Morley Place Academy

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About Morley Place Academy

Name Morley Place Academy
Ofsted Inspections
Mr Ash Duncan
Address Old Road, Conisbrough, Doncaster, DN12 3LZ
Phone Number 01709302340
Phase Academy
Type Academy sponsor led
Age Range 7-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 296
Local Authority Doncaster
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Morley Place Academy is a good school. Leaders have created an environment where pupils feel happy and safe. Relationships between adults and pupils are respectful.

Pupils are confident that adults will deal with issues when they happen.

Leaders have built a culture where everyone is valued, and differences are accepted. The school is an inclusive place for pupils to learn.

Following an application process, the newly appointed pupil librarians are full of enthusiasm for their role. They know that they make an important contribution to running the school library and promoting reading.

Pupils value the rewards they receive when they demonstrate school ...values such as determination, resilience and perseverance.

Pupils' behaviour around school is calm and orderly. Classrooms are productive places, where pupils enjoy learning. Leaders have put lots of help in place for the small minority of pupils who struggle with their behaviour.

It is clear that leaders make pupils' social and emotional needs a high priority.

Leaders and teachers have high expectations for what pupils can achieve. This is evident in the way the curriculum has been planned.

Pupils receive the support that they need from teachers and teaching assistants to do their best.

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

Leaders have made significant improvements to the curriculum in a very short space of time. It is now ambitious.

They have drawn on the knowledge and expertise of all staff to create a curriculum that is well planned, carefully sequenced and unique to Morley Place. Subject leaders have worked with other trust schools and trust wide directors of learning to plan their subjects. English and mathematics leaders regularly check that the changes they are making are helping pupils to remember, know and do more.

They monitor pupils' progress through lesson visits, discussions with pupils, and by looking at the work they complete. Leaders say that the support they have received has really made a difference. As a result, all staff are clear about the expectations of pupils, and aspirations are much higher.

In other subjects, such as history, leaders are less clear about the impact their work is having, because they have not been able to monitor their subject with the same rigour.

Reading is the lynchpin of the curriculum. Leaders check pupils' phonics knowledge as soon as they start school.

Teachers use these checks to identify and teach the sounds that pupils do not yet know. Adults who lead phonics lessons are well trained. This helps pupils to catch up quickly when they have gaps in their knowledge.

Leaders have invested in new reading books to ensure that pupils have a good selection of interesting texts to read. Daily reading lessons develop pupils' reading fluency as well as their understanding of plot and characters. Pupils say that they enjoy their reading lessons.

They say that they are looking forward to using the new library once COVID-19 (coronavirus) restrictions are lifted. One pupil said that the way that reading is taught 'makes me feel less shy about reading books'.

Teachers teach mathematics well.

Leaders have trained teachers in how to check pupils' learning accurately. Teachers now use assessment adeptly. Teachers assess pupils' misunderstandings and use this information to decide what to teach next.

Teachers use mathematical vocabulary accurately and they ensure that pupils do too. This helps pupils to understand and remember what they have learned. One pupil said, 'If you don't get it, teachers make sure you do.'

In all subjects, leaders and teachers have high expectations of pupils' spoken language and their vocabulary choices. However, pupils are not yet using their newly learned words with confidence in their writing. Teachers' expectations of pupils' spelling, punctuation and grammar are inconsistent.

As a result, the quality of pupils' written work varies across the curriculum.

Leaders expect that all pupils will achieve well. Given the pace of change, leaders have rightly supported staff to use assessment well in mathematics and reading.

In subjects other than English and mathematics, the use of assessment is not as well developed. It is not always clear how teachers make changes to the sequence of learning in order to take account of what pupils know and understand.

The special educational needs coordinator (SENCo) is well trained and provides support and guidance to teachers.

Teachers are receptive to this advice. Detailed assessments clearly identify pupils' barriers to their learning. Plans are in place to help teachers overcome these difficulties.

As with other subject leaders, the SENCo has been involved in creating the curriculum from the start. As a result, pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) get the support that they need to access the ambitious curriculum.

Pupils are taught about the world around them.

They have a sound understanding of issues such as equality and diversity. In Year 5, for example, pupils have learned about the history of racial segregation. They have considered how this was acceptable then, but not now.

They have thought about how behaviours of today may be considered unacceptable in the future. Pupils are accepting of difference. They know that people hold different beliefs but that they are all the same and part of a happy team at school.

Leaders have established an 'Anti-bullying Alliance'. Pupils from across the school are part of this group. They have been trained to spot signs of bullying and they are clear about the steps they would take to help others.

While COVID-19 has restricted the range of extra-curricular activities on offer, leaders are offering some activities remotely. This includes a virtual art club that is well attended and resourced.

The Academy Advisory Body provides appropriate challenge and support to leaders.

The advisory body knows the actions that leaders have taken to improve the school. However, COVID-19 restrictions mean that the advisory body is reliant on reports from the head of school. The usual processes for checking the impact of the work of leaders have been somewhat restricted.

All staff told us that they are well supported by leaders. They said they have benefited from training and that this has given them greater confidence to undertake their roles. Staff describe Morley Place as being like a big family.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective. There is a strong safeguarding culture in this school. This is because leaders ensure that safeguarding is a high priority for everyone.

Pupils are taught how to keep themselves safe and manage risks they may face in the future.

Leaders carry out the necessary checks to ensure that adults are safe to work with children. Records are well maintained and responses to safeguarding incidents are thorough.

All staff have received relevant and recent training. They know how to identify and report concerns. Leaders follow up safeguarding matters in a timely and considered way.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Assessment in subjects other than English and mathematics is not as well developed. This means that teachers do not have as accurate a picture of what pupils can do and remember in these subjects. Leaders should ensure that assessment processes in all subjects are equally well developed.

• Leaders of subjects other than English and mathematics do not have the same opportunities for evaluating the quality of their subjects. This means they are unclear about the impact of the new curriculum on pupils' learning. Leaders should ensure that all curriculum leaders have the training and support to evaluate the impact of the new curriculum in their subjects.

• The quality of pupils' written work varies across the curriculum. They are not consistently using the vocabulary, spelling, punctuation and grammar knowledge they have been taught. Leaders should ensure that the high expectations they have of pupils' spoken vocabulary are in place across all subjects when pupils record their work.

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