St Mary’s Church of England Infant School

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About St Mary’s Church of England Infant School

Name St Mary’s Church of England Infant School
Ofsted Inspections
Executive Head Teacher Mr Matthew Ferris
Address Bouncers Lane, Prestbury, Cheltenham, GL52 5JB
Phone Number 01242383817
Phase Primary
Type Voluntary aided school
Age Range 4-7
Religious Character Church of England
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 175
Local Authority Gloucestershire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils thrive at this friendly and welcoming school. Leaders and staff aim high. They strive for pupils to be resilient, to communicate and show teamwork.

They call this 'The Prestbury Learner'. It is at the core of the school's work and helps pupils to succeed.

Leaders have established a caring ethos based on the school's Christian values.

Staff and pupils look out for each other and show high levels of respect. Pupils are polite and well mannered. They hold doors open for visitors and greet staff with a smile.

Pupils need few reminders about their behaviour. They deliberately set out to do the right thing and follow the school rules. Unkind words a...nd actions are extremely rare.

Pupils say, 'We help each other and make everyone feel welcome', and they do.

Pupils proudly take on leadership responsibilities. They vote for the school councillors to build their understanding of democracy.

In assembly, pupils enjoy earning a 'pebble' for demonstrating a value, such as love or forgiveness.

The great majority of parents praise the school. Many believe that the staff 'go above and beyond to ensure that the children are at the heart' of all they do.

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

The executive headteacher and deputy headteacher lead with integrity. They have formed a dedicated, united team where everyone feels listened to and valued. Staff morale is high.

Leaders make reading a top priority. Staff use every opportunity to celebrate the joys of books and reading. In the Reception Year, staff use songs and rhymes to prepare children for reading.

The new and more ambitious approach to phonics works well. Staff know how to teach phonics. They step in quickly if a pupil needs extra help.

Staff ensure that pupils read books suited to their needs. This improves their confidence. By the time pupils leave Year 2, they read fluently.

Teachers broaden pupils' understanding of the world around them by sharing high-quality books that cover a range of themes. For example, pupils in Year 1 know about different faiths and cultures from reading a book about a young Muslim girl. Pupils say, 'It is okay to be different; it would be boring if we were all the same.'

Leaders have designed a carefully crafted curriculum. In many subjects, they have set out the small steps that pupils need to learn and by when. Teachers build on pupils' knowledge during lessons and over time.

For example, pupils in Year 1 draw on what they know about doubles in mathematics to apply to new learning. In Year 2, pupils understand chronology and can explain important dates and events they learned in Year 1.

In a few subjects, leaders are still working on identifying the essential knowledge that pupils need to learn and by when.

This means that pupils do not gain the same depth of understanding as they do in most other subjects.

Teachers assess pupils' understanding well during lessons. They use quizzes and questions to help pupils remember previous learning.

However, leaders recognise that some subject leaders have not checked what pupils know and can do. They have plans to improve this subject by subject.

Staff identify pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) early and accurately.

They work in tandem with parents when planning support. Staff provide additional resources so that these pupils learn confidently alongside their peers. As a result, most pupils with SEND achieve well.

Pupils' behaviour in lessons and around the school is calm and orderly. From the Reception Year, children quickly learn routines and become increasingly independent. This strong start continues into Year 1 and beyond.

Leaders carefully plan pupils' personal development. For example, pupils visit places of worship to broaden their cultural awareness. They learn how to stand up for what they believe in.

Staff act as role models. They take the time to celebrate individuality and differences. Pupils say they know why it is important to 'always be kind'.

These and other qualities help them develop into responsible young citizens.

A highlight for many pupils are the assemblies led by church volunteers. In these sessions, pupils enjoy acting out Bible stories and having dedicated time to pray and reflect.

This contributes significantly to pupils' spiritual development.

Governors share leaders' determination for all children to leave St Mary's confident, happy and ready for the demands of Year 3. They know the school and community well.

They visit regularly to seek the views of staff and pupils.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders train all staff to keep pupils safe.

Everyone working in school understands how to identify and report concerns. Leaders act fast in making decisions. A dedicated safeguarding governor checks on the school's systems to keep pupils safe.

Leaders ensure that adults who work at the school are safe to do so.

Through the curriculum, pupils learn about important issues such as water safety and online learning. Pupils know that adults will listen to them if they have any worries.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• In some subjects, leaders do not identify the precise knowledge they want pupils to know and remember, including in the early years. In these subjects, pupils do not gain the depth of understanding they could. Leaders must identify the essential knowledge that pupils need to learn in all subjects.

• Some subject leaders do not check the quality of education closely enough. As a result, they do not clearly understand whether pupils and children in the early years have acquired the knowledge needed for future learning. Subject leaders should check the quality of education in their subject to ensure that pupils learn what is intended in the curriculum.

Also at this postcode
4-2-11 Activity Camp Prestbury St Mary’s Church of England Junior School

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