Grace Mary Primary School
phone: 01384 255910
headteacher: Mrs Claire Sturmey
210 pupils capacity: 130% full
145 boys 53%
130 girls 48%
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 %
- 0.2 miles Oakham Primary School B691SG (471 pupils)
- 0.3 miles The Oakham Centre B691SG
- 0.6 miles Tividale Community Arts College B692HE
- 0.6 miles Ormiston Sandwell Community Academy B692HE (854 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Rounds Green Primary School B692DP (452 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Rounds Green Junior School B692DP
- 0.7 miles Rounds Green Infant School B692DP
- 0.8 miles Rowley Hall Primary School B659HU (540 pupils)
- 0.8 miles Tividale Community Primary School B692HT
- 0.8 miles Tividale Hall Primary School B691TR (463 pupils)
- 0.8 miles Whiteheath Infant School B691BG
- 0.8 miles St James's CofE Junior School B691BG
- 0.8 miles St James' CofE Primary School B691BG (379 pupils)
- 0.8 miles Tividale Community Primary School B692HT (495 pupils)
- 0.9 miles Regent School B691TP
- 0.9 miles Blakeley School B693BU
- 0.9 miles The Meadows Sports College B693BU (114 pupils)
- 1 mile Burnt Tree Primary School B692LN (242 pupils)
- 1 mile Springfield Infant and Nursery School B658JY
- 1 mile Knowle School B658JY
- 1 mile Springfield Primary School B658JY (454 pupils)
- 1.1 mile Springfield Junior School B658JW
- 1.1 mile Birchley School B659JP
- 1.1 mile Birchley Pupil Referral Unit B659JP
Grace Mary Primary School
Hawfield Road, Tividale, Oldbury, B69 1LD
|Inspection dates||2–3 July 2014|
|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
| 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
make a good start to their education and
is well planned in a positive school
letters make) has improved considerably. This
has resulted in the pupils gaining good skills
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.
|Ronald Hall, Lead inspector||Additional Inspector|
|Lynne Bennett||Additional Inspector|
|Wendy Davies||Additional Inspector|
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.
|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,
- 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,
- 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 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.
|Unique reference number||103945|
This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.
|Type of school||Primary|
|Age range of pupils||3–11|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Number of pupils on the school roll||270|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Date of previous school inspection||27 January 2010|
|Telephone number||01384 255910|
|Fax number||01384 457554|