James Bateman Junior High School
phone: 01782 297912
acting headteacher: Mrs Tracy Price
440 pupils capacity: 86% full
195 boys 51%
185 girls 49%
Last updated: June 20, 2014
Middle Deemed Secondary — Foundation School
- Education phase
- Middle Deemed Secondary
- Establishment type
- Foundation School
- Establishment #
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 388156, Northing: 356788
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 53.108, Longitude: -2.1784
- Accepting pupils
- 9—13 years old
- Census date
- Jan. 16, 2014
- Ofsted last inspection
- Feb. 6, 2013
- Region › Const. › Ward
- West Midlands › Staffordshire Moorlands › Biddulph South
- Urban > 10k - less sparse
- Free school meals %
- Trust school
- Is supported by a Trust
- Biddulph Schools Partnership Trust
- Learning provider ref #
- 0.1 miles Knypersley First School ST86NN (352 pupils)
- 0.1 miles Roaches School ST87AB (50 pupils)
- 0.3 miles English Martyrs' Catholic Primary School ST86LW
- 0.3 miles Our Lady of Grace Catholic Academy ST86LW (78 pupils)
- 0.4 miles Biddulph High School ST87AR
- 0.4 miles Biddulph High School ST87AR (773 pupils)
- 0.5 miles Squirrel Hayes First School ST87DF (160 pupils)
- 0.6 miles Kingsfield First School ST86AY (257 pupils)
- 1.2 mile Oxhey First School ST87EB (252 pupils)
- 1.4 mile Woodhouse Middle School ST87DR (380 pupils)
- 1.4 mile Woodhouse Academy ST87DR
- 1.5 mile Thursfield Primary School ST74JL (289 pupils)
- 1.6 mile Castle Primary School ST74NE (107 pupils)
- 1.7 mile Packmoor Primary School ST74SP (450 pupils)
- 1.8 mile Woodcock's Well CofE Primary School ST73NQ (92 pupils)
- 1.9 mile Moor First School ST87HR (120 pupils)
- 2.2 miles St Anne's CofE (VC) Primary School ST68TA (215 pupils)
- 2.3 miles Whitfield Valley Primary School ST66TD (332 pupils)
- 2.3 miles Whitfield Valley Primary School ST66TD
- 2.4 miles Maryhill Primary School ST74DJ
- 2.4 miles University Primary Academy Kidsgrove ST74DJ (202 pupils)
- 2.5 miles Maryhill High School ST74DL
- 2.5 miles University Academy Kidsgrove ST74DL (673 pupils)
- 2.6 miles James Brindley High School ST66JT
James Bateman Junior High
Park Lane, Knypersley, Stoke-on-Trent, ST8 7AT
|Inspection dates||29–30 January 2015|
|Overall effectiveness||This inspection:||Good||2|
|Previous inspection:||Requires improvement||3|
|Leadership and management||Good||2|
|Behaviour and safety of pupils||Good||2|
|Quality of teaching||Good||2|
|Achievement of pupils||Good||2|
Summary of key findings for parents and pupils
This is a good school.
It is not yet an outstanding school because
| Since the previous inspection, strong leadership |
Standards at the end of Year 6 have risen year on
Pupils are making good progress in reading,
and governance have rapidly improved the quality
of teaching and are raising pupils’ achievement.
year and are now in line with those found
writing and mathematics throughout the school.
This includes disabled pupils, those who have
special educational needs and disadvantaged
| The most-able pupils are making rapid progress, |
Many pupils enter the school as weak readers. They
Pupils’ behaviour is good. They enjoy being at
The school’s work to keep pupils safe is good.
particularly in Key Stage 2.
quickly develop a love of books and this has led to
marked improvements in their reading.
school and have a very positive attitude to their
Pupils, parents and staff all say that this is a safe
| Not all teachers regularly set challenging |
Teachers do not always check pupils’ progress in
other subjects as rigorously as they do in English
| Pupils in Key Stage 3 do not have enough |
opportunities to practise their mathematics skills in
Information about this inspection
- Inspectors observed pupils’ learning in 24 lessons across the school. Of these, 10 were observed jointly
with the headteacher or the deputy headteacher. The inspection team also looked at pupils’ work in their
books and folders.
