Church End Lower School
phone: 01234 768271
headteacher: Mr Brian Storey
450 pupils capacity: 64% full
140 boys 49%
150 girls 52%
Last updated: Sept. 1, 2014
Primary — Foundation School
- Education phase
- Establishment type
- Foundation School
- Establishment #
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 499585, Northing: 241283
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 52.061, Longitude: -0.54884
- Accepting pupils
- 3—9 years old
- Census date
- Jan. 16, 2014
- Region › Const. › Ward
- East of England › Mid Bedfordshire › Cranfield and Marston Moretaine
- Town and Fringe - less sparse
- Free school meals %
- Trust school
- Is supported by a Trust
- The Vale of Marston Schools' Trust
- 1.3 mile Shelton Lower School MK430LS (72 pupils)
- 1.3 mile Kimberley 16 - 19 Stem College MK439LY (158 pupils)
- 1.5 mile Thomas Johnson Lower School MK430SB (112 pupils)
- 1.7 mile Marston Vale Middle School MK439NH
- 1.7 mile Marston Vale Middle School MK439NH (612 pupils)
- 1.8 mile Broadmead Lower School MK439NN (119 pupils)
- 2.4 miles Wootton Upper School MK439HT
- 2.4 miles Holywell CofE VA Middle School MK430JA
- 2.4 miles Wootton Upper School MK439HT (1194 pupils)
- 2.4 miles Holywell School MK430JA (511 pupils)
- 2.5 miles Cranfield VC Lower School MK430DR
- 2.5 miles Cranfield Church of England Academy MK430DR (282 pupils)
- 2.6 miles Wootton Lower School MK439JT (293 pupils)
- 3.1 miles Houghton Conquest Lower School MK453LL (117 pupils)
- 3.1 miles Alameda Middle School MK452QR
- 3.1 miles Alameda Middle School MK452QR (592 pupils)
- 3.2 miles The Firs Lower School MK452QR
- 3.2 miles The Firs Lower School MK452QR (278 pupils)
- 3.3 miles Russell Lower School MK452TD (266 pupils)
- 3.5 miles Ridgmont Lower School MK430TS (44 pupils)
- 3.5 miles Cranfield University MK430AL
- 3.6 miles Redborne Upper School and Community College MK452NU
- 3.6 miles Redborne Upper School and Community College MK452NU (1517 pupils)
- 3.7 miles Ridgeway School MK427EB (72 pupils)
|Inspection date(s)||24–25 April 2012|
Church End Lower School
|Unique reference number||109470|
|Local authority||Central Bedfordshire|
|Inspection dates||24–25 April 2012|
|Lead inspector||Mary Hinds|
This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.
|Type of school||Primary|
|Age range of pupils||4–9|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Nu mber of pupils on the school roll||276|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Date of previous school inspection||04 December 2006|
|School address||Church Walk|
|Telephone number||01234 768271|
|Fax number||01234 768271|
You can use Parent View to give Ofsted your opinion on your child’s school.
Ofsted will use the information parents and carers provide when deciding
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look for the link on the main Ofsted website: www.ofsted.gov.uk
|Mary Hinds||Additional Inspector|
|Mehar Brar||Additional Inspector|
|Fiona Arnison||Additional Inspector|
This inspection was carried out with two days' notice. Parts of 19 lessons were
observed and 12 teachers and one teaching assistant were seen. Meetings were held
with two group of pupils, representatives of the governing body and staff. The
inspector observed the school’s work, and looked at documentation relating to self-
evaluation and monitoring, the analysis of pupils’ progress, teachers’ planning and
procedures for safeguarding pupils. Inspectors also listened to pupils read.
Questionnaires returned by 135 parents and carers were scrutinised together with
those completed by staff and pupils.
Information about the school
The school is slightly larger than similar schools nationally. The proportion of pupils
known to be eligible for free school meals is below average. Most pupils are of White
British heritage and few speak English as an additional language. The proportion of
disabled pupils and those with special educational needs at school action plus or with
a statement of special educational needs is below average. The school has gained
several awards some of these being Arts Mark, Sports Mark, Healthy Schools status
and the International Schools award.
The governing body manage a before- and after-school club and holiday care and is
reported within this inspection. A pre-school and children’s centre located on the
school site are not managed by the governing body and are, therefore, subject to
separate inspection and reporting arrangements.
|Achievement of pupils||2|
|Quality of teaching||2|
|Behaviour and safety of pupils||1|
|Leadership and management||2|
- This is a good school. A particular strength is the excellent quality of the
teaching of reading. As a result, pupils’ progress is rapid for almost all groups.
