Bishop Lonsdale CofE VC Primary School
phone: 01785 850388
headteacher: Mr C Middleton Npqh
262 pupils capacity: 80% full
115 boys 55%
95 girls 45%
Last updated: June 20, 2014
Primary — Voluntary Controlled School
- Education phase
- Religious character
- Church of England
- Establishment type
- Voluntary Controlled School
- Establishment #
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 382693, Northing: 328662
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 52.855, Longitude: -2.2585
- Accepting pupils
- 3—11 years old
- Census date
- Jan. 16, 2014
- Ofsted last inspection
- Feb. 26, 2013
- Diocese of Lichfield
- Region › Const. › Ward
- West Midlands › Stone › Eccleshall
- Town and Fringe - less sparse
- Free school meals %
- Eccleshall CofE Middle School ST216AU
- 1.4 mile Walton Hall School ST216JR (122 pupils)
- 1.4 mile Walton Hall Academy ST216JR
- 1.6 mile Companions ST216LF (6 pupils)
- 2.6 miles Woodseaves CofE (C) Primary School ST200LB (111 pupils)
- 3.1 miles All Saints CofE (C) Infants School ST189JU (24 pupils)
- 3.6 miles Springfields First School ST150NJ (166 pupils)
- 3.9 miles Adbaston Infants' School ST200RA
- 4 miles All Saints CofE (C) First School ST216RN (55 pupils)
- 4.1 miles Cooper Perry Primary School ST189PQ (227 pupils)
- 4.4 miles Our Lady's Catholic Primary School ST150QG
- 5 miles Gnosall St Lawrence CofE (C) Primary School ST200ET (194 pupils)
- 5 miles Heron Brook CofE Middle School ST200ET
- 5.1 miles Manor Hill First School ST150HY (67 pupils)
- 5.2 miles Pirehill First School ST150AA (260 pupils)
- 5.2 miles Walton Priory Middle School ST150AL (336 pupils)
- 5.4 miles The Yarlet School ST189SU (162 pupils)
- 5.4 miles Greenhall Nursery ST161PS (29 pupils)
- 5.6 miles St Dominic's Catholic Primary School ST158YG (207 pupils)
- 5.6 miles St Dominic's Priory School ST158EN (200 pupils)
- 5.7 miles Doxey Primary and Nursery School ST161EG (213 pupils)
- 5.7 miles Christ Church CofE (C) First School ST158EP (137 pupils)
- 5.7 miles Haughton St Giles CofE (C) Primary School ST189ET (165 pupils)
- 5.8 miles Tillington Manor Primary School ST161PW (320 pupils)
Bishop Lonsdale CofE VC Primary
Shaws Lane, Eccleshall, Stafford, ST21 6AU
|Inspection dates||26–27 February 2013|
|Overall effectiveness||This inspection:||Good||2|
|Achievement of pupils||Good||2|
|Quality of teaching||Good||2|
|Behaviour and safety of pupils||Good||2|
|Leadership and management||Good||2|
Summary of key findings for parents and pupils
This is a good school.
It is not yet an outstanding school because
| All groups of pupils achieve well. They make |
Most pupils start the Early Years Foundation
In 2012 a significantly high proportion of Year
Teaching is good. Relationships are positive.
good progress in the Early Years Foundation
Stage, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.
Stage with knowledge, skills and
understanding which are broadly in line with
expectations. By the end of Year 6 attainment
is above the national average in both English
6 pupils attained higher levels in both English
Support is effective. Teachers ask questions
which promote pupils’ language and learning
| Most parents and carers are positive about the |
Pupils generally behave well in and out of
Leaders and managers, including governors,
Pupil’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural
school. They are engaged well in their
children’s learning through information they
receive about progress, frequently hearing
their children read and regularly overseeing
lessons. They feel safe and enjoy school.
Attendance is above the national average.
know the school well. They use this accurate
understanding to drive improvements. Their
success is evident in the quality of teaching
and the achievement of all.
development is promoted well through
assemblies, links with the church and visitors
from a range of faiths and cultures.
| Sometimes teachers do not use their |
assessments of pupils’ knowledge and
understanding well to plan activities which
are suitably challenging and engaging
for them all.
| Occasionally, teachers’ marking is not accurate |
On occasion pupils are not given time to
and does not show pupils how to improve or
extend their learning.
respond to, or benefit from, effective marking.
|Inspection report:||Bishop Lonsdale CofE VC Primary School, 26–27 February 2013||2 of 9|
Information about this inspection
- Inspectors observed 19 lessons, taught by 10 teachers. Four of these observations were joint
visits with the headteacher or senior leaders.
- Discussions were held with pupils, governors, a representative from the local authority, senior
managers and teachers in charge of subjects, as well as parents and carers.
- Inspectors considered the views of parents and carers through informal discussions and 14
emails. There were six responses to the online Parent View website. As this was less than 10,
details could not be accessed.
- Inspectors considered 11 responses to the staff questionnaire, and the views of pupils through
both informal and pre-arranged discussions.
