School etc

St Michael's Church of England Primary School, Stoke Gifford

St Michael's Church of England Primary School, Stoke Gifford
Ratcliffe Drive
Stoke Gifford

phone: 01454 866781

headteacher: Mr Mark Freeman Ba


school holidays: via South Gloucestershire council

632 pupils aged 4—11y mixed gender
630 pupils capacity: 100% full

325 boys 51%


310 girls 49%


Last updated: June 19, 2014

Primary — Voluntary Controlled School

Education phase
Religious character
Church of England
Establishment type
Voluntary Controlled School
Establishment #
OSGB coordinates
Easting: 362340, Northing: 180043
GPS coordinates
Latitude: 51.518, Longitude: -2.5441
Accepting pupils
4—11 years old
Census date
Jan. 16, 2014
Ofsted last inspection
March 8, 2012
Diocese of Bristol
Region › Const. › Ward
South West › Filton and Bradley Stoke › Stoke Gifford
Urban > 10k - less sparse
Free school meals %

rooms to rent in Bristol

Schools nearby

  1. 0.5 miles Abbeywood Community School BS348SF
  2. 0.5 miles Bailey's Court Primary School BS328AZ (446 pupils)
  3. 0.5 miles Abbeywood Community School BS348SF (806 pupils)
  4. 0.6 miles St Mary's Catholic Primary School BS328EJ (208 pupils)
  5. 0.6 miles Little Stoke Primary School BS346HY (170 pupils)
  6. 0.6 miles Bristol Technology and Engineering Academy BS348SF (187 pupils)
  7. 0.7 miles Little Stoke Junior School BS346HY
  8. 0.7 miles Little Stoke County Infant School BS346HY
  9. 1.1 mile Filton Hill Primary School BS347AX (196 pupils)
  10. 1.1 mile Meadowbrook Primary School BS328TA (443 pupils)
  11. 1.2 mile Poplars School BS161QU
  12. 1.2 mile Filton College BS347AT
  13. 1.2 mile University of the West of England, Bristol BS161QY
  14. 1.2 mile South Gloucestershire and Stroud College BS347AT
  15. 1.3 mile Stoke Lodge Junior School BS346DW
  16. 1.3 mile Stoke Lodge Infant School BS346DW
  17. 1.3 mile Bradley Stoke Community School BS329BS
  18. 1.3 mile Stoke Lodge Primary School BS346DW
  19. 1.3 mile Bradley Stoke Community School BS329BS (1107 pupils)
  20. 1.3 mile Stoke Lodge Primary School BS346DW (418 pupils)
  21. 1.4 mile Holy Family Catholic Primary School BS346BY (196 pupils)
  22. 1.5 mile Hambrook Primary School BS161SJ (203 pupils)
  23. 1.5 mile Wheatfield Primary School BS329DB (406 pupils)
  24. 1.5 mile Wallscourt Farm Academy BS161GE (48 pupils)

List of schools in Bristol

Age group 4–11
Inspection date(s) 8–9 March 2012
Inspection number 377891

St Michael’s Church of England Primary


Inspection report

Unique reference number 109228
Local authority South Gloucestershire
Inspection number 377891
Inspection dates 8–9 March 2012
Lead inspector John Carnaghan

This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.

Type of school Primary
School category Community
Age range of pupils 4–11
Gender of pupils Mixed
Nu mber of pupils on the school roll 597
Appropriate authority The governing body
Chair Isabel Marsden
Headteacher Mark Freeman
Date of previous school inspection 2–3 December 2008
School address Ratcliffe Drive
Stoke Gifford
BS34 8SG
Telephone number 01454 866781
Fax number 01454 866783
Email address reveal email: Stmi…

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Inspection team

John Carnaghan Additional inspector
Jill Arnold Additional inspector
George Long Additional inspector

This inspection was carried out with two days’ notice. The inspectors observed 21
lessons taught by 18 teachers, totalling 10 hours. They held meetings with staff,
pupils and members of the governing body. Inspectors took account of the
responses to the online questionnaire (Parent View) in planning the inspection. They

observed the school’s work, and looked at its policies, records and assessments as

well as questionnaires returned by staff, pupils and 152 parents and carers.

