St James' CofE Primary School
phone: 0121 5525491
headteacher: Mr Paul Longden
409 pupils capacity: 93% full
190 boys 50%
190 girls 50%
Last updated: June 20, 2014
Primary — Voluntary Controlled School
- Education phase
- Religious character
- Church of England
- Establishment type
- Voluntary Controlled School
- Establishment #
- Open date
- Sept. 1, 1999
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 397915, Northing: 288221
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 52.492, Longitude: -2.0321
- Accepting pupils
- 3—11 years old
- Census date
- Jan. 16, 2014
- Ofsted last inspection
- Feb. 14, 2013
- Diocese of Birmingham
- Region › Const. › Ward
- West Midlands › Warley › Langley
- Urban > 10k - less sparse
- SEN priorities
- BESD - Behaviour, Emotional and Social Difficulty
- Free school meals %
- Whiteheath Infant School B691BG
- St James's CofE Junior School B691BG
- 0.3 miles Birchley School B659JP
- 0.3 miles Birchley Pupil Referral Unit B659JP
- 0.3 miles The Primrose Centre B659JP (12 pupils)
- 0.4 miles Rowley Hall Primary School B659HU (540 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Langley Primary School B694QB (431 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Langley Junior School B694QB
- 0.7 miles Langley Infant School B694QB
- 0.8 miles Whiteheath Education Centre B659AL (7 pupils)
- 0.8 miles Grace Mary Primary School B691LD (273 pupils)
- 0.8 miles Rounds Green Primary School B692DP (452 pupils)
- 0.8 miles Causeway Green Junior School B688LX
- 0.8 miles Causeway Green Infant School B688LX
- 0.8 miles Rounds Green Junior School B692DP
- 0.8 miles Rounds Green Infant School B692DP
- 0.8 miles The Westminster School B659AN (137 pupils)
- 0.9 miles Blackheath Primary School B659NF (469 pupils)
- 0.9 miles Causeway Green Primary School B688LX (445 pupils)
- 0.9 miles Britannia High School B659NF
- 0.9 miles St Michael's CE High School B659AN (1099 pupils)
- 0.9 miles Rowley Regis College B659AH
- 0.9 miles Al Khair School B688LA
- 1 mile Oakham Primary School B691SG (471 pupils)
St James' Church of
England Primary School
Wolverley Crescent, Oldbury, B69 1BG
|Inspection dates||14–15 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
| Pupils achieve well during their time at the |
Children make good progress in Nursery and
Teachers are enthusiastic and provide clear
The use of ‘learning logs’ for pupils to do
school and leave the school with results that
are broadly average.
Reception as a result of effective support to
develop their reading, writing and
written and verbal feedback to pupils on how
well they are learning and what to do to
homework in a variety of creative ways is
very effective in promoting pupils’ love of
learning beyond the classroom
| Pupils feel safe in school and have a good |
Pupils’ behaviour in school is good and they
The leadership of the headteacher is
The school develops literacy and numeracy
The governing body works in partnership with
awareness of how to keep themselves safe in a
variety of situations.
have positive attitudes to their learning.
inspirational, and he is supported by highly
effective senior and middle leaders. All leaders
have an accurate awareness of what works
well in the school and where next to improve.
skills through a wide range of subjects and
activities, such as bricklaying and flower
school leaders to continually improve the
| Pupils do not have enough opportunities to |
read more widely in a range of subjects, for
example by using the library to develop their
skills for research.
| In lessons, pupils do not have enough |
opportunities to investigate and work
independently on a range of problem-solving
Information about this inspection
- Inspectors observed 26 lessons, of which three were jointly observed with the headteacher.
Inspectors also made several other short visits to lessons.
- Inspectors spoke to pupils, both informally during the school day and during formal discussions.
In addition, a range of pupils’ work was looked at.
- School documentation was scrutinised, including the school’s data about the attainment and
progress of pupils in each year group, records relating to safeguarding and attendance, and how
teachers’ performance is monitored by the school.
- Discussions were held with four members of the governing body, including the Chair and Vice
Chair of the Governing Body, a representative from the local authority, senior and middle leaders
responsible for aspects of school life.
