Early Years: Come Outside!
Things are looking fantastic in our EYFS garden right now! The mini-beast hotel is a real source of delight for the children, and the newly cleared mud play area is a great place for children to practise their writing skills and search for letters. Add to that the springtime reading den, the water walls and runs, and the newly updated Maths area, it really is the place to be.
This week, an advisor came to visit and said ‘there is clear evidence of improvement in the learning environment, particularly the outside area. As a result the children were all keen and eager to learn.’
Well done to our staff for all their hard work in addressing this key area of school improvement.
School Improvement Plan Update:
RE has also recently been highlighted as a strength within our school.
We are continuing to work on excellence across the curriculum and on the outdoors environment of the EYFS.
Sing Up Gold Award
We achieved Sing Up Gold this term, in recognition of the way that singing is integrated into school life to such a high standard.
Here is some of the feedback:
‘To Emily Norman and all the staff and pupils at St Mary’s Bryanston Square School, Congratulations! I’m thrilled to say you have achieved your Gold Award! You have obviously been working very hard to achieve this Award and I have seen some great examples of wonderful singing! It is very clear that everyone sings regularly, and it’s great to hear that so many teachers are confident to lead singing.
Overall I am very impressed with the quality of singing, particularly from the choir. It is clear that pupils are encouraged to sing well and with conviction, listening to their tuning, and as a result lots of the singing I heard was very beautiful.’
Of course, the children’s reaction was: ‘what do we have to do to get Platinum?!’
British Land Library Opening!
We were very excited to officially open our new school library this week. It looks wonderful and the children are already enjoying using it. Governors, representatives of the Friends of St Mary’s and staff came to a special opening event, where Mr Knight gave a speech to thank everyone who had made this possible.
— Richard Blyth (@RichardBlyth7) March 8, 2017
Book Space, who designed our library, have done a case study about our project: Book Space
Children throughout the school have been enjoying our new Reflection Areas, and have been using them for inspiration to write their own prayers. Here are some examples:
Thank you for helping people make their dreams come true. Thank you for St Mary’s and all the lovely children we have in it. Please let us all be good people and respect everybody in an equal way. Help us forgive our enemy when they do us wrong.
Dear Holy Father,
Thank you for keeping us safe and making us happy when bad things happen in our lives. Please love us even if we have done bad things to ourselves or other people. Sorry for disrespecting you or hurting other people with our words or actions.
We are continuing to work hard at St Mary’s to ensure children received a rich, broad and varied curriculum. This term, we are working with the following partners and organisations to deliver that:
- London Music Masters
- Royal Academy of Music
- Rolls Royce and the Royal Albert Hall
- Marylebone Maths Hub
- British Land
- QPR Football Club
- Wadham College, Oxford
- Wallace Collection
- Roundabout Dramatherapy
…to name a few!
School Improvement Plan Update:
Areas we are continuing to work on:
- The outdoor areas in EYFS
- Ensuring a broad, rich and varied curriculum throughout the entire school
- Setting up the school Library (February half term)
- Embedding the Mastery approach for Maths in EYs and Upper KS2
- Developing children’s spirituality and opportunities for reflection
December 2016 – Healthy Schools Silver
Having created an action plan for making school packed lunches even healthier and our children even more active, we have now achieved the Healthy Schools Silver Award!
December 2016 – Library Project
We are delighted to have reached our goal of raising £20,000 for our school library project, thanks to British Land and the Friends of St Mary’s. The books and furniture have been ordered, and we hope to start setting up the library in February. Watch this space for a grand opening!
November 2016 – Reading Corners
We have been busy creating inviting Reading Corners in our classes to encourage the children to read for pleasure. Here are some examples:
We are all working hard to raise money to complete our school library project. We are extremely grateful to British Land and the Friends of St Mary’s who have funded all the books. These have been ordered and on their way to us…
November 2016 – Mastery Maths Exchange with Shanghai
Ms Granite has been in China learning about how Maths is taught in schools in Shanghai. She shared what she learnt with staff in an INSET session on 23rd November, so that everyone can learn from her experiences. In January, we will be welcoming Chinese teachers into our school.
October 2016 – Black History Month
We have been learning about our 6 school values through Black History Month. Each class is learning about a black person who demontrated one of our values in his/her life, and we will all be sharing what we learnt on Friday 21st October in a special assembly.
