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About Crigglestone Mackie Hill Junior and Infant School
Crigglestone Mackie Hill Junior and Infant school has improved considerably since the last inspection. The headteacher, governors and the leadership team have made many changes to make the school better.
Leaders expect pupils to behave well and they do.
Pupils, parents and carers say how much better behaviour is. Pupils enjoy school. They say it is 'awesome' as teachers make learning exciting and fun.
Pupils work hard in lessons. They are now achieving well. Parents told us how much they appreciate celebrating their children's achievements during 'celebration assemblies'.
Many pupils enjoy extra-curricular opportunities, including sporting activities..., visits and outdoor learning. Pupils know about the importance of eating healthily and healthy lifestyles. School councillors speak proudly about introducing lunchtime games and a healthy tuck shop menu.
Pupils understand and follow the school's values of 'independence' and 'respect'.Pupils are friendly and polite. They hold the doors for adults with a cheerful smile.
Everyone gets along. Pupils say bullying is very rare. They are confident that adults deal with any worries or concerns quickly.
Pupils feel safe and highly valued by staff.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
Leaders have improved the school since the last inspection. The new headteacher and leaders have a clear, ambitious vision which staff share and understand.
Adults want all pupils to achieve their best.
In the past, pupils were not achieving well enough in English and mathematics. Since the last inspection, leaders have improved the curriculum.
They are clear about what pupils should learn and by when. Pupils are now making better progress, especially in reading. Pupils' outcomes in the statutory tests at the end of key stages 1 and 2 have improved.
Subjects leaders are passionate about their roles. They ensure that teachers know what to teach and when. Teachers have good subject knowledge in most subjects.
They have received some high-quality subject-specific training. Teachers plan the important content that they want pupils to know. For example, in mathematics, the curriculum is well sequenced.
Teachers build on what pupils already know. Adults check what pupils have learned before moving on to new work. Teachers make sure that pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities get the support they need to learn well.
Pupils learn and remember key mathematical knowledge.
Leaders make reading a high priority. Story time and books are chosen to inspire and engage pupils.
Pupils speak with enthusiasm about their love of reading and the books they enjoy most.The teaching of phonics is well organised and planned. Staff who teach phonics are experts in this area, modelling sounds clearly and accurately.
They receive high-quality ongoing training. In the early years, children start to learn to read immediately. By the end of the Reception Year, most children can use phonics for reading and spelling.
Children who fall behind in their reading receive extra support. This helps them to catch up quickly. However, when pupils start key stage 1, they are not always encouraged well enough to use their phonics knowledge when they write.
In most subjects, pupils achieve well. However, this is less consistent in modern foreign languages (MFL) and computing. Leaders have plans in place to enhance teachers' subject-specific knowledge in these subjects.
Pupils behave well. They show respect to each other. Those pupils who find it more difficult to behave well are supported effectively to improve.
The school's curriculum extends beyond the academic subjects. Pupils value the experiences they have in lessons and beyond. Pupils told us that they enjoy learning about different religions and faiths as it helps them to appreciate why people might act or dress differently.
Leaders have worked closely with pupils, families, the new attendance officer and the local authority to improve pupils' attendance. While improvements are evident, attendance is still below the national average. Increasing attendance remains a school priority.
In the early years, children are safe and happy. Staff know and engage well with children. They help parents to support their children's learning.
Staff are highly skilled and knowledgeable about how young children learn. Teachers provide children with many interesting activities. During our visit, children were excitedly exploring whether ice or water travelled more quickly down the channels they made.
Children are interested and love learning here.
Governors know the school well. They understand the strengths and what needs to improve.
Leaders listen to the views of staff and act to improve their well-being and to reduce workload. Staff are very proud to work at this school.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Staff know how to keep pupils safe because of the high-quality training they receive. Leaders and staff know their pupils and families well. They make sure that vulnerable families get the help they need by working closely with outside agencies.
Staff understand local risks and the signs to look out for. Leaders follow up concerns promptly. Child protection records are meticulous.
Pupils are taught how to keep themselves safe. They know who to inform if they have any concerns.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
Some teachers lack confidence in teaching MFL and computing.
Pupils' achievement is inconsistent in these subjects. Senior leaders should ensure that they carry out their already established plans to help teachers to develop their subject-specific knowledge in these areas of the curriculum. .
A small but significant number of pupils do not apply their knowledge of phonics to their writing at the start of key stage 1. As a result, pupils do not develop their writing skills as well as they should. Leaders should build on the practice in the early years by ensuring that pupils use their phonics knowledge to help their writing in key stage 1.
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