St Mary’s Church of England Academy

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About St Mary’s Church of England Academy

Name St Mary’s Church of England Academy
Ofsted Inspections
Principal Mrs Roxanne Rutter
Address Trinity Avenue, Mildenhall, Bury St Edmunds, IP28 7LR
Phone Number 01638713317
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 4-11
Religious Character Church of England
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 412
Local Authority Suffolk
Highlights from Latest Inspection


There has been no change to this school's overall judgement of good as a result of this ungraded (section 8) inspection. However, the evidence gathered suggests that the inspection grade might not be as high if a graded (section 5) inspection were carried out now.

The next inspection will therefore be a graded inspection.

What is it like to attend this school?

Most pupils enjoy coming to school and are happy. They understand that their teachers are ambitious for them and want them to do well.

They try hard and respond well to these aspirations. However, pupils get frustrated when learning aims are unclear or tasks do not seem to help them learn.

Most pupils behave... well.

They are respectful and polite. Some pupils do not always follow the high expectations that leaders have for their behaviour. This leads to disruption to learning, which is not always swiftly dealt with by teachers.

Some pupils display boisterous behaviour during social times. This worries some pupils, particularly the younger ones. Not all pupils have been taught clearly about what bullying is.

When there are genuine cases of bullying, they are quickly dealt with.

Pupils and parents can access a range of support and specialists through the school, such as the school's 'Thrive' practitioner. Pupils can get support to help them process and manage emotional issues.

They learn strategies that help them interact and communicate with others.

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

Leaders have identified the important knowledge that pupils should learn in each subject. They have broken this knowledge down into smaller chunks and ordered it, to build towards understanding more complex ideas.

Leaders have identified what pupils should know by set times of the year. However, teachers do not help pupils build effectively on what they already know and can do. Teachers do not always identify when pupils are not secure in their understanding.

Teachers sometimes do not explain content clearly. Some teachers are new to the school. Leaders have not ensured that all new teachers understand the curriculum and what pupils should know.

As result of these weaknesses, pupils sometimes struggle to understand what they are taught.

Leaders have prioritised reading. They have introduced a new phonics programme.

Staff who have received training in this programme are more confident and teach phonics consistently. Books are well matched to pupils' phonics knowledge. This enables pupils to practise reading the sounds they are learning.

Teachers spot pupils who are not keeping up with phonics. Leaders provide extra support for these pupils. Children in the early years are becoming fluent and confident readers.

However, some pupils in key stage 1 have not yet secured basic phonics knowledge they need to read fluently. Leaders have extended the phonics programme across all year groups to address this.

Recently appointed subject leaders try to support teachers to develop their subject-specific knowledge.

However, senior leaders have not made time available for subject leaders to check on the effectiveness of teaching or to provide the support that teachers need. This means that teaching is not as precise as it needs to be.

Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) experience the same issues with the teaching of the curriculum as other pupils.

Leaders use a range of different strategies to identify and support pupils with SEND. However, many of these duplicate and dilute the impact of each other. Leaders have not ensured that teachers can adapt teaching to support pupils with SEND effectively.

Pupils with SEND sometimes miss learning critical knowledge and struggle to make the progress that they are capable of.

Children in the early years are confident and happy. Clear routines ensure that children understand how to interact with each other.

Children are polite and considerate of each other. Adults ensure that children's play is purposeful and linked to current learning aims. Staff effectively develop children's independence.

Children are well prepared for learning in key stage 1.

When pupils misbehave, it is not always dealt with by adults. Expectations for behaviour are not consistent.

Pupils sometimes become distracted in lessons and disturb others' learning. The behaviour of some pupils on the playground is silly and boisterous. This worries some pupils.

Leaders have identified opportunities for pupils to learn about different cultures. However, what leaders want pupils to learn is broad, imprecise and not embedded into curriculum delivery. This means that pupils miss out on opportunities to understand and celebrate diversity.

Leaders provide a wide range of extra-curricular activities that many pupils enjoy and take advantage of.

Many staff feel their workload is not well managed. Leaders often introduce additional initiatives that overlap or conflict with strategies that are already in place.

This adds to staff workload. Staff understand that the leaders' and governors' plans to reduce their workload will take time to take effect.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders ensure that all staff have regular safeguarding training. This helps staff remain alert to potential risks and signs of harm. Staff are quick to identify and report concerns.

Leaders take timely action to ensure that pupils are kept safe. Leaders work effectively with external agencies to provide necessary support to vulnerable pupils and their families. Governors are diligent in their checks of leaders' and staff's work to keep pupils safe.

Pupils learn how to stay safe. They can describe how to protect themselves when they are online. Pupils know who they can talk to if they have any worries.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Some teaching is not as precise as it needs to be. Explanations, teachers' modelling of work and assessment do not consistently work as well as they should. As a result, pupils do not make the progress that they should.

Leaders should ensure that teachers know what to teach, how to teach it and how to check pupils' understanding effectively to enable all pupils to progress well. ? The role of subject leader is relatively new to the school. Subject leaders have not been given the time to monitor how effectively the curriculum is taught or support staff with the teaching of the curriculum.

Senior leaders should ensure that subject leaders have the time required to enable them to check on the effectiveness of teaching in their subjects and to support teachers to increase the consistency and precision of teaching. ? Leaders have not ensured that clear and consistent routines and expectations about behaviour are in place. Adults are inconsistent in their responses to misbehaviour in classrooms and around the school.

This means there are occasions where learning is disrupted and when unsettling behaviour at social times is not effectively challenged and dealt with. Leaders should ensure all staff apply a consistent approach to managing pupils' behaviour so that pupils are clear about, and follow, leaders' expectations.


When we have judged a school to be good, we will then normally go into the school about once every four years to confirm that the school remains good.

This is called an ungraded inspection, and it is carried out under section 8 of the Education Act 2005. We do not give graded judgements on an ungraded inspection. However, if we find evidence that a school would now receive a higher or lower grade, then the next inspection will be a graded inspection, which is carried out under section 5 of the Act.

Usually this is within one to two years of the date of the ungraded inspection. If we have serious concerns about safeguarding, behaviour or the quality of education, we will deem the ungraded inspection a graded inspection immediately.

This is the first ungraded inspection since we judged the school to be good in June 2017.

Also at this postcode
Cheerful Champs - St Marys, Mildenhall

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