Mowmacre Hill Primary School Closed - for academy Aug. 31, 2014
phone: 0116 *** ***
headteacher: Mrs D Fritche
350 pupils capacity: 99% full
175 boys 51%
170 girls 49%
Last updated: Aug. 31, 2014
Primary — Community School
- Education phase
- Establishment type
- Community School
- Establishment #
- Close date
- Aug. 31, 2014
- Reason closed
- For Academy
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 457909, Northing: 308286
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 52.669, Longitude: -1.1451
- Accepting pupils
- 3—11 years old
- Census date
- Jan. 16, 2014
- Ofsted last inspection
- Oct. 31, 2013
- Ofsted special measures
- In special measures
- Region › Const. › Ward
- East Midlands › Leicester West › Abbey
- Urban > 10k - less sparse
- Free school meals %
- Mowmacre Hill Primary School LE42NG
- 0.3 miles Woodstock Primary School LE42GZ (375 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Beaumont Lodge Primary School LE41DT (211 pupils)
- 0.8 miles Wolsey House Primary School LE42BB (463 pupils)
- 0.8 miles Belgrave St Peter's CofE Primary School LE45PG (209 pupils)
- 0.8 miles Babington Community College LE40SZ (697 pupils)
- 0.9 miles Dovelands Junior School C.O. Glebelands Primary School LE42WF
- 0.9 miles Barley Croft Primary School LE40UT (303 pupils)
- 0.9 miles Highcliffe Primary School and Community Centre LE43DL (424 pupils)
- 0.9 miles Glebelands Primary School LE42WF (287 pupils)
- 0.9 miles Highcliffe Primary School and Community Centre LE43DL
- 1.1 mile Buswells Lodge Primary School LE40PT (462 pupils)
- 1.1 mile John Ellis Community College LE45PW
- 1.2 mile Heatherbrook Primary School LE41BE (190 pupils)
- 1.2 mile Beaumont Leys School LE40FL (1044 pupils)
- 1.2 mile Continuum School - Leicester LE45EX
- 1.3 mile Riverside Community Primary School Birstall LE44JU (429 pupils)
- 1.3 mile Alderman Richard Hallam Primary School LE40FQ (677 pupils)
- 1.3 mile Riverside Community Primary School Birstall LE44JU
- 1.4 mile Catherine Junior School LE45LD (448 pupils)
- 1.4 mile Abbey Primary Community School LE45LB (681 pupils)
- 1.4 mile Mellor Community Primary School LE45EQ (508 pupils)
- 1.4 mile English Martyrs Catholic School LE40FJ (1064 pupils)
- 1.4 mile Darul Uloom Leicester LE45LN (121 pupils)
13 June 2014
Mrs Sara O’Mara
Mowmacre Hill Primary School
Dear Mrs O’Mara
Special measures monitoring inspection of Mowmacre Hill Primary School
Following my visit with Sarah Bentley, Additional Inspector, to your school on 11–12
June 2014, I write on behalf of Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s
Services and Skills to confirm the inspection findings. Thank you for the help you
gave during the inspection and for the time you made available to discuss the
actions which have been taken since the school’s previous monitoring inspection.
The inspection was the second monitoring inspection since the school became
subject to special measures following the inspection which took place in November
2013. The full list of the areas for improvement which were identified during that
inspection is set out in the annex to this letter. The monitoring inspection report is
Having considered all the evidence, I am of the opinion that at this time:
The school is making reasonable progress towards the removal of special measures.
The school may not appoint newly qualified teachers before the next monitoring
This letter and monitoring inspection report will be published on the Ofsted website.
I am copying this letter and the monitoring inspection report to the Secretary of
State, the Chair of the Governing Body and the Director of Children’s Services for
Her Majesty’s Inspector
|Serco Inspections |
20 Colmore Circus Queensway
|T 0300 123 1231 |
Text Phone: 0161 6188524
|Direct T 0121 679 9146 |
The areas for improvement identified during the inspection which took
place in November 2013
- Improve teaching across the school so that a greater proportion is good or
outstanding by ensuring that:
lessons provide a high level of challenge for all pupils
all groups of pupils know what they are expected to achieve when working
independently and are closely monitored so that they are on task and make
pupils have planned time to respond to teachers’ marking.
- Raise standards and strengthen achievement, particularly in Key Stage 2, so that
more pupils make accelerated progress by ensuring that:
there is a consistent and effective approach to the teaching of phonics (the
linking of sounds and letters) and to develop pupils’ skills in reading
current good practice in supporting the achievement of pupils funded
through the pupil premium and those with special educational needs is
consistently implemented across the school.
