Trinity St Mary's CofE Primary School
6 Balham Park Road
Headteacher: Ms Julie Davey
Diocese of Southwark
256 pupils, Mixed
|Unique Reference Number||101047|
|Inspection dates||16–17 March 2009|
|Reporting inspector||George Rayner|
This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.
The registered childcare, managed by the governing body, was inspected under section 49 of the Childcare Act 2006.
|Type of school||Primary|
|School category||Voluntary controlled|
|Age range of pupils||3–11|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Number on roll|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Chair||Mrs Sarah McDermott|
|Headteacher||Ms Julie Davey|
|Date of previous school inspection||30 January 2006|
Date of previous funded early education|
|Not previously inspected|
|Date of previous childcare inspection||Not previously inspected|
|School address||6 Balham Park Road|
|Telephone number||020 8673 4166|
|Fax number||020 8675 8887|
|Inspection dates||16–17 March 2009|
© Crown copyright 2009
The inspection was carried out by two Additional Inspectors.
The great majority of pupils come from minority ethnic groups, with Black African and Caribbean communities the most strongly represented. Over a third of pupils speak English as an additional language and a higher proportion than in most schools are still at an early stage of learning English. The proportion of pupils with learning difficulties and/or disabilities is well above average. The most common needs of these pupils are related to difficulty in developing speech, language and communication skills. The proportion of pupils entitled to free school meals is well above average, as is that of pupils who enrol and leave the school other than at the normal times. The school provides for children in the Early Years Foundation Stage in a Nursery and a Reception class.
Overall effectiveness of the school
This is a good school. Parents agree. They say that their children are happy here and that they make good progress. Their highly positive views are typified by the comment of one who wrote, 'My daughter is eager to get ready for school in the mornings. I made the right decision in sending her to this lovely school'. The school cares extremely well for pupils, so that they are very safe and feel secure and happy. They really enjoy school and show this through their good behaviour and willingness to join in with all that it offers. Most pupils attend school regularly, but too frequent absences slow the progress of a few.
Overall standards in English, mathematics and science are below average at the end of Year 6. Nevertheless, good teaching and learning, together with a good curriculum, lead to pupils achieving well from their starting points. The school has focused on literacy - pupils' weakest area when they arrive - with considerable success, so that progress is very good in English. Provision has not been so effective in mathematics. Inconsistencies in planning and in teachers' subject knowledge have led to weaknesses in the assessment of pupils' progress and the identification of their next steps in the subject. Consequently, while progress has been satisfactory, standards at the end of Year 6 have remained well below average. The leaders are aware of this and have introduced better guidance for teachers and an improved mathematics curriculum. Because the improvements are recent, the full impact is yet to be seen. Much mathematics teaching is good, but the quality is still not consistent. Even so, progress is speeding up in the subject and is becoming good for increasing numbers of pupils.
Leadership and management are good. The headteacher provides a very clear vision for the school. Staff working at all levels share considerable unity of purpose. Rigorous self-evaluation has given leaders an accurate view of the school's strengths and areas requiring improvement. Well-focused strategies have already had good impact on improving the quality of teaching and learning since the last inspection, resulting in better progress, particularly in English. This track record demonstrates a good capacity for further improvement.
Effectiveness of the Early Years Foundation Stage
When children arrive, their knowledge and skills are well below expectations for their age, particularly in communication, language and literacy. Because of effective teaching and provision, most children make good progress from their starting points to reach the expected goals in all areas except language and reading skills by the time they leave the Reception class. This follows recent improvements in provision which are raising standards, but have so far only had an impact on the children who have most recently moved into Year 1. In previous years, children moved into Key Stage 1 with much lower standards. A suitable balance of teacher-led activities and those chosen by the children encourages independence and responsibility. The school has rightly identified that outdoor areas do not allow children to make best use of available space to find things out for themselves through play and exploration. Funding has been set aside and plans are well in hand to improve this.
Children's personal, social and emotional development is good. Clear systems help children settle and become familiar with daily routines. Children enjoy coming to school and are relaxed, happy and ready to learn. Individual needs are identified early and each child's progress is tracked through regular observation and assessment. Outstanding care and highly rigorous safeguarding procedures ensure a very safe environment, and children feel very secure. Good leadership has been an effective driving force in securing the required improvements, for example developing stronger early reading, writing and language skills by introducing regular learning of letters and sounds.
