School etc

Grace Mary Primary School

Grace Mary Primary School
Hawfield Road
West Midlands

phone: 01384 255910

headteacher: Mrs Claire Sturmey


school holidays: via Sandwell council

273 pupils aged 2—10y mixed gender
210 pupils capacity: 130% full

145 boys 53%

≤ 243y144a44b74c85y366y167y108y179y1010y17

130 girls 48%

≤ 283y164a44b34c45y246y127y158y129y2010y12

Last updated: July 21, 2014

Primary — Community School

Education phase
Establishment type
Community School
Establishment #
OSGB coordinates
Easting: 397178, Northing: 289280
GPS coordinates
Latitude: 52.501, Longitude: -2.043
Accepting pupils
3—11 years old
Census date
Jan. 16, 2014
Ofsted last inspection
July 2, 2014
Region › Const. › Ward
West Midlands › West Bromwich West › Tividale
Urban > 10k - less sparse
SEN priorities
ASD - Autistic Spectrum Disorder
Free school meals %

rooms to rent in Oldbury

Schools nearby

  1. 0.2 miles Oakham Primary School B691SG (471 pupils)
  2. 0.3 miles The Oakham Centre B691SG
  3. 0.6 miles Tividale Community Arts College B692HE
  4. 0.6 miles Ormiston Sandwell Community Academy B692HE (854 pupils)
  5. 0.7 miles Rounds Green Primary School B692DP (452 pupils)
  6. 0.7 miles Rounds Green Junior School B692DP
  7. 0.7 miles Rounds Green Infant School B692DP
  8. 0.8 miles Rowley Hall Primary School B659HU (540 pupils)
  9. 0.8 miles Tividale Community Primary School B692HT
  10. 0.8 miles Tividale Hall Primary School B691TR (463 pupils)
  11. 0.8 miles Whiteheath Infant School B691BG
  12. 0.8 miles St James's CofE Junior School B691BG
  13. 0.8 miles St James' CofE Primary School B691BG (379 pupils)
  14. 0.8 miles Tividale Community Primary School B692HT (495 pupils)
  15. 0.9 miles Regent School B691TP
  16. 0.9 miles Blakeley School B693BU
  17. 0.9 miles The Meadows Sports College B693BU (114 pupils)
  18. 1 mile Burnt Tree Primary School B692LN (242 pupils)
  19. 1 mile Springfield Infant and Nursery School B658JY
  20. 1 mile Knowle School B658JY
  21. 1 mile Springfield Primary School B658JY (454 pupils)
  22. 1.1 mile Springfield Junior School B658JW
  23. 1.1 mile Birchley School B659JP
  24. 1.1 mile Birchley Pupil Referral Unit B659JP

List of schools in Oldbury

School report

Grace Mary Primary School

Hawfield Road, Tividale, Oldbury, B69 1LD

Inspection dates 2–3 July 2014
Overall effectiveness This inspection: Good 2
Previous 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

Grace Mary Primary School makes sure that
Pupils who receive support through the
Children in the Early Years Foundation Stage
Teaching across the school is good. Learning
The teaching of phonics (the sounds that
Behaviour is good and the pupils have a
pupils achieve well. Their progress in reading,
writing and mathematics is good.
additional funding (pupil premium) make
good progress.
make a good start to their education and
achieve well.
is well planned in a positive school
letters make) has improved considerably. This
has resulted in the pupils gaining good skills
in reading.
positive attitude to learning.
Pupils feel safe in school and all pupils spoken
Parents are positive about the work of the
The subjects the pupils are taught are
The school provides a wide range of learning
Senior leaders and the governing body have
The governing body challenges and supports
to say that the staff take great care of them.
interesting and they enjoy them. They engage
pupils in learning.
opportunities to assist pupils’ spiritual, moral,
social and cultural development.
improved the quality of teaching and raised
achievement across the school.
the school. Governors have a good
understanding of the work of the school, and
the positive effects funding has on the various
groups in the school.
The most-able pupils are not always set work
which is hard enough for them.
Pupils’ writing skills are not as well developed
as their other skills.