- Improve the leadership and management of the school in order to build greater
capacity internally and accelerate the rate of improvement by:
establishing a robust and effective senior leadership team
develop the potential and enhancing the effectiveness of key subject leaders
working closely with the local authority staff to increase the efficiency and
pace of school improvement.
- Ensure that initiatives to promote higher levels of attendance have a greater
impact on overall school attendance.
Report on the second monitoring inspection on 11–12 June 2014
During this inspection, meetings were held with: the headteacher; leaders of English,
mathematics and special educational needs; a representative of the local authority;
members of the governing body; and with a National Leaders of Education who is
supporting the school. Inspectors visited lessons and looked at a range of pupils’
work. Inspectors considered the school’s most recent data on the attainment and
progress of groups of pupils. The quality of the school’s improvement plan was
Since the first monitoring visit, the long-standing headteacher of the school has
retired. During the spring term, the governing body made a number of appointments
of staff, all of whom commenced their roles during the summer term 2014. The
acting headteacher has been appointed to the role of permanent substantive
headteacher of the school. A new deputy headteacher has been recruited from a
school in Leicestershire. A teacher to lead interventions and provide support for
disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs, as well as pupils
falling behind, has started to work in the Early Years Foundation Stage. A teaching
assistant has been appointed to support pupils in developing their skills in reading.
The governing body has also appointed a teacher of Year 1 pupils, who is due to
commence her role from September 2014. This is to replace a teacher in this part of
the school who left in March 2014. A teacher of Year 4 pupils is currently on
maternity leave. A long-standing supply teacher is covering during her absence.
The clerk to the governing body and two governors, have recently resigned from
their positions. The governing body has maintained its agreement to work with
Discovery Schools Trust. A National Leader of Education supports the school for two
days a week to oversee improvements. The school has secured the support of a
leader of mathematics who will commence her work from September 2014. The
governing body has held discussions with the Department for Education and the
school has the possibility of becoming a sponsored academy later in 2014.
Achievement of pupils at the school
Pupils’ attainment in reading, writing and mathematics at the end of Year 6 in 2013
was significantly below the national average. The majority of groups of pupils,
including boys, pupils for whom the school receives pupil premium funding, and
disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs, made inadequate
rates of progress during their time in Key Stage 2.
In Key Stage 2, teacher assessments of pupils currently in Year 6 show that they
have made better rates of progress in reading, since the previous section 5
inspection, as well as since the end of Key Stage 1. They have made expected rates
of progress in writing and mathematics, which is better than pupils in previous
cohorts. Nonetheless, their attainment in reading, writing and mathematics remains
below the national average.
Pupils in Year 5 are making accelerated progress in the last term, especially in
reading and writing. As a result, gaps in attainment with that which is found
nationally are narrowing. Conversely, pupils’ progress in Year 4 is weaker and their
attainment is well below average. Pupils in Year 3 have made better rates of
progress in reading, expected rates of progress in writing, but weak progress in
mathematics, since they joined Key Stage 2.
Pupils in Year 2 have made better rates of progress, especially during the spring
term. Consequently, their attainment is closer to being average. Children start the
Early Years Foundation Stage with levels of knowledge and skills that are below and
often well below those typically expected, especially in the aspect of communication
and language. They are now beginning to make better rates of progress in this area
as well as in relation to their physical, personal, social and emotional development.
Pupils in Years 5 and 6 for whom the school receives pupil premium funding are
making similar rates of progress to their classmates. Nonetheless, eligible pupils
remain about two terms behind their classmates in reading and one term behind in
writing and mathematics. In Year 4, gaps in attainment have closed in reading and
writing because eligible pupils have made better rates of progress than their peers;
however, the attainment of both groups remains low. In Year 3, both eligible pupils
and their peers have made better progress in reading, expected rates of progress in
writing and weak progress in mathematics. In Key Stage 1 and the Early Years
Foundation Stage, pupils for whom the school receives pupil premium funding make
similar rates of progress to others.
Disabled pupils and those having special educational needs are making better rates
of progress in developing their skills in reading and writing. However, there is no
evidence of similar improvement by those pupils in mathematics.
Boys are making similar rates of progress to girls in reading, especially in Key Stage
2, and the gaps in attainment between boys and girls is similar to that which is
found nationally. In writing, the progress of boys and girls is improving, with the
exception of those in Year 4. In mathematics, both girls and boys are not making
expected rates of progress in Years 3 and 4. Boys are making better progress in
mathematics in Years 5 and 6.
