Mount Charles School

Name Mount Charles School
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
This inspection rating relates to a predecessor school. When a school, converts to an academy, is taken over or closes and reopens as a new school a formal link is created between the new school and the old school, by the Department for Education. Where the new school has not yet been inspected, we show the inspection history of the predecessor school, as we believe it still has significance.
Inspection Date 07 November 2011
Address Morven Road, St Austell, Cornwall, PL25 4PP
Phone Number 0172673911
Type Primary
Age Range 5-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 417 (50% boys 50% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 19.4
Academy Sponsor Cornwall Education Learning Trust
Local Authority Cornwall
Percentage Free School Meals 31.6%
Percentage English is Not First Language 4.1%
Persisitent Absence 6.1%
Pupils with SEN Support 15.8%
Catchment Area Information Available Yes, our catchment area data is FREE
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

Information about the school

Mount Charles School is a larger than average primary school which has a new headteacher who started in September 2011. There are 14 classes in the main school, two in each year group, and there are two Reception classes. The percentage of pupils known to be eligible for free school meals is lower than the national average. The proportion of children from minority ethnic backgrounds is low, as is the percentage who speak English as an additional language. The school provides after-school facilities and holds a number of nationally recognised awards, including the Activemark and the Healthy Schools award. The numbers of pupils with statements for special educational needs and/or disabilities is higher than the national average. The school has an Area Resource Base with the capacity for 10 pupils, drawn from a wide area in mid-Cornwall, who have severe and complex special needs and/or disabilities.

Main findings

Mount Charles is a good and improving school. It is a happy and harmonious community where pupils enjoy their learning. Although there has been the appointment of a new headteacher and a recent change in the Chair of the Governing Body, this has not interrupted a pattern of rising attainment and accelerating progress since the previous inspection. Improving achievement is due to good provision, and good leadership and management, in the school. Pupils gain a good start in the Early Years Foundation Stage and continue to make good progress until they leave. As one parent commented, ‘I am extremely pleased with my child’s progress,’ and several commented upon the ‘nurturing environment’ in the school, which was leading to the pupils enjoying their time there. All groups of pupils achieve well, which reflects that equal opportunities for all groups of pupils in the school are good. It also shows that effective action has been taken by the school to eradicate varying rates of progress by different groups. Teaching is good overall, though the sharing of success criteria in lessons is not sufficient to allow adults to meet the needs of all pupils in an outstanding way. The curriculum provides some memorable experiences, notably through pupils eagerly participating in the wide range of extra-curricular activities and through the use of storytelling in class to promote imaginative writing. Though the use of the indoor and outdoor environments to support learning is good, it is not always done creatively enough to allow young imaginations free rein. Care, support and guidance are good, especially for pupils whose circumstances may make them vulnerable. In the Area Resource Base, both outcomes and provision are outstanding. This good provision overall has led to good outcomes and personal development, with the provision for health education being outstanding. Pupils enjoy school life and, as a result, attend well. Very good systems and structures, and good oversight by the governing body, have allowed a smooth transition to the establishment of a new leadership team. The astute planning and vision of the headteacher, ably supported by talented leaders at all levels, is continuing to drive improvement. This has resulted in all other aspects of leadership and management being good. The school knows itself very well and self-evaluation is strong. As a result, appropriate action has been taken to address any weaknesses, and improvement since the previous inspection has been good. Thus, the school has good capacity for further improvement.