St John’s Meads Church of England Primary School

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About St John’s Meads Church of England Primary School

Name St John’s Meads Church of England Primary School
Ofsted Inspections
Interim Headteacher Mrs Katherin Weeks
Address Rowsley Road, Eastbourne, BN20 7XS
Phone Number 01323730255
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 4-11
Religious Character Church of England
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 216
Local Authority East Sussex
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils feel safe and cared for. They relish the close attention the school pays to their emotional well-being, which is reflected in a calm school atmosphere.

The school expects pupils to behave well. This is demonstrated through pupils' positive conduct and how they speak to each other and adults. They trust adults to listen and help them with any worries.

The school has high expectations for learning for all pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). In the early years, children are supported to achieve well. However, the school's ambition is not consistently realised in the rest of the school.

There is variation in t...eaching across different subjects. As a result, pupils' recall of what they have learned is inconsistent.

Pupils benefit from many opportunities that broaden their understanding of the world.

They appreciate these opportunities, are open-minded, and welcome different cultures and experiences. Pupils are particularly proud of their roles as pupil leaders. They relish opportunities to lead assemblies, support younger pupils, and advocate for the school in the community with issues such as parking.

They feel part of a close community and well prepared for the following stages of education.

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

The school has identified the precise knowledge and skills it intends pupils to learn. From Reception onwards, the curriculum is broad and well sequenced.

There is a clear focus on helping pupils to learn ambitious vocabulary over time.

Pupils get off to a strong start in Reception. There is a clearly sequenced curriculum for what children should know and be able to do.

Staff follow the planning effectively. They accurately check what children know and can do. This information is used well to inform future teaching and activity choices.

All staff in Reception are effectively trained. They use this to support children using high-quality language and model positive behaviours clearly. Consequently, children in Reception achieve well and are ready for the next stages of education.

Pupils love learning in the rest of the school. Lessons are full of enthusiasm and high-quality language. However, staff sometimes design tasks that do not match the planned curriculum.

In addition, they do not check pupils' understanding with sufficient accuracy. This means that pupils do not remember as much of the curriculum as the school intends. Staff swiftly identify if pupils have any additional needs.

Some pupils with SEND are given effective support, but this is inconsistent. In 2023, pupils achieved above the national average in mathematics and writing in key stage 2. However, current achievement is less strong in these subjects and variable in the rest of the curriculum, including for the most disadvantaged pupils.

The school prioritises reading. Older pupils follow a structured reading programme and enjoy an ambitious range of books to read. In 2023, key stage 2 pupils achieved highly compared to national.

However, the provision for younger pupils is less consistent and this is reflected in the most recent weaker published outcomes. Staff have received reading training, but there is variation in the quality of phonics teaching in key stage 1. The school has not checked that staff follow the programme rigorously.

Pupils are kind and behave respectfully. From Reception onwards, pupils are taught how to act positively towards others. At playtimes, pupils feel safe.

They behave in a friendly manner and enjoy interacting with pupils of all ages. If there are disagreements, pupils are sufficiently skilled to resolve these sensibly and know when to ask adults for help. Pupil's attitudes to school are reflected in positive attendance and punctuality figures.

Personal development is a strength of the school. Pupils develop a secure understanding of different perspectives and views on the world. This is supported by carefully chosen books, experiences, and trips.

Interactions with local police, various faith groups, and community figures supplement a carefully planned curriculum for personal development. The school uses local community figures to help pupils develop a sense of acceptance and understanding of diversity. This is reflected in what pupils know and think about other cultures and lifestyles.

Consequently, pupils develop into well-rounded modern citizens.

The school's ambition has not yet been fully realised to ensure that all pupils, especially those with SEND, achieve well. Leaders at all levels are passionate about the school's development.

However, recent staffing turbulence has slowed improvement work. Those responsible for governance have not provided sufficient oversight and challenge so that the ambition of the school is successfully met, and all pupils benefit from a good quality of education.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• The teaching of reading lacks consistency from Year 1 onwards. As a result, pupils at the earliest stages of learning to read, including those who are disadvantaged, do not read with sufficient fluency or accuracy. The school must ensure that all staff are equipped with the skills and knowledge and follow the phonics programme closely to teach reading effectively.

• Teaching does not consistently build on what pupils already know and can do. As a result, pupils do not learn as well as they could, including those with SEND. The school should support staff to design tasks that help all pupils to learn the most important content and then accurately check what they have know and can do.

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