|Name||The Marston Thorold’s Charity Church of England School|
|Ofsted Inspection Rating||Good|
|Inspection Date||10 March 2020|
|Address||School Lane, Marston, Grantham, Lincolnshire, NG32 2HQ|
|Religious Character||Church of England|
|Number of Pupils||87 (51% boys 49% girls)|
|Number of Pupils per Teacher||23.2|
|Percentage Free School Meals||1.3%|
|Percentage English is Not First Language||0%|
|Pupils with SEN Support||16.1%|
|Catchment Area Information Available||Yes, our catchment area data is FREE|
|Last Distance Offered Information Available||No|
What is it like to attend this school?
Pupils are happy and safe. Relationships between staff and pupils are warm and nurturing. Parents say it is like a ‘family’. Pupils told us that bullying happens only occasionally and that adults sort it out quickly and well. Pupils enjoy coming to school because ‘there are great opportunities to learn’.
Staff have high expectations for pupils’ behaviour and their learning. Pupils value the ‘behaviour ladders’ introduced by leaders. They behave well because they know what is expected of them. Pupils move around the school calmly and safely.
Leaders provide pupils with a wide range of opportunities to play a part in the local and wider community. Pupils support the local food bank and raise money for national and international causes, such as an education charity in Kenya.
Parents and carers are overwhelmingly supportive of the school. They are full of praise for leaders and other staff. Every parent who responded to the online questionnaire said they would recommend the school to others. One commented that this is ‘a truly unique school’.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
Reading is a priority. Leaders have established a clear and well-sequenced approach to teaching phonics. Teachers introduce the sounds that letters make as soon as children join the school. Teachers give children reading books that match the sounds that they know. This allows them to practise their reading skills confidently. Pupils enjoy reading. They read regularly at school and at home. One pupil told me, ‘You learn more when you read.’ Pupils enjoy listening to adults read to them in class. They say it helps them understand the book’s characters. By the time they leave the school, pupils are confident readers.
Mathematics is well taught. The carefully designed curriculum helps teachers to plan lessons that build step-by-step on what pupils know and can do. Teachers give pupils lots of opportunities to practise what they have learned. Staff are well trained and supported by the knowledgeable subject leader. Pupils achieve well in mathematics.
The science subject plan sets out the topics that teachers must cover and in what order. Pupils are beginning to know more and remember more. They enjoy their science lessons. Enrichment activities, such as the recent science day, bring the subject to life. The curriculum has not always been as well planned. Some older pupils have gaps in their knowledge, for example about how light travels or how to conduct a fair test.
Some other subjects are not planned well enough. Leaders have identified some of the knowledge and skills they want pupils to learn. However, the important knowledge that pupils must remember is not as clear. Some of the work that pupils produce is not of a good enough quality in these subjects.
Pupils behave well in class. They respond well to questions and display a love of learning. They listen carefully to their teachers and to each other.
Leaders plan a wide range of activities to promote pupils’ personal development. Pupils learn about how to keep themselves healthy. They know it is important to be active and they enjoy their physical education (PE) lessons.
Pupils have roles and responsibilities to make the school even better. Play leaders support others during playtimes and school councillors help with weekly assemblies. Pupils understand fundamental British values well. Leaders give pupils opportunities to think deeply about issues. Pupils recently discussed climate change and considered the importance of actions as well as words.
In Reception, staff make sure that children develop their language skills. While washing baby dolls, children talked about the importance of keeping clean. Children practise their writing, using their phonics skills. Children share their classroom with key stage 1 pupils. They learn the school’s expectations quickly because they see positive role models for behaviour and attitudes from the very start.
Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities are supported well. Staff break down activities so that these pupils can access a task in manageable chunks. Staff give pupils time to think for themselves before stepping in.
Staff told us that they feel well supported by leaders. Staff have time to undertake their subject responsibilities. They told us that the school is well led and managed. One described the headteacher as ‘inspiring’. Leaders and governors have managed the transition to the new federation well.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
The strong safeguarding culture is evident in all aspects of school life. Staff and governors receive regular training. Staff know what signs to look out for and who to tell if they have any concerns. Leaders follow up these concerns quickly and effectively.
Safeguarding records, including the single central record of pre-employment checks, are well maintained.
Pupils are taught how to keep themselves safe. They learn about fire safety and how to stay safe near water. They know how to use the internet safely.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
The school’s curriculum is not sufficiently well planned and sequenced in some subjects. Leaders are already taking action to bring this about. For this reason, the transition arrangement has been applied in this case. Leaders must make clear the key knowledge and skills that pupils should learn in all subjects and when they should learn them. . In the past, the curriculum has not been well planned in some subjects. As a result, some pupils have gaps in their knowledge and understanding. Leaders need to ensure that teachers use their assessment information well to address these gaps.