School etc

James Bateman Junior High School

James Bateman Junior High School
Park Lane

phone: 01782 297912

acting headteacher: Mrs Tracy Price

school holidays: via Staffordshire council

379 pupils aged 9—12y mixed gender
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 #

rooms to rent in Stoke-On-Trent

Schools nearby

  1. 0.1 miles Knypersley First School ST86NN (352 pupils)
  2. 0.1 miles Roaches School ST87AB (50 pupils)
  3. 0.3 miles English Martyrs' Catholic Primary School ST86LW
  4. 0.3 miles Our Lady of Grace Catholic Academy ST86LW (78 pupils)
  5. 0.4 miles Biddulph High School ST87AR
  6. 0.4 miles Biddulph High School ST87AR (773 pupils)
  7. 0.5 miles Squirrel Hayes First School ST87DF (160 pupils)
  8. 0.6 miles Kingsfield First School ST86AY (257 pupils)
  9. 1.2 mile Oxhey First School ST87EB (252 pupils)
  10. 1.4 mile Woodhouse Middle School ST87DR (380 pupils)
  11. 1.4 mile Woodhouse Academy ST87DR
  12. 1.5 mile Thursfield Primary School ST74JL (289 pupils)
  13. 1.6 mile Castle Primary School ST74NE (107 pupils)
  14. 1.7 mile Packmoor Primary School ST74SP (450 pupils)
  15. 1.8 mile Woodcock's Well CofE Primary School ST73NQ (92 pupils)
  16. 1.9 mile Moor First School ST87HR (120 pupils)
  17. 2.2 miles St Anne's CofE (VC) Primary School ST68TA (215 pupils)
  18. 2.3 miles Whitfield Valley Primary School ST66TD (332 pupils)
  19. 2.3 miles Whitfield Valley Primary School ST66TD
  20. 2.4 miles Maryhill Primary School ST74DJ
  21. 2.4 miles University Primary Academy Kidsgrove ST74DJ (202 pupils)
  22. 2.5 miles Maryhill High School ST74DL
  23. 2.5 miles University Academy Kidsgrove ST74DL (673 pupils)
  24. 2.6 miles James Brindley High School ST66JT

List of schools in Stoke-On-Trent

School report

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
and mathematics.
Pupils in Key Stage 3 do not have enough
opportunities to practise their mathematics skills in
other subjects.

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.
  • 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.

Inspection team

Richard Boswell, Lead inspector Additional Inspector
Michael Wilson Additional Inspector
Mandy Wilding Additional Inspector

Full report

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

above average.

  • 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.

Inspection judgements

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
    underperformance directly.
    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
    achieve well.
    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
    they could.
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 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
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 124428
Local authority Staffordshire
Inspection number 453498

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

Type of school Middle deemed secondary
School category Community
Age range of pupils 9–13
Gender of pupils Mixed
Number of pupils on the school roll 373
Appropriate authority The governing body
Chair Jackie Shelley
Headteacher Tracy Price
Date of previous school inspection 6 February 2013
Telephone number 01782 297912
Fax number N/A
Email address reveal email: off…

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