Information about this inspection

  • Inspectors observed 16 lessons, six of which were seen jointly with the headteacher and deputy
  • Members of the inspection team observed pupils during lunch and break times.
  • Meetings were held with the Chair of the Governing Body, members of the senior leadership
    team and with a group of pupils.
  • The inspection team took account of the 125 responses to a recent school parental survey, as
    the responses to the online questionnaire (Parent View) were too few to be reviewed. The
    inspectors also took account of the 45 responses to the staff questionnaire.
  • The inspection team scrutinised a range of documentation relating to the safeguarding of pupils,
    school improvement planning and self-evaluation, and the progress pupils are making. They
    reviewed records of governors’ meetings, and records of how the primary sports funding and the
    pupil premium grant are used. The team reviewed evidence regarding the quality of teaching,
    and information relating to pupils’ behaviour and attendance.
  • Inspectors also heard pupils read, both formally and informally, during lessons.

Inspection team

Ronald Hall, Lead inspector Additional Inspector
Lynne Bennett Additional Inspector
Wendy Davies Additional Inspector

Full report

Information about this school

  • Grace Mary Primary School is larger than the average-sized primary school.
  • The Early Years Foundation Stage is made up of a Nursery class and a Reception class. The
    school has two Year 1 classes and one class in each of the other year groups.
  • The proportion of pupils eligible for the pupil premium, which is additional funding to support
    pupils who are eligible for free school meals or who are in care, is above average.
  • Most pupils are from a White British background.
  • The proportion of pupils who speak English as an additional language is above average and
    many are at an early stage of learning English.
  • The proportion of disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs supported at
    school action is below average. The proportion of pupils supported at school action plus or
    through a statement of special educational needs is above average.
  • There is specially resourced provision for eight pupils with special educational needs who have
    autistic spectrum disorders.
  • The school meets the government’s current floor standards, which set the minimum expectations
    for pupils’ attainment and progress by the end of Year 6.
  • The headteacher was appointed in April 2013, and the deputy headteacher and several members
    of the senior leadership team took up their posts during the current academic year. The
    governing body has many new members and has reorganised its activities.

What does the school need to do to improve further?

  • Improve the quality of teaching to outstanding by consistently challenging the most-able pupils
    to accelerate their progress, so that they can better reach the higher National Curriculum levels.
  • Raise achievement by providing more opportunities for pupils to use their writing skills in all
    subject areas and improve their attainment in writing.

