Mulgrave Primary School
Headteacher: Mrs Bryony Freeman
508 pupils, Mixed
|Unique Reference Number||100163|
|Inspection dates||23–24 March 2010|
|Reporting inspector||Peter McGregor|
|Type of school||Primary|
|Age range of pupils||3–11|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Number of pupils on the school roll||489|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Date of previous school inspection||23 April 2007|
|School address||Rectory Place|
|London SE18 5DA|
|Telephone number||020 83179211|
|Fax number||020 88542957|
|Inspection dates||23–24 March 2010|
© Crown copyright 2009
This inspection was carried out by four additional inspectors. Over three quarters of inspectors' time was spent looking at learning. Twenty-two lessons were observed and sixteen teachers were seen leading sessions. Meetings were held with groups of parents, pupils, governors and staff. Inspectors observed the school's work, looking at samples of pupils' work, a number of school policies, including those related to the safeguarding of pupils, documents to support the school's self-evaluation, and assessment data. The team received and analysed questionnaires from 57 parents and carers, and looked at responses from 21 staff and 66 pupils.
The inspection team reviewed many aspects of the school's work. It looked in detail at the following:
Mulgrave is bigger than most primary schools. A large majority of the pupils are from minority ethnic backgrounds, mainly Black African, and with small numbers from a very wide range of other ethnic groups. The proportion of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities is high as is the proportion with a statement of special educational needs. A resource base provides for pupils with speech and language or communication difficulties. Proportions are also high of pupils eligible for free school meals and of those who speak English as an additional language. Early Years Foundation Stage education is provided in Nursery and Reception classes in an Early Years centre, which is part of the school. Mobility has been high, with pupils joining and leaving part way through their primary education. The school has achieved a number of awards including Activemark and the National Healthy Schools Status. It provides a family learning programme and before- and after-school care for pupils. A new senior leadership team has been appointed since the last inspection.
|Inspection grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is satisfactory, and 4 is inadequate|
|Please turn to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms|
Overall effectiveness: how good is the school?
The school's capacity for sustained improvement
Mulgrave is a rapidly improving school. The capable new senior leadership team and subject area leaders are driving forward improvements, supported by an executive committee of governors who hold the school to account every two weeks for progress made against specific objectives. The school has responded well to the previous inspection recommendations of strengthening teaching through effective monitoring by governors and leaders. Standards are low, particularly in writing, as they were at the time of the last inspection. The good teaching now provided, combined with thorough assessment of pupils' progress and targeted support, is raising attainment. Standards are measured accurately against criteria for National Curriculum levels, enabling clear judgements to be made.
Pupils get on very well together, valuing the contribution each makes. This is apparent in lessons where they cooperate in learning, and discuss points with interest when working in pairs. They are not so interested in following up constructive suggestions teachers make for improving their work. The many knowledgeable support staff play a key role in helping pupils to progress, and to feel safe and cared for. Pupils' emotional development is a priority for all staff. Their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is good, reflecting the quality of care provided. The school council, with elected representatives from each year, meets regularly and has a significant impact on the school. The successful 'traffic light' behaviour management system reflects their deliberations and suggestions. Knowing that their voices are heard raises pupils' morale and results in very positive attitudes.
The school has good capacity for further improvement. Senior staff are highly self-critical and well aware of strengths and weaknesses. They strive successfully to improve pupils' education through better teaching and individual help, working in a school where pupils have a wide variety of needs. There is still some way to go in achieving consistently good teaching and appropriate standards but much has been achieved this academic year and the future direction is clear.
Outcomes for individuals and groups of pupils
The school's excellent data on pupils' standards and evidence from lesson observations show that attainment in Year 6 is low but improving in response to effective teaching and support. In Years 1 and 2, progress is good and attainment is approaching national expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. Progress across Years 3 to 6 is also good, although uneven, as disruption to learning in the past has had a marked impact on many pupils' achievement. Careful analysis of gaps in their knowledge and understanding, and targeted intervention, are very successfully tackling this situation. Writing remains an area of relative weakness as pupils do not have enough opportunities to write at length. Specially prepared work and focused support lead to pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities, and those who speak English as an additional language, making good or very good progress. Pupils with speech and language or communication difficulties progress well with specific help from staff and materials in the resource base.
Pupils have great pride in their school and enjoy being there. They get on well and respect one another, whatever their backgrounds. Behaviour is good both in lessons and during breaks, although pupils can be very lively, and unnecessarily noisy in lessons. They feel safe and believe they are exceptionally well cared for. Pupils know the staff will respond to their requests for help and give them time when needed. They are keen to take responsibilities, such as being a prefect - for such an appointment they must apply to their school council and be selected. Pupils' contribution to the local community is not as strong, but growing as opportunities arise to share the school's facilities. Pupils value their education, as their good attendance shows. They know what living healthily means, reflecting the awards the school has achieved. They eat sensibly and participate fully in energetic play and physical education lessons.
