North Marston Church of England School
phone: 01296 670286
headteacher: Mrs Cathy Gouldstone
105 pupils capacity: 96% full
50 boys 50%
50 girls 50%
Last updated: June 28, 2014
Primary — Voluntary Controlled School
- Education phase
- Religious character
- Church of England
- Establishment type
- Voluntary Controlled School
- Establishment #
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 477664, Northing: 222762
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 51.898, Longitude: -0.87269
- Accepting pupils
- 4—11 years old
- Census date
- Jan. 16, 2014
- Ofsted last inspection
- Feb. 27, 2013
- Diocese of Oxford
- Region › Const. › Ward
- South East › Buckingham › Quainton
- Village - less sparse
- Investor in People
- Committed IiP Status
- Free school meals %
- 1.4 mile Whitchurch Combined School HP224JG (205 pupils)
- 2.6 miles Quainton Church of England Combined School HP224BJ (189 pupils)
- 2.9 miles East Claydon School MK182LS (26 pupils)
- 3 miles Swanbourne House School MK170HZ (360 pupils)
- 3.2 miles Swanbourne Church of England VA School MK170SW (112 pupils)
- 3.3 miles Winslow Church of England Combined School MK183EN (376 pupils)
- 3.3 miles Furze Down School MK183BL (107 pupils)
- 3.3 miles Rushmead CofE Middle School MK183EN
- 3.3 miles Winslow County Secondary School MK183DN
- 3.3 miles Sir Thomas Fremantle School MK183DL (111 pupils)
- 4.3 miles Waddesdon Village Primary School HP180LQ (219 pupils)
- 4.3 miles Waddesdon Church of England School HP180LQ
- 4.3 miles Waddesdon Church of England School HP180LQ (968 pupils)
- 4.4 miles The Aylesbury Vale Academy HP180WS (1020 pupils)
- 4.5 miles Mursley Church of England School MK170RT (45 pupils)
- 4.9 miles Buckingham Park Church of England Primary School HP199DZ (246 pupils)
- 5 miles Thomas Hickman School HP199HP (454 pupils)
- 5 miles St Michael's Church of England Combined School LU70HA (184 pupils)
- 5.1 miles Meadowcroft Junior School HP199HP
- 5.1 miles Westcott Church of England School HP180PH (63 pupils)
- 5.3 miles Great Horwood Church of England Combined School MK170RG (128 pupils)
- 5.3 miles The Pace Centre HP199JL (64 pupils)
- 5.3 miles The Pace Centre HP199JL
- 5.4 miles Aylesbury Vale Primary Support Centre HP199NS
North Marston Church of England
School Hill, North Marston, Buckinghamshire, MK18 3PE
|Inspection dates||27–28 February 2013|
|Overall effectiveness||This inspection:||Good||2|
|Achievement of pupils||Good||2|
|Quality of teaching||Good||2|
|Behaviour and safety of pupils||Good||2|
|Leadership and management||Good||2|
Summary of key findings for parents and pupils
This is a good school.
It is not yet an outstanding school because
| Good leadership of teaching and learning by |
There is a rising trend in pupils’ achievement.
the head teacher, together with effective
management of teachers’ performance, has
ensured that teaching is consistently good.
The proportion of outstanding teaching is
All groups of pupils make good progress and
standards are consistently significantly higher
than all pupils nationally.
| The headteacher, senior leaders and staff are |
Behaviour is good. Older pupils are good role
Members of the governing body play a
Parents say that their children ‘love school’ and
united in their commitment to ensure that the
upward trend is maintained.
models and look after the younger ones.
significant part in making important decisions
which drive the school forward.
want to come to school, even when they are ill.
| There is not enough outstanding teaching to |
ensure that all pupils consistently achieve
| Learning opportunities for children in the |
Reception class inside the classroom and
outside are not always as rich, exciting and
meaningful as they should be.
Information about this inspection
- The inspector observed teaching and learning in 11 lessons, taught by six teachers.
- Meetings were held with the headteacher, senior leaders, members of the governing body, the
local authority, staff and groups of pupils.
- Seven joint observations of teaching and learning were conducted with the headteacher.
- The inspector listened to pupils reading.
