St Margaret Mary's RC Primary School Manchester
phone: 0161 6811504
executive headteacher: Mrs Margaret Cunningham
315 pupils capacity: 111% full
180 boys 51%
170 girls 49%
Last updated: June 18, 2014
Primary — Voluntary Aided School
- Education phase
- Religious character
- Roman Catholic
- Establishment type
- Voluntary Aided School
- Establishment #
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 388721, Northing: 403348
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 53.527, Longitude: -2.1716
- Accepting pupils
- 3—11 years old
- Census date
- Jan. 16, 2014
- Ofsted last inspection
- Feb. 5, 2013
- Diocese of Salford
- Region › Const. › Ward
- North West › Blackley and Broughton › Charlestown
- Urban > 10k - less sparse
- Free school meals %
- 0.5 miles Whitegate End Primary and Nursery School OL98EB (253 pupils)
- 0.5 miles South Chadderton School OL98EA
- 0.5 miles Collective Spirit Free School OL98EA (42 pupils)
- 0.6 miles New Moston Primary School M403QJ (502 pupils)
- 0.6 miles New Moston Infant School M403QJ
- 0.6 miles St Matthew's RC High School M400EW (1106 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Charlestown Community Primary School M97BX (350 pupils)
- 0.7 miles St Mary's CofE Primary School Moston M400DF (227 pupils)
- 0.7 miles North Manchester High School for Boys M97FS
- 0.7 miles Manchester Creative and Media Academy M97SS (622 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Manchester Creative and Media Academy for Boys M97SS (414 pupils)
- 0.8 miles Alkrington Moss Primary School M241PN
- 0.8 miles Yew Tree Community School OL98LD (491 pupils)
- 0.9 miles North Manchester High School for Girls M409QJ
- 0.9 miles Yew Tree Junior School OL98LD
- 0.9 miles Yew Tree Infant School OL98LD
- 0.9 miles Gorse Bank Community Special School OL99QR
- 0.9 miles Foxdenton Community Special School OL99QR
- 0.9 miles The Kingfisher Community Special School OL99QR (140 pupils)
- 1 mile Moston Fields Primary School M409GN (331 pupils)
- 1 mile St John Bosco RC Primary School M97AT (232 pupils)
- 1 mile St Thomas More Roman Catholic Primary School, Middleton, Rochdale M241PY (334 pupils)
- 1.1 mile Crosslee Community Primary School M96TG (316 pupils)
- 1.1 mile St Michael's Church of England Primary School, Alkrington M241GD (209 pupils)
St Margaret Mary’s RC Primary
St Margaret’s Road, New Moston, Manchester, M40 0EJ
|Inspection dates||5–6 February 2013|
|Overall effectiveness||This inspection:||Outstanding||1|
|Achievement of pupils||Outstanding||1|
|Quality of teaching||Outstanding||1|
|Behaviour and safety of pupils||Outstanding||1|
|Leadership and management||Outstanding||1|
Summary of key findings for parents and pupils
This is an outstanding school.
| Pupils’ progress has improved significantly |
Teaching is outstanding in all key stages.
over the past three years and their
attainment by the end of Year 6 is above
average and, on occasions, well above. This
demonstrates outstanding achievement given
children’s starting points on entry to the
Nursery class. In the outstanding Early Years
Foundation Stage, children are already adept
at working independently and finding things
out for themselves. Across the rest of the
school, pupils read and write with confidence
and accuracy. In mathematics, they have
mastered a range of methods to complement
their already impressive calculation skills.
