Mark Cross Church of England Aided Primary School

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About Mark Cross Church of England Aided Primary School

Name Mark Cross Church of England Aided Primary School
Ofsted Inspections
Executive Headteacher Mrs Alma Scales
Address Mark Cross, Crowborough, TN6 3PJ
Phone Number 01892852866
Phase Primary
Type Voluntary aided school
Age Range 4-11
Religious Character Church of England
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 94
Local Authority East Sussex
Highlights from Latest Inspection


Mark Cross Church of England Aided Primary School continues to be a good school.

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils love this school. They happily join their classmates in the morning, ready for the day ahead.

The youngest children in the school delight in learning and enjoy school just as much as the older pupils. Parents share their children's enthusiasm. They talk of friendly staff, strong communication, and effective support when their children need some extra help.

Staff have high expectations. They build warm relationships with their pupils, who feel secure and valued as a result. Pupils work hard, explain their learning confidently and achieve well.
<>They share their teachers' high aspirations for them in the future.

Pupils enjoy getting to know each other in this small, friendly school. They say that everyone is kind and welcoming and that teachers are fair.

Any worries they have are sorted out quickly. The school's values provide a secure framework for school life and pupils know why these are important. For instance, they can explain the importance of treating each other with respect.

Pupils know and follow the school rules. They work well together in lessons and chat and play sensibly during breaktimes. The school's stunning rural setting, and its bright, attractive and well-equipped classrooms, provides pupils with an inviting and interesting place in which to learn.

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

The school has worked hard to update the curriculum in the past two years. This has been a significant piece of work, but well worthwhile. Leaders have rightly prioritised curriculum development in reading, English and mathematics, as well as in some of the foundation subjects.

The revised curriculum in these subjects provides pupils with much more cohesive and coherent learning than was the case previously. Pupils achieve well in these subjects as a result. The youngest children in the school are excited about learning.

The curriculum is at an earlier stage of development in a small number of foundation subjects, such as history. As a result, pupils do not achieve as well as they could. Further work is needed to ensure that the content of the curriculum in these subjects is as carefully identified as it is in others.

Teachers are pleased with improvements made to the curriculum. One said, 'This is the first time we feel that the curriculum is in the right place, although we know that there's more to do.'

Leaders ensure that all pupils benefit from the education provided by the school.

Disadvantaged pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities are valued members of the school community and participate fully in all aspects of school life. Leaders are alert to their needs and provide effective support wherever needed.

Leaders have strengthened the school's approach to teaching reading in recent years.

A new phonics programme introduced last year is now securely embedded. Staff teach the programme consistently well and pupils acquire secure and reliable reading skills. Regular assessments are used to check that pupils are on track with their reading, with support provided where needed.

In 2023, the proportion of pupils achieving the expected standard in the national tests was in line with the national average, while the proportion achieving the higher standard was above. Books are given a high priority in the school's revised curriculum. Key texts have been chosen with great care and opportunities for pupils to read are threaded throughout the curriculum.

Pupils enjoy the range of books that they can read in school or at home.

The school's Christian ethos is central to school life. Class assemblies are used to promote the school's values and to explain how these relate to fundamental British values.

Sports premium funding supports the provision of a wide range of clubs and activities. Trips and visits help to inform pupils' views of the world.

Pupils behave well.

They learn about their own emotions and the impact these can have on their actions. Those who struggle to behave appropriately are supported with kindness and understanding. Staff know pupils very well, so they are quick to spot signs of anxiety and intervene early where necessary.

Children in Reception class copy the strong role models provided by their teachers. They are confident and happy, treating each other with respect, listening to each other politely and cooperating beautifully with each other to complete activities.

Staff share their pupils' enthusiasm for school.

One said, 'Everyone makes it a place that you want to be, and everyone always has time for you.' Leaders are alert to workload pressures and staff appreciate some of the steps taken to support their work, such as opportunities to share expertise with colleagues in other schools in the federation.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• In a minority of foundation subjects, such as history, the school has not identified the knowledge and key concepts pupils will learn precisely enough. Sometimes, there is too much content for pupils to learn and too few opportunities for them to develop depth of learning. As a result, pupils do not achieve as well as they could in these subjects.

Leaders should implement their plans to refine the curriculum. Additionally, leaders should ensure that staff have the necessary expertise and knowledge to implement the curriculum in these subjects effectively and in the way that leaders intend.


When we have judged a school to be good, we will then normally go into the school about once every four years to confirm that the school remains good.

This is called an ungraded inspection, and it is carried out under section 8 of the Education Act 2005. We do not give graded judgements on an ungraded inspection. However, if we find evidence that a school would now receive a higher or lower grade, then the next inspection will be a graded inspection, which is carried out under section 5 of the Act.

Usually this is within one to two years of the date of the ungraded inspection. If we have serious concerns about safeguarding, behaviour or the quality of education, we will deem the ungraded inspection a graded inspection immediately.

This is the first ungraded inspection since we judged the school to be good in January 2019.

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