Merstham Primary School

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About Merstham Primary School

Name Merstham Primary School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Gavin Oulton
Address London Road South, Merstham, Redhill, RH1 3AZ
Phone Number 01737924476
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 2-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 218
Local Authority Surrey
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils love coming to Merstham Primary School.

Adults help every child to feel happy and safe and to thrive. The school is a community where everyone is valued and respected. Relationships are heart-warming and caring.

Leaders expect high standards for how pupils behave and interact with each other. This starts when children enter Nursery. From the very start, children receive the right support to settle in calmly.

They follow the school's rules and play happily. Across year groups, pupils are warm-hearted. Because of this, bullying is unheard of.

Leaders act swiftly if any concerns arise.

Kindness ambassadors, school councillors and house c...aptains are some of the important roles that encourage pupils to demonstrate their leadership skills and talents. Leaders also prioritise pupils' physical fitness through activities and competitions.

Pupils are curious and eager to explore their learning in the well-resourced new early years outdoor environment and library. Pupils love to go on trips and welcome special visitors to their school.

All pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), experience a broad curriculum.

Teachers are ambitious for pupils to achieve well. They ensure that pupils get the support they need in readiness for secondary school.

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

The trust has courageously steered the school through an unprecedented period.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the school suffered catastrophic flooding. Trust leaders wasted no time in dealing with this. They prioritised pupils' education through strategic thinking and by utilising internal resources.

While the school is now back on its feet, leaders recognise the disruption caused to pupils' education. They are redoubling efforts to close any pupils' learning gaps that remain.

Teaching pupils to read quickly is at the top of leaders' priorities.

The trust has invested significantly in making sure staff are skilled in teaching phonics. Staff benefit from outside expert training. This ensures consistent and high-quality implementation of the programme.

Children get off to a flying start in Reception. Leaders track pupils' progress through each stage. Pupils read the right books to practise the sounds they know.

Currently, there are pupils who require extra reading sessions to catch up. Leaders know they must act fast. The daily 'fast track' tutoring is having an impact on helping these pupils read.

The school's curriculum is ambitious in its design. Leaders know the educational journey from Nursery to Year 6 in each subject. Although the core knowledge is mapped out across year groups, leaders have not fine-tuned sequencing this knowledge into logical steps.

It means that in some subjects, teachers are making their own choices for when and how pupils learn new content. Consequently, pupils can learn things in the wrong order. This then impacts upon pupils' understanding and readiness for something new.

Teachers are developing their knowledge and skills through ongoing professional development. Leaders are utilising the trust's training programme to support teachers in knowing how best pupils learn. Teachers use regular opportunities to get pupils to recall previous learning quickly.

This supports pupils' remembering of the curriculum. Teachers explain concepts clearly, using helpful models where needed.

There are, however, some aspects where leaders have not ensured that teachers have the right expertise.

Sometimes, teachers set activities which miss the mark in enabling pupils' successful learning. This happens when teachers lack clarity of the knowledge pupils must grasp. They can mistakenly think that pupils learn in a certain way.

Pupils' vocabulary and language are promoted well. In early years, adults exploit excellent opportunities to teach and build children's vocabulary through direct teaching and children's play. As well as reading aloud, adults sing and recite nursery rhymes to develop children's language.

Older pupils read a wide range of books to enhance their knowledge and acquire new words.

Leaders identify pupils with SEND quickly. These pupils are known and their needs are well understood.

Leaders ensure that pupils get the right help early. Teachers are becoming more skilled in breaking down content into smaller steps where needed. Pupils with SEND complete the same work as their peers but, occasionally, adults do not promote enough independence when pupils are learning.

Pupils work hard and know not to disturb others. Teachers consistently reinforce the school's core values. Pupils advocate tolerance and acceptance.

They know not to judge somebody based on their race, faith or family background.

Trustees rigorously hold leaders to account. They expect leaders to provide a high-quality education to pupils.

School governors undertake their delegated responsibilities conscientiously. Meetings are purposeful in checking the impact of leaders' actions on the education of their pupils.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders are never complacent in how they keep pupils safe from harm. Excellent communication between adults ensures that leaders have the knowledge they need to take prompt action. Regular training and ongoing discussions keep everyone abreast of any worrying signs to look out for.

The 'it can happen here' message permeates through all that staff do. Leaders' records are precise and document all conversations. Every week leaders meet to review actions.

They are methodical in their approach.

Pupils are well informed about online safety risks, for example when using mobile phones. They know how to protect their personal information.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• In some subjects, leaders have not precisely identified all the component knowledge. This means that pupils can learn content out of sequence. Leaders need to ensure that all subjects outline exactly what knowledge must be taught where and when across all year groups.

• Leaders' actions for improving teachers' subject and pedagogical knowledge require further embedding. Sometimes, teachers are not clear enough about setting appropriate tasks which will help pupils remember content securely. Leaders need to continue to support teachers' implementation of the curriculum so that pupils' work closely matches the ambitious curricular goals.

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