- The inspector spoke to parents and took account of 35 responses to the on-line questionnaire
(Parent View) as well as one letter addressed to the inspector.
- The inspector observed the school’s work, scrutinised pupils’ workbooks, and looked at school
policies, including those relating to safeguarding and equality, minutes of governing body
meetings and planning documents.
- The inspector took account of the 15 questionnaires returned by staff.
|Barbara Atcheson, Lead inspector||Additional Inspector|
Information about this school
- North Marston Church of England School is a smaller-than-average primary school.
- Most of pupils are from a White British background.
- The proportion of pupils known to be eligible for extra funding (known as the pupil premium) is
below the national average.
- The proportions of pupils with special educational needs who are supported through school
action, school action plus or with a statement of special educational needs are all below average.
- The school meets the government’s current floor standards, which set the minimum expectations
for pupils’ attainment and progress.
- The school runs a morning club for its pupils before school.
- There are five classes. Years 3 and 4 and Years 5 and 6 are taught in mixed-aged classes.
What does the school need to do to improve further?
- Raise the quality of teaching to outstanding by ensuring that:
all teachers challenge the more-able pupils
all teachers plan relevant, exciting, meaningful opportunities that will engage pupils’ interest
so that pupils all learn exceptionally well
teachers in Key Stage 1 help pupils to respond independently to marking in order to improve
outstanding practice is shared more widely.
- Enrich the ways in which Early Years Foundation Stage areas of learning are planned to include
more exciting, meaningful opportunities for children to learn both inside and outdoors.
|The achievement of pupils||is good|
- Achievement is good because pupils make good, and sometimes exceptional, progress during
their time at school. Pupils reach standards which are significantly above all pupils nationally at
the end of Key Stages 1 and 2. This reflects improvements that have been made in teaching and
the increasing proportion of outstanding teaching in the school.
- Information from school records and observations in lessons shows that an increased focus on
guided reading, following a dip at the end of Key Stage 1 in 2012, has ensured all groups of
pupils are now making good and some exceptional progress throughout the school.
- Improved teaching, as a result of professional development courses to inspire boys’ writing, and
using speaking and listening before writing are also reflected in increased rates of progress in
writing throughout the school. In an outstanding Years 5 and 6 lesson, pupils were
enthusiastically involved in planning their own creation story. Good opportunities to have short
discussions and share ideas inspired a rich use of language and spurred them on to do their very
- Boys have been doing better than girls in mathematics at the end of Key Stage 2. A club for girls
is already helping them increase their confidence. One-to-one tuition from a governor who is a
mathematics specialist helps those pupils who are in danger of underachieving.
- The level at which Reception children start school varies. However, in 2012, children started
school with a wide range of skills, knowledge and understanding. They make good progress
because they have a thirst for learning, but some activities are not always as rich and
stimulating as they could be.
- Until recently the school has had no pupils known to be eligible for free school meals. This year
it has a very few pupils. Resources bought for one pupil are helping that pupil reach levels that
are significantly higher than all pupils nationally in reading, writing and mathematics. Learning
gaps between these pupils and all pupils nationally are closing quickly. Speech therapy and
books to develop speaking and listening help younger children reach the expected levels in early
reading and writing skills, and computer programs help boost specific mathematical skills to the
- Accurate identification and a good range of extra support, in the form of very skilled teaching
assistants, enable disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs to make the
same rate of progress as their peers.
|The quality of teaching||is good|
- Teachers know their pupils well. Good relationships ensure that pupils enjoy their work and try
hard. Most of the work is planned at the right level for each pupil, but there are times when
more able pupils are given tasks that are too easy for them.
- In an outstanding Years 3 and 4 mathematics lesson on organising and interpreting information,
all pupils said the work was a challenge, but, ‘We love a challenge!’ The teacher’s excellent
questioning caused the pupils to pause for thought, question what they had done, make the link
in learning and self-correct. The pupils were eager to do their best because the teacher’s own
enthusiasm motivated them and gave them confidence. However, this is not always the case and
some lessons do lack exciting, meaningful opportunities to engage pupils’ interest.