Inspection judgements

The achievement of pupils is good
  • Pupils across the school – regardless of their social and ethnic backgrounds – make good
    progress from very low starting points. The good progress is due to improved teaching, which
    has better engaged pupils in their learning. Consequently, pupils’ attainment in reading, writing
    and mathematics by the end of Year 6 is in line with and, for many pupils, above the national
    average. School information and inspection findings show further rapid improvement.
  • Pupils supported by the designated resource base for those with autistic spectrum disorders
    make good progress. The pupils are taught within the mainstream classes and make progress in
    line with that of their classmates. By the end of Year 6, their attainment in reading, writing and
    mathematics is in line with that of others. Their success is due to the careful checking the
    resource-base leader carries out to ensure that pupils are taught effectively and their progress is
    kept on track. All staff help the pupils overcome their learning difficulties through careful use of
    signs and symbols, well established routines and carefully planned work which suits the way in
    which they learn.
  • Disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs are well supported by both
    teachers and the other adults who support learning. This support results in these pupils making
    good progress. Well-directed learning opportunities make sure that any underachievement is
    quickly picked up and progress rates increased.
  • Pupils supported through additional funding (pupil premium) make progress in line with that of
    others in school. The funding is partly used to ensure they have full access to all the school has
    to offer, such as residential visits, school trips and clubs. School information shows pupils
    currently in Year 6 are reaching attainment levels in line with those of other pupils. Eligible Year
    6 pupils in 2013 made good progress in reading, writing and mathematics and their attainment
    was close to that of others.
  • Recent initiatives to improve reading have resulted in better teaching, enabling pupils to make
    good progress in this skill. Weakness in this area in the past has been rapidly reversed and the
    school’s current information shows that pupils are on track to achieve well in the 2014 Year 1
    phonics screening check. The pupils heard reading by the inspectors demonstrated good skills
    and stated that they really enjoyed reading. Across the school, pupils read widely both for
    information and pleasure.
  • Although standards in writing are rising and pupils’ books in all years clearly support this
    evaluation, attainment in writing by the end of Year 6 is, currently, lower than that seen in
    reading and mathematics. This is because, although pupils are taught written skills, they do not
    always have opportunities to practise and develop these skills across all subjects.
  • Children enter the Early Years Foundation Stage with skills and understanding considerably
    below the levels expected for their ages. Due to the positive learning opportunities the staff
    provide and the highly positive relationships they create, the children make good and, for many,
    outstanding progress. School information shows that by the end of the Early Years Foundation
    Stage, children leave with skills and understanding close to those expected for their ages.
  • The pupils’ skills in sporting activities and their understanding of healthy lifestyles are well
    developed. This development of skills is due to the positive manner in which the primary sports
    funding is used to provide specialist teaching. This action has also improved teachers’ skills and
    so created a wide and in-depth range of expertise.
  • Pupils who speak English as an additional language make good progress in reading, writing and
    mathematics. They rapidly gain good spoken English skills due to the helpful teaching and
    support they receive.
  • The 2013 Year 6 test results showed that some of the most-able pupils did not reach the higher
    National Curriculum levels of which they were capable, due to poor teaching in the past. Current
    information on the attainment of the most able in Key Stage 2 shows improvement in the
    standards reached. However, these pupils are not well challenged in every lesson to reach the
    high standards of which they are capable.
The quality of teaching is good
  • Teaching has improved considerably since the new leadership and management team have
    taken up post. Teaching across the school is generally good, and some is outstanding. Better
    teaching has resulted in pupils making good and, at times, outstanding progress. Work in pupils’
    books across the school confirms that rapid improvements have taken place. Pupils themselves
    recognise that teaching has improved. For example, one pupil stated, ‘A year ago teaching was
    not good – now it is great.’
  • Teaching helps pupils to be fully engaged in their work and highly motivated to learn.
    Consequently, pupils work well together, share resources and challenge each other’s thinking.
    Pupils question each other about their work and join in discussions with the staff, leading to their
    good progress and clear enjoyment in learning.
  • Teachers generally use the information they have on pupils’ progress to plan learning. During
    lessons, all staff carefully check the progress the pupils are making and many adapt and change
    what pupils are doing, when necessary, to make sure that they continue to make good progress.
  • Teaching in English and mathematics is good. Teachers provide pupils with a wide range of skills
    and knowledge to develop their writing. However, they do not consistently provide opportunities
    for them to practise their written skills across a range of subjects so that learning is fully
  • A few teachers do not consistently challenge the most-able pupils in their classes. These pupils
    make good progress but, due to limited challenge, some do not make the very rapid progress of
    which they are capable. Therefore, by the end of Year 6, the proportion of pupils reaching the
    higher National Curriculum levels is not as high as it could be.
  • Pupils’ work in books in all years shows much improvement from better teaching. Pupils clearly
    take a pride in their work and the quality of their learning has improved – and is continuing to
    do so rapidly. Marking of the pupils’ work is constructive and helps them to improve. Teachers
    make sure that pupils know how to raise their standards.
  • Teaching in the Early Years Foundation Stage is good. All staff carefully check the children’s
    work and use this information to make sure that all make good progress.
  • In the resource base, pupils’ language and communication skills are developed well through the
    use of signs, symbols, sign language and spoken English to develop their communication skills.
    Resources are used well to make sure that all pupils’ learning needs are met.
The behaviour and safety of pupils are good
  • The behaviour of pupils is good. The senior leadership team have made rapid improvements in
    the way in which all staff deal with behavioural issues in the school. This action has resulted in
