Mickley First School

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About Mickley First School

Name Mickley First School
Website http://www.mickley.northumberland.sch.uk/
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mr Andrew Hudson
Address Mickley, West Road, Stocksfield, NE43 7BG
Phone Number 01661842269
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 3-9
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 87
Local Authority Northumberland
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Mickley First School has a strong sense of community and inclusion.

The school has created a friendly and welcoming environment for pupils and their families. Staff foster strong relationships with parents and carers. Pupils know that they have a trusted adult to talk to in school if they need one.

This helps them to feel safe.

Staff have high expectations of pupils' achievement. Pupils are eager to learn and achieve well.

Pupils understand and appreciate the reward system for positive attitudes to work and behaviour. While most pupils behave well, sometimes, staff are inconsistent in their expectations of how pupils should behave. This means a small... number of pupils sometimes distract others with their low-level disruptive behaviours.

The school is aware of this and is already working with staff to bring about improvements.

Pupils value the leadership opportunities that the school provides such as school council and eco-council. They vote for house captains and vice-captains.

The school has strong community links with the local church and residential home. Pupils can contribute to the village by gardening in the school-owned patch of land.

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

Leaders have implemented a curriculum that matches the breadth and ambition of the national curriculum.

In most subjects, the curriculum is well sequenced so that pupils build their knowledge cumulatively over time. For example, in geography, older pupils can recall information about Borneo in detail. They use their prior knowledge to describe the country's location.

In a small number of subjects, curriculum plans are not sufficiently personalised to meet the needs of the school. In these subjects, pupils find it more difficult to recall what they have learned. Leaders are aware of the need to further develop some curriculum areas.

The school prioritises reading. Pupils enjoy sharing stories in the 'reading nook' at playtimes. Staff know how to teach phonics well.

The phonics programme begins with the youngest children. Teachers ensure that the books pupils read align with the sounds that they have been taught. Assessment is used well to identify any gaps in pupils' knowledge.

As a result, pupils receive timely, focused interventions. Pupils are fluent and accurate readers by the time they leave school.

Teachers use technology well to present learning clearly and model tasks alongside pupils.

This ensures that pupils are clear about what they are intended to learn. Teachers prioritise the teaching of the key vocabulary outlined in curriculum plans. However, staff sometimes miss opportunities to extend pupils' learning through discussions.

This means that some pupils find it hard to talk about what they know and explain their thinking.

The behaviour of most pupils in lessons and at breaktimes is positive. Pupils understand the school's system of rewards and sanctions.

However, some staff are inconsistent in their expectations of how pupils should behave during lessons. A small number of pupils disrupt others with low-level negative behaviours. Some pupils, while not disrupting others, are not always actively engaged with their learning.

This means that on occasions, some pupils do not learn the curriculum as well as leaders intend.

The school identifies, assesses and meets the needs of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities successfully. A counsellor supports pupils with social, emotional and mental health needs.

The school has created safe spaces for pupils to use if they feel overwhelmed. These adaptations make a positive difference to pupils' learning, behaviour and well-being.

The early years environment is a warm and nurturing space.

Leaders have implemented a well-planned and sequenced curriculum. The school ensures that children are prepared for Year 1. Staff are knowledgeable about the teaching of early mathematics.

They ensure that children have enough practice to be confident in using and understanding numbers. Regular events, such as craft mornings and 'pjamarama', help establish positive relationships with parents.

Leaders have collaborated with receiving middle schools to plan the curriculum for personal, social, health and economic education.

This ensures consistency across key stage 2. The school ensures that pupils learn about privacy and personal boundaries in an age-appropriate way. A recent visit by a Paralympian has inspired pupils.

They know about the importance of treating people with disabilities fairly.

The trust has taken positive action to support the leadership capacity of the school. Members of the local governing board bring a high level of expertise to their roles.

They assure themselves of the effectiveness of the school through regular monitoring visits. As a result, governors are able to provide a good balance of challenge and support for the headteacher.

Staff value the opportunities to work collaboratively with colleagues from other schools within the trust.

They appreciate that school leaders consider their workload when introducing new initiatives. One staff member summed up the views of many by saying, 'We all work very hard but go home with a satisfied feeling at the end of the week.'


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• The intent and ambitions of the curriculum are clear. However, curriculum plans have not been sufficiently personalised to meet the needs of the school in some subject areas. This leads to some inconsistencies in the delivery of the curriculum and appropriateness of learning activities.

The school should continue to develop the curriculum so that all plans meet the needs of the pupils. ? The school has ensured that curriculum planning includes a focus on learning selected vocabulary. However, many pupils struggle to talk about what they know and explain their thinking.

The school should prioritise the development of oracy across the curriculum. It should ensure that all teachers have the requisite skills to promote oracy and discussion in the classroom. ? Some staff are inconsistent in their expectations of how pupils should behave.

A small number of pupils disrupt others with low-level negative behaviours. Some pupils, while not disrupting others, are not always actively engaged with their learning. The school should ensure that all staff are consistent in terms of expectations of behaviour for learning.

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