It is not yet outstanding because teaching does not ensure that all groups of
pupils make consistently outstanding progress in other subjects, particularly in
mathematics in Years 3 and 4.
- All pupils achieve well given their starting points in all key stages. They
consistently reach high standards in reading and above average standards in
writing and mathematics by Year 4. Pupils also acquire excellent communication
- The majority of teaching is good. Assessment information is used well in literacy
to provide challenging work for pupils. However, work is not always fine-tuned
to stretch pupils of different abilities, especially more-able pupils, in
mathematics. Pupils do not have enough opportunities to extend their
mathematical understanding in other subjects.
- Pupils’ behaviour in classes and around the school is outstanding. They are
exceptionally courteous, cooperative and very willing to help each other. All
pupils say they feel safe in school and all parents and carers support this view.
Attendance is well-above average.
- Leaders have high expectations and are totally committed to ensuring that
pupils achieve as well as they can. Leaders have secured good, and often
outstanding, progress in literacy through coaching and high quality training.
However, such focused support is more limited in mathematics and the
leadership of mathematics lacks rigour resulting in some inconsistent practice.
Pupils' progress is carefully tracked to ensure all are achieving well, however,
progress data is not shared explicitly with the governing body in order for them
to hold senior leaders to account for their performance particularly in
mathematics. The school’s promotion of pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and
cultural development is outstanding.
What does the school need to do to improve further?
- Build on pupils’ good mathematical achievement in Key Stage 1 by ensuring
work is always well matched to the needs of all pupils, especially more-
in all lessons, teaching is adapted to pupils’ different levels of
understanding throughout the lesson to ensure progress is rapid
every opportunity is provided to encourage pupils to improve their
mathematical skills through targeted feedback, both oral and written
throughout the lesson and when pupils record their work
there are enough opportunities for pupils to solve problems that are set in
real life situations across the curriculum.
- Consolidate the contribution of the leadership of mathematics so that
outstanding teaching is typical across the school by:
providing tailored training for all staff, including the opportunity to observe
ensuring that identified areas for development are always rigorously
monitored so that the correct improvement strategies are consistently
providing governors with clear information on the progress all groups of
learners make in mathematics in order to hold teachers and leaders fully
Achievement of pupils
Children enter the Early Years Foundation Stage with skills that are typical for their
age. They make good progress in all areas of learning. By the end of Key Stage 1,
attainment is above average. It is well above average in reading and above average
in mathematics and writing. This represents at least good progress, and often
outstanding progress in reading. The gap between boys’ and girls’ writing is being
narrowed significantly. All pupils, including those known to be eligible for free school
meals achieve better than all pupils nationally in all subjects by the end of Key Stage
1. Disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs make similar
progress to their peers, as they have well tailored programmes to meet their needs.
Support staff contribute well to their progress, because they provide appropriate
support and challenge.
Progress in Years 3 and 4 is good and by the time pupils leave the school, attainment
is above average with some pupils reaching high levels. Progress continues to be
rapid in reading so that by Year 4 their attainment is high and is at least one year
above the national average. Pupils make good progress in writing, so that by the end
of Year 4 the attainment of all groups of pupils continues to rise and is now more
securely above average. However, in mathematics, pupils' progress from the end of
Key Stage 1 is only satisfactory. Some of the more able pupils do not achieve as high
a standard as they are capable of. As a consequence, the above average attainment
achieved in mathematics at the end of Key Stage 1 is only sustained rather than
Inspection evidence confirms that pupils’ learning is good, a view expressed
overwhelmingly by parents and carers. Reading has a very high profile and pupils
read daily on an individual and group basis according to their ability. Pupils are highly
motivated and show real enjoyment in their reading. In one well targeted reading
session, the teachers’ enthusiasm, subject knowledge and focused questioning
ensured that pupils remained totally focused to find out what happened to the ‘bear
who was scared’. Learning was maximised as the pupils consolidated their phonic
skills (linking letter and sounds). They delighted in identifying rhyming words and
through this their comprehension and communication skills were developed
exceptionally well. This activity also enabled pupils to be independent as they read
silently to themselves. They cooperated and listened with sustained concentration as
they took turns to read out aloud to each other.
Quality of teaching
Teachers have high expectations of pupils and the highly positive relationships
ensure that pupils aspire to meet them. Classrooms are always purposeful and
productive learning environments. Most lessons are conducted at a brisk pace.