Teachers plan work and activities in class
which get the best out of their pupils. Pupils
learn rapidly and with enjoyment. Those who
sometimes find the work difficult are
supported exceptionally well by the excellent
team of support assistants. In all classes,
there are excellent relationships between
pupils and between pupils and the adults who
work with them. Staff are now working hard
to ensure that the sharing of good and
exemplary classroom practice is further
embedded across the school.
| In the words of pupils, ‘We are very proud of |
The executive headteacher has the highest
our school because we always get chances to
show what we can do.’ Pupils are very keen to
learn, behave outstandingly well and feel safe
and secure in school. They have the highest
regard for their classmates and for their
teachers and support assistants. They take on
a variety of responsibilities: older pupils help
younger ones with their reading and
handwriting and also accompany children in
the Early Years Foundation Stage to lunch. All
parents who responded to the on-line
questionnaire believe their children are safe
and happy in school.
ambitions for the school. Her outstanding
leadership ensures that all staff share her very
clear view of how successful the school can be.
The impact of procedures to check the quality
of teaching and of performance in all areas of
school life shows that the well-being of each
individual pupil is central to the school’s work.
It recognises, for example, that pupils do not
always have enough opportunities to use new
technology as an aid to learning. Governors
support the school outstandingly well but also
hold it to account with the utmost rigour.
|Inspection report:||St Margaret Mary’s RC Primary School Manchester, 5–6 February 2013||2 of 9|
Information about this inspection
- Inspectors observed 20 lessons or part-lessons and most teachers were visited twice in their
classrooms. In addition, inspectors heard pupils in Years 2 and 6 read.
- They held meetings with two groups of pupils, including members of the school council, and the
Chair of the Governing Body. They also had discussions with a representative of the local
authority, senior staff, phase leaders, subject coordinators, support and administrative staff.
They also spoke informally with parents in the hall before school assembly.
- Inspectors took account of the 18 responses to the on-line questionnaire (Parent View) and of
the 16 responses to the staff questionnaire.
- Inspectors observed the school at work and considered a range of documentation, including
internal and external pupil progress and attainment data, pupils’ work in English and
mathematics, school improvement planning and the school’s procedures to enable it to gain an
accurate view of its performance. In addition, they looked at minutes of governing body
meetings, reports written on behalf of the local authority and documentation in relation to child
protection, safeguarding, behaviour and attendance.
|James Kidd, Lead inspector||Additional Inspector|
|David Deane||Additional Inspector|
|Juliet Demster||Additional Inspector|
|Inspection report:||St Margaret Mary’s RC Primary School Manchester, 5–6 February 2013||3 of 9|
Information about this school
- This is a larger than average sized primary school. Pupil numbers have increased by almost 20%
since the previous inspection.
- The school meets the government’s current floor standards, which set the minimum expectations
for pupils’ progress and attainment.
- The proportion of pupils supported by the pupil premium, which provides additional funding for
those pupils known to be eligible for free school meals, children from service families, or looked
after by the local authority, is broadly average.
- The majority of pupils are White British and there are few pupils with English as an additional
- The percentage of pupils supported at school action is below average; the percentage supported
at school action plus or with a statement of special educational needs is also below that usually
- The school holds The Manchester Healthy Schools award and also the Artsmark. It is an active
member of the Manchester University Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies (PATHS)
initiative, which is designed to promote pupils’ personal development and self-esteem. The
school also runs a breakfast club, which provides before-school support activities for pupils who
sometimes find the work difficult.
- There have been several staff changes since the previous inspection and a new leadership
structure, including phase leaders, has been introduced. The executive headteacher, who is also
headteacher of another local school, remains in post.
What does the school need to do to improve further?
- Maintain the high quality of teaching and learning by:
giving pupils more opportunities to use new technology as a learning tool
continuing to embed the sharing of good and exemplary classroom practice across the school.
|Inspection report:||St Margaret Mary’s RC Primary School Manchester, 5–6 February 2013||4 of 9|
|The achievement of pupils||is outstanding|
- Achievement is outstanding. Children’s skills on entry to the Early Years Foundation Stage vary
from year to year, but are generally below the expectations for their age. They make
outstanding progress, personally and academically, in both Nursery and Reception classes and
by the time they enter Year 1, they are used to finding things out for themselves and taking
responsibility for their own learning.