Information about the school

This is a larger than average-size primary school. The proportion of pupils known to
be eligible for free school meals is below average. The proportion of pupils from
minority ethnic backgrounds is below average. Almost all pupils speak English as
their first language. The proportion of disabled pupils and those who have special
educational needs is below average. The school meets the government’s current
floor standard, which set the minimum expectations for pupils’ attainment and

Inspection judgements

Overall effectiveness 2
Achievement of pupils 2
Quality of teaching 2
Behaviour and safety of pupils 2
Leadership and management 2

Key findings

  • This is a good school. The consistent quality of its provision has maintained a
    safe, happy environment and above average attainment. The school is not
    outstanding because not enough teaching is of outstanding quality.
  • Children make a good start to their education in the Early Years Foundation
    Stage because activities are very well planned to build reading, writing and
    mathematics skills. Children also develop good independence. Pupils make good
    progress across Years 1 to 6. Minor differences between subjects in the p ast
    have been closed because the school has reacted quickly to any anomalies.
    Strong support for individuals in danger of falling behind ensures good
    achievement for all groups of pupils.
  • Teaching is good. Teachers plan carefully so that pupils are fully challenged.
    Lessons are orderly because pupils are both naturally cooperative and well
    managed. Marking and the use of targets are excellent so pupils fully
    understand the next steps in their learning. Occasionally, teachers talk for too
    long, slowing the pace of learning and reducing opportunities for pupils’
    independence. The curriculum promotes pupils’ skills development well but
    sometimes lacks stimulating opportunities.
  • Pupils rightly feel they are safe at school and correctly report that all types of
    bullying are rare. Behaviour is good and this makes a significant contribution to
    the calm atmosphere in lessons and around the school. Relationships among
    pupils and with adults are overwhelmingly positive.
  • Strong leadership and management maintain good provision. The headteacher
    works very well with the leadership and management team and governing
    body, and there is a widely held commitment to improvement among all staff.
    Accurate self-evaluation and the rigorous leadership of teaching through
    management of performance ensure the school understands its strengths and
    weaknesses and prioritises effectively for the future.

What does the school need to do to improve further?

  • Ensure a higher proportion of teaching is outstanding by promoting best
    practice widely, ensuring that:
    all lessons run at a good pace and that pupils are not kept listening to the
    teacher for too long
    lessons provide more opportunities for pupils to work independently.
  • Develop the curriculum further so that it offers more memorable and rich
    opportunities for learning.

Main report

Achievement of pupils

Pupils make good progress because they are keen to learn and are well taught. This

happy combination is consistent to most lessons and is the foundation of the school’s

success in promoting good achievement. The vast majority of parents and carers are
rightly confident that their children are making good progress.
Children develop skills well in the Early Years Foundation Stage. An imaginatively
planned and well-taught range of activities promotes good progress across all areas
of learning. Children are particularly well prepared in developing both literacy and
numeracy skills and an independent approach to their education. Good progress
continues across both key stages. A typical example of good learning was seen in a
Year 2 lesson where pupils were creating an alliterative poem. Thorough planning

meant that all groups were kept working at full stretch to meet the teacher’s high

expectations. They worked very well in groups and enjoyed the interesting activities
because good support enabled all of them to succeed. In reading their poems aloud,
pupils showed good phonic understanding (the reading method involving letter and
sound recognition). The numerous opportunities given to pupils to read at home and
school ensure that attainment in reading at the end of both Key Stage 1 and Key
Stage 2 is above average.
The school uses assessment information with great care to identify any variations in

pupils’ progress, either at an individual level or between subjects. It then acts quickly

to close any potential gaps. For example, mathematics attainment had been a slight
concern in previous years but a focus on developing the teaching of the subject has
led to higher attainment so that it is now consistent with that in English.

Interventions that are closely focused on individual pupils’ needs mean that progress

made by all groups of pupils, including disabled pupils and those who have special
educational needs, is similar. This good provision means that attainment at the end
of Year 6 is above average and that the achievement of all groups of pupils is good.