Teachers plan practical activities that encourage pupils to work independently and
collaboratively in pairs. For example, all pupils, including disabled pupils and those
with special educational needs in a Year 2 class worked well together weighing and
measuring a variety of materials and carefully recording their results. They
consequently made good gains in their learning. Children in the Reception classes
confidently choose from a range of stimulating activities to develop their skills. They
are exceptionally keen to participate in everything. Parents and carers are rightly
delighted with the good quality of the teaching, and their children’s enjoyment of it.
Adults intervene at critical moments to either support or extend pupils' learning
through effective questioning. Assessments in reading and writing are used well to
pitch activities accurately to individual needs and abilities. In the best mathematics'
lessons, teachers also match the tasks precisely to different abilities. They identify
clear learning outcomes which they discuss with pupils, ensuring that they
understand what they are expected to achieve by the end of the lesson. For example
in two mathematics lessons observed simultaneously, average ability pupils were
partitioning two digit numbers. In another parallel class more able pupils were
partitioning three digit numbers and by the end of the lesson some pupils were
partitioning four digit numbers. In these lessons, teachers responded to individual
pupils’ rates of progress and depth of understanding by skilfully adjusting activities to
provide further opportunities to practise and/or extend pupils’ skills. Hence, pupils
made good progress. However, this is not consistent practice across all year groups.
For example older pupils often complete the same work. Moreover, there is
sometimes a lack of clear feedback for pupils to know precisely what they have
achieved and what they need to do next in order to improve further, especially in
The curriculum is well planned and has cross curricular links which engage pupils
well. Pupils have many opportunities to explore, investigate and reflect through a
range of activities, both inside and outside the class. For example, pupils displayed
genuine astonishment and awe in an assembly when they heard that Evelyn Glennie
could ‘hear’ music through vibrations. Learning opportunities like this, as well as the
planned curriculum have a significant impact on pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and
cultural development and encourages them to be thoughtful, independent,
cooperative and confident learners. Additionally it also provides opportunities for
pupils to develop their literacy, information and communication technology skills, as
well as key skills in other subjects. However, pupils do not always have enough
opportunities to apply their mathematical skills in different subjects. This, together
with satisfactory rather than good progress in mathematics Years 3 and 4, precludes
some pupils from reaching their potential attainment level.
Behaviour and safety of pupils
Behaviour in and out of lessons is exemplary. Pupils show very high levels of respect
and courtesy and they have excellent attitudes to their learning. This makes a
significant contribution to learning in lessons and pupils show very high levels of
engagement, collaboration and cooperation in lessons. Attendance at school is well-
above the national average and pupils are consistently punctual to lessons. The
school has exceptionally successful behaviour management strategies in place to
ensure it is managed very effectively. The school’s records indicate that incidences of
behaviour causing concern, including bullying of any type are extremely rare. This
was verified by discussions with pupils, who had a good understanding of what
bullying is, different types of bullying and what to do if they witness it or feel that
they had been a victim. All parents and carers indicated in the questionnaire
responses that they are highly positive about how the school keeps their child safe at
school and about behaviour. Similarly almost all parents are satisfied that the school
deals effectively with isolated incidences of bullying when they occur. The before-
and after-school club provides an exceptionally safe and secure environment where
pupils enjoy relaxing or playing together.
Leadership and management
The headteacher and deputy headteacher have an ambitious and shared vision for
the school that is fully supported by the governing body, and all members of staff.
The school has developed a highly effective partnership with parents and provides a
range of support for them, including web based activities for parents to work with
their children during holidays and weekends. As one parent comments ‘the level of
communication and encouragement for parental involvement is superb’. Leaders
have developed a highly cohesive team who are keen to develop their practice and
improve the school further. The positive impact of this team approach is evident in
the good teaching in literacy which is securing good and often outstanding
outcomes. Similarly, this collegiate approach is evident in the thematic curriculum
which meets the needs of all pupils and prepares them well for their next stage of
education. Middle leaders work alongside more experienced leaders in order to
monitor and improve all areas of the creative curriculum. This together with a wide
variety of enrichment activities promote pupils’ spiritual, moral, social, and cultural
development exceptionally well, through community links, partnerships, visits and
visitors, as well as celebrating different cultures and ethnic backgrounds through
music, art, history and story telling.
Professional development has focused well on literacy and generic teaching
strategies through coaching and modelling good practice, and enabling teachers to
observe outstanding lessons. This approach has secured good improvements in
literacy and shows that the school is well placed to continue to improve further.