The children have also spoken with footballers, artists and a composer, who spoke all about their chosen careers, inspiring the children to think about their futures.
Here are some of the special events that have taken place during the month:
Our School Improvement Priorities for this year are: 2016-17 School Improvement Priorities
Our other priorities have been chosen by staff and Governors as key ways in which we would like to develop the school further. Part of our Reading focus will be the development of a new school library!
Our SATs results show that children have made excellent progress over the last few years, particularly in KS2 English and we want to continue this so that children achieve even higher than before.
Central to our work on Values will be improving Attendance even further, and embedding an approach to Behaviour Management called ‘Emotion Coaching’. We hope that parents will continue to support us in ensuring children receive outstanding support and care at St Mary’s.
We are also working hard on our distinctiveness as a Church school, whilst ensuring we are welcoming and inclusive to families of all faiths or world views.
September 2016 – back to school update
Over the summer holidays, Year 1 was refurbished, and the back fence was rebuilt, helping our school to be a safer and more attractive environment for the pupils.
This year, we will be studying French (Y3 – 5) and Latin (Y6) instead of Spanish.
Year 1 will be learning the violin with London Music Masters, and KS2 will have Music lessons with Benny Goodson from St Mary’s Church.
Year 4 will be starting Singapore Mastery Maths with textbooks for the first time, so that all pupils in Years 1 to 4 are learning Maths this way. Miss Granite, who is training to be a Mastery specialist, is also supporting Years 5 and 6 to adopt a Mastery approach to Maths teaching.
We have a new teacher in Year 6, Mr Knight, who is our Arts Team Leader. He will be focusing on Reading this year, and helping set up our school library.
Following our ‘outstanding’ grade for Personal Development, Welfare and Behaviour, we are continuing to build on this by adopting ‘Emotion Coaching’ for managing behaviour around school and ‘Circle of Security’ groups for parents.
STOP PRESS: We are now a GOOD school!
23rd and 24th June 2016 – the school was inspected by Ofsted under Section 5.
Here is our report, showing that we are ‘Good’ school with ‘Outstanding’ Personal Development, Behaviour and Welfare:
Thank you to all the staff and pupils for their hard work, and to the parents for all their support. We are very proud of our school and all that we have achieved in the last 2 and a half years.
Ofsted Update Information:
In February 2014, St Mary’s was graded ‘Requires Improvement’ by Ofsted: Ofsted Report 2014 Since then, the school has developed and improved in many different ways, such that the Tri-Borough Local Authority now grade the school as a ‘Good’ school (January 2016). We were also graded ‘Good’ in our SIAMS Inspection in December 2014, by the Church of England: St Mary’s SIAMS report December 2014
On this page, we post updates showing the progress the school has made since our latest Ofsted inspection and what we have undertaken to achieve this. We hope you find this helpful.
17th June 2016
Miss Norman gave a presentation to parents about Assessment on Friday 17th June, explaining the school’s new assessment system. Notes were sent out to parents who weren’t able to attend. Here is one of the pages which shows the system we are now using at St Mary’s:
We sent out a copy of the Parent View questionnaire to parents in both English and Arabic, as some parents said they couldn’t use the online version. 30 parents completed the paper form, and, to date, 36 have completed the online questionnaire.
We have combined the total results from both the paper and online questionnaires here: Parent View June 2016 paper + online totals
You can see the school’s online Parent View results here: Parent View Results
Here are the results of the paper survey: Parent View paper June 2016
This is the Parent View questionnaire translated into Arabic: Parent View Arabic
Here is our Easter review of the School Improvement Plan:
Our priorities for the Summer Term are:
- Making sure work in Science and RE is consistent with the high quality work in English
- Continuing to extend the level of challenge in lessons, especially targeting potentially higher attaining disadvantaged pupils
- Increasing the amount of outstanding teaching across the school
- Embedding ‘real life’ approaches to Maths
- Agreeing the school’s core values and sharing them with the school community
- Developing pupil champions for healthy eating and playground games
- EYFS: Extending Literacy opportunities in the outdoors, engaging parents in contributing to their children’s profiles
Here is an overview of our School Improvement Plan, showing the progress we have made so far (up to Spring Term 1). We have succeeded in addressing virtually all of our Autumn term milestones, and are working hard on achieving our Spring objectives. One of our biggest barriers has been the attendance of Pupil Premium pupils, which is why this has been such a high priority for us this year. If children aren’t in school, they won’t be able to make the necessary progress!