Quality of teaching

Teachers are confident practitioners who use their good subject knowledge to plan
interesting, well-resourced sessions that build well on previous learning. Teachers
have high expectations of pupils in their care and set challenging targets. Pupils are
well aware of these and work enthusiastically to meet them. Parents and carers are
rightly confident that their children are well taught. One typically favourable
comment from a parent mentioned strategies the school had put in place to help her

daughter, writing, ‘I am pleased to say she is catching up through the dedication and

support of the staff.’
Typically, lessons are characterised by a range of focused activities that are planned
to offer the correct challenge to all groups of pupils. Teachers question pupils
skilfully; this contributes to their ability to adapt tasks and their explanations to
improve learning. In an outstanding mathematics lesson on angles to Year 6, the

lesson had an energy and purpose driven by the teacher’s confidence and high
expectations. The pupils’ reaction was exemplary as they strove to complete tasks

quickly and accurately. Lessons in the Early Years Foundation Stage are often highly
creative, such as when a Reception class were considering the life-cycle of the frog.
Remarkably, the physical simulation of frogspawn and tadpoles was continued at
break time as the teacher enthusiastically led children’s wriggling and miming in the
outdoor play area.
Teachers give many opportunities for pupils to work together harmoniously. This and
their consistently good behaviour make a strong contribution to the development of
their moral and social skills. The curriculum is planned so there are strong links
across subjects giving pupils good opportunities to develop skills, such as using
computers, as they tackle topics that incorporate a variety of subjects. Assessment,
target setting and marking of pupils’ work is consistently excellent and enables pupils
to have a clear grasp of their next steps in their learning. The teaching of phonics

and development of reading generally is systematic, contributing to pupils’

confidence and good progress in this area.
Some lessons lack the pace and drive of the best. Sometimes, teachers talk for too
long and pupils have too few opportunities for independence, become fidgety and
find concentration difficult. Tasks are not always given tight deadlines so the pace of
learning occasionally flags.

Behaviour and safety of pupils

Parents, carers and pupils are rightly complimentary about behaviour and safety at
the school. Positive attitudes to school life generally and to learning in particular
contribute strongly to progress made in class and to pupils’ overall achievement. The

school’s supportive approach to managing behaviour is consistently applied and

includes a clear system of rewards and sanctions. A very small number of pupils
require and receive firm guidance to conform to the school’s high expectations;
however, instances of poor behaviour are declining. The school is a very harmonious
community where, typically, pupils are courteous, respectful and considerate.
Most pupils are aware of the different types of bullying. They report that on the rare
occasions when bullying occurs it is fully investigated and followed up with

appropriate action. Pupils report that St Michael’s is a happy school; their punctuality

is good and attendance is above average.
Pupils are well briefed in assemblies and throughout the curriculum about safe and
unsafe situations. They report that they feel safe at school and have a good

understanding of how to avoid risks both on the internet and the busy local roads.

Leadership and management

Leaders, managers and the governing body share and communicate a strong
ambition for the school and work together well to maximise opportunities for pupils.

Relatively recent appointments to the senior team have strengthened the school’s

capabilities. The rigorous leadership of teaching, including using assessment data to
manage staff performance, has eliminated many weaknesses so that lessons have a
number of strengths in common and consistently promote good progress. The
capable governing body has an excellent understanding of the school developed
through systematic monitoring; it offers support and challenge in equal measure.
Governors have been instrumental in assuring that all safeguarding policies and
procedures are appropriately rigorous and that safeguarding arrangements meet
Many staff at the school use the plentiful assessment information perceptively. It is
utilised to identify pupils whose progress is in danger of stalling; the school calls up
appropriate actions from a menu of available interventions so that all groups are able
to make similar progress to their peers. This ensures equality of opportunity for all
and that there is no discrimination.
The school has consolidated previous good achievement, noted in the last inspection.
The new staffing structure and more distributive leadership and management have
brought a wider range of capabilities to running the school. Issues from the previous
inspection have been thoroughly addressed and above-average attainment has been
maintained. The school’s well-focused plans for the future are regularly reviewed by

staff and members of the governing body. The school’s capacity for continuing

improvement is good.
The school provides a well-balanced, relevant curriculum. It is planned to

progressively develop pupils’ skills. For example, cross-curricular activities linked to

popular history topics, such as the Victorians, comprehensively promote extended
writing. There are opportunities to enjoy music, and the school uses information and
communication technology well to enliven learning. Despite these strengths, the
curriculum does not provide many distinctly memorable experiences for pupils.

