, well supported by the trust, have embedded a culture of high expectations. Pupils’ achievement and behaviour has improved markedly as a result. Leaders make good use of external support. The routines which teachers establish ensure that pupils know what the rules are and how to behave.

Pupils’ attitudes to learning are positive. They maintain a high level of concentration in lessons. Pupils commit to their learning and this helps them to learn well. Teachers have a strong focus on high expectations for the quality of work pupils do.

All subjects have clear plans, which meet the demands of the national curriculum. Teachers plan topics in a logical order. Subject leaders develop their expertise by working with colleagues across the trust. In some subjects, such as geography, subject leaders still need time to identify what further support teachers might need to help pupils learn even more effectively.

Teaching reading has a high priority. All children read every day. Staff are well trained to deliver high-quality phonics sessions, so that younger pupils learn to read as quickly as possible. Those who fall behind are speedily identified and receive the right support to help them catch up.Leaders have focused on ‘getting the basics right’. Spelling is an important part of this. Pupils’ work shows that this focus has been successful. Pupils learn to spell an ambitious range of words. However, teachers need to equip all pupils with the skills and strategies to check for themselves what unfamiliar words mean.

Teachers ensure that pupils have a good understanding of mathematics knowledge and skills. Pupils use this knowledge well across the curriculum. Teachers deal with pupils’ misconceptions skilfully and swiftly.

Leaders involve parents well in school life. For example, through ‘family Friday’, when parents visit the Reception class and join in with learning activities.

Pupils learn about other religions and cultures and understand the need for tolerance and kindness. They vote to choose pupils who take up leadership roles. This helps them to understand the concept of democracy.

The school provides good support for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities. Teachers adapt work to meet pupils’ needs. Staff are ambitious for what pupils can achieve.

In the early years, children receive good care. The indoor and outdoor areas provide a varied range of opportunities to develop children’s social and physical skills. There is a strong focus on developing early language and phonics knowledge. Children enjoy story time and join in by acting out the characters. They are well prepared for learning in Year 1.

Trustees know the school well. They challenge and support school leaders to ensure that the school is managed effectively.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders have established a vigilant and caring ethos in the school. Staff receive regular and appropriate training. They can recognise the signs that a pupil is at risk of harm. Staff are confident to report any concerns. Leaders follow up concerns rigorously and swiftly. Leaders accurately record concerns and actions taken. They seek support from external agencies when required so that pupils get the help that they need.

Pupils learn to keep themselves safe, including when working online. Leaders know the risks that exist in the local area. Pupils learn about these risks through assemblies and special lessons.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

School leaders have thought carefully about the support that teachers need to teach different subjects well. This has had a very positive impact on pupils’ learning, particularly in English, mathematics, science and computing. Since new curriculum plans have been introduced, leaders have not yet evaluated whether teachers need support and professional development to improve further their teaching in other subjects. All subject leaders need to evaluate whether all teachers are equally effective in supporting pupils’ learning across the whole curriculum. . Leaders are determined that pupils are exposed to a wide range of ambitious vocabulary so that pupils can access challenging texts. Occasionally, pupils have difficulty in understanding some harder words they come across, for example when practising spellings. Teachers need to provide pupils with strategies and skills so that all pupils can check the meanings of unfamiliar words for themselves.