Stanwix Primary School
phone: 01228 596069
headteacher: Mrs K McMullan
385 pupils capacity: 111% full
225 boys 53%
205 girls 48%
Last updated: June 19, 2014
Primary — Community School
- Education phase
- Establishment type
- Community School
- Establishment #
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 340102, Northing: 557168
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 54.906, Longitude: -2.9357
- Accepting pupils
- 4—11 years old
- Census date
- Jan. 16, 2014
- Ofsted last inspection
- April 30, 2013
- Region › Const. › Ward
- North West › Carlisle › Stanwix Urban
- Urban > 10k - less sparse
- Free school meals %
- 0.1 miles Cumbria College of Art and Design CA39AY
- 0.1 miles Cumbria Institute of the Arts CA39AY
- 0.4 miles Belah Primary School CA39JZ
- 0.6 miles Trinity School CA11JB
- 0.6 miles Austin Friars St Monica's CA39PB (459 pupils)
- 0.6 miles St Monica's Preparatory School CA39PL
- 0.6 miles Trinity School CA11JB (1539 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Newman Catholic School CA11NA (615 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Carlisle College CA11HS
- 0.7 miles University of Cumbria CA38TB
- 0.7 miles Education and Youth Services Ltd, Carlisle CA11EJ (7 pupils)
- 0.8 miles Eden School CA39AA
- 0.8 miles Richard Rose Central Academy CA11LY (867 pupils)
- 0.9 miles St Aidan's County High School Specialist Sports College CA11LY
- 0.9 miles Eden Park Academy CA11JZ (8 pupils)
- 1 mile Kingmoor Junior School CA30DU (244 pupils)
- 1 mile Kingmoor Infant School CA30ES (240 pupils)
- 1 mile Caldew Lea School CA27BE (289 pupils)
- 1 mile Brunswick Centre CA11PB
- 1.2 mile Norman Street Primary School CA12BQ (339 pupils)
- 1.3 mile Newtown Community Primary School CA27LW (114 pupils)
- 1.3 mile Brook Street Primary School CA12JB (249 pupils)
- 1.3 mile James Rennie School CA30BU (137 pupils)
- 1.4 mile Houghton CofE School CA30PA (135 pupils)
Stanwix Primary School
Church Street, Stanwix, Carlisle, Cumbria, CA3 9DW
|Inspection dates||30 April–1 May 2013|
|Overall effectiveness||This inspection:||Good||2|
|Achievement of pupils||Good||2|
|Quality of teaching||Good||2|
|Behaviour and safety of pupils||Outstanding||1|
|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
| Throughout their time at Stanwix pupils make |
Teaching is good and some is outstanding.
All staff are dedicated to providing a
good progress overall. Their achievement in
reading is much higher than the national
average; in mathematics their achievement is
There are many interesting activities in
lessons which the pupils enjoy. Pupils
particularly enjoy their topic work which
captures their imagination and helps them to
further develop their literacy and numeracy
stimulating and safe environment in which
pupils learn well and develop into responsible
young people. The school’s relationship with
parents is exceptionally strong.
| The behaviour of pupils is outstanding. From |
This is an improving school where leaders and
an early age, pupils clearly enjoy school and
this is demonstrated in their eagerness to
learn. They show a great deal of respect
towards each other and to all the staff and
visitors to the school. They are polite,
courteous, work hard and take pride in all that
managers have successfully introduced recent
changes to enhance further the quality of
teaching. The dedicated governing body
provides a good balance of support and
challenge for the school.
| Not enough pupils make better than expected |
progress, particularly in writing. In some
lessons, pupils are not always given work
which challenges them to reach their full
| Occasionally, teachers do not check on pupils’ |
Some plans for whole-school improvement lack
understanding regularly enough during lessons.
There are inconsistencies in the quality of
teachers’ marking and pupils are not always
given time in lessons to improve their work.
Information about this inspection
- The inspectors observed 21 teachers and visited 24 lessons. There were two joint observations,
one with the headteacher and the other with the deputy headteacher. In addition, inspectors
made a number of short visits to lessons and listened to pupils reading.
- Discussions were held with school staff, groups of pupils, parents, senior teachers and subject
leaders, a representative from the local authority and the members of the governing body.
- The inspectors observed the school’s work and looked at a wide range of documentation
including safeguarding documents, the school’s self-evaluation and development plans, local
authority reports, records of pupils’ current attainment and progress, documents relating to
attendance and pupils’ behaviour, and pupils’ work in books.
