The Marlborough Primary School
Headteacher: Mrs Susan Pollard
342 pupils, Mixed
|Unique Reference Number||111027|
|Local Authority||Cheshire East|
|Inspection dates||20–21 October 2009|
|Reporting inspector||Michael Hewlett|
|Type of school||Primary|
|Age range of pupils||4–11|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Number of pupils on the school roll||369|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Chair||Mr Andrew Mierzejewski|
|Headteacher||Mrs Susan Pollard|
|Date of previous school inspection||18 April 2007|
|School address||Tytherington Drive|
|Cheshire SK10 2HJ|
|Telephone number||01625 383050|
|Fax number||01625 612918|
|Inspection dates||20–21 October 2009|
© Crown copyright 2009
This inspection was carried out by three additional inspectors. The inspectors visited 15 lessons, and held meetings with governors, staff, groups of pupils and spoke informally to parents and carers. They observed the school's work, and looked at school policies and documentation, pupils' work, assessment data, monitoring records, strategic planning and minutes of governors' meetings. They also scrutinised 119 questionnaires returned by parents and carers as well as 20 questionnaires from staff and 71 from Key Stage 2 pupils.
The inspection team reviewed many aspects of the school's work. It looked in detail at the following:
The Marlborough is larger than most primary schools. It serves a mixed area and pupils come from a range of social and economic backgrounds. The proportion of pupils eligible for a free school meal is below average as is the proportion of pupils identified with special educational needs and/or disabilities. Most pupils are of White British heritage. The number of pupils for whom English is not the first language is below average and very few are at the early stage of language acquisition. The Early Years Foundation Stage consists of two classes for children of Reception age. The school has a number of external awards including Investors in People, Healthy Schools Status and Sports Activemark. There have been significant changes in senior leadership roles in recent years. The headteacher and all of the senior leaders have joined the school within the last two years.
Rooms on the site are used for a pre-school group and an after-school club, both managed independently of the school. These settings were not subject to this inspection.
|Inspection grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is satisfactory, and 4 is inadequate|
|Please turn to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms|
Overall effectiveness: how good is the school?
The school's capacity for sustained improvement
This is a satisfactory school with some good features. The new leadership team, through its accurate and honest self-evaluation, is starting to address the issues which resulted in pupils' previous underachievement. The headteacher, in particular, has been instrumental in driving through much needed changes. There is still more to be done with leaders at all levels needing to monitor work with greater rigour and set challenging targets for all groups of pupils. Despite some fluctuating results at the end of Key Stage 2, there is convincing evidence to show that the school is improving and its capacity to sustain momentum and improve still further is satisfactory. There is a cohesive and committed approach towards improving the school. The vast majority who responded to the staff survey indicated a wholehearted support for the direction that the school is taking.
This is a caring and supportive school. Among its strengths are the good quality pastoral care, guidance and support and its safeguarding procedures which ensure that pupils feel safe and are valued. Pupils are confident, very polite, behave well and have commendably positive attitudes towards their learning. They enjoy coming to school and are keen to contribute to their school community. Pupils take their responsibilities seriously and care well for each other. They acknowledge the changes made in school recently with comments such as, 'Lessons are fun but we have to work harder and we are learning more'. Relationships throughout the school are good and this has helped to create a positive and purposeful atmosphere.
Most children enter the school with skills expected for their age. Because of good support and provision in the Early Years Foundation Stage, the majority make good progress. This picture is continued into Key Stage 1, so that by the end of Year 2 the majority of pupils reach standards that are above average. In Key Stage 2, progress is only satisfactory with some groups of pupils making less progress than they should. This explains why the standards pupils reach by the end of the Key Stage, although not less than average and sometimes above, are often inconsistent and fluctuate from year-to-year. In the past, there has been insufficient monitoring of the quality of teaching and learning and of pupils' achievement by school leaders. In addition, there are too few opportunities for pupils to apply their skills, including those in information and communication technology (ICT), across the curriculum.