- Inspectors observed the school’s work and looked at a number of documents, including the
school’s information on pupils’ current progress, pupils’ work, leaders’ reports on lesson
observations, the school’s development plan, planning and monitoring documents, documents
relating to safeguarding, and records relating to behaviour and attendance.
|Jo Curd, Lead inspector||Additional Inspector|
|Dennis Brittain||Additional Inspector|
|Inspection report:||Bishop Lonsdale CofE VC Primary School, 26–27 February 2013||3 of 9|
Information about this school
- Bishop Lonsdale Church of England VC Primary School is smaller than most other primary
schools. It is situated in a small market town near Stafford.
- The proportion of pupils from minority ethnic groups is much lower than in most other schools.
- Very few pupils speak English as an additional language.
- The proportion of pupils eligible for the pupil premium, additional funding given to the school to
support specific groups of pupils, is smaller than in most other schools. A few pupils are looked
after or known to be eligible for free school meals and none have parents in the armed forces.
The proportion of disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs supported
through school action is below average.
- The proportion of pupils supported at school action plus or with a statement of special
educational needs is also below average.
- The school meets the government’s current floor standards, which set the minimum expectations
for pupils’ attainment and progress in English and mathematics.
- The school has close links with groups in the town who provide care before and after school.
- The school currently uses two buildings which are separated by a main road. Pupils are always
supervised to cross this. Building work to accommodate the whole school on one side of the road
was in progress during the inspection.
What does the school need to do to improve further?
- Improve the quality of teaching from good to outstanding by making sure that teachers:
use their assessments and knowledge of pupils even more carefully to plan activities which are
suitably engaging and challenging for all groups of pupils
help pupils to find things out for themselves and be responsible for their own learning
use marking to show pupils how to improve their work, and that pupils are given enough time
to respond to, and learn from, the advice.
|Inspection report:||Bishop Lonsdale CofE VC Primary School, 26–27 February 2013||4 of 9|
|The achievement of pupils||is good|
- All groups of pupils achieve well throughout the school. Over the last three years attainment has
been rising. In 2012 this was well above the national average in English and mathematics. The
proportion of pupils reaching higher levels in both mathematics and English was significantly
above that in most other schools.
- Children achieve well in the Early Years Foundation Stage because teaching is good. They
choose and use a wide range of interesting good-quality resources in the classrooms and
- Effective planning in the Early Years Foundation Stage means that adults teach all groups of
children in ways suitable for them. For example, the teaching assistant skilfully developed an
imaginary journey on a bus with less-able children, successfully promoting their language and
social skills. The teacher developed the physical skills and mathematical language of number and
shape with more-able children as they worked together with modelling dough, rollers and
- Pupils make good progress in reading because phonics (the sounds that letters make) is taught
well, parents and carers frequently hear their children read and pupils often read in class. In
2012 the proportion of children succeeding in the phonics check for six-year-olds was above
- Pupils achieve well in mathematics because teaching methods are effective and consistent across
- More-able pupils achieve well because topics are interesting, parents and carers are engaged
well and there is a positive, encouraging climate for learning.
- Pupils who learn more slowly, disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs
make good progress because they are supported well in lessons and receive further help through
specific programmes and activities.
- Pupils known to be eligible for pupil premium funding because they are looked after or eligible
for free school meals, achieve well. Although their progress in 2012 was not quite as fast as
other pupils in the school it was slightly faster than the national average, particularly in
mathematics. This is because any difficulties are identified quickly and extra funds are used
effectively to employ additional staff to address these.
- By the end of Year 6 the attainment of pupils known to be eligible for free school meals was less
than a term behind others in the school in English and very slightly above in mathematics. Very
small numbers of looked-after children mean that their standards cannot be discussed without
- Achievement is not outstanding because occasionally activities in lessons are not engaging or
challenging and sometimes the effectiveness of marking is limited.
- Parents and carers are positive about their children’s achievement. One parent, reflecting the
views of others, said, ‘The standard of learning seems to be high and on the recent progress
reports we received our children are all achieving well and reaching the required levels or above
for their ages’.
|Inspection report:||Bishop Lonsdale CofE VC Primary School, 26–27 February 2013||5 of 9|
|The quality of teaching||is good|
- Relationships are good. Pupils are happy and generally enjoy learning. The parent of a child with
special educational needs said, ‘Due to the caring nature and community spirit of the school my
son has been nurtured and guided and has come on in leaps and bounds’.
- Topics are broad, interesting and relevant. Links between subjects are good, for example, pupils
in Key Stage 2 developed their reading, writing and information and technology skills well, as
they made computer presentations about the Severn and Amazon rivers in a geography lesson.
- Reading, writing and mathematics are all taught well. For example, children in the Nursery class
were taught phonics through songs and stories whilst children in the Reception class were
taught about capacity through working with water and a range of jugs, pots and containers.
- Teachers and teaching assistants are knowledgeable and skilful in using strategies to engage
and support disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs. For example, they
used visual timetables to show pupils activities and routines for the day.
