Merriott First School

Name Merriott First School
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 01 December 2010
Address Church Street, Merriott, Somerset, TA16 5PT
Phone Number 0146072547
Type Primary
Age Range 5-9
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 109 (48% boys 52% girls)
Local Authority Somerset
Percentage Free School Meals 12.8%
Pupils with SEN Support 13.9%
Catchment Area Information Available Yes, our catchment area data is FREE
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

Information about the school

This is a smaller than average first school. The acting headteacher has been in post for two terms. The school serves its immediate village as well as some neighbouring villages. All of the pupils are White British and a below number of pupils are known to be eligible for free school meals. The proportion of pupils who have special educational needs and/or disabilities is below the national average and there are no pupils for whom English is a second language.

Main findings

This is a good school. Pupils’ academic attainments at the end of Year 2 are now above average, having improved steadily over the last three years, and are continuing to improve this year. The school provides a caring, supportive yet stimulating environment where pupils are seen as individuals and encouraged to be independent and enquiring young people who can take the initiative to improve the work of the school. The acting headteacher has successfully maintained and improved the work of the school, ably supported by the governing body. The staff, parents and carers recognise and appreciate the improvements being made. The acting headteacher has a good grasp of the quality of teaching in each class and recognises what inspectors found. The best practice in raising the level of pupils’ independence has yet to be implemented consistently across the school so that pupils can decide for themselves when and what to do next to improve. The strengths in leadership and management, and effective ongoing improvements, particularly in standards of writing, demonstrate good, sustainable capacity to move the school on even further. Pupils benefit from very effective pastoral care that ensures that their personal needs are met. This is particularly the case for pupils who have special educational needs and/or disabilities. Every effort is made to ensure their individual needs are met and to enable them to make good progress towards their own targets. The outstanding work of the teaching assistants makes a major contribution to all pupils’ progress. They and the class teachers work effectively and in close partnership. Parents and carers are very appreciative of the school, though a few feel that communication about what is happening is not always well organised and that they would like more regular formal feedback on how well their child is doing. While the school has done much to improve this, it recognises that more still needs to be done, especially in keeping parents and carers up-to-date about improvements. Children in the Reception class get an outstanding start to their education. They enter the school with skills that are broadly average but below those expected for their age for writing. The broad range of activities provided in an exceptionally stimulating environment and the high quality of teaching and support mean that they make outstanding progress. Pupils then make good progress from Year 1 until the time they leave in Year 4. In 2010, pupils reached standards that were significantly above average in reading, writing and mathematics at the end of Key Stage 1. The school recognised that standards in writing were below those of reading and mathematics and, through secure planning and intervention, has managed to narrow the gap, particularly for boys, with pupils achieving well. One pupil said, ’We love writing because we can write about the things that excite us.’ Pupils do well because of good, engaging teaching, a good curriculum that finds ways of enriching their lives and broadening their horizons, and much that is outstanding in care, support and guidance making a strong contribution to their personal development. They attend exceptionally regularly. The school capitalises on pupils’ positive, enthusiastic attitudes to help them to understand their progress better, reflect on their achievements, and reflect upon how they feel and think about important things in their lives.