Teaching is satisfactory overall with a few lessons judged to be good or outstanding. There are not enough of these better lessons because some teachers plan work which is insufficiently challenging to meet pupils' needs. As a result, there is a lack of pace and urgency in some lessons resulting in slower progress for pupils.
Outcomes for individuals and groups of pupils
Pupils are keen and enthusiastic learners. They value the support they receive and enjoy their lessons. When the work planned for them is challenging and well matched to their differing abilities, pupils work with good levels of concentration. In some lessons, more-able pupils do not make as much progress as they could because the tasks set do not provide sufficient challenge or keep their interest.
Standards are broadly average and achievement is satisfactory overall. The rate of progress made by pupils in Early Years Foundation Stage and in Key Stage 1 is faster than in Key Stage 2. The school's accurate self-evaluation explains why this is the case and, more importantly, the action needed to improve the situation. A telling example of the positive impact of changes made and the school's satisfactory capacity to improve, is its success in improving standards in writing. The recent whole-school focus has resulted in a greater consistency in the way writing is taught.
Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities, and the few who do not speak English as their first language, make good progress relative to their starting points. This is because the school has high expectations, pupils benefit from regular and specialist teaching, and support is very well focused on their individual needs.
Pupils behave well in lessons, on the playground and around the school, with older pupils taking good care of younger ones and helping them to join in games. Pupils say they feel safe in school and the vast majority of parents and carers agree that this is the case. Pupils have a good understanding of how to ensure their own safety and are considerate of the safety and well-being of others. They have a good understanding of how to lead a healthy lifestyle. Pupils enjoy physical activities, taking part enthusiastically in the wide range of sporting opportunities provided for them. They also choose the healthy options in the school canteen. Pupils play an active part in the school community, for example, as school councillors and 'playground buddies'. There are some good examples of improvements initiated by the school council such as 'safeguarding buddies'. Pupils say their playtimes are more enjoyable now that these improvements have been made. Attendance is above average and punctuality is good. Pupils develop satisfactory workplace skills through working both in teams and independently. Pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is satisfactory. They show many of the necessary skills and personal qualities required to live and work together successfully within their own community. Their experience of engaging with other cultural groups is limited.
These are the grades for pupils' outcomes
|Pupils' achievement and the extent to which they enjoy their learning|
Taking into account:
The quality of pupils' learning and their progress
The quality of learning for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities and their progress
|The extent to which pupils feel safe||2|
|The extent to which pupils adopt healthy lifestyles||2|
|The extent to which pupils contribute to the school and wider community||3|
|The extent to which pupils develop workplace and other skills that will contribute to their future economic well-being|
Taking into account:
|The extent of pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development||3|
1 The grades for attainment and attendance are: 1 is high; 2 is above average; 3 is broadly average; and 4 is low
Teaching is satisfactory overall, although a few lessons are good or outstanding. Where teaching is most effective, lessons are well planned, teachers have good subject knowledge and give clear explanations. Their questioning of pupils is insightful and this helps to accurately assess pupils' understanding. The pace of these lessons is lively and brisk and pupils enjoy their learning. For example, in one mathematics lesson, tasks set for pupils were reshaped when it became clear some groups were finding tasks too easy. As a result, all the groups represented in the class made good progress. However, this does not happen often enough and in the less successful lessons, planning and teaching does not take enough account of the differing needs of the pupils and what they already know. More-able pupils are insufficiently challenged and resources, such as ICT, are not used well enough to support their learning.
The curriculum has been revised in recent times to make it more interesting and relevant for pupils. This is a positive development but it has not yet translated into a demonstrable impact on pupils' achievement. The curriculum is well adapted to meet the needs of pupils with specific learning needs. It is further enriched by a good range of visits, visitors and extra-curricular clubs.