We have had a Teaching and Learning review, undertaken by the Local Authority and the Diocesan Board for Schools. As a result, we received a very positive report about the school, confirming the LA’s categorisation of the school as ‘Good’.
Some of the strengths in teaching they observed were:
- the pupils’ high level of engagement and involvement in lessons from Nursery up to Year 6
- the way pupils spoke articulately about their learning
- the teachers’ skilful questioning
- links made to real life contexts to make learning more meaningful
- displays of a wide range of pupils’ work, which were well used in lessons
- links made to previous and future learning
- the calm and purposeful learning environment across the school
- an increase in the quantity of writing, and writing across different subject areas
- the range of contributions to children’s Early Years profiles
Pupils were seen to be polite and well mannered. They enjoy coming to school and described the school as ‘fascinating, safe and respectful’. They were eager to share their views about the school, and show their appreciation for the creative lessons the teachers provide.
Parents were also very positive about the school, and consider themselves to be more involved in their children’s learning, with a better understanding of how to support their children. They feel that a real strength of the school is its nurturing and welcoming approach and that no child slips through the net.
We also received some feedback about aspects we could continue to develop, for example further improving the presentation of children’s work. Please see the presentation guidelines which are on display in Years 1 to 6 in school, and which have been sent to parents: Presentation Guidelines It would be great if parents could also encourage excellent handwriting at home.
Our local authority (Tri-borough) has officially re-categorised us as a ‘Good’ school, based on all the evidence they have seen over the last two years. Here is an extract of their letter:
Parents – as you know, we are expecting Ofsted to visit us again soon. Please go on to the Ofsted website and complete a short questionnaire about the school:
Our Autumn Term newsletter shows some of the highlights of the term: Autumn Term 2015
We have also:
- continued to improve the quality of the teaching across the school even further, particularly with regards to the feedback children receive on their work
- implemented Maths Mastery (Singapore Maths) in both KS1 and KS2, with excellent impact on their progress
- changed homework across the school, so it is more consistent
- changed the way we assess children, so that it helps teachers to plan lessons that challenge children even more effectively
- narrowed gaps in attainment between Pupil Premium children and other children in the majority of classes and in the majority of subjects
A recent parent survey shows what parents think of the school. We are very pleased that all the parents who replied think the teaching is good quality and say that their children enjoy school!
We hope that more parents will come along to sessions the school is running about online safety, as not as many parents were sure about how the school teaches this. We will be holding special assemblies about this next term, too.
Here are this year’s school Improvement Priorities:
We have looked carefully at what Ofsted expect for a school to be Good and Outstanding, and have carefully analysed our strengths and the areas where we need to do even better. Please support us to achieve our aims.
Particular ways that parents can help are:
- talk to your child about our school vision, values and golden rules
- make sure your child comes to school on time every day
- help your child with his/her homework, and ask the school for support if you would like it
- look at the Topic Webs and curriculum plans the teachers send home and research topics in advance to enhance your child’s learning
- come to one of our parent workshops about how to help your child with: Maths, Reading, online safety, road safety… These are usually on a Wednesday morning; details in the newsletters
- tell us straightaway if you have a problem, so we can help you sort it out as soon as possible
We have undertaken a Governance Review, conducted by an external consultant. This found that the Governance of the school is effective at ensuring the school is delivering a high standard of education, and continually improving. The report also provided Governors with recommendations about how to do even better, eg visiting the school more frequently. Governors have special badges now, so do look out for them in the playground and visiting classes.
The Governing Body has now reconstituted, according to Government legislation, and we have a full complement of 12 Governors – please see our webpage to find out more about who they are: St Mary’s School Governors
We have reviewed our School Improvement Plan from last year, and this shows how much we have achieved over the last year: 2014-15 School Improvement Plan July review – overview
We are now setting our priorities for the year ahead.