Achievement and standards
Although overall standards are below average at the end of Year 6, pupils have made good progress from their starting points. Progress is very good in English. Assessment records and workbooks show that increasing numbers of pupils are reaching the expected level in this subject. They show this through, for example, competent use of adjectives and adverbs to make their writing more detailed and interesting, and a developing ability to write in different styles for particular purposes. This is demonstrated in letters written in a persuasive style to the local Member of Parliament, in which pupils express their points of view about local and national issues. In recent years, national assessments have shown that, while progress has been satisfactory, mathematics has been pupils' weakest subject, with standards remaining well below average. The latest evidence shows that mathematics standards are also now starting to improve. The needs of the pupils who have difficulty in developing speech, language and communication skills are carefully identified and effectively provided for. As a result, they make as much progress as their classmates. This is also true of the pupils who are at an early stage of learning to speak English.
Personal development and well-being
Very positive relationships are the basis for the many good aspects of personal development and well-being. One pupil said, 'We're all friends here'. Pupils' enjoyment of school is reflected in their good behaviour and positive attitudes to learning. They say behaviour has improved and bullying is rare. They have a clear understanding of what to do if bullying occurs. The great majority of pupils enjoy coming to school. Attendance was previously below average but it has now improved to average levels. However, a small number of families have a disproportionate effect because their children are persistent absentees. Spiritual, moral, social and cultural aspects of pupils' understanding are good, helping them to develop a strong sense of respect for themselves and others. Pupils live active lives, understanding well how to be safe, and they know the importance of a healthy diet. Older pupils and the school council enjoy the responsibilities they are given and feel they are making a good contribution to the life of 'our' school, because the adults listen to their good ideas. Their improving skills in literacy, numeracy and information and communication technology (ICT) help pupils to prepare well for their future lives. So, also, do the positive relationships that they learn to build between the different ethnic groups.
Quality of provision
Teaching and learning
In most subjects, staff plan effectively to ensure that lessons build well on what pupils have learned previously. Teachers explain clearly what pupils have to do and give them effective guidance on how to learn well. They do this very sensitively and praise pupils' efforts, so that relationships are good and pupils are willing learners. As a result, very little time is lost between activities and the pace of learning moves on briskly. Teachers and teaching assistants work effectively together to ensure that any pupils finding work difficult quickly receive the help that they need to keep up with their classmates. Teachers implement their plans well in most lessons, but this is not fully consistent. This happens for example, when elements of key vocabulary are included in planning for subjects other than English, but occasionally not emphasised sufficiently in the lesson. Some lessons are outstanding. These include those where staff make excellent use of the recently introduced mathematics planning, when classes are split up according to ability, so that pupils learn in small groups. In these, teaching often provides a close match of challenge to each pupil's capabilities and ensures that all are fully involved in tackling challenging tasks. However, this is not consistent in all mathematics lessons.
Curriculum and other activities
Pupils make particularly good progress in English because the curriculum for this subject is very well planned to cover all of the key areas. The mathematics curriculum is satisfactory. However, recent improvements are beginning to give teachers better guidance for planning pupils' next steps. Pupils have good opportunities to use ICT to enhance the quality of their work in all subjects, for example through highly motivating opportunities to compose music. The quality of physical education benefits from expert coaching by a visiting specialist. Very good music provision includes opportunities for pupils to learn to play a variety of instruments. In addition to all of the required subjects, pupils learn French in all years. Provision for pupils' personal and social development is very good. A special strength is the focus on key aspects in which pupils need particular support. This includes, for example, a programme to raise aspirations. Good enrichment includes regular themed weeks and visits, and a variety of well-attended clubs.
Care, guidance and support
While care, guidance and support are good overall, most parents are delighted that pastoral care is outstanding. Extremely robust child protection and health and safety procedures are in place to create a safe and secure learning environment. An exemplary feature is the extent to which care is geared to pupils' particular needs. The specialist staff have played an important part in developing the 'Place2be' scheme. This provides excellent opportunities for vulnerable pupils to engage in activities to deal with their emotions and feelings, boosting their confidence and self-esteem. Similarly strong support, through a link with the local Youth Improvement Project, gives pupils who might be vulnerable to, for example, gang and drug culture, the guidance that they need to avoid this. With the good support of the educational welfare officer, the school is effectively improving attendance. Assessment and the tracking of progress are rigorous. Pupils know their literacy and numeracy targets and early identification of those falling behind these enables staff to plan effective interventions. Staff use the assessment policy well to encourage pupils but, while marking gives some good guidance on how to improve, this is not consistent across the school.
