|Name||Marus Bridge Primary School|
|Ofsted Inspection Rating||Good|
|Inspection Date||17 September 2019|
|Address||Kelvin Grove, Marus Bridge, Wigan, Lancashire, WN3 6SP|
|Religious Character||Does not apply|
|Number of Pupils||388 (48% boys 52% girls)|
|Number of Pupils per Teacher||22.8|
|Academy Sponsor||The Rowan Learning Trust|
|Percentage Free School Meals||9%|
|Percentage English is Not First Language||0.8%|
|Pupils with SEN Support||11.3%|
|Catchment Area Information Available||Yes, our catchment area data is FREE|
|Last Distance Offered Information Available||No|
Marus Bridge Primary School continues to be a good school.
What is it like to attend this school?
Pupils and staff are very proud of this happy and successful school. Pupils describe the school as ‘amazing’. They love their lessons and enjoy the wide range of trips and visits that their teachers plan for them. For example, pupils talked with enthusiasm about a trip to Chester as part of their learning in history.
Pupils know that their teachers want them to achieve well. They told me that they get lots of extra help if they need it. This includes support for pupils’ well-being.
Leaders make sure that all pupils enjoy a very wide range of interesting experiences during their time at school. Staff have planned an exciting ‘Bridge Builders’ curriculum programme. This includes trips to theatres, orienteering and contributing to local charities. Pupils described how these opportunities help them learn and grow in confidence and get them ready for secondary school.
In lessons and around school, pupils behave very well. They are extremely well mannered and welcoming. Pupils said that they feel safe in school and that bullying is very rare. When it does happen, pupils told me that their teachers are quick to sort it out.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
Leaders have made sure that all pupils receive a broad and interesting curriculum. They leave the school well prepared for their next stage of education. Teachers plan work that develops pupils’ knowledge and skills across different subjects. For example, in mathematics, pupils spend lots of time practising mental arithmetic skills and written calculations. This means that pupils become skilled, accurate and confident in their work. They achieve highly.
Pupils really enjoy reading. This is because teachers share a wide range of interesting books and novels with their classes. Across the curriculum, staff check that children understand the meaning of tricky words. Teachers give pupils who find reading difficultlots of extra practice by ensuring that they read with an adult every day in school. However, in the Reception and key stage 1 classes, teachers use some different approaches to teach pupils new sounds. This is sometimes confusing for younger pupils who are struggling to read fluently. Some teachers have not had recent training in how to teach phonics.
In history, pupils can remember important facts about the events that they have studied. Year 5 pupils spoke enthusiastically about what they had learned about Ancient Egypt and about the Romans. Leaders have further improved the history curriculum plans to help pupils remember even more key facts about each topic. Teachers are beginning to deliver the new curriculum as intended. However, leaders need to make more checks on what is being taught. This is so that they can ensure that pupils make stronger connections between the different topics that they are studying. Pupils are, however, becoming more confident in ordering historical events on a timeline.
Teachers make detailed and regular checks on how well pupils are learning. This helps teachers to spot any pupils that need extra support. This includes pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). Teachers give these pupils the right support to help them close any gaps in their learning.
In the Reception classes, children get off to a flying start. Children are happy, well settled and ready to learn. They listen carefully to their teachers and are excited about their learning. This is because teachers plan a wide range of activities that children really enjoy. For example, in mathematics, children explore counting and numbers in different and fun ways, including by singing and playing. Teachers ask lots of questions to check that children are keeping up with their learning. They give parents and carers plenty of useful information about how they can help their children with their learning at home.
In classes and around school, pupils are kind and considerate to others. It is rare for pupils to interrupt lessons by misbehaving. The school’s pastoral team provides a range of support. This includes helping pupils behave well and developing their social skills.
A strength of the school is the wide range of opportunities that teachers give pupils to help them learn about the wider world. Pupils learn about different religions, such as Islam and Hinduism. Through experiences such as the choir, and signing at a local special school, pupils understand how to care for others.
Leaders and governors make sure that the school is a happy and harmonious community. All feel valued. Staff are quick to support each other in their teaching. Leaders ensure that staff have a good work–life balance. Staff get lots of opportunities for training and development. For example, teachers within the trust are helping staff to develop their expertise in teaching Spanish.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Leaders give staff regular training and updates. This means everyone knows how to checkfor signs that a pupil may be at risk of harm. Leaders log all concerns and take the right actions when necessary. Staff work closely with other agencies and professionals. This helps pupils get the support that they need. Leaders make the relevant checks on staff to ensure that they pose no threat to pupils’ safety and well-being.
Staff teach pupils about the risks that they might face in their everyday lives, including when using technology. Pupils know whom to go to if they are worried about anything.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
Leaders have planned and implemented a deep and rich curriculum across different subjects. In history, leaders have made further improvements to help pupils to develop more secure knowledge and understanding. Leaders need to ensure that the content of the school’s newly improved history curricular plan is delivered by staff as intended. Leaders also need to check that the revised plan is having the intended impact on further strengthening pupils’ knowledge and understanding in history. . At present, there are some inconsistencies in teaching phonics. This is because some staff have not received recent training in delivering phonics. Therefore, leaders need to ensure that a consistent approach to phonics is put in place that enables all pupils, including those falling behind, to learn to read accurately and fluently.
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 a section 8 inspection of a good school or non-exempt outstanding school. We do not give graded judgements on a section 8 inspection. However, if we find some evidence that the school could now be better than good or that standards may be declining, then the next inspection will be a section 5 inspection. Usually this is within one to two years of the date of the section 8 inspection. If we have serious concerns about safeguarding, behaviour or the quality of education, we will convert the section 8 inspection to a section 5 inspection immediately.
This is the first section 8 inspection since we judged the predecessor school, Marus Bridge Primary School, to be good on 18–19 September 2012.