- This outstanding progress of all groups of pupils continues across the rest of the school and
attainment by the end of Year 6 is above average and, for significant numbers of pupils, well
above that usually seen. Parents are unanimously satisfied with the progress their children are
- Children in Nursery and Reception classes and pupils in Key Stages 1 and 2 enjoy learning. In
the Early Years Foundation Stage, for example, children recognise ‘tricky’ words accurately
during their letters and sounds sessions and pronounce them correctly. In Years 1 and 2, they
give convincing information on the characteristics of tyrannosaurus rex and use technical
vocabulary, such as ‘habitat’ to explain how these dinosaurs lived.
- In Years 3 and 4, pupils work cooperatively in pairs to sort lists of words into different sounds
and to create their own mathematical problems. Pupils in Year 4 demonstrate that they
understand and use a range of scientific vocabulary, ‘matter’, ‘solids’ and ‘gases’, for example,
accurately and in context. In Year 5, pupils use a variety of methods to solve increasingly
different mathematical problems and also produce stories in which tension is created to capture
the interest of the reader. By Year 6, pupils see clearly the different patterns and links in
mathematics and the quality of their writing and grammatical accuracy belies their years. In both
Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, pupils read confidently and with understanding.
- The school uses pupil premium funding very well indeed, to provide additional support during
‘booster’ sessions at the breakfast club and during the day. The impact of this spending is
outstanding and pupils known to be eligible to free school meals make the same outstanding
progress as other pupils in the school and reach above average standards, particularly in reading
and mathematics. As a result of the wide range of one-to-one and small group sessions
delivered by highly-committed support assistants, the progress of disabled pupils, those with
special educational needs and those who speak English as an additional language is equally
|The quality of teaching||is outstanding|
- Pupils speak highly of their teachers and teaching assistants and say, ‘They make difficult work
fun and give us things to do which make us think!’ Indeed, the quality of teaching is outstanding
in all key stages. It is characterised by excellent relationships in the classroom, high expectations
of what pupils can do and teachers’ excellent use of information on how well pupils have learned
to help them plan future lessons.
- Teachers and teaching assistants ask pupils very searching questions to get them to think more
deeply about the topics they are studying and even encourage them to set themselves
challenges. From the moment pupils enter the classroom, the learning begins, often at a rapid
pace, and there are regular checks to make sure that everyone is keeping up. In a Year 6
mathematics lesson, for example, there was a buzz of excitement and pupils enjoyed working in
groups and supporting each other with their learning. Lessons comprise an on-going dialogue
between pupils and between pupils and the adults working with them.
- Pupils who sometimes find the work difficult benefit from very well-focused support from both
teachers and teaching assistants and activities which are exactly what they need to make
progress. As a result, they are able to make impressive contributions to whole-class discussion
and are very often surprised at what they can do.
|Inspection report:||St Margaret Mary’s RC Primary School Manchester, 5–6 February 2013||5 of 9|
- Pupils do not just rely on teachers to help them learn. They take the initiative to find things out
for themselves. As pupils comment, ‘We are always using a dictionary and thesaurus to find out
the meaning of difficult words and also to help us spell them correctly!’
- As a result of detailed marking, which tells pupils how well they are doing and which gives them
accurate advice on how they can improve their work, pupils are fully aware of the National
Curriculum levels and sub-levels at which they are working. They know exactly what they need
to do to reach the next level. They also value the many opportunities they have to gauge their
own progress and also the progress of their classroom partners.
|The behaviour and safety of pupils||are outstanding|
- When asked whether they feel safe in school, pupils answer, ‘Definitely! Our teachers are kind
and look after us and our friends support us too.’ Indeed, pupils have an excellent awareness of
how to keep themselves safe in school and also outside its walls. For example, they talk
confidently about the dangers of using the internet.
- Pupils say that bullying is rare and that it is dealt with very quickly by the staff if it occurs. The
anti-bullying weeks teach them about different kinds of bullying and they have an excellent
awareness of the many forms it can take.