However, this is not as well embedded in relation to improving further the quality of
teaching in mathematics. In addition, some improvement strategies identified
through leaders’ evaluations have not been systematically monitored in mathematics
to ensure that they are implemented rigorously. Although the school collects a good
range of data about pupils, this is not shared enough with governors so that they can
hold leaders fully to account for pupils' progress, particularly in mathematics. The
governing body provides both challenge and support to the school. The chair of the
governing body is passionate about the school’s continuous improvement and all
governors take great interest in the school’s performance though lesson
observations, leaders’ subject reports and frequent informal and more formal
meetings. They make certain that safeguarding arrangements are robust and that all
training is up-to-date. The school ensures that pupils have equal opportunities in the
activities they provide. All pupils achieve well and there is no evidence of
What inspection judgements mean
|Grade 1||Outstanding||These features are highly effective. An outstanding |
school provides exceptionally well for all its pupils’ needs.
|Grade 2||Good||These are very positive features of a school. A school |
that is good is serving its pupils well.
|Grade 3||Satisfactory||These features are of reasonable quality. A satisfactory |
school is providing adequately for its pupils.
|Grade 4||Inadequate||These features are not of an acceptable standard. An |
inadequate school needs to make significant
improvement in order to meet the needs of its pupils.
Ofsted inspectors will make further visits until it
Overall effectiveness of schools
|Overall effectiveness judgement (percentage of schools)|
|Type of school||Outstanding||Good||Satisfactory||Inadequate|
|Pupil referral |
New school inspection arrangements have been introduced from 1 January 2012. This means that
inspectors make judgements that were not made previously.
The data in the table above are for the period 1 September to 31 December 2011 and represent
judgements that were made under the school inspection arrangements that were introduced on 1
September 2009. These data are consistent with the latest published official statistics about
maintained school inspection outcomes (see www.ofsted.gov.uk).
The sample of schools inspected during 2010/11 was not representative of all schools nationally, as
weaker schools are inspected more frequently than good or outstanding schools.
Primary schools include primar y academy converters. Secondary schools include secondary academy
converters, sponsor-led academies and city technology colleges. Special schools include special
academy converters and non-maintained special schools.
Percentages are rounded and do not always add exactly to 100.
Common terminology used by inspectors
Achievement: the progress and success of a pupil in their
learning and development taking account of their
Attainment: the standard of the pupils’ work shown by test and
examination results and in lessons.
Attendance: the regular attendance of pupils at school and in
lessons, taking into account the school’s efforts to
encourage good attendance.
Behaviour: how well pupils behave in lessons, with emphasis
on their attitude to learning. Pupils’ punctuality to
lessons and their conduct around the school.
Capacity to improve: the proven ability of the school to continue
improving based on its self-evaluation and what
the school has accomplished so far and on the
quality of its systems to maintain improvement.
Floor standards: the national minimum expectation of attainment
and progression measures.
Leadership and management: the contribution of all the staff with responsibilities,
not just the governors and headteacher, to
identifying priorities, directing and motivating staff
and running the school.
Learning: how well pupils acquire knowledge, develop their
understanding, learn and practise skills and are
developing their competence as learners.
Overall effectiveness: inspectors form a judgement on a school’s overall
effectiveness based on the findings from their
inspection of the school.
Progress: the rate at which pupils are learning in lessons and
over longer periods of time. It is often measured
by comparing the pupils’ attainment at the end of a
key stage with their attainment when they started.
Safety: how safe pupils are in school, including in lessons;
and their understanding of risks. Pupils’ freedom
from bullying and harassment. How well the school
promotes safety, for example e-learning.
26 April 2012
Inspection of Church End Lower School, Bedford, MK43 0NE.
Thank you for making us feel so welcome when we inspected your school. You told
us how much you like school. We enjoyed talking to you about your work and finding
out about what you learn in your lessons. We were extremely impressed with your
behaviour. You are all very considerate, have exceptional manners and are very
mature and sensible. As a result, you make a very strong contribution to the warm
and welcoming atmosphere in the school.Church End Lower is a good school. This is
- your headteacher and all the teachers and adults are always trying to make
your school even better
- your attitudes to learning are outstanding and you know that it is important to
keep yourselves and everyone else safe
- your teachers know you very well and they make sure that you enjoy your work
– they help you to make outstanding progress in reading and good progress in
writing and for most of you good progress in mathematics
To help you make even better progress, we have asked the school to:
- check that the work you are given challenges you to do your very best in
mathematics, especially for those of you who find mathematics easy
- make sure that you practise your mathematical skills in other subjects
- give you more information to help you see how well you are doing and to think
about what you do well and how you can improve your work yourself
- make sure that school leaders are doing everything to improve teaching in
mathematics so that you all achieve your very best.
We are sure you will want to help by keeping up your excellent behaviour, trying
your very best in your work and maintaining your excellent attendance.
Well done to you all and the very best for the future.