- Inspectors took account of communication with parents during the inspection, and 33 responses
to the questionnaire that staff were invited to complete. There were not enough responses to
the on-line Parent View questionnaire for the results to be taken into account during the
|Clare Saunders, Lead inspector||Additional Inspector|
|Rowena Green||Additional Inspector|
|Christopher Ogden||Additional Inspector|
Information about this school
- This is a larger-than-average-sized primary school, where most pupils are of White British
heritage. The proportion of pupils eligible for the pupil premium (additional funding from the
government for specific groups of students) is much higher than the national average, and
makes up just over half of the school’s population.
- The proportion of disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs who are
supported by school action, school action plus, or by a statement of special educational needs is
below the national average.
- The school has a separate area, referred to as the ‘Nurture Room’, for some children in
Reception to specifically develop their social and communication skills.
- The proportion of pupils entering the school during the school year is above average.
- No pupils are taught in alternative provision away from the school site.
- The school meets the current government floor standards, which set the minimum expectations
for pupils’ attainment and progress.
What does the school need to do to improve further?
- Accelerate the progress that pupils make in all subjects by:
enabling pupils to read widely and often to develop their research skills
creating more opportunities for pupils to develop and use their skills of independent enquiry to
solve problems in lessons.
|The achievement of pupils||is good|
- Children enter the Early Years Foundation Stage with skills, knowledge and understanding that
are well below those typical for their age. This is particularly true of how they communicate and
interact socially with others. As a result of good teaching and carefully planned support, children
make good gains in their learning during their time in Nursery and Reception.
- Pupils continue to make good progress as they move up the school, and by the time they leave
at the end of Year 6, they gain results in English and mathematics that are broadly in line with
the national average.
- Pupils who are eligible for the pupil premium, and the small number who are looked after by the
local authority, make good progress and achieve well. Pupils eligible for free school meals make
progress and attain scores that are similar to those pupils who are not eligible for free school
meals. This is as a result of the careful allocation of the pupil premium funding to ensure that all
pupils have the care and academic support that they need to achieve their best. For example,
the additional funding has been used to reduce class sizes in Years 2 and 6, enabling teachers to
monitor closely how well each individual pupil is learning.
- Disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs make good progress and learn
well over time due to additional help which is designed to meet individual pupils’ specific needs.
- Pupils respond well to the school’s careful plans to develop their reading throughout their time at
the school and they enjoy reading. However, they have limited opportunities to use the library to
read about a subject for pleasure or for research to develop their understanding and knowledge.
|The quality of teaching||is good|
- Teaching is usually good across the school; there are some examples of outstanding teaching.
Teachers are enthusiastic and this helps pupils to develop a love of learning. This has led to
pupils achieving well in reading, writing and mathematics over time.
- In the best lessons, pupils learn quickly as a result of skilful questioning by the teachers to
encourage pupils to give answers that help the teacher to know exactly what pupils understand.
This leads to work being set that suits pupils of all capabilities in the class, and the teacher
competently adapts the lesson so that pupils learn as best they can.
- In the vast majority of lessons, teachers have high expectations of how well pupils can learn.
Pupils respond well to established routines and expectations in terms of behaviour, positive
attitudes to learning and high-quality presentation of written work. However, pupils do not
routinely have opportunities to develop their problem-solving skills in lessons, and generally do
exactly what the teacher tells them, rather than using their initiative to work independently and
work things out for themselves.
- Marking is a particular strength, especially where the pupil premium is used to create smaller
class sizes in Years 2 and 6. Teachers’ written comments are of a consistently high quality, and
pupils routinely respond by correcting work, or completing specific tasks that help them to learn
- The school encourages the effective use of the pupils’ ‘learning logs’ to complete homework
tasks that extend the learning in school. These tasks are interesting and stimulating and allow
pupils to think creatively about the topics they are studying in school. For example, one
homework task asked pupils to find out what life was like when Queen Victoria was born and
present this however the pupils liked.
