A friendly, caring school with an exciting future
Pupils at Marlborough Road Academy

Ofsted Report

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a good school

Pupils achieve well, often from low starting points. They achieve particularly strongly in English. Pupils who have special educational needs make similarly good progress to their classmates, as do the large numbers of pupils supported through the pupil premium. Wide gaps in performance so often seen nationally are not evident in this academy.

  • The many pupils who join the academy at all times of the year and into different year groups settle quickly into academy life and soon start to make good progress.
  • The school’s very effective systems for those pupils who join the academy with little or no English ensure that they too get a good start to their education in the academy. Their progress soon accelerates.
  • Pupils of all ages are keen to learn and are confident writers from a young age. Pupils behave well in lessons: they concentrate hard and show pride in their work. They find the creative curriculum interesting, and enjoy the many extra-curricular activities and trips.
  • This school has come a long way in the last few years under the leadership of the Principal and senior staff. Their determination to create an academy in which pupils are safe, develop enthusiasm for learning and flourish as individuals has been successful. But they will not stop there. The goal is to enable pupils to achieve outstandingly, through reaching excellence in all that the school does.
  • Teaching is good and sometimes outstanding, particularly in English, where the academy prioritised staff’s development. Leaders’ expertise is shared beyond the academy.
  • The leadership of teaching is uncompromising in driving improvement. It has the right blend of support and challenge, underpinned by impressive rigour in the ways it gathers and analyses evidence of teachers’ performance. Teamwork between all staff, including the many additional adults, is highly effective.
  • Governors and Board members have high levels of expertise and provide well-informed challenge and support for the academy.

It is not yet an outstanding school because

  • Teaching is not as strong in some subjects as it is in English. A focus on teachers’ expertise in deepening pupils’ understanding of those subjects is an important next step.
  • The Early Years Foundation Stage is good. The rich choice of indoor activities contrasts with those provided for learning outdoors. Reception’s outdoor area is shabby.

Information about this inspection

  • Inspectors observed 15 lessons across all the classes in Years 1 to 6, four of which were conducted jointly with the Principal and the vice principal. An inspector observed parts of five phonics sessions jointly with the vice principal. He also heard two Year 2 and two Year 6 pupils read. The lead inspector observed morning sessions on phonics and guided reading and afternoon outdoor activities in the Early Years Foundation Stage. An inspector carried out a learning walk to look at the behaviour and learning of a sample of White British pupils.
  • Inspectors held discussions with the Principal, the vice principal, the assistant principal, the three phase leaders, the new Early Years Foundation Stage leader, the subject leaders for English, mathematics and PE, staff who are responsible for child protection, safeguarding, and English as an additional language.
  • The lead inspector met with the Chair and four other governors, and the Chair and two other representatives of the Salford Academy Trust.
  • Inspectors met with three groups of pupils to hear their views of the academy, with each group focusing on different aspects. They spoke with some parents at the start and end of the academy day.
  • Inspectors scrutinised work across all subjects from a sample of pupils in each class in Reception and in Years 2, 4 and 6.
  • Inspectors scrutinised a range of the academy’s documents related to improvement planning, self-evaluation, performance management and professional development, the curriculum and extra-curricular activities, support for pupils, pupils’ progress, attendance, safeguarding and the work of the governing body.
  • The team took into account the 30 responses from staff to the Ofsted questionnaire, the responses of 12 parents to online questionnaire Parent View and also the school’s analysis of the responses from parents and pupils to its own questionnaires.

Inspection team

Jane Jones, Lead inspector Her Majesty’s Inspector
Chris Griffin Additional Inspector
Mary Lanovy-Taylor Additional Inspector