School etc

St Mary and St Michael Primary School

St Mary and St Michael Primary School
Sutton Street

phone: 020 77904986

headteacher: Mrs Rachel Mahon


school holidays: via Tower Hamlets council

473 pupils aged 2—10y mixed gender
416 pupils capacity: 113% full

220 boys 47%


255 girls 54%

≤ 233y324a94b54c115y286y347y338y289y3310y38

Last updated: Sept. 10, 2014

Primary — Voluntary Aided School

Education phase
Religious character
Roman Catholic
Establishment type
Voluntary Aided School
Establishment #
Open date
Sept. 1, 1999
OSGB coordinates
Easting: 535206, Northing: 181217
GPS coordinates
Latitude: 51.514, Longitude: -0.052926
Accepting pupils
3—11 years old
Census date
Jan. 16, 2014
Ofsted last inspection
June 28, 2010
Archdiocese of Westminster
Region › Const. › Ward
London › Poplar and Limehouse › Shadwell
Urban > 10k - less sparse
Free school meals %

rooms to rent in Tower Hamlets

Schools nearby

  1. St Mary and St Michael's Junior School E10BD
  2. St Mary's and St Michael's Infant School E10BD
  3. 0.1 miles Bishop Challoner Catholic Collegiate Girls School E10LB (927 pupils)
  4. 0.2 miles Blue Gate Fields Junior School E10EH (356 pupils)
  5. 0.2 miles Blue Gate Fields Infants' School E10EH (360 pupils)
  6. 0.2 miles Islamic College London E12ND
  7. 0.2 miles London Islamic School E12HX (124 pupils)
  8. 0.2 miles Bishop Challoner Catholic Collegiate Boys School E10LB (575 pupils)
  9. 0.3 miles Marion Richardson Primary School E10QF (467 pupils)
  10. 0.3 miles Bigland Green Primary School E12ND (478 pupils)
  11. 0.3 miles Smithy Street School E13BW (447 pupils)
  12. 0.3 miles Mulberry School for Girls E12JP (1434 pupils)
  13. 0.3 miles Jamiatul Ummah School E12ND (206 pupils)
  14. 0.4 miles Old Church Nursery School E10RJ (153 pupils)
  15. 0.4 miles Redlands Primary School E13AQ (476 pupils)
  16. 0.4 miles Sir John Cass Foundation and Redcoat Church of England Secondary School E10RH (1684 pupils)
  17. 0.4 miles Madani Secondary Girls' School E11HL (249 pupils)
  18. 0.4 miles Green Gables Montessori Primary School E1W2RG (63 pupils)
  19. 0.4 miles Ayasofia Primary School E12JA (80 pupils)
  20. 0.4 miles The Pier Head Preparatory Montessori School E1W3TD (25 pupils)
  21. 0.4 miles Wapping High School E12DA (117 pupils)
  22. 0.4 miles Date Palm Primary School E14UN (92 pupils)
  23. 0.5 miles Harry Gosling Junior Mixed School E11NB
  24. 0.5 miles Harry Gosling Infant School E11NB

List of schools in Tower Hamlets

13 May 2015
Rachel Mahon
St Mary and St Michael Primary School
Sutton Street
Commercial Road
E1 0BD
Dear Ms Mahon

Requires improvement: monitoring inspection visit to St Mary and St
Michael Primary School

Following my visit to your school on Wednesday 13 May 2015, I write on behalf of

Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills to report

the inspection findings. Thank you for the help you gave me and for the time you
made available to discuss the actions you are taking to improve the school since the
most recent section 5 inspection.
The visit was the first monitoring inspection since the school was judged to require
improvement following the section 5 inspection in February 2015. It was carried out

under section 8 of the Education Act 2005.

Senior leaders and governors are taking effective action to tackle the areas requiring
improvement identified at the recent section 5 inspection. The school should take
further action to:

 Give a high priority to recruiting suitably qualified and experienced staff

who can support the drive for improvement at the start of the autumn

 Roll out and establish the planned programme for developing writing, and

ensure that all initiatives to enhance pupils’ literacy and mathematical
skills, and the leadership skills of middle leaders are sustained.