- Teachers use the school grounds in an imaginative way to encourage learning to take place in an
interesting and stimulating environment, for example the ‘Forest School’ area is often used by all
|The behaviour and safety of pupils||are good|
- Pupils feel safe in school. They have an accurate awareness of what would constitute bullying,
including prejudice-based bullying, and are confident that there is always someone to ask if they
feel concerned. They are adamant that, if bullying should occur, it is dealt with swiftly and
- Pupils are respectful and mindful of others in the school. The school’s caring and welcoming
approach to all pupils is very noticeable, for example, new pupils are integrated seamlessly into
the day-to-day workings of the school and all of the school community go out of their way to
make new pupils feel welcome.
- In lessons, pupils are keen to learn, and demonstrate the positive social, moral, spiritual and
cultural aspects of their education that the school promotes.
- Of particular note is the school’s use of the ‘Nurture Room’ which provides a home-like
environment for some identified Reception-aged children to develop their social and
communication skills, for example, by having breakfast together each morning around a table
where each child has a particular responsibility to enable all to sit together.
- The school’s attendance rate has risen strongly since the last inspection, and is now around the
national average for primary schools. This is due to the school successfully applying some
strategies, such as a ‘walking bus’ where school staff collect pupils from their homes to enable
prompt attendance at school.
- Pupils appreciate the consistent way that teachers apply the behaviour policy. Pupils know what
is expected of them and this helps them to learn well in lessons.
- The school’s own questionnaire gathering parents’ views, and the views of parents during the
inspection, support this positive view of behaviour.
|The leadership and management||are good|
- School leaders accurately evaluate the strengths of the school and work well as a team to
correctly prioritise areas for further development. All school leaders know exactly what aspects
of the school they are responsible for, and their accountability is regularly reviewed during
- The curriculum is a strength of the school. An innovative approach to develop literacy and
numeracy skills in other subjects includes spending time on Friday afternoons on the ‘St James’
University’ where pupils can try a variety of activities including flower arranging, bricklaying and
film making. For example, pupils calculate the quantities of materials needed to build a bench, or
use a wide variety of adjectives to describe the flower arrangements. Highly effective use of the
pupil premium means that eligible pupils make good progress.
- Pupils are encouraged to work together as a team and to respect each other. Many aspects of
the school promote the positive social, moral, spiritual and cultural development of the pupils,
for example the weekly assemblies, to which parents are invited, celebrate successes in lessons,
participation in extra-curricular activities and good attendance.
- School leaders are proactive in encouraging parents to have a say in how the school is run; for
example, a recently formed ‘parent voice’ group is effective in making sure parents’ views are
listened to regularly.
- The headteacher has a very thorough and effective system for checking the quality of teaching
and to support the continuous development of staff across the school. High standards in
teaching are expected and staff are supported through relevant and timely training. As a result,
the quality of teaching has improved across the school since the previous inspection.
- Teachers are set rigorous performance management targets that are linked to how well their
pupils achieve. More is expected from those teachers on the upper pay scale, including a
contribution to whole-school aspects to continually improve the school. Underperformance in
teaching is supported through effective training to improve performance and teachers are aware
that underperformance is not permitted.
- The local authority has provided effective light-touch support for this good school, recognising
strong leadership and a good capacity for improvement from leaders throughout the school.
- The governance of the school:
The governing body works in partnership with school leaders to rigorously evaluate how well
the school is performing. Governors have a good understanding of the quality of teaching and
link this to the data about how well pupils achieve throughout the school. They ask
challenging questions of school leaders where the effectiveness of initiatives is not
immediately understood, and offer effective support to the headteacher. They play an active
role in the school, visiting regularly, and reward good teaching appropriately to ensure that all
teachers are aware of their high expectations of teachers’ performance. Pupil premium funding
is carefully allocated and evaluated to make sure that it is spent for the most benefit of eligible
pupils as possible, as reflected in their good achievement. They ensure that all legal
responsibilities for safeguarding are met.
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||131673|
This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.
|Type of school||Primary|
|School category||Voluntary aided|
|Age range of pupils||3–11|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Number of pupils on the school roll||393|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Date of previous school inspection||18 May 2011|
|Telephone number||0121 552 5491|
|Fax number||0121 552 2794|