These are the grades for pupils' outcomes
|Pupils' achievement and the extent to which they enjoy their learning|
Taking into account:
The quality of pupils' learning and their progress
The quality of learning for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities and their progress
|The extent to which pupils feel safe||2|
|The extent to which pupils adopt healthy lifestyles||2|
|The extent to which pupils contribute to the school and wider community||3|
|The extent to which pupils develop workplace and other skills that will contribute to their future economic well-being|
Taking into account:
|The extent of pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development||2|
1 The grades for attainment and attendance are: 1 is high; 2 is above average; 3 is broadly average; and 4 is low
Teaching staff are committed to improving pupils' attainment through challenging, interesting lessons. Support staff give valuable individual and group help; they manage behaviour and restlessness most effectively. All staff know pupils very well. Pupils are assessed regularly to gauge their progress and this information is used to plan the right level of work. Pupils talk about the fun they have in lessons and how this engages their interest. Modern technology is used well, for example in a French lesson where images and text on screen, as well as the spoken language, captured their imagination. The outcome was great enjoyment in learning French. Marking is often excellent, with detailed commentaries recorded on pupils' work, guiding their future studies. Too often pupils do not respond to teachers' comments. Where teaching was satisfactory, mainly in Years 3 to 6, lessons tended to be too teacher dominated, rather noisy and could lose pace during group work.
A new curriculum is being established with six areas of learning. Numeracy, literacy and information and communication technology skills remain, appropriately, at the centre of this work. Curriculum planning for literacy shows a good balance of skills, except for an insufficient focus on extended writing in a range of subjects. Curriculum visits are well planned and arranged so that all pupils can participate, whatever their needs and/or disabilities. The annual art activity of 'take one picture' and daily singing in assemblies help to achieve a balance of creative work, and all pupils are taught to swim in Year 4. A small number of extra-curricular clubs are provided but take-up is not high.
The school provides a highly inclusive environment where the health, safety and well-being of every pupil are important. Pupils and parents value the quality of care provided. Staff work productively with a wide range of external agencies to support individual needs. Detailed, rigorous attendance procedures, including legal action where necessary, are successfully implemented.
These are the grades for the quality of provision
|The quality of teaching|
Taking into account:
The use of assessment to support learning
|The extent to which the curriculum meets pupils' needs, including, where relevant, through partnerships||3|
|The effectiveness of care, guidance and support||2|
The headteacher, supported by his senior leadership team and increasingly by the six curriculum strand leaders, is driving forward change and improving standards. He provides excellent leadership and responds positively to challenge from governors and others. As a result, staff morale is high and substantial progress is being made. Frequent monitoring of pupils' progress and teaching, particularly of literacy, numeracy and science, gives an accurate picture of strengths and areas for development. Policies, such as that for child protection, are up to date and helpful in achieving consistent practice. Governors are knowledgeable, constructively critical and aware of the importance of the drive to raise standards. They check regularly that the rate of progress is maintained. They have ensured that safeguarding and health and safety procedures are of good quality.
Equality of opportunity is at the heart of the school. Involvement with many external agencies helps to ensure that those pupils with special needs, such as in speech and language, are well supported. Some differences in attainment by boys and girls have been identified and targeted support is having a positive impact, apparent in observed lessons. Racial discrimination and bullying are rare and not tolerated. The school has been successful in raising pupils' understanding of people's beliefs and customs in the United Kingdom. Governors monitor the quality of community cohesion thoroughly. Local, national and global awareness are being developed through links with other primary schools in Greenwich, Lincolnshire and Bogota. The school provides satisfactory value for money. Although there are many positive aspects to the education provided, pupils' achievement is satisfactory overall because, even with good progress, attainment is currently low in Year 6.
These are the grades for leadership and management
|The effectiveness of leadership and management in embedding ambition and driving improvement|
Taking into account:
The leadership and management of teaching and learning
|The effectiveness of the governing body in challenging and supporting the|
school so that weaknesses are tackled decisively and statutory responsibilities met
|The effectiveness of the school's engagement with parents and carers||2|
|The effectiveness of partnerships in promoting learning and well-being||2|
|The effectiveness with which the school promotes equality of opportunity and tackles discrimination||2|
|The effectiveness of safeguarding procedures||2|
|The effectiveness with which the school promotes community cohesion||2|
|The effectiveness with which the school deploys resources to achieve value for money||3|
Children make good progress in their Nursery and Reception classes from low, sometimes very low, starting points in all areas of learning. Language and communication skills have a particular focus. Improvements in speaking and listening enable the children to succeed in all other areas. Children greatly enjoy singing rhymes in the Nursery. The Reception class enactment of 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar' at a whole-school assembly showed their confidence and pleasure in learning. Children behave well because staff have high expectations of their conduct, ensuring that they always act safely and enjoy their work. By the time they join Year 1, they are approaching the expected levels, although girls are achieving better than boys and writing remains an area of relative weakness.
Activities provided in the spacious and well resourced Early Years centre stimulate children's interest. Teaching is good and a high adult to child ratio allows for individual attention when needed. At times, not all children are fully engaged in their learning which results in rather lively play. Staff have responded well to the last report's recommendation for greater intervention in child-initiated activities and this is now effective. They observe learning closely and use findings to plan what should happen next. Staff, and parents and carers engage well with each other, forming helpful partnerships. Leaders are knowledgeable about the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum and are successful in driving up standards.