- As well as conversations in lessons and at social times during the inspection, discussions were held with
two groups of pupils about the quality of their educational experiences and the standard of behaviour in
- The school was closed to pupils on the second day of the inspection due to a heavy and sudden fall of
snow. The inspectors conducted a further scrutiny of work in pupils’ books. The inspectors also held
meetings with senior leaders, members of the governing body and a representative of the local authority.
- Inspectors took account of the 19 responses to Ofsted's online questionnaire, Parent View, and considered
the 23 responses to a staff questionnaire. Inspectors also considered responses by parents and pupils to
recent questionnaires from the school.
- The inspection team examined: the school’s own information on pupils’ recent and current progress; the
school’s evaluation of how well it is doing and its records of the monitoring of the quality of teaching;
records relating to behaviour and attendance; documents resulting from monitoring visits to the school
following its previous inspection; and documents relating to safeguarding.
|Richard Boswell, Lead inspector||Additional Inspector|
|Michael Wilson||Additional Inspector|
|Mandy Wilding||Additional Inspector|
Information about this school
- James Bateman Junior High School is smaller than the average-sized secondary school.
- Almost all pupils are from White British backgrounds.
- The proportion of disadvantaged pupils supported through the pupil premium (which provides additional
funding for pupils in care and those known to be eligible for free school meals), at around one third, is
above the national average.
The proportion of disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs, at around one fifth, is
- The school meets the government’s current floor standards, which set the minimum expectations for
pupils’ attainment and progress in reading, writing and mathematics at the end of Year 6.
- A very small number of pupils attend alternative provision at the Centre for the Education of Adolescents
Requiring Support, Newcastle under Lyme.
- The school is a member of the Biddulph Schools Partnership Trust.
- Since the previous inspection: the school has received support from a National Leader of Education at
Hempstalls Primary School; a new Chair of the Governing Body has been appointed; there have been a
considerable number of changes in staffing, including among the school’s leadership team.
- In the last two years, the school has taken part in a regional Secondary School Literacy Pilot focused on
the development of a whole-school reading culture.
What does the school need to do to improve further?
- Improve the quality of teaching and so further raise achievement by ensuring that teachers:
regularly give pupils homework which enables them to explore and research deeper into topics and
are always as rigorous in checking their pupils’ progress and moving them on in other subjects as they
are in English and mathematics.
- Leaders should ensure that pupils in Key Stage 3 have more opportunities to practise their skills in
mathematics in a wide range of subjects.
|The leadership and management||are good|
- Since the previous inspection, action taken by the new headteacher has created a growing culture of
academic excellence brought about by good teaching and pupils’ positive attitudes to learning. She has
been well supported in making the necessary changes by a new Chair of the Governing Body. As a result,
the school has improved rapidly and is continuing to improve at a fast rate because there are high
expectations of what pupils can achieve.
- The school has appointed effective new subject leaders in English, mathematics and science, and an
assistant headteacher responsible for disadvantaged pupils, disabled pupils and those who have special
educational needs. These leaders have driven improvements in the quality of education for all pupils in
their areas of responsibility. Consequently, progress has accelerated and standards are higher.
- In the last two years, the school has worked closely with one of Her Majesty’s Inspectors on an Ofsted
pilot project to develop a whole-school reading culture. This involves competitions and additional time for
reading and is highly successful. After one year, there are considerably more pupils reading at a level at
least in line with and often above that expected for their age, and a marked improvement in the number
of pupils achieving national standards in reading.
- Pupils of all ages speak enthusiastically about their reading and their positive response has contributed to
their improved attitudes to all their learning. For example, in the same period there has also been a rapid
improvement in pupils’ standards in mathematics.
- School leaders and governors have quickly identified any weaknesses in the quality of teaching. These are
swiftly addressed and staff receive well-targeted training and support. Careful and considered recruitment
has supported the good quality of teaching throughout the school – with 13 new staff appointed in the last
two years. Teachers have high expectations for the progress of their pupils, including the most able, and,
as a result, pupils achieve more.
