St James’ CofE Primary School

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About St James’ CofE Primary School

Name St James’ CofE Primary School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mr Liam Hanson
Address West Malvern Road, Malvern, WR14 4BB
Phone Number 01684561207
Phase Primary
Type Voluntary aided school
Age Range 4-11
Religious Character Church of England
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 70
Local Authority Worcestershire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils thoroughly enjoy school life.

They say that their school is like a family, where everyone is welcome and cherished. Pupils are quick to point out examples of how well everyone gets along, including pupils of all ages joining in with a football match at playtime. They say that they feel safe at their school and that bullying is not a worry for them.

However, if they do have a problem, then their teachers sort it out quickly.

Teachers make sure that they plan lessons that are exciting and engaging for pupils. The curriculum is enhanced through a range of experiences.

Pupils have taken part in African drumming sessions, and they enjoy visits from... experts who share their specialist knowledge about a variety of subjects, for example the Romans.

The interim executive headteacher and her staff put pupils first. They have high expectations for all pupils and work together to unlock their potential.

The majority of parents agree. They describe staff as 'genuinely caring' and say that the school is a place they would 'recommend to anyone'.

Pupils are polite and respectful and behave responsibly.

They carry out additional duties, such as lunchtime monitors, sensibly and enthusiastically.

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

After a period of instability, during which the local authority and the diocese provided effective support, the school is in a more secure position. Through the open and determined leadership of the interim executive headteacher, a culture of togetherness and sense of purpose has been built.

All leaders, including governors, are ambitious for pupils and have a clear direction for future improvement. Actions taken by leaders have had a positive impact on both the curriculum and pupils' attainment. Furthermore, pupils' positive attitudes help them with their learning.

Leaders have recently designed a well-thought-out curriculum from early years to Year 6. They have clearly identified the knowledge and skills pupils will learn by the end of each academic year. Teachers have further identified links with other subjects to allow pupils to gain a deeper understanding of the topics being taught.

However, sometimes teachers do not focus closely enough on helping pupils to retain specific subject knowledge. As a result, pupils cannot remember or apply important parts of their learning as well as they might.

Leaders have prioritised reading.

Pupils in key stage 2 can talk at length about their favourite authors. They read widely and often. Pupils have also been instrumental in developing a new school library.

They have helped to create a 'Narnia' themed environment where all pupils can enjoy and share a range of books. The teaching of phonics begins soon after pupils start school. All staff have been well trained in the delivery of phonics.

Pupils quickly gain the skills they need to sound out unknown words. Consequently, pupils' phonics knowledge has strengthened considerably. However, occasionally teaching in key stage 1 does not focus closely enough on helping pupils understand the meaning of unfamiliar words.

The curriculum in mathematics is well organised and allows pupils to build on their knowledge and understanding from year-to-year. Learning in mathematics is well planned and delivered by all staff. Pupils enjoy lessons and can talk confidently about learning that has taken place.

Children get off to a good start in the early years. Clear routines and warm, nurturing relationships help pupils to settle quickly. Parents visit the school regularly for events such as reading workshops.

They take an active part in their children's learning.

Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities are effectively supported by well-trained staff. They know the pupils well and adapt lessons to ensure that pupils' needs are met.

Pupils' personal, social and emotional development is a strength of the school. Leaders work effectively with external agencies and are quick to provide support where needed. Strong relationships with pupils and their families are a pivotal element of the school's success.

Pupils also have access to a range of extra-curricular activities from handball to coding club.

The governing body makes a significant contribution to the overall ethos of the school. Governors recognise the strengths of the school and where the school needs to make further improvements.

Governors visit the school regularly to maintain an oversight of the school's performance.

Staff who completed the Ofsted survey for staff were exceptionally positive about the culture of the school. They value the training and professional development opportunities afforded to them and say that leaders are mindful of workload.

Staff morale is high.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders are skilled and knowledgeable about safeguarding matters.

All staff receive regular and appropriate training and have an 'it could happen here' attitude. They have a clear understanding of the school's policies and procedures and are quick to identify signs that a child may be at risk of harm.

Appropriate recruitment checks are carried out.

Leaders and governors check site security as part of their work to ensure that pupils are kept safe.

Leaders have developed a personal, social and health education curriculum that helps pupils to manage everyday risks and keep themselves safe, including in relation to online safety.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

The school has made recent changes to curriculum planning in some subjects.

Staff are still finding their way with this. There is more to do to ensure that the new planning is implemented to best effect so that pupils are able to remember and recall important subject information as well as possible. .

Books for some younger readers are not well matched to their abilities, as they do not know the meaning of some key words. This hinders their understanding of what they are reading. Staff should ensure that teaching focuses more closely on helping pupils to understand the meaning of unfamiliar words, in order to support their fluency and confidence.

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