- There were 63 responses to the on-line questionnaire (Parent View) prior to the inspection and
these were taken into account when planning the inspection. A further 50 responses were
recorded during the inspection and these were also considered by the inspectors.
|Naomi Taylor, Lead inspector||Additional Inspector|
|Adrian Francis||Additional Inspector|
|Derek Sleightholme||Additional Inspector|
Information about this school
- Stanwix is a larger than average sized primary school.
- Almost all pupils are of White British heritage.
- The proportion of pupils known to be eligible for the pupil premium (additional funding provided
by the government to support pupils known to be eligible for free school meals, children looked
after by the local authority and the children of military personnel) is much lower than average.
- The proportion of pupils supported at school action is about half the national average as is the
proportion supported at school action plus or with a statement of special educational needs.
- There have been significant changes in staff since the previous inspection and a new
management structure took effect in September 2012.
- The school meets the government’s current floor standards, which set the minimum expectations
for pupils’ attainment and progress in English and mathematics.
What does the school need to do to improve further?
- Increase the proportion of outstanding teaching to further raise achievement, particularly in
- planning more precisely to provide appropriate challenge for pupils of all ability levels so that
pupils reach their full potential
- ensuring greater consistency in teachers’ written feedback to ensure clarity in pupils’
understanding of how to improve their work and providing regular time to correct and edit
- regularly and consistently checking how well pupils are understanding their work and adapting
- Ensure that managers at all levels use their planning and checking of how well pupils are
progressing to inform necessary changes within prescribed timescales.
|The achievement of pupils||is good|
- Children settle very well into the Early Years Foundation Stage. This is as a result of very
effective transition arrangements between school and home. Most children join Reception with
skills that are in line with those typically expected for their age. Children do well in the Early
Years Foundation Stage and this continues in Years 1 and 2. They join Year 3 with attainment
levels which are higher than those typical for their age.
- Throughout Key Stage 2, pupils make good progress overall in English and reach standards
which are higher than the national average. Achievement in English is good but reading is much
stronger than writing. Not enough pupils make better than expected progress in writing.
Strategies to address this are at an early stage but pupils do now have more opportunities to
develop their writing across other subjects and through topics.
- Pupils who read to the inspectors demonstrated how to work out unfamiliar words and read with
expression. Older pupils talked animatedly about the range and amount of books. By the time
they leave school pupils’ ability to read is exceptionally strong.
- Standards reached in mathematics by the end of Year 6 are exceptionally high and the
achievement of pupils is outstanding. They systematically develop skills in mental mathematics
and problem-solving which prepares them extremely well for the next stage in their education.
- Pupils who are supported by extra funding (the pupil premium) have been making similar, and
sometimes better progress compared to that of their classmates. Test results show that there
are no significant gaps between the standards they reach and those reached by other pupils in
school. In 2012 pupils eligible for free school meals attained standards similar to those of their
peers in English and in mathematics. This demonstrates effective use of the extra money and
demonstrates the school’s commitment to equality of opportunity.
- Disabled pupils and those with special educational needs make similar progress to that of other
pupils due to timely and sharply focused help from teachers and teaching assistants.
|The quality of teaching||is good|
- Teaching is consistently good throughout the school and some teaching is outstanding.
- Where teaching is at its best, teachers and teaching assistants plan lessons very well together to
ensure that pupils are given work to get the best out of them. Consequently, pupils learn rapidly
because they are given work which matches their ability and they are finding out things for
- An example of this was seen in a mathematics lesson. The teacher asked the pupils to plan a
journey from Carlisle to London on a specific date with a deadline for the time of arrival. With
partners, they used the Internet to help in planning a specific route using different modes of
transport. Pupils were highly motivated and clearly enjoying finding out things for themselves
and using their skills in mathematics to make their choices. Outstanding progress in problem-
solving was made by all pupils in this lesson.
- In a Year 3 English lesson, good teaching was seen. The teacher had carefully planned for pupils
to learn how to independently improve the stories they had started in a previous lesson. As a
class, they looked at a piece of work together to show their understanding of how to improve
the writing with better punctuation and by adding adverbs and adjectives. They then worked on
their own story and made good progress in editing and improving their work.