Leadership and management
The leadership structure has been reorganised and staff report that this is boosting their confidence and their skills are being utilised well. Many working at middle levels, such as subject leaders, are effectively involved in all aspects of monitoring the performance of their areas and giving specialist guidance to their colleagues. This is not so in all subjects, although plans are in hand to tackle this by, for example, training less experienced coordinators so that they can carry out all aspects of their roles effectively. Governors support the school well and are willing to challenge it when necessary. Some are skilled in important areas such as education and finance, which enhances their effectiveness.
The leaders have a strong commitment to community cohesion and promote this well because they have a good understanding of the school's cultural, ethnic and religious contexts. Some activities are already providing excellent opportunities for pupils to develop tolerance and an understanding of shared values, for example though a link with a nearby Muslim school. Systems for ensuring coherent overall planning and for evaluating the effectiveness of strategies are still developing, but are beginning to have an impact.
|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.|
|Key to judgements: grade 1 is outstanding, grade 2 good, grade 3 satisfactory, and grade 4 inadequate.||School Overall|
|How effective,efficient and inclusive is the provision of education,integrated care and any extended services in meeting the needs of learners?||2|
|Effective steps have been taken to promote improvement since the last inspection||Yes|
|How well does the school work in partnership with others to promote learners' well-being?||2|
|The capacity to make any necessary improvements||2|
|How effective is the provision in meeting the needs of children in the EYFS?||2|
|How well do children in the EYFS achieve?||2|
|How good is the overall personal development and well-being of the children?||2|
|How effectively are children in the EYFS helped to learn and develop?||2|
|How effectively is the welfare of children in the EYFS promoted?||1|
|How effectively is provision in the EYFS led and managed?||2|
|How well do learners achieve?||2|
|The standards¹ reached by learners||3|
|How well learners make progress, taking account of any significant variations between groups of learners||2|
|How well learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities make progress||2|
|How good are the overall personal development and well-being of the learners?||2|
|The extent of learners' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development||2|
|The extent to which learners adopt healthy lifestyles||2|
|The extent to which learners adopt safe practices||2|
|The extent to which learners enjoy their education||2|
|The attendance of learners||3|
|The behaviour of learners||2|
|The extent to which learners make a positive contribution to the community||2|
|How well learners develop workplace and other skills that will contribute to their future economic well-being||2|
|How effective are teaching and learning in meeting the full range of learners' needs?||2|
|How well do the curriculum and other activities meet the range of needs and interests of learners?||2|
|How well are learners cared for, guided and supported?||2|
|How effective are leadership and management in raising achievement and supporting all learners?||2|
|How effectively leaders and managers at all levels set clear direction leading to improvement and promote high quality of care and education||2|
|How effectively leaders and managers use challenging targets to raise standards||2|
|The effectiveness of the school's self-evaluation||2|
|How well equality of opportunity is promoted and discrimination eliminated||2|
|How well does the school contribute to community cohesion?||2|
|How effectively and efficiently resources, including staff, are deployed to achieve value for money||2|
|The extent to which governors and other supervisory boards discharge their responsibilities||2|
|Do procedures for safeguarding learners meet current government requirements?||Yes|
|Does this school require special measures?||No|
|Does this school require a notice to improve?||No|
31 March 2009
Inspection of Trinity St Mary's CofE Primary School,London,SW12 8DR
Thank you for welcoming the inspectors to your school recently. We enjoyed meeting you. We are grateful for the help you gave, by talking to us and showing us your work. We were able to see that yours is a good school.
The adults are very proud of you and care for you very well. Some of you told us that you know this and it makes you feel safe and happy. We could see that you enjoy school. You show this by your good behaviour, cheerfulness and willingness to work hard. It is great how you all get on so well together and help each other. All of this helps your teachers a lot. Recently you have done well to improve attendance. Although most of you come to school regularly, a few are still absent too often. We have asked the adults to make attendance better still and you can help by only being absent when it is really necessary.
Although your standards are not quite as high as in most other schools when you leave Year 6, you make good progress from your starting points. When you start school, many of you need a lot of help in literacy. Your teachers know this and give you really good support. Because of this, more and more of you are reaching the expected standard by Year 6. The staff know that they need to give you more help with your mathematics and are beginning to do this. We think that they are right and can see that their recent improvements are already beginning to help you to catch up in mathematics. We have asked them to make sure that this happens as quickly as possible.
Your headteacher really knows how to make your school even better. All of the other adults are helping her well. We know that you will also continue to help. Well done to you all and very best wishes for the future.