St Joseph's Catholic Primary School
Catchment Area, Reviews and Key Information

3 - 11
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How Does The School Perform?

Ofsted Inspection
Full Report - All Reports
% pupils meeting the expected standard in reading, writing and mathematics

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Progress Compared With All Other Schools

UNLOCK Well Below Average (About 9% of schools in England) Below Average (About 9% of schools in England) Average (About 67% of schools in England) Above Average (About 6% of schools in England) Well Above Average (About 9% of schools in England) UNLOCK Well Below Average (About 10% of schools in England) Below Average (About 9% of schools in England) Average (About 67% of schools in England) Above Average (About 6% of schools in England) Well Above Average (About 8% of schools in England) UNLOCK Well Below Average (About 10% of schools in England) Below Average (About 11% of schools in England) Average (About 59% of schools in England) Above Average (About 11% of schools in England) Well Above Average (About 9% of schools in England)
Mill Lane

School Description

The leadership team has maintained the good quality of education in the school since the last inspection. The school’s vision and Catholic ethos, encapsulated in the motto ‘Live Fully, Act Justly’, remains very much in place. The staff continue to be a close-knit and a mutually supportive team who have the pupils’ best interests at heart. Several important changes to the school have happened since the last inspection. The governors have formed a federation with a second local Catholic primary school and put in place an overarching model of leadership, with an executive headteacher across both schools. Following the retirement of the previous executive headteacher, you took up post last September and formed a new leadership team with the appointment of the deputy and assistant headteachers. Your first year as a new leadership team has been overseen and guided particularly well by the experienced and astute governors. Together, you have reviewed the school’s performance, planned carefully and taken steps to ensure that areas of relative underperformance have been addressed. Morale in school is good. Middle leaders have benefited from working closely with local authority representatives and changes made, for example to the way reading skills are taught, have improved the quality and depth of pupils’ learning. Following the last inspection, leaders were asked to improve the quality of teaching and to use first-hand learning experiences as opportunities to develop pupils’ English and mathematics skills. Since then, you have trained the staff in the characteristics of outstanding teaching and have enhanced the mathematics curriculum with better opportunities for reasoning and problem-solving. This year, pupils have been inspired by visits from an author and a scientist. Other practical topics, such as building volcanoes and constructing a cross-section model of the Titanic have engaged pupils deeply and helped them to write creatively. Displays around the school are testament to the engaging and enjoyable activities that have captured pupils’ imagination. As standards attained in reading dipped somewhat last year, you have focused on this aspect of teaching. Good support has been provided by the local authority. Some teaching strategies used in key stage 2 in the past have been abandoned so that teachers can focus more explicitly on developing pupils’ skills of comprehension and inference. The effect of these new approaches is strikingly evident in some pupils’ books, where the depth of their study of texts such as ‘Skellig’, by David Almond, shows real maturity. However, pupils’ skills in reading are variable across different key stage 2 classes and the best practice in teaching that has developed this year is yet to be captured and embedded fully. In the Reception Class and in key stage 1, basic skills in reading are taught effectively. Children learn to recognise the sounds letters and groups of letters make. Most pupils can use these skills to break down and decode new words effectively. In recent years, the proportion of pupils attaining the expected standard in the Year 1 national phonics screening check has been close to the national average. Most pupils who fall short of the standard in Year 1 attain it by Year 2. However, a small number of pupils need more help to develop as fluent readers, as they struggle to recognise words quickly and lose the meaning of sentences as they read, which detracts from their enjoyment of books. Although you are confident that the overall quality of teaching has improved, you have experienced some staff absence this year and you recognise this has hindered the progress of some pupils. The provisional results of the 2018 key stage 2 national curriculum tests have confirmed your confidence in the quality of teaching. The results show that the proportions of pupils attaining the expected standard in reading and writing are in line with those seen nationally and, in mathematics, are above average. Most pleasingly, the proportion of pupils attaining the higher standard in reading and mathematics and attaining greater depth in writing is well above average. Teachers’ assessments also show pupils learn effectively at key stage 1, with standards of attainment in reading, writing and mathematics being sustained above those seen nationally. As children also quickly acquire basic skills in the Reception Year, this is a positive picture, particularly because around a third of pupils are disadvantaged and the proportion of pupils who speak English as an additional language is well above average. Safeguarding is effective. The leadership team has ensured that all safeguarding arrangements are fit for purpose. A comprehensive review of safeguarding procedures was undertaken this spring. Policies have been updated and all members of staff have received the necessary training. There are helpful displays of safeguarding information around the school and good systems are in place for when senior leaders are working elsewhere in the federation. Thorough checks are made on all adults who work in or visit the school. Leaders have put in place better systems for reporting and recording any concerns that arise. Prompt action is taken when it is needed. Leaders work effectively with other agencies and pursue a prompt resolution to concerns. Pupils told me they feel safe in school. They describe the staff as caring and trust them to help if they feel worried. Parents and carers also have confidence the school is a safe and secure place. Inspection findings As there have been considerable changes in leadership and management since the last inspection, I looked closely at the effect these changes are having on the school’s performance. I found the new leadership team has made a promising start. Both you and your deputy headteacher know the school well and divide your time thoughtfully across the federation. At St Joseph’s, the staff feel well supported and guided and most parents I spoke to, or who responded via Ofsted’s online survey, Parent View, are pleased with the quality of education provided. In many ways, the transition to the new leadership team has been seamless. Both senior and middle leaders are being ably supported to develop their leadership skills by colleagues in the local authority. In addition, the highly experienced chair of the governing body is providing excellent ongoing support. There is a rigour about most leadership and management systems. Your improvement plans are comprehensive and have successfully focused on the most pressing priorities. You use assessment information well to track pupils’ progress and to ensure that you deploy staff resources where they are most needed. However, your approach to checking the quality of teaching and learning is less well developed. The frequency of leaders’ checks has fallen away across the year and not all records have been collated and reviewed well enough. Too many checks focus on whether teachers comply with policies and do not capture specifically the effect teaching has on deepening pupils’ learning. Consequently, the feedback given to teachers is not pertinent enough to help them improve their practice. During this inspection I also looked closely at the teaching of reading, as pupils’ attainment in reading dipped last year. I found swift action has been taken. The subject leaders for English have made changes that have helped to deepen pupils’ skills. The range of books in school has been audited and new books have been bought. Class sets of age-appropriate books have been placed in each classroom and novels are studied in more depth. Teachers are more precise in setting learning objectives and criteria for pupils to evaluate their work. In some key stage 2 classes, pupils deepen their understanding of books effectively by exploring background themes, analysing characters and exploring the author’s use of language. There are some good examples of pupils selecting quotations and other evidence form the text to substantiate their arguments. However, improvements are more obvious in some teachers’ practice than others and further work is needed to ensure the best practice becomes more widely established.

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St Joseph's Catholic Primary School Catchment Area Map

This school is an academy and does not conform to the general school admission criteria set down by the Local Education Authority.