- Changes have been made to the teaching of reading skills. These have been successful and have
resulted in improvements in pupils’ ability to link letters to the sounds they make.
- Occasionally, teachers do not plan work precisely enough to meet the needs of all ability groups.
They do not always check how well pupils are understanding their work and adapt their lessons
accordingly which slows progress.
- The headteacher and deputy headteacher have secured improvements in the accuracy of
teachers’ assessment of pupils’ work. Although there are excellent examples, particularly in Year
2, of detailed next steps in how to improve their writing and time built into lessons for pupils to
edit and correct their work, this is not yet consistent throughout the school.
- The pupil premium funding is used primarily to provide precise activities for individuals and,
sometimes, groups of pupils. Good relationships and tasks that are tailored very well to pupils’
different needs mean that there are no gaps between those pupils whose circumstances might
put them at risk and their peers in school.
|The behaviour and safety of pupils||are outstanding|
- When children join Stanwix, they learn from an early age how to value each other, the adults
around them and their strong school community which one member of staff described as ‘a big
family’. There is an exceptionally strong atmosphere of mutual respect starting in Reception and
continuing throughout the school. This leads to pupils feeling happy, safe and secure. This is
reflected in their above average attendance and their punctuality in the mornings, which is very
- Pupils behave exceptionally well both in lessons and around the school and this results in
extremely good attitudes to learning and care towards each other. This was reflected in
conversations with pupils and their families, and from the vast majority of views expressed on
Parent View. Almost all parents expressed their confidence in the school.
- The older pupils really do enjoy taking responsibility and train as young leaders, organising
sporting activities for the younger children.
- Sport plays a big part in school life and staff and specialist sports coaches ensure that teams do
well in local and national competitions.
- It is clear that there is confidence in Stanwix to provide not only a good standard of education
for children but also to ensure that children are safe and secure and learn how to keep
themselves safe both within the school environment and beyond. The annual Healthy Lifestyles
Week brings in professionals to deepen pupils’ understanding of keeping healthy.
- Pupils say that bullying is not an issue at this school although they do learn about different types
of bullying and, for example, how to stay safe when using the Internet. They are adamant that
they could turn to any adult in the school if they felt unsafe and that there are clear procedures
that would deal with issues, should they arise.
- The creative curriculum is enhanced by a raft of trips and visits contributing to pupils
enthusiastically learning about the breadth of cultures within Britain and overseas.
|The leadership and management||are good|
- The headteacher and deputy headteacher have a good understanding of how to drive whole-
school improvement. The school’s systems to check pupils’ progress are now strong. These are
used alongside other procedures to plan effective changes, but the timescales to reach targets
are not always precise enough.
- Leaders and managers check the quality of teaching and measure effectively how well staff are
meeting their various areas of responsibility. All staff are well supported through training
opportunities both within the school and beyond and improvements to the quality of teaching
- A new management structure came into place in September 2012 and new initiatives are being
embedded. A seconded literacy coordinator has undertaken a thorough review of how writing is
taught across the school and improvements are beginning to be seen.
- The creative curriculum provides topic work such as ‘The Imaginary World’ and this is highly
motivating for pupils. They develop skills in finding out things for themselves and enjoy using a
range of resources including information and communication technology.
- Since the previous inspection there have been improvements to the outdoor area for the Early
Years Foundation Stage. There is now a good balance of teacher-led activities and opportunities
for children to explore things for themselves both in the classroom and outdoors. The
improvements are valued by parents. Consequently, the number of pupils joining the school is
growing because of the school’s deservedly good reputation among parents.
- The governance of the school:
The governing body are committed to continually driving improvements at this school. They
ensure that the school fulfils its statutory responsibilities; all staff have been vetted and
trained appropriately to keep pupils safe. They have an accurate overview of overall provision.
The governing body works closely with the senior leadership team. Governors challenge staff
on pupils’ progress and have a secure understanding of data. This level of enquiry and
accountability contributes to shaping the short- and long-term plans for the school based on
how well pupils are progressing compared to other schools. Governors are aware of the quality
of teaching which is linked to teachers’ pay based on meeting targets. They are checking that
staff make effective use of pupil premium funding to ensure equality of opportunity.
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||112221|
This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.
|Type of school||Primary|
|Age range of pupils||4–11|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Number of pupils on the school roll||427|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Date of previous school inspection||22 April 2008|
|Telephone number||01228 596069|
|Fax number||01228 550605|