Higher-ability pupils are making accelerated progress in reading, writing and
mathematics, with the exception of those in Year 4 in writing and mathematics.
Pupils who entered the school with average ability are now making the progress they
should in reading and writing. This is not the case in mathematics, where rates of
progress are not accelerating quickly enough. The progress of pupils of lower ability
varies between year groups and subjects. Their rates of progress are not as
consistently secure as that of pupils of higher and middle ability.
Overall, with the exception of those in Year 4, pupils are making better progress,
particularly in reading. This is because they are given clearer instructions and
explanations during lessons and they are more aware of what they are learning and
why. Pupils are being provided with more interesting activities. This is motivating
them to be more involved and engaged in their learning.
The quality of teaching
The quality of teaching has improved and there is a higher proportion of more
effective teaching, which is having a positive impact on accelerating pupils’ progress.
Teachers have improved their skills in capturing pupils’ interests, particularly during
the beginning of lessons. Teachers are using a range of resources, including
information and communication technology, to better effect in order to present
learning material in a more interesting way. For instance, pupils in Year 5 were
totally absorbed in gathering information about the lives of children in Ghana, when
watching a film extract. Teachers’ explanations and clarity of instructions are more
considered. As a result, pupils are more engaged in their learning.
Teachers’ expectations relating to the amount of work which pupils undertake over
the course of a lesson have risen. Pupils are mostly encouraged to work hard and
apply themselves. Teachers are checking more closely on pupils’ rate of work and
staff intervene more quickly when a pupil is not concentrating as well as they should
be. Teachers’ checks on the extent to which pupils understand their learning have
become more focused. Individual pupils who are finding the work difficult are being
identified more quickly. Pupils are provided with additional explanations or their
learning tasks are being adapted to help them understand. Occasionally, teachers
provide the same support for a number of individual pupils, whereas groups of pupils
could benefit from similar guidance. As a result, lessons time is not always being
used to best effect.
Teachers have a better understanding of pupils’ capabilities and prior knowledge.
This is helping them to provide tasks which are mostly set at different levels for
groups of pupils. Although this is resulting in a better match between activities and
pupils’ stage of development, this is not yet firmly embedded across subjects and
key stages. This is because teachers’ knowledge and understanding of what
constitutes the next learning steps for pupils of different abilities is still developing.
In mathematics, pupils are provided with regular opportunities to develop their skills
in mental and written calculations. However, teachers are not using their knowledge
of pupils’ abilities well enough to provide them with sufficiently challenging activities
which help pupils to develop their ability to reason. Pupils do not have enough
opportunities to apply their skills in solving mathematical problems and
investigations. In a few cases, the lack of appropriate challenge is compounded
where teachers have not checked pupils’ learning well enough from the previous
lesson. As a result, they can be provided with work which is too simple or too
This is reflected in the quality of teachers’ marking. Although teachers’ marking of
pupils’ work continues to improve, it is not wholly consistent across the school.
Pupils’ workbooks in literacy and mathematics show that teachers are more
systematically given praise for skills that have been demonstrated and more specific
guidance on how to improve. Pupils are being provided with more time to respond to
teachers’ comments. For instance, pupils are now correcting errors in their
calculations and practising words which they have spelled incorrectly, as well as
improving sections of their written work. However, opportunities for pupils to show
how they have improved their work over time, in order to reach their targets, are
limited. Marking of pupils’ work in subjects such as science, history and geography is
not as detailed. Pupils are not being provided with enough opportunities to record
their learning in these subjects. Moreover, the quality of presentation of pupils’ work
is highly variable between classes. These three factors present a barrier for pupils
being able to achieve well in these areas of the curriculum.
Teachers’ skills in teaching phonics (letters and the sounds they make) have
improved. Teachers impart knowledge of letters and sounds by using a range of
resources and activities which are more interactive. Pupils have benefited from
regular practice and they are acquiring knowledge at a faster rate. Pupils are
beginning to apply their knowledge and this to helping them to read unfamiliar
words and tackle more challenging texts in reading. Pupils say that they are
encouraged to read a wide range of books and that they are helped to develop their
skills in understanding texts.
Children in the Early Years Foundation Stage mostly work appropriately when they
are given tasks to undertake when they are working indoors. However, this is not
matched by the quality of provision when they are learning outside. The activities
which children undertake without the direct supervision of an adult are often not
Teaching assistants are now providing better support for pupils with the greatest
need. This is having a positive impact on disabled pupils and those who have special
educational needs, especially in literacy. The support for those for whom the school
receives pupil premium funding is also helping these pupils to make better rates of
progress from their starting points.