There are strong systems for providing for pupils' pastoral needs. The headteacher makes sure she is available to meet families regularly and all adults take pupils' concerns and worries seriously. There are good opportunities for pupils to discuss
issues in class, which contribute to developing their self-confidence and empathy with others. Local, national and world events are discussed in assemblies, giving pupils some insight into issues beyond school and home. All systems for ensuring pupils' safety and well-being are robust. Effective liaison with a range of agencies help staff provide for individual pupil's needs. Good links with both pre-school groups and secondary schools ensure pupils confidently move to the next stage of their education.
These are the grades for the quality of provision
|The quality of teaching|
Taking into account:
The use of assessment to support learning
|The extent to which the curriculum meets pupils' needs, including, where relevant, through partnerships||3|
|The effectiveness of care, guidance and support||2|
The highly effective headteacher, supported by the newly assembled leadership team, has established an ethos which is single-mindedly determined to improve pupils' achievement. Discussions with staff, and their responses in the questionnaires, clearly demonstrate their enthusiasm and their wholehearted commitment to school improvement. However, many of the staff with leadership responsibilities are new so changes they have made are relatively recent and have yet to feed through into improved outcomes for pupils.
The governors are well led and organised. They are now providing more effective challenge and support to the school, for example, through regularly meeting with the headteacher and staff and by closely monitoring performance.The headteacher and governors have a clear view of what works well in the school and what needs to improve. The targets set are challenging and based on accurate evidence. Improved assessment systems show that pupils' progress is starting to accelerate, particularly in Key Stage 2.
The school has a positive relationship with parents and carers and seeks out their views and opinions about important issues. Partnerships with other providers and organisations are well established. They help to promote pupils' learning and well-being and provide satisfactory value for money. Marlborough is an inclusive school and actively promotes equality of opportunity and tackles discrimination. Nevertheless, it recognises that some groups of pupils have underperformed in the past. Inspectors evaluated the effectiveness of safeguarding procedures and found that they meet requirements and are consistently applied. Safeguarding is at the heart of the school's work and it responds promptly to any concerns raised.
The school makes a satisfactory contribution to community cohesion. Within the school community itself and at a local level, there are some good elements, for example, through the harvest celebration where pupils learn to share with the older generation. However, the school recognises that more work is needed to develop pupils' understanding of other communities within Britain and across the world.
These are the grades for leadership and management
|The effectiveness of leadership and management in embedding ambition and driving improvement|
Taking into account:
The leadership and management of teaching and learning
|The effectiveness of the governing body in challenging and supporting the|
school so that weaknesses are tackled decisively and statutory responsibilities met
|The effectiveness of the school's engagement with parents and carers||3|
|The effectiveness of partnerships in promoting learning and well-being||3|
|The effectiveness with which the school promotes equality of opportunity and tackles discrimination||3|
|The effectiveness of safeguarding procedures||2|
|The effectiveness with which the school promotes community cohesion||3|
|The effectiveness with which the school deploys resources to achieve value for money||3|
Children enter the Early Years Foundation Stage in Reception classes, with skills and understanding that are broadly average. The majority make good progress, relative to their starting points, in all areas of learning. They are particularly successful in improving their communication, language and literacy and mathematical skills. Most reach and many exceed the expected goals by the time they transfer to Year 1.
Children behave well and they demonstrate good levels of independence in their learning. The attractive and well organised learning environment is commented on positively by parents and carers who believe that it fosters children's enjoyment of learning and makes them feel proud of the work they produce. There is the right balance between teacher-led and child-initiated activities and children are more than happy to talk to visitors about their work, including the 'tasty pizzas' they are making. Assessment is good and staff have an accurate picture of the progress the children are making. Children have full confidence in the adults who work with them.
The Early Years Foundation Stage leader ensures that policies, records and procedures are fully in place. Relationships between staff, parents and carers and their children are good and families receive useful advice on how they can support their children's learning at home.