    the number of incidents and exclusions falling rapidly. Pupils say that behaviour is good and they
    enjoy school. Their attitudes to learning are positive due to improved teaching across the school.
  • Pupils are polite and support each other across the whole school. On the playground and in the
    dining room, pupils socialise together and act sensibly. They take a pride in their work and their
    books are generally neat and tidy. In lessons, pupils listen carefully to the teacher and to each
  • Pupils were eager to tell the inspectors how much they enjoyed learning and school in general.
    Their enthusiasm for school can be seen in their rapidly rising rate of attendance. This
    improvement is a reversal of the previous weak rate of attendance.
  • The school’s work to keep pupils safe and secure is good. Leaders make sure the school is
    secure and staff are rigorously checked prior to appointment. All pupils spoken to said they felt
    safe. Pupils have a good understanding of how to stay healthy and safe. They understand
    various forms of bullying. However, they were adamant that little bullying took place, and if it
    did it would be dealt with rapidly. Records in school are well kept and support this positive view.
    Pupils also have a good understanding of how to stay safe on the internet.
  • Parents think that behaviour is good and the school provides a safe place in which their children
    can learn successfully.
  • Pupils with autistic spectrum disorders in the resource base are supported very well to overcome
    behavioural difficulties. In lessons, all staff use a wide range of strategies to help these pupils
    cope with different situations. Records in school clearly show a significant fall in the number of
    behavioural incidents involving these pupils.
  • The promotion of the pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is effective. The
    school provides many opportunities for pupils to learn about a wide range of cultures and
    religions. Pupils have a strong sense of right and wrong and are well prepared to live in their
    local and wider communities.
The leadership and management are good
  • The headteacher has worked very hard to improve the school. She and the governing body have
    restructured the senior leadership team and, together, they have ensured rapid improvements
    across the whole school. For example, teaching has improved to be consistently good. Progress
    rates and attainment have risen rapidly. This impressive track record of improvement indicates
    strong capacity to improve further.
  • Monitoring, tracking and recording systems are accurate and well moderated by the local
    authority and other external support. The senior leadership team and subject leaders all check
    pupils’ work effectively. Subject leaders are effective. They carefully check the quality of
    teaching in their subjects, and provide mentoring, training and support to ensure that all
    teachers adopt the best possible practice.
  • All leaders, managers and teachers have high expectations of what pupils can achieve, and their
    expectations are contributing to rapidly improving standards. In the Early Years Foundation
    Stage, good leadership and management have led to the children making good and, sometimes,
    outstanding progress.
  • The leadership and management of the resource base are good. Thorough systems to track the
    progress of pupils with autistic spectrum disorders make sure that all these pupils make, at least,
    good progress.
  • The senior leadership team and governing body manage staff performance well to raise the
    quality of teaching. Procedures are carefully linked to further training, pay and professional
    development. In making decisions regarding teachers’ performance, the senior leadership team
    carefully check the progress pupils make. For example, they review the quality of work in pupils’
    books, hold discussions with the pupils about their learning, observe lessons and build a
    complete picture of the impact of teaching.
  • School information regarding pupils’ progress shows that the senior leadership team have
    successfully raised pupils’ performance and ensured that gaps in achievement between different
    groups have closed. The school uses part of the additional funding (pupil premium) to make sure
    that all pupils have access to everything the school has to offer. Consequently, equal access to
    all learning opportunities is ensured across all school activities.
  • All staff are trained regularly in safeguarding and child protection procedures. Senior staff are
    trained to a higher level and, as a result, safeguarding currently meets requirements.
  • The links between the school and local authority are good. Senior leaders and managers use the
    local authority to help support the drive for rapid improvement. Staff training and mentoring
    have helped to raise the quality of teaching. The local authority monitors the school’s work
    termly and, as part of this process, confirms the school’s findings on pupils’ progress. It has
    assisted the senior leadership team in developing their skills in observing teaching.
  • The school has developed the range of subjects taught across the school to make sure pupils are
    engaged in work relevant to their lives and learning. Pupils spoken to said that learning had
    become much more interesting. The primary sports funding is used particularly well to provide a
    wide range of physical and sporting opportunities for all pupils.
  • The governance of the school:
    The governing body has changed considerably since the previous inspection. Governors
    currently have a wide range of personal skills and expertise that they bring to their role. They
    have undergone training, which has helped them become both challenging and supportive of
    the school and leaders. Governors are fully involved in checking the work of the school. They
    have a good understanding of the progress the pupils are making. They check the effect the
    additional funding for the pupil premium and sports funding has on pupils’ progress and well-
    being. Governors have a good knowledge of the quality of teaching. They know how targets
    are set for teachers and link performance to pay and professional development. They
    understand the data on pupils’ attainment and progress and how the performance of the
    school compares to that of schools nationally. The governing body takes safeguarding
    procedures seriously; governors frequently check the school grounds and buildings and review
    all policies and procedures regularly.

What inspection judgements mean


Grade Judgement Description
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.

School details

Unique reference number 103945
Local authority Sandwell
Inspection number 444134

This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.

Type of school Primary
School category Community
Age range of pupils 3–11
Gender of pupils Mixed
Number of pupils on the school roll 270
Appropriate authority The governing body
Chair Andrew Knight
Headteacher Clare Sturmey
Date of previous school inspection 27 January 2010
Telephone number 01384 255910
Fax number 01384 457554
Email address reveal email: clar…


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