- The school has accurate and reliable systems for checking the progress that pupils are making in their
reading, writing and mathematics. This information is regularly shared with pupils and parents so that any
areas in need of improvement can be supported at home as well as at school. In line with national
changes, school leaders are working with local schools and have developed better assessment of pupils’
progress in English and mathematics. However, systems for checking how well pupils are achieving in
other subjects are not yet as rigorous. Consequently, their progress is, sometimes, not as rapid in other
subjects as it could be.
- Immediately following the previous inspection, pupils’ performance in national tests at the end of Year 6,
while improved on the year before, were still below the national average. The headteacher and other
leaders identified that the curriculum and teaching in Years 5 and 6 were not having the impact intended
on pupils’ progress and attainment. They made swift changes that in the last school year have led to
better standards and more rapid progress in Key Stage 2.
- In Years 7 and 8, improved teaching and learning opportunities stretch all pupils, including the most and
least able, and help all reach their full potential as learners. The promotion of reading is as strong in Key
Stage 3 as it is in Key Stage 2. However, pupils in Key Stage 3 have fewer opportunities to practise their
numeracy skills by applying them in other subjects and, consequently, their mathematical skills and
subject understanding are not fully reinforced.
- The school is committed to equality of opportunity and tackling discrimination, ensuring there are no
barriers to achievement. For example, the pupil premium funding is well used to ensure that
disadvantaged pupils are successful learners. Actions taken involve a learning mentor to work with
disadvantaged pupils and enable them to participate in educational visits and activities. As a result of the
school’s actions, there are marked improvements in the achievement of disadvantaged pupils.
- Other additional funding is used well. For example, physical education and sports funding gives teachers
high-quality, professional training and increases the participation of pupils in physical activities. These
opportunities are contributing well to improving pupils’ health and physical well-being. Funding for Year 7
pupils to catch-up when they are below the standards expected in literacy and numeracy at the end of Key
Stage 2 is used effectively – including additional resources for them in the library. As a result, their skills
improve, especially in reading.
- The local authority has made a strong contribution to the school’s improvement. It recognises and
supports the impact the headteacher and leadership team are having on raising achievement. Leaders
make very good use of the Biddulph Schools Partnership Trust and a National Leader of Education at a
local school, who have provided advice, guidance and training for staff. The success of these partnerships
means that pupils are able to move smoothly from their first schools, and are well prepared to enter the
senior high school with confidence.
- Older pupils receive helpful advice and guidance about future careers and choices of educational courses.
The impact of this guidance is evident in the pupils’ knowledge and understanding about their future
choices. They comment enthusiastically about their plans and aspirations.
- The range of learning opportunities provide well for pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural
development, including their knowledge and understanding of British values. Respect for the rule of law is
encouraged through regular visits by community police officers and a ‘police cadets’ course for Year 5
pupils to experience immediate responsibility for upholding the law.
- Pupils learn responsibilities within the democratic process in choosing an active school council and house
and vice captains, and voting for ‘pupil of the week’ – to celebrate worthwhile achievement. Residential
visits to London include a tour of the Houses of Parliament. These many learning opportunities help to
prepare them well for life in modern British society.
- Tolerance and understanding of others’ cultures and beliefs are actively promoted through religious
education covering a variety of faiths. There are specific ‘culture days’ with a focus on Islam, for example.
The Year 8 residential visit to Berlin included visits to the site of the Berlin Wall and the Anne Frank
Museum. These many worthwhile learning experiences effectively enhance pupils’ moral and social
development and sense of responsibility as a citizen.
- The school meets the statutory requirements for safeguarding. All relevant policies are regularly reviewed
and there is a rolling programme of staff training in child protection, including the induction of new
teachers. Consequently, pupils feel safe at school – and say so openly.
- It is not possible to report on the achievement of pupils attending alternative provision because they are
very small in number and would be at risk of being identified. The school ensures, however, that their
attendance and behaviour are closely monitored.