- Additional staffing paid for from pupil premium funding helps the behaviour, learning and
attitudes of eligible pupils. This was particularly evident when a group of older pupils were fully
engaged and inspired reading and answering questions about a book in a small support group
- Parents and carers are generally pleased with the improvements in teaching, including
developments in the reading scheme, handwriting and the information they receive about their
- Regular homework, including ‘sentence building’ where pupils develop skills of spelling,
vocabulary and grammar through writing different words within sentences, successfully helps
their achievement. Parents and carers have welcomed pupils’ ‘sentence-building homework
books’ as they know what homework pupils have, where it is and how well they have done it.
- Teaching is not outstanding because occasionally teachers do not use their knowledge of pupils
well enough to plan and provide activities which are engaging and challenging for them all. This
occasionally slows the pace of lessons and engagement of pupils and means that they do not
achieve quite as well as they could.
|The behaviour and safety of pupils||are good|
- Pupils enjoy school and are keen to attend. There is a happy, positive atmosphere around the
school. Several parents and carers commented how much the children love their school. The
parent of some pupils who joined after the Early Years Foundation Stage commented that ‘they
have been welcomed into the school and have settled in very well’.
- Pupils are positive, polite and helpful. They support each other and show care and concern to
those around them.
- Pupils are interested in, and respectful to, a wide variety of people and cultures. They learn
about Chinese New Year, learn Indian dances, made African masks and played African drums.
They learn about Christianity through assemblies, visits to church and religious education.
Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is fostered well.
|Inspection report:||Bishop Lonsdale CofE VC Primary School, 26–27 February 2013||6 of 9|
- Pupils have a good understanding of inappropriate behaviour including verbal, physical and
cyber bullying. They know how to keep themselves and others safe and who to tell if they have
any concerns. Most parents and carers are also confident that pupils are safe and well looked
- Instances of challenging behaviour are very rare and managed well. A few pupils who have had
less successful starts elsewhere, settle quickly and do well.
- Occasionally pupils are distracted in lessons and sometimes chat in activities instead of
concentrating and working diligently. When asked about behaviour, most pupils acknowledge
that there is sometimes too much off-task talking which means that some pupils do not do as
much work as they could.
|The leadership and management||are good|
- Since starting at the school three years ago, the headteacher has made many successful
changes and improvements. He has given more responsibilities to the senior leadership team
and made sure that leaders at all levels are trained and able to drive their subjects and the
- Through effective teamwork, shared vision and ambition, leaders have successfully driven
improvements in achievement, the quality of teaching, engagement with parents and carers and
in the development of school buildings.
- Leaders have developed assessment procedures and make sure that parents and carers are
informed of these. Teachers use these well to prepare topics and target support. Occasionally
they use them less effectively to plan activities which are suitably challenging for all.
- The local authority has played a significant part in providing staff training in leadership and
teaching, including paired lesson observations to sharpen senior leaders’ evaluations and
- Parents and carers value the improvements. One said, ‘I think the headteacher’s determination
to improve literacy in the school is fantastic and I’ve noticed that my own child’s reading and
writing has progressed superbly’.
- The governance of the school:
Governors have a good knowledge about the quality of teaching, how well pupils are doing in
relation to others nationally and the impact of pupil premium funding. They are astute,
experienced and challenging and have been highly instrumental in driving school
improvements and developments. They are all linked with a subject coordinator and have
close contact to oversee these. Systems for managing and improving the performance of all
teaching staff, including leaders, are effective. Governors take full responsibility for managing
the performance and salary of the head teacher and are fully involved in rewarding teachers
for the impact they have on pupils’ achievement. They know what the school is doing to
reward good teaching and address any underperformance, thereby successfully driving
equality of opportunity and combating discrimination. They give high priority to safety and see
that all aspects of safeguarding meet requirements and are secure.
|Inspection report:||Bishop Lonsdale CofE VC Primary School, 26–27 February 2013||7 of 9|
What inspection judgements mean
|Grade 1||Outstanding||An outstanding school is highly effective in delivering outcomes |
that provide exceptionally well for all its pupils’ needs. This ensures
that pupils are very well equipped for the next stage of their
education, training or employment.
|Grade 2||Good||A good school is effective in delivering outcomes that provide well |
for all its pupils’ needs. Pupils are well prepared for the next stage
of their education, training or employment.
|Grade 3||Requires |
|A school that requires improvement is not yet a good school, but it |
is not inadequate. This school will receive a full inspection within
24 months from the date of this inspection.
|Grade 4||Inadequate||A school that requires special measures is one where the school is |
failing to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education and
the school’s leaders, managers or governors have not
demonstrated that they have the capacity to secure the necessary
improvement in the school. This school will receive regular
monitoring by Ofsted inspectors.
A school that has serious weaknesses is inadequate overall and
requires significant improvement but leadership and management
are judged to be Grade 3 or better. This school will receive regular
monitoring by Ofsted inspectors.
|Inspection report:||Bishop Lonsdale CofE VC Primary School, 26–27 February 2013||8 of 9|
|Unique reference number||124296|
This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.
|Type of school||Primary|
|School category||Voluntary controlled|
|Age range of pupils||3–11|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Number of pupils on the school roll||207|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Date of previous school inspection||19 October 2010|
|Telephone number||01785 850388|
|Fax number||01785 850388|