These are the grades for the Early Years Foundation Stage
|Overall effectiveness of the Early Years Foundation Stage|
Taking into account:
Outcomes for children in the Early Years Foundation Stage
The quality of provision in the Early Years Foundation Stage
The effectiveness of leadership and management of the Early Years Foundation
A relatively low proportion of parents and carers responded to the questionnaire. Most said how pleased they were with the education provided at Mulgrave, particularly the information they received, their children's enjoyment, how safe they were, their progress and the overall experience at the school. A few parents commented that the school does not meet their children's particular needs well and that unacceptable behaviour is not dealt with appropriately. Inspectors agree with parents' positive views and find that the school works extremely hard to meet the particular needs of all pupils. Pupils were noisy and very lively at times, but no instances of serious misbehaviour were observed and good records were seen of an effective behaviour management approach.
Ofsted invited all the registered parents and carers of pupils registered at Mulgrave Primary School to complete a questionnaire about their views of the school. In the questionnaire, parents and carers were asked to record how strongly they agreed with 13 statements about the school.
The inspection team received 57 completed questionnaires by the end of the on-site inspection. In total, there are 489 pupils registered at the school.
|My child enjoys school||39||68||17||30||1||2||0||0|
|The school keeps my child safe||30||53||26||46||0||0||0||0|
|My school informs me about my child's progress||30||53||23||40||1||2||1||2|
|My child is making enough progress at this school||29||51||22||39||4||7||1||2|
|The teaching is good at this school||27||47||25||44||3||5||0||0|
|The school helps me to support my child's learning||27||47||25||44||4||7||0||0|
|The school helps my child to have a healthy lifestyle||24||42||30||53||1||2||0||0|
|The school makes sure that my child is well prepared for the future (for example changing year group, changing school, and for children who are finishing school, entering further or higher education, or entering employment)||20||35||29||51||3||5||0||0|
|The school meets my child's particular needs||21||37||27||47||6||11||0||0|
|The school deals effectively with unacceptable behaviour||16||28||32||56||6||11||0||0|
|The school takes account of my suggestions and concerns||25||44||23||40||3||5||0||0|
|The school is led and managed effectively||23||40||31||54||1||2||0||0|
|Overall, I am happy with my child's experience at this school||32||56||21||37||3||5||0||0|
The table above summarises the responses that parents and carers made to each statement. The percentages indicate the proportion of parents and carers giving that response out of the total number of completed questionnaires. Where one or more parents and carers chose not to answer a particular question, the percentages will not add up to 100%.
|Grade 1||Outstanding||These features are highly effective. An oustanding school provides exceptionally well for all its pupils' needs.|
|Grade 2||Good||These are very positive features of a school. A school that is good is serving its pupils well.|
|Grade 3||Satisfactory||These features are of reasonable quality. A satisfactory school is providing adequately for its pupils.|
|Grade 4||Inadequate||These features are not of an acceptable standard. An inadequate school needs to make significant improvement in order to meet the needs of its pupils. Ofsted inspectors will make further visits until it improves.|
|Overall effectiveness judgement (percentage of schools)|
|Type of school||Outstanding||Good||Satisfactory||Inadequate|
|Pupil referral |
the progress and success of a pupil in their learning, development or training.
the standard of the pupils' work shown by test and examination results and in lessons.
|Capacity to improve:|
the proven ability of the school to continue improving. Inspectors base this judgement on what the school has accomplished so far and on the quality of its systems to maintain improvement.
|Leadership and management:|
the contribution of all the staff with responsibilities, not just the headteacher, to identifying priorities, directing and motivating staff and running the school.
how well pupils acquire knowledge, develop their understanding, learn and practise skills and are developing their competence as learners.
inspectors form a judgement on a school's overall effectiveness based on the findings from their inspection of the school. The following judgements, in particular, influence what the overall effectiveness judgement will be.
the rate at which pupils are learning in lessons and over longer periods of time. It is often measured by comparing the pupils' attainment at the end of a key stage with their attainment when they started.
25 March 2010
Inspection of Mulgrave Primary School, London SE18 5DL
We enjoyed visiting your school and appreciated your help and kindness whilst we were with you.
We judged the school to be satisfactory with several good aspects. You and your parents told us how well the school cares for you and how the teaching is good; we agree with you. The staff regularly check how successful you are in your work and make sure you have additional help if you are falling behind. It is clear to us that you enjoy your education at Mulgrave. You behave well, although you can be rather noisy and lively at times. You look after one another and know how important it is to attend school. The progress you are making in your work is good but your standards, particularly in writing, are not yet high enough.
To help improve your standards, we have asked the governors and staff to make sure that:
The headteacher knows what to do to improve the school and he needs your help, as well as that of the governors and his staff, to be successful. We are sure that you will continue to enjoy school and will do even better in future.
|Any complaints about the inspection or the report should be made following the procedures set out in the guidance 'Complaining about inspections', which is available from Ofsted's website: ofsted.gov.uk. If you would like Ofsted to send you a copy of the guidance, please telephone 08456 404045, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.|