Elements of the curriculum contribute effectively to pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and

cultural development. Active groups like the school council and the eco group
encourage responsibility and a consideration of moral issues. Partnerships with

outside groups, like theatres, do much to enhance pupils’ good cultural awareness.

The school has been very proactive in reaching out to families. Information flows

freely from school to homes and vice versa. Forums, briefing sessions, parents’ and
carers’ evenings, an active parent/teacher association and the effective school

website all contribute well to excellent links with parents and carers.


What inspection judgements mean

Grade Judgement Description
Grade 1 Outstanding These features are highly effective. An outstanding
school provides exceptionally well for all its pupils’ needs.
Grade 2 Good These are very positive features of a school. A school
that is good is serving its pupils well.
Grade 3 Satisfactory These features are of reasonable quality. A satisfactory
school is providing adequately for its pupils.
Grade 4 Inadequate These features are not of an acceptable standard. An
inadequate school needs to make significant
improvement in order to meet the needs of its pupils.
Ofsted inspectors will make further visits until it

Overall effectiveness of schools

Overall effectiveness judgement (percentage of schools)
Type of school Outstanding Good Satisfactory Inadequate
Nursery schools 46 46 8 0
Primary schools 8 47 40 5
14 38 40 8
Special schools 28 48 20 4
Pupil referral
15 50 29 5
All schools 11 46 38 6

New school inspection arrangements have been introduced from 1 January 2012. This means that
inspectors make judgements that were not made previously.
The data in the table above are for the period 1 September 2010 to 31 August 2011 and repres ent
judgements that were made under the school inspection arrangements that were introduced on 1
September 2009. These data are consistent with the latest published official statistics about
maintained school inspection outcomes (see
The sample of schools inspected during 2010/11 was not representative of all schools nationally, as
weaker schools are inspected more frequently than good or outstanding schools.
Primary schools include primary academy converters. Secondary schools include secondary academy
converters, sponsor-led academies and city technology colleges. Special schools include special
academy converters and non-maintained special schools.

Percentages are rounded and do not always add exactly to 100.

Common terminology used by inspectors

Achievement: the progress and success of a pupil in their

learning and development taking account of their

Attainment: the standard of the pupils’ work shown by test and

examination results and in lessons.

Attendance the regular attendance of pupils at school and in

lessons, taking into account the school’s efforts to

encourage good attendance.

Behaviour how well pupils behave in lessons, with emphasis

on their attitude to learning. Pupils’ punctuality to

lessons and their conduct around the school.

Capacity to improve: the proven ability of the school to continue

improving based on its self-evaluation and what
the school has accomplished so far and on the
quality of its systems to maintain improvement.

Leadership and management: the contribution of all the staff with responsibilities,

not just the governors and headteacher, to
identifying priorities, directing and motivating staff
and running the school.

Learning: how well pupils acquire knowledge, develop their

understanding, learn and practise skills and are
developing their competence as learners.

Overall effectiveness: inspectors form a judgement on a school’s overall

effectiveness based on the findings from their
inspection of the school.

Progress: the rate at which pupils are learning in lessons and

over longer periods of time. It is often measured

by comparing the pupils’ attainment at the end of a

key stage with their attainment when they started.

Safety how safe pupils are in school, including in lessons;

and their understanding of risks. Pupils’ freedom
from bullying and harassment. How well the school
promotes safety, for example e-learning.

12 March 2012
Dear Pupils

Inspection of St Michael’s Church of England Primary School, Stoke
Gifford, BS34 8SG

Many thanks for the warm welcome that you gave to the inspectors when we
recently visited St Michael’s. We were all pleased to see how happy you are at school
and would like to compliment you on your good behaviour and enthusiasm for
St Michaels is a good school. Teaching is good and really helps you learn, so that you
make good progress during your time at school. The attainment of pupils by the time
they leave Year 6 is better than the average for pupils of this age. You are well
looked after and the school keeps you safe. The headteacher, the governing body
and the staff team work very well together to keep up high standards and to plan for
the future.
I have asked the school to make some improvements.

  • improve teaching by making sure that lessons are never too slow, that teachers
    do not talk for too long and that you are given every chance to work
  • develop the curriculum so that it is even more exciting and interesting.
    All of you can help the school continue to improve by maintaining your very positive
    attitudes to your education. Once again, many thanks for all your help.
    Yours sincerely
    John Carnaghan
    Lead inspector

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