Catshill First School

Name Catshill First School
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Address Gibb Lane, Catshill, Bromsgrove, B61 0JP
Phone Number 01527872913
Type Primary
Age Range 3-9
Religious Character Does Not Apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 319 (54.5% boys 45.5% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 19.8
Local Authority Worcestershire
Percentage Free School Meals 24.6%
Percentage English is Not First Language 3.5%
Persistent Absence 13.9%
Pupils with SEN Support 21.1%
Catchment Area Indicator Available Yes
Last Distance Offered Available No
Highlights from Latest Full Inspection (12 February 2013)
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Information about this school

This is smaller than the average-sized first school. The Early Years Foundation Stage comprises a Nursery class for three-year-old children who all attend part time and two Reception classes for four-year-olds who are taught along with some Year 1 pupils. Most pupils transfer from the First School at the end of Year 4 to its federated school, Catshill Middle School. Following a six-month period of soft federation, the two schools formally federated in January 2013. At the time of the inspection the school appointed a permanent head of school who will start in April 2013. The vast majority of pupils are White British. A small number are from a range of minority ethnic backgrounds and the largest groups are represented by pupils of mixed heritage. A very small number of pupils speak English as an additional language. The proportion of pupils known to be eligible for the pupil premium is above average (this is additional funding for pupils known to be eligible for free school meals or in the care of the local authority). The percentage of disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs is above average (pupils supported by school action, school action plus or with a statement of special educational needs). The main areas of additional needs include moderate learning difficulties, such as speech, language and communication, as well behavioural difficulties. The school was last inspected in October 2011 and was judged at that time to require special measures as it was providing an inadequate standard of education. Ofsted has monitored the school three times since this inspection and the last two monitoring inspections judged that the school was making good progress. The school has received a number of national awards including Healthy Schools and the Activemark, and it is an Eco school.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a good school. Pupils achieve well in relation to their starting points. The large majority reach or exceed the levels expected for their age in English and mathematics. Children in the Early Years Foundation Stage make outstanding progress. The teaching has improved very well since the school’s last inspection, and this is largely responsible for the significant and sustained rise in pupils’ attainment. The support provided for disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs is very well managed and enables them to make good progress towards their learning targets. Pupils are well behaved and attentive in lessons. They are keen learners and cooperate well with others when working in groups or with partners. Teachers’ marking is consistent and effective. It provides good guidance and support to help pupils understand the next steps in their learning. Teachers and leaders check pupils’ learning and progress accurately. The information gathered about pupils’ learning is also used well to evaluate the quality of teaching so that teachers are now more accountable for the progress their pupils make. The federated strategic leadership team and governing body involving both the first and middle schools have strengthened the management and oversight of teaching. This is sustaining improvements to pupils’ learning and the school’s performance. It is not yet an outstanding school because : Some more-able pupils should reach higher levels in writing by the end of Year 4. Although improving, pupils’ progress in writing is slower than in reading and mathematics. Some teaching does not extend or deepen pupils’ knowledge and understanding. The questions teachers ask in lessons are not always sharp enough to check pupils’ understanding, so learning can be adapted in line with their abilities.