These are the grades for the Early Years Foundation Stage
|Overall effectiveness of the Early Years Foundation Stage|
Taking into account:
Outcomes for children in the Early Years Foundation Stage
The quality of provision in the Early Years Foundation Stage
The effectiveness of leadership and management of the Early Years Foundation
One hundred and nineteen parents and carers responded to the questionnaire. A very large majority of those who returned the form expressed satisfaction with the school. However, a very small minority indicated that they felt unhappy about safeguarding and pupils' behaviour. Inspectors do not agree with these negative views finding that pupils' behaviour and the arrangements for safeguarding are both good. One parent captured the views of others with the comment that, 'This is a school to be proud of. I am very impressed with the headteacher'.
Ofsted invited all the registered parents and carers of pupils registered at The Marlborough Primary School to complete a questionnaire about their views of the school.
In the questionnaire, parents and carers were asked to record how strongly they agreed with 13 statements about the school.
The inspection team received 119 completed questionnaires by the end of the on-site inspection. In total, there are 398 pupils registered at the school.
|My child enjoys school||85||71||32||27||1||1||0||0|
|The school keeps my child safe||72||61||42||35||0||0||2||2|
|My school informs me about my child's progress||69||58||45||38||4||3||0||0|
|My child is making enough progress at this school||69||58||42||35||4||3||0||0|
|The teaching is good at this school||75||63||38||32||3||3||0||0|
|The school helps me to support my child's learning||66||55||47||39||3||3||0||0|
|The school helps my child to have a healthy lifestyle||65||55||45||38||4||3||0||0|
|The school makes sure that my child is well prepared for the future (for example changing year group, changing school, and for children who are finishing school, entering further or higher education, or entering employment)||69||58||34||29||0||0||0||0|
|The school meets my child's particular needs||58||49||51||43||2||2||1||1|
|The school deals effectively with unacceptable behaviour||51||43||53||45||9||8||8||7|
|The school takes account of my suggestions and concerns||55||46||53||45||2||2||1||1|
|The school is led and managed effectively||75||63||37||31||0||0||4||3|
|Overall, I am happy with my child's experience at this school||87||73||27||23||3||3||0||0|
The table above summarises the responses that parents and carers made to each statement. The percentages indicate the proportion of parents and carers giving that response out of the total number of completed questionnaires. Where one or more parents and carers chose not to answer a particular question, the percentages will not add up to 100%.
|Grade 1||Outstanding||These features are highly effective. An oustanding 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 improves.|
|Overall effectiveness judgement (percentage of schools)|
|Type of school||Outstanding||Good||Satisfactory||Inadequate|
|Pupil referral |
the progress and success of a pupil in their learning, development or training.
the standard of the pupils' work shown by test and examination results and in lessons.
|Capacity to improve:|
the proven ability of the school to continue improving. Inspectors base this judgement on 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 headteacher, to identifying priorities, directing and motivating staff and running the school.
how well pupils acquire knowledge, develop their understanding, learn and practise skills and are developing their competence as learners.
inspectors form a judgement on a school's overall effectiveness based on the findings from their inspection of the school. The following judgements, in particular, influence what the overall effectiveness judgement will be.
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.
21 October 2009
Inspection of The Marlborough Primary School, Macclesfield, SK10 2HJ
Thank you for making me and the other inspectors so welcome when we visited your school recently and for helping us with the inspection. We really enjoyed chatting to you and the grown-ups, looking at your work and sharing your lessons.
I am sure that you are keen to hear what we thought about your school. We have agreed that it is providing a satisfactory standard of education for all of you.
These are the things that were good about your school:
To help it improve even more, I have asked your headteacher, teachers and governors to do the following:
You can help by listening carefully in class and trying even harder.
Good luck in the future!
Mr Michael Hewlett
|Any complaints about the inspection or the report should be made following the procedures set out in the guidance 'Complaining about inspections', which is available from Ofsted's website: ofsted.gov.uk. If you would like Ofsted to send you a copy of the guidance, please telephone 08456 404045, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.|