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St Mary’s School, Birchley Road, Billinge, Nr Wigan, WN5 7QJ
Voluntary aided school
Number of Pupils
199 (53.8% boys 46.2% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher
Highlights from Latest Inspection
What is it like to attend this school?
Pupils strive to reflect the school's core value of respect. Everyone is made to feel welcome at the school, regardless of their differences.
This helps pupils to feel happy. The school is ambitious for all pupils to achieve well. Pupils leave the school well prepared for their next stage of education.
Most pupils behave well in school. Staff in the Reception Year ably support children to quickly learn the school rules and routines. This helps them to learn cooperatively alongside one another.
Across the school, many pupils are keen to follow adult instructions. Pupils value the caring relationships that they have with staff. Pupils trust that staff will help... them with any concerns.
This makes pupils feel safe at school.
The school places a high priority on pupils being positive citizens. Older pupils take pride in being a 'buddy' for children in the Reception Year.
They help these children settle into school life and act as positive role models. Pupils make a positive contribution to the community. For example, the school choir performs to local residents.
Pupils fundraise for a range of charities. All pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), benefit from a broad range of enrichment opportunities.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
The school's curriculum for English and mathematics is ambitious and taught well.
Teachers check what pupils know and remember from previous lessons. They provide opportunities for pupils to revisit prior concepts when needed, before moving on to new learning. Pupils benefit from carefully constructed learning activities that build on what they already know.
At the end of Year 6, pupils, including most pupils with SEND, achieve well in these subjects.
In a small number of subjects other than English and mathematics, the school curriculum does not set out in sufficient detail the key knowledge that pupils should learn from the Reception Year to the end of key stage 2. In these subjects, some pupils do not achieve as well as they should.
The school has effective systems to identify the additional needs of pupils with SEND. However, a very small number of pupils with SEND struggle to access some learning. This is because lesson activities are not consistently adapted well to meet their needs.
As a result, their learning is insecure.
Reading lies at the heart of the school's curriculum. Pupils are avid readers who develop a love of books from the Reception Year.
The school ensure high-quality books form an essential part of learning for all pupils. Pupils are enthusiastic to speak about the work of different authors and poets which they have read.
The school has ensured that staff have the training needed to teach the phonics programme well.
These expert staff check on what pupils know and understand and provide extra support for those who need it. This helps these pupils to keep up with their peers. The books that pupils read closely match the sounds that they have learned.
This helps them to experience success when reading. The school communicates well with parents and carers on how to support their children's reading at home. Many pupils become fluent and confident readers by the end of key stage 1.
Pupils are polite and well-mannered towards members of the school community. The majority of pupils behave well in lessons and during the unstructured parts of the day. Many pupils are keen to treat others in the same way that they would like to be treated themselves.
When low-level disruption occurs, the majority of staff deal with it quickly.
All pupils, including those with SEND, experience an exemplary range of opportunities that enhance their personal development. Pupils develop a deep and meaningful understanding of British values, such as democracy.
They pride themselves on the importance of treating everyone equally. The school ensures that pupils learn about the signs of healthy relationships. As a result, pupils are exceptionally well prepared for life in modern Britain.
Governors have a secure understanding of the school. They provide effective support and challenge linked to the quality of education. Governors place high importance on the school providing support to members of its community during times of need.
Staff value being part of the school and appreciate the training that they receive to help them deliver the curriculum well. The school is considerate of staff's workload and well-being when making decisions about policies and procedures.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
• In a small number of wider curriculum subjects, the school has not set out in sufficient detail the key knowledge that pupils should learn and the order in which it should be taught. As a result, pupils do not deepen their knowledge as well as they should in these subjects. The school should finalise their curriculum thinking in these subjects.
• For a very small number of pupils with SEND, access to the curriculum is not adapted consistently well. This means that these pupils struggle to learn as well as they should. The school should ensure that suitable curriculum adaptions are in place so that pupils with SEND are able to access learning.
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