During the inspection, meetings were held with the headteacher, other senior and
middle leaders, two groups of pupils, including a representative group of boys across
the year groups; the Senior School Improvement representative from the local
authority and the Chair of the Governing Body and one other governor. The school
raising achievement plan was evaluated. A number of documentations were taken
into consideration; these included recent minutes of governors’ meetings,
monitoring information on pupils’ progress, the quality of teaching and teachers’

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performance. The quality of pupils’ writing was also scrutinised. One of the deputy

headteachers took me on a tour of the school and we made very short visits to
lessons in most year groups, including early years.


Following the section 5 inspection, there has been no change in staffing and the
number of pupils on roll has remained stable. The situation is however, changing as
five teachers will be leaving at the end of the current term; all for personal reasons.
An experienced teacher has been appointed to teach one class in Year 5. Senior
leaders have not made any further appointments because of extreme difficulties
recruiting experienced applicants.
The governing body has also been restructured. The school currently works in
partnership with two good local schools, Marion Richardson and Mowlem. Links with
Bishop Challoner Catholic Federation of Schools, the adjoining outstanding secondary
school is being developed.

Main findings

As the new headteacher during the last section 5 inspection, you and other senior
leaders were not surprised about the inspection judgement. Changes to improve the

school’s effectiveness were not embedded and neither was there a consistent

approach to developing good teaching practice. As a result, you have all responded
quickly and effectively to addressing the areas for improvement. Despite difficulties
with recruiting suitably qualified class teachers, you have not delayed introducing
planned improvements. Forward planning reflects careful consideration of potential
difficulties with staffing. As a result, you and the governors have increased the
capacity of senior leaders to play a leading role in sustaining the changes, as lead
practitioners while taking on classroom teaching, as necessary.

Much work has been done to develop pupils’ writing skills. Senior leaders are

maintaining a sharp focus on developing literacy skills, in particular, the quality of
writing across all subjects. Improvements include for example, targeted resources
for boys and blogging and regular, focused extended writing activity in each year
group. Additionally, in-depth colour coded marking show tangible evidence that
pupils are writing more at length, and they are using a range of writing techniques
for different purposes. A well-planned writing initiative has started in the current
term in Year 2 and is being rolled out with planned training for staff. It is, however,
too early to comment on this recent programme. Pupils are very keen to learn and
they articulate this enthusiasm very well. However, you are now aware that at times,
boys tend to lose interest in writing. They say that there are too many incidental
activities and restrictions before they can begin writing about their ideas.
Middle leaders are also involved in driving the changes. They report that the change
in culture is positive because they are leading improvement and staff are
communicating directly with them. They are responding well to the training and
advice from the local authority consultants. However, there is still more work to do
in developing their leadership and management skills. Governors are very clear
about the priorities for the school and are very much involved in working with you
and staff to improve outcomes. For example, they have been instrumental in
prompting pupils to show their understanding of persuasive writing techniques by
provoking them to present their views on whether or not school should open on
Saturdays. Governors know the school well, and provide challenge while monitoring
the progress of pupils. Your raising achievement plan is well-thought out and was
amended with the support from the local authority after you and another senior
leader attended the Ofsted seminar of Getting to good.
Ofsted may carry out further monitoring inspections and, where necessary, provide
further support and challenge to the school until its next section 5 inspection.

External support

The local authority is very supportive. You and your staff are making good use of the
targeted support and guidance from the literacy and mathematics consultants the
training provided for middle leaders. The School Improvement Officer has a good
overview of the strengths and weaknesses of the school through timed visits, and
the Targeted Intervention Group meetings. Senior officers use this forum to hold you
and other leaders to account very well. This is helping you and your senior team to
reflect on practice and become more rigorous when planning for improvement. The
local authority has indicated that support will be provided with the interview process,
if needed. Improvements have also been well supported by the partnership work
with the Mowlem and Marion Richardson primary school, in particular, the joint
reviews, assessment work and sharing of good practice in mathematics and English
have all been very helpful to developing the capacity of your staff work with Bishop
Challoner Catholic Federation of Schools to develop a mentoring reading programme
is at the early stage of development.

I am copying this letter to the Chair of the Governing Body and the Director of

Children’s Services for Tower Hamlets.

Yours sincerely
Carmen Rodney

Her Majesty’s Inspector

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