- Very good subject knowledge, an insistence on accuracy and a rapid rate of learning make the
best lessons thought provoking and exciting. For example, Year 1 pupils quickly understood how
to use their knowledge of how to double numbers in more complex calculations. A practical
demonstration meant that pupils could clearly understand how to double a number and add one
- Some of the activities in the Reception class limit children to pencil and paper activities and do
not always give them more exciting, meaningful ways to help them learn. One little girl delighted
in learning about numbers in the sand tray outside because of the enthusiasm and good
questioning skills of the teaching assistant, but inside children showed less enthusiasm for
making cakes out of grey play dough.
- Pupils in Key Stage 2 say that teachers’ marking helps them to improve their work. They are
given time to make their corrections and address any misunderstanding. Teachers in Key Stage
1 mark pupils’ work regularly but do not always ensure that pupils have the time to correct their
work and so mistakes are repeated.
|The behaviour and safety of pupils||are good|
- Good relationships and a caring family atmosphere, where all adults are good role models,
ensure that pupils are well behaved and have a positive attitude to learning.
- Pupils have a clear set of personal values because the school provides good opportunities for
pupils’ spiritual, social, moral and cultural development. Pupils and parents agree that, as a
result, behaviour is good and the school is a safe place to be. Pupils also know how to keep
themselves free from harm and use the internet safely.
- Playtime is harmonious and pupils say they ‘look out for each other’, with older pupils playing
with younger pupils and helping them to resolve any minor disputes. However, pupils say that
play can sometimes be boisterous and that a few individual pupils can be ‘a bit silly’ in some
lessons, such as during games or dance, and this annoys the others because they enjoy
- Where teaching is outstanding, behaviour is exemplary, every pupil is focused on the task in
hand and keen to do their best. The pupils help each other, share ideas and have a good
knowledge and understanding of their learning and how to improve.
- Pupils are emphatic that there is no bullying. They know and can talk about the different types
of bullying and are confident there is always someone who will listen to them and take swift,
effective action if needed.
- All pupils attend school regularly and parents agree saying that their children ‘cannot wait to
come to school’. Families where parents have to go to work early appreciate the benefits of the
school’s morning club.
|The leadership and management||are good|
- Teaching and learning are improving strongly as a result of good leadership by the headteacher
and good support from the local authority. The way in which checks on the quality of teaching is
now shared with teachers. This has created an open forum for discussion which, together with a
more focused analysis of the findings, has ensured that teaching is consistently good and the
proportion of outstanding teaching is increasing.
- Effective management of performance and focused staff development have also been important
contributory factors in the improvements made in teaching. Teachers and teaching assistants are
keen to refine their practice and seek out more effective ways to meet the pupils’ needs and
raise achievement. All staff are involved in self-audit and agree targets that relate to their range
of pay and experience.
- All teachers are held to account and pupils’ progress is checked at regular meetings. If any pupil
is seen to underperform, extra help is arranged. This, together with the school’s good support
for disabled pupils and those pupils with special educational needs, ensures that there is no
discrimination and that there is an equality of opportunity. However, the school recognises that
more able pupils are not always given sufficient challenge.
- The way in which subjects are planned ensures that pupils in mixed-age classes do not repeat
work and make good progress and that all pupils benefit from good opportunities for pupils’
spiritual, moral and social development.
- The governance of the school:
Members of the governing body play an active part in the strategic direction of the school.
Actions resulting from a recent whole school survey taken by the governing body have
addressed issues, clarified roles and perceptions and established its role in the work of the
school. The governors have an accurate view of the school’s performance, including the
quality of teaching and how pupils’ test results compare nationally to those of other similar
schools because they ask the right questions and keep a close check on pupil progress. They
have detailed knowledge of every pupil known to be eligible for extra funding, the money
available and the value added by this funding. They have bought into good-quality local
authority training which has ensured that they have enough up-to-date knowledge to ask
searching questions and hold the school to account. The governors have a clear understanding
of the management of teachers’ performance and how it is, and must, be used to improve the
quality of teaching. Governors are fully involved with setting targets for the school and hold it
to account. They ensure that statutory duties such as safeguarding are met and that financial
resources are managed well.
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||110412|
This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.
|Type of school||Primary|
|School category||Voluntary controlled|
|Age range of pupils||4–11|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Number of pupils on the school roll||103|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Date of previous school inspection||28 April 2008|
|Telephone number||01296 670286|
|Fax number||01296 670286|
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