Marshlands Primary School Closed - for academy Aug. 31, 2014
phone: 01323 *** ***
acting headteacher: Mrs Jane Ireland
210 pupils capacity: 83% full
85 boys 49%
90 girls 51%
Last updated: Aug. 31, 2014
Primary — Foundation School
- Education phase
- Establishment type
- Foundation School
- Establishment #
- Close date
- Aug. 31, 2014
- Reason closed
- For Academy
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 559743, Northing: 109657
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 50.864, Longitude: 0.2686
- Accepting pupils
- 3—11 years old
- Census date
- Jan. 16, 2014
- Ofsted last inspection
- May 13, 2014
- Region › Const. › Ward
- South East › Wealden › Hailsham East
- Urban > 10k - less sparse
- Free school meals %
- Trust school
- Is supported by a Trust
- The Hailsham Co-operative Learning Trust
- Marshlands Academy BN272PH
- 0.3 miles White House Primary School BN272FB (176 pupils)
- 0.3 miles White House Academy BN272FB
- 0.6 miles Hailsham Community College BN271DT
- 0.6 miles Jemini Response BN273DR
- 0.6 miles Hailsham Community College BN271DT (1150 pupils)
- 1 mile Grovelands Community Primary School BN273UW (620 pupils)
- 1 mile Lansdowne Children's Centre BN271NP
- 1 mile Lansdowne Ch BN271NP
- 1.1 mile Hawkes Farm Primary School BN271ND (418 pupils)
- 1.1 mile Hailsham Primary School
- 2 miles Hellingly Community Primary School BN274DS (211 pupils)
- 2.7 miles Park Mead Primary School BN273QP (98 pupils)
- 2.9 miles Hankham Primary School BN245AY (139 pupils)
- 2.9 miles Polegate Primary School BN266PT (427 pupils)
- 2.9 miles Bede's Senior School BN273QH (768 pupils)
- 3 miles Herstmonceux Church of England Primary School BN274LG (203 pupils)
- 3.5 miles Stone Cross School BN245EF (420 pupils)
- 3.8 miles Willingdon Community School BN209QX (995 pupils)
- 3.8 miles Hazel Court School BN238EJ (88 pupils)
- 4 miles Willingdon Primary School BN209RJ (422 pupils)
- 4 miles Shinewater Primary School BN238ED (423 pupils)
- 4 miles The Causeway School BN238EJ (802 pupils)
- 4.1 miles Chiddingly Primary School BN86HN (73 pupils)
Marshlands Primary School
Marshfoot Lane, Hailsham, BN27 2PH
|Inspection dates||13–14 May 2014|
|Overall effectiveness||This inspection:||Requires improvement||3|
|Achievement of pupils||Requires improvement||3|
|Quality of teaching||Requires improvement||3|
|Behaviour and safety of pupils||Requires improvement||3|
|Leadership and management||Good||2|
Summary of key findings for parents and pupils
This is a school that requires improvement. It is not good because:
The school has the following strengths:
| Although the school’s improvement this year |
Not all teachers give pupils specific advice on
has been striking, teaching and achievement
need further consolidation. Pupils’ progress in
Years 3, 4 and 5 is not yet consistent enough.
how to improve their writing, especially their
spelling, handwriting, grammar and
| Not all pupils in Key Stage 2 persevere, behave |
Some classes in Key Stage 2 have had a series
well and show the same, strong commitment
to learning as those lower down the school.
of temporary teachers, with varying
approaches and expectations. The amount and
quality of work in pupils’ workbooks fluctuates,
especially their writing.
| The acting headteacher, consultant |
Teaching is consistently good in the majority
headteacher and interim executive board
have had a marked impact on improving
teaching and achievement at Marshlands.
of classes, namely Nursery, Reception, and
Years 1, 2 and 6.
| Pupils’ different, and individual, needs are |
The school is a very caring community with a
given high priority. Leaders’ decisions are
based firmly on what is best for pupils’ welfare
clear focus on making sure pupils feel happy
and keep safe.
Information about this inspection
- Inspectors observed 15 lessons, four of which were short visits. The lead inspector observed
lessons jointly with the acting headteacher on previous monitoring inspections.
- Meetings were held with all senior and middle leaders, the Chair of the Interim Executive Board
and a representative from the local authority. Inspectors observed an assembly, heard pupils
read and met with two groups of pupils from Key Stage 2. They spoke with pupils informally
when visiting lessons and looking at their work.
- The number of responses to Ofsted’s online questionnaire, Parent View, was too small to take
into consideration. Her Majesty’s Inspector took other evidence into account to find out about
parents’ and carers’ views, including informal discussions with parents and carers on previous
- A range of documentation was scrutinised, including information on pupils’ progress in reading,
writing and mathematics. Pupils’ workbooks in writing and mathematics were reviewed.
|Margaret Dickinson, Lead inspector||Her Majesty’s Inspector|
|Julie Sackett||Additional Inspector|
In accordance with section 13 (4) of the Education Act 2005, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector is of
the opinion that the school no longer requires special measures.
