School etc

North Marston Church of England School

North Marston Church of England School
School Hill
North Marston

phone: 01296 670286

headteacher: Mrs Cathy Gouldstone

school holidays: via Buckinghamshire council

101 pupils aged 4—10y mixed gender
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 %

rooms to rent in Buckingham

Schools nearby

  1. 1.4 mile Whitchurch Combined School HP224JG (205 pupils)
  2. 2.6 miles Quainton Church of England Combined School HP224BJ (189 pupils)
  3. 2.9 miles East Claydon School MK182LS (26 pupils)
  4. 3 miles Swanbourne House School MK170HZ (360 pupils)
  5. 3.2 miles Swanbourne Church of England VA School MK170SW (112 pupils)
  6. 3.3 miles Winslow Church of England Combined School MK183EN (376 pupils)
  7. 3.3 miles Furze Down School MK183BL (107 pupils)
  8. 3.3 miles Rushmead CofE Middle School MK183EN
  9. 3.3 miles Winslow County Secondary School MK183DN
  10. 3.3 miles Sir Thomas Fremantle School MK183DL (111 pupils)
  11. 4.3 miles Waddesdon Village Primary School HP180LQ (219 pupils)
  12. 4.3 miles Waddesdon Church of England School HP180LQ
  13. 4.3 miles Waddesdon Church of England School HP180LQ (968 pupils)
  14. 4.4 miles The Aylesbury Vale Academy HP180WS (1020 pupils)
  15. 4.5 miles Mursley Church of England School MK170RT (45 pupils)
  16. 4.9 miles Buckingham Park Church of England Primary School HP199DZ (246 pupils)
  17. 5 miles Thomas Hickman School HP199HP (454 pupils)
  18. 5 miles St Michael's Church of England Combined School LU70HA (184 pupils)
  19. 5.1 miles Meadowcroft Junior School HP199HP
  20. 5.1 miles Westcott Church of England School HP180PH (63 pupils)
  21. 5.3 miles Great Horwood Church of England Combined School MK170RG (128 pupils)
  22. 5.3 miles The Pace Centre HP199JL (64 pupils)
  23. 5.3 miles The Pace Centre HP199JL
  24. 5.4 miles Aylesbury Vale Primary Support Centre HP199NS

List of schools in Buckingham

School report

North Marston Church of England


School Hill, North Marston, Buckinghamshire, MK18 3PE

Inspection dates 27–28 February 2013
Overall effectiveness This inspection: Good 2
Previous 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
exceptionally well.
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.

Inspection team

Barbara Atcheson, Lead inspector Additional Inspector

Full report

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
    their work
    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.

Inspection judgements

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
    expected levels.
  • 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 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 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.

School details

Unique reference number 110412
Local authority Buckinghamshire
Inspection number 403117

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
Chair Sue Chadbund
Headteacher Catherine Gouldstone
Date of previous school inspection 28 April 2008
Telephone number 01296 670286
Fax number 01296 670286
Email address reveal email: head…


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