Behaviour and safety of pupils
Pupils’ attitudes to learning continue to improve. Pupils are responding more
positively to the stimulating introductions to lessons. Pupils have a better
understanding of what they are they are learning and the purpose. This is helping to
engage them more in their learning. Pupils’ behaviour around the school has also
improved. For example, during assembly, pupils listened carefully to the deputy
headteacher while she conveyed a story about the importance about attending
school, and indicated which classes had secured the best rates of attendance. This is
because the school has introduced a range of rewards for individuals and classes
who attend regularly. Pupils understand that if their class has the best attendance,
then they are rewarded by being given the responsibility to care for the chicks that
reside in the new school garden. This is motivating pupils and has helped to increase
attendance during the spring term. Senior leaders have worked more effectively with
parents to reduce the number of pupils who are persistently absent. Governors and
senior leaders have identified that the number of pupils arriving late for the start of
the school day has increased. As a result, they have brokered support from the
Education Welfare Officer to begin to help them address this emerging issue.
The quality of leadership in and management of the school
The governing body has worked closely with the local authority and Discovery
Schools Trust in order to put in place a new senior leadership team. The
headteacher has continued to raise expectations of staff and pupils, which began
while she was in her former role as acting headteacher. The headteacher provides
calm yet authoritative leadership which has helped to improve the quality of teaching
and the standards of pupils’ behaviour.
Senior leaders have introduced more rigorous checks on teaching. The checks take
into account information drawn from a wide range of sources, including visits to
lessons. Teachers are provided with clear feedback on the strengths and areas for
improvement in their practice. The strong professional links with the Multi-Academy
Trust have increased the staff’s understanding of good teaching and have provided
valuable support for subject and school leaders.
The leader of English has led the introduction of a new approach to the teaching of
phonics. Following training, she has reviewed teaching and has begun to use
information from pupils’ assessments to diagnose strengths and weaknesses in
pupils’ progress. This information has been used to identify additional training which
has been implemented to strengthen the quality of teaching of reading. Similarly,
teachers have benefited from honing their skills in how to standardise and moderate
the accuracy of their assessments of pupils’ writing. Although this is not yet wholly
consistent across the school, pupils are being provided with work which more closely
presents suitable levels of challenge. The quality of analysis, allied to reflection
about the quality of provision, shows that the subject leader is clear about the next
steps in order to secure improvements in reading and writing. The leader of
mathematics is temporary, following the departure of her predecessor and recent
appointment of a new leader who will commence her position in September 2014.
Nonetheless, the leader has improved her understanding of pupils’ outcomes in
mathematics and is aware of the need to ensure that pupils have more opportunities
to apply their knowledge and skills across a wider range of subjects.
The leader of special educational needs has developed a more robust system for
managing the quality of provision. Additional support for pupils has become better
organised and teaching assistants are being deployed to better effect, both within
lessons and while providing individualised support. The leader recognises that,
although this is helping targeted pupils to develop their skills in reading and writing
more quickly, provision in mathematics is less well developed.
The governing body has continued to implement a more structured approach to
checking the school’s work. Regular meetings of the School Improvement Committee
have focused upon checking the rate of implementation of improvement plans and
the extent to which actions are having a positive impact on pupils’ achievements.
Governors are able to challenge senior leaders more robustly regarding the school’s
performance because senior leaders have strengthened their improvement plans by
including measures of success. Governors have begun to undertake more frequent
visits to gather information for themselves to inform evaluations of the quality of the
school’s provision. For instance, a recent learning walk highlighted discrepancies
between classes and year groups in the quality of pupils’ presentation of their work,
especially in their topic work. Similarly, checking on the school’s approach to
securing improved rates of attendance has highlighted emerging issues relating to
the punctuality of pupils.
The local authority has a good understanding of the school’s strengths, areas for
development and rate of improvement. Regular meetings with senior leaders, allied
to frequent reviews, have helped the local authority to dovetail support with that
provided by Discovery Schools Trust. The partnership with the Discovery Schools
Trust continues to play an important role in driving improvement by supporting the
development of new school leaders, and teaching and support staff. For instance,
this has helped to improve the reliability of teachers’ assessment of pupils’ writing.
Support from local authority consultants has proved helpful in developing the quality
of indoor provision in the Early Years Foundation Stage, while identifying the need to
strengthen outdoor provision.
Priorities for further improvement
- Accelerate the rates of pupils’ progress of pupils in Year 4, so that they can
narrow the gap in attainment with that which is expected nationally.