- Behaviour in lessons and around school is outstanding. Pupils are exceptionally well mannered
and show the utmost courtesy towards staff, pupils and visitors. They are kind and thoughtful
and are proud of their own achievements and of the achievements of their classmates. Older
pupils support younger ones with reading and writing and children in the Early Years Foundation
Stage are often accompanied to lunch by pupils in Years 5 and 6.
- The school’s involvement in the PATHS project continues to have a most positive impact on
pupils’ confidence and self-esteem. In a mixed Year 3/4 PATHS lesson, for example, pupils
considered how to solve problems in a group situation. They demonstrated exactly what they
need to do to keep control of themselves if they are angry or upset.
- The impact of this project was also evident in a Year 5 lesson, when, pupils asked the inspector
to look at the books of some of their classmates because, in their words, ‘They are really good at
maths and English and their books are so neat!’
- The school promotes pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development outstandingly well.
School councillors are proud to represent their constituents and always have ideas about how
the school can be improved. Pupils support a range of charities, have an excellent understanding
of right and wrong and take part in a variety of cultural activities, including regular drama and
musical productions. With the minimum of direction from staff, they lead assemblies with skill
and verve and the Year 5 assembly during the inspection on ‘inspirational people’ was a joy to
attend. The school is racially harmonious and mutual respect abounds.
|The leadership and management||are outstanding|
- Inspirational leadership from the executive headteacher, who is supported to the full by the
most talented and committed deputy headteacher and senior team, has ensured that there has
been marked improvement in all areas of school life since the previous inspection. Without
doubt, St Margaret Mary’s is a school which meets the needs of all of its pupils exceptionally
well. Parents believe that leadership is excellent and comment, ‘Staff are approachable and
always make time for us.’
- Leaders at all levels, including subject coordinators and phase leaders show great determination
in driving the school forward. They take the initiative in developing the areas for which they are
responsible and offer full support to their colleagues. They believe that performance
management arrangements are fair and they take part in joint training sessions with local
schools. In their words, ‘We feel valued by the senior leadership of our school.’
- The curriculum has been continuously under review since the previous inspection and it now
meets the needs and interests of the pupils very closely indeed. Pupils benefit from studying a
range of themes, ‘Africa’, ‘healthy eating’ and ‘Victorian Times’, for example, which also
emphasise the important skills which are unique to each different subject. Pupils’ views are
taken fully into account when planning topics and there is also a wide variety of after-school
clubs and educational visits.
|Inspection report:||St Margaret Mary’s RC Primary School Manchester, 5–6 February 2013||6 of 9|
- The school promotes equality of opportunity for all exceptionally well. Child protection and
safeguarding policies and practice fully meet current requirements and there is zero tolerance for
all forms of discrimination.
- The school has an accurate understanding of its performance and recognises, for example, that
the further embedding of the sharing of good classroom practice is vital if the high quality of
teaching and learning are to be maintained. Leaders are also aware that pupils do not always
enough opportunities to use new technology to support their learning.
- The local authority has supported the school strongly for several years and has been particularly
helpful in giving advice about how staffing and leadership can be restructured effectively.
- The governance of the school:
Governors provide outstanding support for the school and rigorous challenge to its leadership.
They have an accurate understanding of the school’s strengths and areas for development.
They oversee the use of pupil premium funding and monitor the impact of this spending very
closely indeed. In addition, they are actively involved in the school’s work to improve the
quality of teaching and learning; they also ensure that performance management
arrangements are secure and that they reward teachers for meeting and often exceeding their
|Inspection report:||St Margaret Mary’s RC Primary School Manchester, 5–6 February 2013||7 of 9|
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.
|Inspection report:||St Margaret Mary’s RC Primary School Manchester, 5–6 February 2013||8 of 9|
|Unique reference number||105533|
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||327|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Date of previous school inspection||16 November 2010|
|Telephone number||0161 681 1504|
|Fax number||0161 683 4895|