A BOURNEMOUTH primary school has been labelled ‘friendly and caring’ and putting pupils at the heart of the school following an inspection by the education watchdog.

St Mark’s Church of England Primary School has maintained its ‘good’ Ofsted rating, with inspectors praising its curriculum that supports students ‘academically and personally’.

The school in Talbot Village, Bournemouth, is a single academy trust and had 414 students aged four to 11 at the time of the report.

Inspectors found that pupils enjoy going to school and show positive attitudes to learning, and classrooms are mostly calm with purposeful settings.

The report said that the school is shaped by its values to ‘respect, aspire and rejoice’, which are understood by the whole community.

“Pupils understand difference.

“They are respectful of different cultures and beliefs.

“Pupils know that everyone should be treated the same, whatever they think or believe in.”

Reading is prioritised at the school, with younger pupils learning through a ‘well-designed’ phonics programme and older pupils say how they like to ‘dream’ about what might happen next.

Teachers follow a ‘coherently designed curriculum’ and make regular checks to focus on gaps in pupils’ knowledge.

However, in some subjects, such as physical education, this assessment is not used well enough resulting in gaps in pupils’ understanding.

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Staff adapt learning so that pupils with special educational needs and or disabilities can access the same curriculum as their peers.

Some pupils with SEND, however, have targets that are too broad and their needs are not met in the classroom.

The school tracks absence closely and takes ‘effective action’ to improve the rate of attendance for some pupils.

“The school has high expectations of pupil’s behaviour.

“They have recently introduced a new ‘regulation and engagement’ policy.

“This is developing a positive culture in relation to behaviour.

“As a result, behaviour incidents have reduced.”

Students told inspectors that they feel ‘well prepared’ for secondary school and know who to talk to if they are worried about anything.

Pupils enjoy taking on a range of responsibilities, including being members of the school council, and the pastoral team supports children in developing resilience and independence.