Our main priorities are:
- Continuing to raise standards in Maths
- Utilising a new system for assessment, which supports the new National Curriculum
- Achieving excellence in all areas of the curriculum
- Improving attendance for all groups of pupils
Here is the end of year review of our School Improvement Plan, showing how much we have achieved over the year: 2014-15 School Improvement Plan St Mary’s July review
10th July – SATs results
This week, Year 6 received their SATs results. They have made tremendous progress this year and really pushed themselves. The results are broadly in line with national averages; above national in Writing (which has been our biggest focus this year).
Overall, 81% of children achieved L4 in Reading, Writing and Maths. This means we have maintained the improvement we made last year.
In Reading, 88% achieved Level 4, 58% achieved Level 5 and 4% achieved L6.
In English (Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling), 81% achieved Level 4, 58% achieved L5 and 8% achieved Level 6.
In Writing, 88% achieved Level 4, 52% achieved Level 5 and 8% achieved Level 6.
In Maths, 85% achieved Level 4, 23% achieved Level 5 and 8% achieved Level 6.
These results do not include pupils newly arrived into Year 6, but they do include statemented pupils and other pupils with Special Educational Needs. There are 4 children with statements of SEN in the class.
In Year 2, children continued to achieve broadly in line with the national average, again maintaining the improvement made last year:
In Reading, 88% achieved Level 2 and 46% achieved Level 3.
In Writing, 83% achieved Level 2 and 13% achieved Level 3.
In Maths, 92% achieved Level 2 and 29% achieved Level 3.
In Phonics, 86% of children in Year 1 passed the phonics test. This is above the national average. 92% of children in Year 2 have now passed the phonics test.
In EYFS, 61% of children achieved a Good Level of Development. This is in line with the national average for the first time and a huge improvement compared with the last two years.
We have been collating information about how we promote British Values at St Mary’s. You can see some of our ideas here: British Values
5th May 2015
This is our most recent School Improvement Plan update. We are making good progress in virtually all areas, and have highlighted the key areas where we want to improve further.
6th March 2015
We held a meeting for parents to provide an update on the great progress we’ve been making since our Ofsted inspection. For anyone who wasn’t able to attend, here are the notes:
5th March 2015
Here is our most recent review of our School Improvement Plan, which shows how we are developing towards meeting our targets for the end of the year. Each priority is assessed against stringent success criteria.
At the moment, we are particularly pleased with our progress in Writing, SEND, aspects of leadership including Governance, and RE and Worship. There are no areas where we are not yet seeing some progress.
23rd January 2015
We are delighted to publish our SIAMS report, which shows that St Mary’s is a Good Church School. You can read the report here: St Mary’s SIAMS report December 2014
We are focusing particularly on attendance and punctuality in school. We have made changes to our timetables, with every class in Years 1 to 6 starting the day with Maths, and we are taking the register electronically to sharpen up our procedures. It is very important that children miss as little of their education as possible, so they can achieve the highest possible results.
We have been inspected by the Church of England, on our effectiveness as a Church School. This includes how our Christian ethos helps us meet the needs of all pupils, the difference our Collective Worship makes (assemblies), how well RE is taught and how effective the leadership and management of the school are. We are pleased with the outcome and just waiting for the final report to be published.
We have now moved from an Ofsted Action Plan to a full School Improvement Plan, as recommended by our HMI. The Governors have read, challenged and approved the School Improvement Plan. Here are the outcomes we are aiming to achieve by the end of this year:
We have had quite a few changes to our Governing Body, as a number of Governors reached the end of their terms of office. At our meeting on 11th November, we appointed Jon Ward to be our new Chair of Governors and Ameena Pirbhai to be our new Vice Chair. We also decided upon a new committee structure. Our committees are:
Achievement – looking at all aspects of pupil achievement, including Pupil Premium provision and SEND
Community and Values – looking at how the school demonstrates its Christian and British values, including admissions; pupil well-being, including safeguarding, behaviour and attendance
Resources – looking at the school’s finances, premises and staffing
We have linked up with Gateway Academy this term to help us raise standards in Writing. They are a local outstanding school with lots of experience in raising standards. Some classes will be trialling a way of writing in a range of subjects (such as History or RE) to develop Writing skills further. They are also supporting us with SEND and EYFS provision.