Information about this school
- Marshlands is smaller than the average size primary school. The school will become a sponsored
academy from September 2014. Since April 2013, it has been led by an acting headteacher with
support from a consultant headteacher. An interim executive board has provided governance
since January 2013. Prior to this inspection, the school had four monitoring inspections.
- The proportion of pupils supported by additional government funding, known as the pupil
premium, at 60%, is well above average. This funding is provided for pupils known to be eligible
for free school meals or in the care of the local authority.
- The proportion of pupils with special educational needs who need some extra help is broadly
average. The proportion who need more support, from outside agencies, including those with a
statement of special educational needs, is broadly average.
- In 2013, the school did not meet the government’s floor standards, which set the minimum
expectations for pupils’ attainment and progress in English and mathematics.
What does the school need to do to improve further?
- Improve teaching to consistently good or better in Years 3 to 5, by:
urgently providing effective teaching for the Year 3 class so that these pupils’ progress is at
least good in English and mathematics lessons for the remainder of this academic year and the
making sure all teachers check how well pupils are learning during each lesson and adjust
their approaches promptly if learning starts to falter for groups or individuals
making sure all teachers, including temporary staff, routinely use the school’s assessments to
plan work at the right level for the range of ability in the class.
- Improve the consistency of pupils’ achievement in Key Stage 2, particularly in writing, by:
setting clear expectations for how often, and how much, pupils should be expected to write
raising the profile of writing in all classes so that pupils want to produce their best writing and
can be justly proud of their achievements
ensuring teachers focus more on pupils’ weaknesses in spelling, grammar, punctuation and
handwriting and give the pupils specific feedback on what they need to put right
strengthening middle leaders’ skills in checking the effectiveness of the projects they lead so
they play a key role in lifting pupils’ achievement to good.
|The achievement of pupils||requires improvement|
- Pupils’ attainment has shown marked improvement, especially in reading and mathematics. The
school’s checks on progress show attainment in both areas is closer to average, far more so than
it has been in the past. Pupils in Year 6 are in a much better position than those who left last
year because they have benefited from better teaching.
- Achievement is not yet good because pupils’ writing, while improving, is not yet strong enough
in Key Stage 2. Here, many pupils lack essential knowledge of punctuation, grammar and
spelling to enable them to write at an appropriate level for their age. In addition, many do not
have good handwriting skills.
- In Years 3 to 5, pupils’ workbooks show their achievement is inconsistent, particularly for the
pupils in the Year 3 class, who have had a lot of temporary teachers this year. There are some
long gaps in pupils’ books between pieces of writing in Years 3 to 5; writing does not have a
high enough profile. More-able pupils are not achieving as well as they should because not all
teachers set their sights high enough for these pupils.
- Pupils with special educational needs, and those who need to catch up and close gaps in their
learning, are making accelerated progress. No time is wasted to put support in place for these
pupils, when needed. The extra sessions, for individuals or small groups, are making a clear
difference to pupils’ achievement.
- While in special measures, attainment in the school has needed to rise quickly in English and
mathematics for all groups, including those who benefit from the pupil premium and the more
able pupils. Any differences between the attainment of groups is closely and regularly monitored
in leaders’ drive to ensure all pupils have an equal chance to do their best and reach their
- Children in the Early Years Foundation Stage achieve well, supported by an interesting and
varied range of activities. They enjoy exploring, making things and being active. Their early
reading, writing and number skills are developing strongly. These children are being prepared
successfully for learning in Year 1.
- Pupils in Years 1 and 2 have caught up rapidly and made up considerable ground from the end
of their Reception Year, when many left Reception with limited skills and gaps in their learning.
The pupils in Year 1 have made outstanding progress this year. Pupils in Year 2 are moving to
Year 3 with a good grounding in basic skills and a clear enthusiasm for learning.
|The quality of teaching||requires improvement|
- Teaching requires improvement and is not yet good, because there is too much variation in
teachers’ expectations in Key Stage 2, typically, but not exclusively, when classes are taught by
temporary teachers. The impact of this weaker teaching is more evident in pupils’ writing than in
their reading and mathematics.
- In the Nursery and Reception classes, children’s personal, social and emotional development is
nurtured successfully. Teachers provide a supportive, encouraging atmosphere. Children know
the routines and what is expected of them. Adults take every opportunity to encourage children’s
talk. The ‘learning journeys’ provide a helpful and full record of each child’s achievements.
- In Years 1, 2 and 6, teachers’ expectations are high and pupils rise to the challenge. Activities
are planned carefully, so that they are set at the right level for different abilities. Teachers check
pupils’ learning as the lesson progresses. They make adjustments as required, or give the more
able pupils harder work, in order to lift learning even more. These strengths are not as evident,
or consistent, in Years 3 to 5.
- The teaching assistants who lead extra sessions know exactly what they need to focus on
because they are well briefed. Activities are closely linked to pupils’ specific targets. To a large
extent, these extra sessions are boosting pupils’ achievement where there are weaker aspects in
the class teaching.