- The governance of the school:
Since the previous inspection, the new Chair of the Governing Body and other governors have reacted
swiftly and positively to the report’s recommendations. They know the school well and are clear about
its strengths and areas for improvement. As a result, governance is effective.
Governors have a good understanding of the quality of teaching across the school. They understand
how the management of teachers’ performance is supporting better practice. They apply the link
between pay and teachers’ performance; they are keen to reward good teaching and have tackled any
They receive training in the analysis and interpretation of information about pupils’ progress and
attainment and, consequently, are well informed about the school’s success in enabling pupils to
Governors meet their statutory duties with regard to safeguarding.
School records show that the governing body has offered increased levels of both support and challenge
to the headteacher and senior leaders in the last two years. Governors have helped to forge new
partnerships to provide external help in the best interests of current and future pupils.
Governors insist that the school promotes tolerance and equality of opportunity and that all pupils are
well prepared for life in modern Britain.
Governors keep a careful check on finances and know how the pupil premium and Year 7 catch-up
funding is spent and the impact on eligible pupils’ achievement.
They have assessed their own skills and have a good mix of expertise and experience. Governors are
fully familiar with the school’s current systems for assessment.
Governors work closely with parents and make themselves available to parents at school meetings and
through the school website. The Chair of the Governing Body, in her role as a volunteer librarian, has
directly contributed to the success of the school’s reading project.
|The behaviour and safety of pupils||are good|
- The behaviour of pupils is good. Their positive attitudes to learning help them to make good progress in
- There is good behaviour around the school and low-level disruption in lessons is very rare. This is because
of the school’s successful promotion of pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and pupils’
growing sense of personal responsibility.
- Pupils’ show respect for their teachers, for each other and for the school environment. They wear their
uniform with pride and take care over the presentation of work in their books. They enjoy taking on
responsibilities, such as acting as monitors at break and lunch times, and being captains and vice-captains
of their school houses.
- Pupils’ attendance has improved and is in line with that in most schools. This improvement is because the
school works hard to engage with and support parents. Although the rate of persistent absences from
school among a small group of pupils was high in the past, it has reduced considerably. This improvement
is a result of the work of learning mentors, who identify, listen to and support vulnerable pupils to attend
and make the most of school.
- Behaviour is rigorously tracked and any incidents are logged. A variety of strategies are used to manage
behaviour and the impact is carefully recorded. Pupils, parents, staff and governors say, and case studies
show, that improvement in behaviour leads to raised achievement. Exclusions from school are rare. The
very few pupils who attend alternative provision show improvements in their behaviour.
- The school’s work to keep pupils safe and secure is good. The school site is safe and any visitors to the
school are appropriately checked. All staff are rigorously checked prior to appointment.
- The school meets all statutory requirements with regard to safety, and pupils increasingly learn to look
after themselves. For example, on an educational visit to London, pupils gain confidence in coping with
city life by planning routes on the underground for themselves. Pupils also know about safety relating to
the roads, the railways, cycling and fire.
- Pupils know about different types of bullying, including cyber bullying and homophobic bulling. They say
that bullying is not a concern at their school, but they are confident that staff would deal with any
incidents that arose. Pupils are clear that they do not hear discriminatory or derogatory language in the
school, such as homophobic or racist comments, and that they would immediately report it.
- Pupils show a good awareness of the potential dangers of the internet and the need to protect their
identity and personal information.
|The quality of teaching||is good|
- Teachers have high expectations of what pupils can achieve and they also teach pupils to have high
expectations of themselves. Good teaching has led to a consistent and sustained improvement in
standards and rapid improvements in the progress pupils make in reading, writing and mathematics.
- Teachers know the pupils well and carefully plan learning that challenges all abilities and groups, including
disadvantaged pupils, disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs. Experienced and
well-qualified support staff ably assist teachers by working with pupils in the classroom, with individuals
and with small groups to enable all to achieve well.
- Teachers ask questions in class that help pupils to think deeply about their learning and that identify any
misunderstanding. The most-able pupils are making good progress, particularly in Key Stage 2, where, for
example, smaller ‘express groups’ allow them to move on more rapidly.