Today we had a review of our SEND provision conducted by a lead Ofsted inspector. He looked at the evidence the school has about how well children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities progress through the school. This will help us to ensure the best possible outcomes for these children, and to help us demonstrate to Ofsted how effective our provision is.
Today, all the staff are receiving training from Alan Peat on successful ways to teach non-fiction Writing. We hope that is really going to help us improve the levels the children achieve in their Writing throughout the school. Watch this space…
We have completed our Pupil Premium Review, as instructed by Ofsted, and will make sure we implement the recommendations and suggestions to help children make even better progress in the new academic year.
Our SATs results show that both Pupil Premium and non Pupil Premium children in Year 6 made good progress – in some subjects, Pupil Premium children made even better progress than their peers to catch up and meet National Expectations. We now need to replicate this throughout the whole school.
Our KS2 SATs results came out this week.
At the end of KS2 (Year 6):
Reading: 100% of pupils achieved Level 4 and 41% achieved Level 5.
Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling: 89% achieved Level 4 and 63% achieved Level 5.
Writing: 81% achieved Level 4 and 19% achieved Level 5.
Maths: 96% achieved Level 4, 30% achieved Level 5 and 7% achieved Level 6.
Overall, 81% achieved Level 4 in Reading, Writing and Maths, compared with 70% last year.
Today our Monitoring Letter from HMI will be published. We sent it out to our parents on Friday. You can find it on the Ofsted website, or here it is: HMI Monitoring Letter
To date, we are still awaiting our monitoring report from HMI… We will send this out as soon as we have it!
We are now carrying out a series of surveys to help us complete our Pupil Premium Review. We are asking pupils, parents and staff to take part. Please click on the link below, answer the security question, then enter your special code (if you don’t have one please come and speak to us) to take part. Thank you!
Tomorrow, Ofsted will be returning to see how much progress we have made since our inspection in February. The inspector is an HMI (Her Majesty’s Inspector) and he will look at the children’s work, spend time in classrooms, talk to teachers, pupils, governors and advisors about the school and look at the school’s documents about how well the children are achieving. There will be a letter written as a result which says how well the school is doing in improving the school towards becoming ‘Good’ again.
Many of us have been visiting other schools to see what we can learn from seeing different ideas and ways of doing things. Here are some of the schools we have visited:
St George the Martyr, Camden
St Gabriel’s, Pimlico
St Peter’s Eaton Square
St Barnabas, Pimlico
Christchurch Bentinck School
St Matthew’s, Westminster
St Mary of the Angels
We are also planning to visit All Souls School
We have really enjoyed our visits, and are very grateful to these schools for hosting us.
As we reached the end of last term, we looked at the assessments we had made of the children’s progress. We looked both at the average progress made by each class so far this year, and at children’s individual progress.
By this stage in the year, we would expect all Key Stage 2 classes’ average progress to be over 3 points or more. In Key Stage 1, we would expect around 4 points at this stage. In the vast majority of classes and in most subjects, this was the case. This helps us to know that we are on track for our targets of 4 (or more) points in Key Stage 2 by the end of the year, and 6 (or more) points in Key Stage 1.
In Foundation Stage, we looked at the number of children who are working at an age appropriate developmental level. Again, we were pleased with the way the children are progressing compared to where they were when they started school.
We are looking very carefully at any groups of children or subject areas where progress is not as strong to ensure we close any gaps we might have by the end of the year.
Today we started our Pupil Premium Review (as requested by Ofsted).
In KS1 and KS2, children now have target cards for Writing to use in all different subjects, so they can remember their personal targets whenever they write.
Please ask your child what their Writing targets are, and encourage them to use these at home too!
In EYFS, we are developing the use of online profiles, and where possible, emailing observations out to parents to keep you updated on your child’s progress. We hope you find this useful.
We are having a big focus in school on Mental Maths, using any spare time within each day to practise number facts and times tables.
Parents – please help us by encouraging your children to practise their number facts and times tables at home too.
We had a parents’ meeting to discuss the report and how we are addressing the key points.
Here are the slides from the presentation: Parents’ Meeting
The school Governors met to agree an action plan to help the school move forward. The action plan looks like this: Ofsted action plan SMBS 14
Here is our Ofsted Report from February: Ofsted Report 2014