Inspection dates: 12 and 13 July 2022
- New Marske Primary School continues to be a good school.
What is it like to attend this school?
Staff ensure that New Marske Primary is a warm and welcoming school. Adults and pupils get along well together. Bullying is rare. When it happens, pupils know that they can speak to any adult in school and it will be dealt with quickly, and effectively. Pupils feel happy and safe in their school.
Teachers teach pupils that overcoming challenges is a part of life. They provide the encouragement and support pupils need to do so. Pupils understand that some people have greater challenges in their lives. They show kindness to those who have faced, or are facing, challenging times.
Leaders have high expectations for what pupils can achieve. They ensure that where pupils need support to achieve well, they receive it. Pupils have a positive attitude to learning. They behave well in lessons and at social times.
Leaders are ambitious for the school. They find out from pupils, through the school council, and parents about how the school could improve. Leaders act upon these messages to make the school even better still.
Pupils, families and staff are proud to be part of the New Marske Primary School community. They value the way it prepares pupils for the next stage of their education.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
Leaders have developed an ambitious curriculum that begins from the very start of pupils’ time in school. In most subjects the detail of what pupils need to learn, and when, is clearly laid out. Teachers know the key knowledge, and skills, that pupils need to master and can plan their teaching to meet these aims. They do so successfully. At the start of each lesson, teachers check that pupils have remembered what they have been taught previously. In mathematics, for example, every lesson begins with pupils answering four questions about work they have learned previously, including problem-solving questions.
Teachers use this information to adapt their teaching where necessary. These approaches help pupils remember work that they have studied previously, and more easily apply it to their new learning. In a few subjects, what pupils need to learn is not as clear. Teachers are left to make their own decisions about what to teach within a broad title. For example, in history, teachers know they are to teach about The Great Fire of London, but are left to decide themselves precisely what they want pupils to learn. Pupils remember what they have been taught but new learning cannot build on what pupils have learned before, as teachers are not sure what has been taught in previous years. Subject leaders across the trust are beginning to work together to share best practice within their subjects. This is starting to have a positive impact. Curriculum plans for next year include greater detail on what should be taught, and when. Leaders know there is still further to go.
The teaching of reading is a high priority. Staff know that reading opens the door to all other learning. In Nursery, adults design activities and games that help prepare pupils to learn phonics in Reception. Leaders ensure new staff successfully complete a personalised training programme before they start teaching phonics.
Pupils read books that match their phonics knowledge. Where pupils need additional support, they receive it on the same day. This allows them to keep up. Teachers know their pupils well. Those who read less often at home are heard read more often in school. The phonics leader visits phonics sessions regularly, and hears every pupil read every half term to check that pupils are developing the key building blocks of reading.
Behaviour in school is good. Pupils are taught what good behaviour looks like. They value the positive rewards they receive for ‘getting it right’. Where pupils need reminding about how they should behave, adults use the school’s behaviour policy consistently, and fairly. Low-level misbehaviour is dealt with quickly and effectively by all adults in school.
Pupils learn about developing appropriate relationships. This begins from the start of Nursery. Pupils’ attitudes to each other are consistently respectful. However, leaders are aware that some girls in school say they would not report harassment unless it became serious. This is something leaders are keen to address. Recently, girls in Year 6 were part of a programme that included lessons on ‘being respected and respecting yourself’.
Staff work closely together and support each other well. They are reflective and thoughtful about their work. They say that leaders consider their well-being and work–life balance. Governors monitor the well-being of the headteacher effectively. As a result, a new leadership model has been put in place for next year.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Leaders have made safeguarding a priority in school. All staff receive comprehensive training and ‘refreshers’ on the key risks that pupils may face, the signs that a pupil may be at risk and the processes that they must follow if they have a concern. Leaders ensure that all visitors to school are aware of the procedures they must follow if they are concerned about a pupil’s welfare.
Systems are in place to identify when a pupil may be at risk. Leaders act promptly to secure appropriate support from outside agencies for pupils and their families. Leaders ensure that pupils are taught about the risks they may face. This personal safety curriculum is flexible enough to react in response to local and national trends and issues. All pupils know who to speak to if they have concerns or feel at risk.
What does the school need to do to improve?
Curriculum plans in some subjects do not clearly identify the key knowledge and skills that pupils must learn within each unit. These decisions are left to individual teachers. This means teachers cannot be sure what pupils should already know, check that knowledge is secure and build upon this prior learning. Leaders should ensure that curriculums clearly identify the knowledge and skills that pupils must learn at each stage of development.
Click here to view the report on the Ofsted website.