- Pupils’ work is marked regularly and accurately, and helps pupils to identify what they need to do to
improve. Pupils are given the time in class to check their own and each other’s work and they talk with
confidence and enthusiasm about how well they are doing and how they can do better. However,
teachers’ checking of pupils’ work and progress are not as thorough in other subjects as they are in
reading, writing and mathematics. The result is that pupils’ progress in other subjects is less secure than it
is in English and mathematics.
- The success of the school’s drive to improve pupils’ reading is supported by the participation of every
teacher in each subject. Teachers and school leaders share their own current reading with pupils and help
to create the strong culture of reading that is evident throughout the school. Pupils’ improved reading
skills have a positive impact on other subjects. For example, pupils are making better progress in science
because they are able to make use of higher-level textbooks and answer more complex questions.
- While pupils’ literacy skills are developed across the curriculum and throughout the school, pupils have
fewer opportunities in Key Stage 3 to apply in other subjects what they have learnt in mathematics.
Consequently, their numerical skills are not practised as well as their literacy skills, and this slows their
progress in mathematics.
- Parents say that their children regularly read at home and teachers ensure that pupils always have a book
‘on the go’. However challenging and stimulating homework is not set regularly enough in subjects other
than reading, writing and mathematics and, as a result, pupils do not advance their learning as well as
|The achievement of pupils||is good|
- Pupils enter the school with attainment that is below that typical for their age, particularly in reading. As
a result of improved teaching, they make good progress in Key Stage 2 and achieve standards at the end
of Year 6 that are in line with those found nationally. In Years 7 and 8, pupils are making increasingly
good progress. However, current pupils’ attainment in Year 8 is lower than in other year groups because
of weaker teaching in the past.
- Pupils’ standards and progress by the end of Year 6 have improved each year since 2012. The progress of
all pupils in Key Stage 2, including disadvantaged pupils, was good in 2014 and in the first term of the
current school year. Inspection findings endorsed current progress as good. This level of performance
means that pupils are well prepared for moving on to high school and the work expected of them there.
- In previous years, disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs were not sufficiently
challenged in their work because expectations of their progress were not high enough. In the last two
years, these pupils have made much improved progress because they have received, and continue to
receive, good support and guidance to enable them to do well.
- The gap between the attainment of disadvantaged pupils and the attainment of others in the school is
narrowing. This is because the support disadvantaged pupils receive is well targeted to their needs. In
Year 6 in 2014, the gaps in attainment in reading, writing and mathematics narrowed between
disadvantaged pupils and other pupils in the school. The gap also narrowed between disadvantaged
pupils and the performance of all pupils nationally. Eligible pupils were around three terms behind all
pupils nationally in mathematics and around one-and-a-half terms behind in reading and writing. Within
the school, the gaps in attainment were broadly similar to the national difference.
- The school has high expectations for the achievement of the most-able pupils. The proportion of pupils
attaining the higher levels in reading, writing and mathematics at the end of Year 6 is in line with national
performance. The recent progress of the most-able pupils throughout the school is rapid and sustained.
Any weaknesses in the work of the most able are directly addressed. For example, when the school
identified spelling as an area of weakness among these pupils, teachers checked spelling more rigorously
and evidence in pupils’ books shows that spelling has improved.
- The considerable improvement in pupils’ reading has been rapid over the last school year. School data
show that in September 2013 only two fifths of the pupils were reading at a level typical for their age, but
by July 2014 this proportion had risen to nearly four fifths. The improvement is largely a result of the
Secondary School Reading Pilot project. The school’s success in improving reading is recognised widely,
and leaders recently addressed a regional conference in order to share strategies and successes in
improving reading with other schools.
- Pupils’ positive attitudes to their work contribute to the good progress they make, particularly in reading,
writing and mathematics. The extent of their progress is not so clear in other subjects because teachers
are less rigorous in their assessment and their marking in those areas.
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
|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
|Unique reference number||124428|
This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.
|Type of school||Middle deemed secondary|
|Age range of pupils||9–13|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Number of pupils on the school roll||373|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Date of previous school inspection||6 February 2013|
|Telephone number||01782 297912|