- Teachers’ marking and feedback vary in quality in Key Stage 2. Pupils are not receiving enough
specific guidance on what they could do to make their work even better. The teachers’ marking
mostly follows the school’s policy but does not pick up enough on pupils’ individual weaknesses
in grammar, spelling, punctuation and handwriting.
|The behaviour and safety of pupils||require improvement|
- The behaviour of pupils requires improvement. Most pupils behave sensibly when moving around
the school and during breaks. They report a few pupils struggle to behave well in lessons and at
playtimes but are clear that behaviour has improved a lot over the last year.
- Pupils respond very well in the lessons where teachers and adults encourage them, bring in a
touch of humour and acknowledge their hard work and successes. When the approach is right,
pupils across the school show interest in lessons, stick to their tasks and work hard.
- In the lessons where teachers do not engage the pupils well, some pupils, usually boys, and
mainly in Years 3 to 5, lose their concentration and show less interest in their learning. This
weaker aspect of pupils’ behaviour is in marked contrast to lower down the school, where pupils’
attitudes to learning are exactly the opposite.
- The school’s work to keep pupils safe and secure is good. Pupils know they learn in a safe
environment where the staff are caring and give good guidance and support. In one meeting
with pupils, they all agreed with one child’s view: ‘The teachers are the best thing about this
school; they make the school a better place.’
- Pupils report that the acting headteacher has made a real difference to behaviour and that any
signs of bullying or unkind behaviour are dealt with promptly. Pupils are very knowledgeable
about how to use the internet responsibly and safely and talk readily, and in some detail, about
all the things they have learned in assemblies to keep themselves safe.
- Pupils’ attendance has shown marked improvement this year. The school is on course to meet
this year’s attendance target and to be broadly average by the end of the year.
|The leadership and management||are good|
- The acting headteacher, consultant headteacher and interim executive board have driven
improvements very successfully. They have focused on the right things at the right time and
ensured a much better educational experience for the pupils at Marshlands.
- The acting headteacher has provided steady, calm, determined leadership and has played a
significant role in improving the school’s effectiveness. She has kept her focus on what is best
for the pupils and not shied away from making difficult decisions. Weak teaching has been
tackled and the school is now at the stage where lessons taught by the more established
teachers are typically good.
- Improving teaching has been at the heart of leaders’ work, to enable pupils to learn successfully
and catch up on the gaps in their learning. Difficulties in recruiting temporary teachers have led
to too many changes, particularly for the Year 3 class. The acting headteacher has, rightly,
changed the teaching arrangements for the rest of this academic year, to give these pupils a
better chance of making accelerated progress.
- Each pupil’s progress in reading, writing and mathematics is closely monitored by senior leaders.
The consultant headteacher collects the information from pupils’ assessments and presents this
in a clear format for the acting headteacher and interim executive board. The progress of all
groups of pupils is therefore closely monitored to check if any group, or individual, is making
slower progress than they should.
- The school’s provision in Nursery and Reception has improved considerably over the last year as
a result of good leadership. While the school has been in special measures, the acting deputy
headteacher and Key Stage 1 leader have been supporting the most essential priorities for the
school: improving teaching and achievement. This has been entirely appropriate. Recently, with
guidance from the acting headteacher and external consultants, they have been developing their
roles further, through leading two projects. There are signs that pupils are beginning to benefit
but both projects are at a relatively early stage and need more time to make a difference.
- The range of subjects provides an appropriate balance between pupils’ academic progress and
their personal, social and cultural development. Pupils appreciate the clubs, the opportunities
they have to take responsibility and the chances to take part in events beyond the school, such
as tournaments and trips. While the school has been in special measures, there has been less
focus on monitoring the impact of the primary sports funding. This is entirely appropriate, given
the school’s circumstances.
- The governance of the school:
The interim executive board has been instrumental in the school’s rapid improvement over
the last year. The Chair of the Interim Executive Board, in particular, has kept in close touch
with the school’s progress, asked astute questions and ensured a tight focus on the most
pressing priorities. She scrutinises the information on pupils’ attainment and achievement
and asks the right questions to provide helpful, professional challenge for the senior leaders.
As a result, members of the interim executive board are knowledgeable about the progress
of different groups in each class, including the pupils who are eligible for the pupil premium.
They are equally knowledgeable about the quality of teaching and the work of teachers who
are paid more to fulfil leadership roles. The interim executive board is diligent in checking
that the school does everything it should to keep pupils safe. The local authority’s
representative, also a member of the interim executive board, has carried out regular visits
to check the school’s progress and provided valuable insight and challenge for the school’s
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||114442|
|Local authority||East Sussex|
This inspection was carried out under section 8 of the Education Act 2005. The inspection was also
deemed a section 5 inspection under the same Act.
|Type of school||Primary|
|Age range of pupils||3–11|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Number of pupils on the school roll||156|
|Appropriate authority||Interim executive board|
|Headteacher||Jane Ireland (acting)|
|Date of previous school inspection||25 October 2012|
|Telephone number||01323 841420|
|Fax number||01323 440139|