Alexander McLeod Primary School

Name Alexander McLeod Primary School
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 26 January 2011
Address Fuchsia Street, London, SE2 0QS
Phone Number 02083112266
Type Primary
Age Range 5-11
Religious Character Does Not Apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 588 (52% boys 48% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 17.7
Percentage Free School Meals 16%
Percentage English is Not First Language 64.6%

Information about the school

Alexander McLeod is a larger than average primary school. The largest groups in the school are from White British or Black African backgrounds. Overall, the school has a much higher than average proportion of pupils from minority ethnic backgrounds and many of these speak English as an additional language, although few pupils are at a very early stage of development in their English speaking skills. The proportion of pupils known to be eligible for free school meals is higher than average. The school has a much higher than average proportion of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities, the larger groups of whom have moderate learning difficulties, speech, language and communication needs or experience behavioural, emotional and social difficulties. The Early Years Foundation Stage is made up of three Reception classes. The school holds the Healthy Schools and Activemark awards.

Main findings

Alexander McLeod is a good school, where pupils are well prepared for their future lives. Parents and carers are overwhelmingly positive about the school, with many placing particular value on the support given to pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities and the approachability of teachers. One parent, echoing the views of others, wrote, ’Staff are always around and available to any child or parent in need.’ The good care that staff readily give to pupils ensures that they always feel very safe at school and this contributes to their enjoyment of school and above average attendance. Pupils make good progress during their time at the school. Their learning and development is often stronger in mathematics and science than it is in English. This is because the progress pupils make in writing is less rapid when compared to how well they move forward with other basic skills. Through their accurate and reflective self-evaluation, school leaders have identified this as one of the main areas the school needs to develop. Where action has been taken to address the issue in the Early Years Foundation Stage and in Years 5 and 6, better progress is beginning to be made. However, there are still insufficient opportunities for pupils to use and practise their extended writing skills other than in English lessons, particularly in Years 1 to 4. Teaching, which is usually good, supports good learning in most lessons. This is because : teachers’ plans take careful account of what pupils know and can do as well as what they have greater difficulty with. However, while most work is marked regularly, the quality and use of this written feedback is inconsistent. Not all staff clearly identify the next steps pupils need to make to develop their knowledge or skills. Consequently, pupils can occasionally be left unsure as to the best ways to improve their work. Even when marking is better, with clear suggestions for improvement, pupils are not always given enough time to respond to the comments. Leaders have been successful in improving the quality of education since the previous inspection, when the school was judged to be satisfactory. Underpinning the improved teaching, learning and achievement lies more effective arrangements for tracking pupils’ progress. As a result, the development plan has been focused well on the correct improvement priorities. The established and cohesive workforce share a common purpose and staff at all levels fully understand their role in improving the quality of learning. Actions taken to tackle underachievement, for example in mathematics, have been successful and consequently levels of attainment at the end of Key Stage 2 have improved and continue to rise. School leaders, supported by a strongly developing governing body, are, therefore, demonstrating a good capacity to secure improvement.