St Mary’s Church of England Voluntary Controlled Primary School

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About St Mary’s Church of England Voluntary Controlled Primary School

Name St Mary’s Church of England Voluntary Controlled Primary School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mr Richard Moss
Address School Lane, Askham Richard, York, YO23 3PD
Phone Number 01904552540
Phase Primary
Type Voluntary controlled school
Age Range 4-11
Religious Character Church of England
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 101
Local Authority York
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils and staff at St Mary's Church of England Voluntary Controlled Primary School embody the school's vision of 'small school, big heart, learning and growing together'. The buddy relationships between Years 5 and 6 pupils and the children in early years and key stage 1 are warm and considerate.

The older pupils nurture and care for the younger children at playtime, over lunch and in collective worship.The school has clear behaviour expectations. Pupils understand the stepped approach and are proud when they achieve a 'wow' sticker.

There are supportive relationships between staff and pupils. Pupils are safe and will approach any adult if they have worries. Pupils confident that adults listen and help resolve their concerns.

The school provides pupils with leadership opportunities, such as collective worship monitors, play and digital leaders. This develops pupils' independence, resilience and organisation skills.There is a strong connection with the local church.

Pupils participate in community events, like the harvest festival and the Christmas service.The school recognises that the community it serves is not diverse. Consequently, it ensures that pupils experience a range of cultures and world beliefs.

Years 5 and 6 pupils enjoy the opportunity to attend an outdoor adventure residential. Pupils speak positively about 'facing their fears', which they experienced when free falling from a high-wire swing!

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

As a smaller-than-average size primary school, the school is educating pupils from different year groups in one class. There are two curriculum cycles to ensure that pupils in the mixed-age class do not repeat units of work.

The school is improving its curriculum offer following a review by leaders. In some subjects like history and geography, the school has carefully considered the sequence of learning. In other subjects like art and design, the school is beginning to formulate the sequencing.

There is a lack of curriculum monitoring by the school. This means the school does not have a clear understanding of the strengths and areas for development in each subject.The school is not checking what pupils know in the wider curriculum.

This means the school does not have a clear understanding of what pupils remember. In history, pupils speak passionately about their learning. They can make connections between historical events and place them in chronological order.

However, in art, pupils struggle to remember the knowledge and skills they have previously learned.

The school puts reading at the heart of everything they do. There are reading corners in every classroom to promote reading.

Pupils use their phonics knowledge to read unfamiliar words. A small number of pupils need extra phonics support to keep up with their peers. The school provides catch-up sessions for these pupils at the start of each day.

This helps to ensure that pupils read fluently and achieve highly in national tests.The school has identified that pupils' understanding of mathematical concepts does not match the positive end-of-key-stage outcomes. For example, the school knows that some pupils in key stage 2 are not secure with fundamental skills like number bonds.

As a result, the school is changing its approach to teaching mathematics, to focus on ensuring that pupils can quickly recall important mathematical facts. Children in Reception have opportunities to write numbers and apply this knowledge in their chosen play activity.The school has a whole-school approach to teaching relationships and sex education.

Pupils know how to stay physically healthy. They are aware of how to keep themselves safe online. Pupils speak positively about equality.

The rules and opportunities are the same for all.The early years environment is bright and attractive. Resources are accessible, enabling children to self-select equipment for their play.

Children know the routines, such as wearing a helmet and tabard to ride a bicycle or scooter. In Reception, the school adapts the learning activities to consider the needs of the children. For example, there is an emphasis on improving children's fine motor skills, as this remains an impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, in some classes, the work for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities is not adapted sufficiently well. This means the work in pupils' books does not link to their termly target. This is slowing progress for these pupils.

Staff acknowledge the heavy workload associated with the multiple areas of responsibility they have in a small school. However, they are positive about the support and engagement they receive from leaders.The diocese and local authority recognise the strength in the school's leaders and how successfully the staff work as a team.

The governing body have link governor roles associated with curriculum areas. This enables them to understand how the curriculum is being developed.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• The school do not have an effective system for checking pupils' knowledge across the wider curriculum. This means that gaps in pupils' knowledge are not identified. The school should ensure that they use their checks on pupils' knowledge across the curriculum to influence future curriculum thinking.

• Some aspects of the wider curriculum are not fully developed. In some subjects, the school does not have a clear understanding of the knowledge and skills that pupils need to learn. The school should ensure that they refine their curriculum thinking so that pupils learn well across all areas of the curriculum.

• The school has not ensured that staff receive sufficient training and time to monitor the impact of their subject. As a result, the school does not know if the curriculum is being delivered in the way it intended. The school should ensure that more training and monitoring happens so they can make judgements about the quality of the education it is providing.

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