Holy Cross Catholic Primary School

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About Holy Cross Catholic Primary School

Name Holy Cross Catholic Primary School
Website http://www.holycross.lewisham.sch.uk/
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Miss Mary Collins
Address Culverley Road, Catford, London, SE6 2LD
Phone Number 02086982675
Phase Primary
Type Voluntary aided school
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Roman Catholic
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 241
Local Authority Lewisham
Highlights from Latest Inspection


Holy Cross Catholic Primary School continues to be an outstanding school.

What is it like to attend this school?

The Holy Cross community values and celebrates each and every pupil as a unique individual.

Pupils, staff and families are very proud of their school. Pupils are happy and feel safe as they know that staff will help them if they have any worries.

The school motto – 'Aspire not to have more but to be more' – is well understood by pupils and staff.

Leaders are highly aspirational for what all pupils can achieve, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). Leaders and staff are united in their belief that every pupil can achi...eve great things. Pupils work hard to meet these high expectations and, as a result, achieve very well across the curriculum.

Pupils are polite and caring. There is mutual respect between adults and pupils. Pupils are considerate of one another.

Bullying is rare. The Year 5 'peacemakers' are trained to support pupils and resolve any friendship issues that they may have.

Pupils relish the extensive additional activities and experiences available to them.

All pupils have a role to play in the wider life of the school. They are immensely proud of the contributions that they make. These range from classroom jobs to many different roles of responsibility, including sports and house captains, eco-warriors and digital leaders.

Older pupils are keen to share their enthusiasm and expertise in reading with their younger peers by acting as reading buddies.

What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?

Leaders have designed a highly ambitious curriculum. They have thought astutely about how to make subject content rigorous and demanding but also relevant to their school community.

The 'curriculum drivers' of significant people, community, equality and justice, and environmental responsibility thread through all curriculum subjects. As a result, the curriculum gives pupils the pathway to academic excellence and prepares them very well for life in modern Britain. Pupils achieve exceptionally, both in English and mathematics and across the curriculum.

Starting from the early years, leaders have identified with precision the key knowledge, skills and vocabulary that pupils need to learn and remember. Learning is broken down into well-organised chunks so that pupils build detailed knowledge over time.

Teachers have considerable subject knowledge.

Their expertise helps them to set out subject content with clarity and accuracy. In lessons, pupils recall and recap their prior learning often and with purpose. This helps them to remember what they have been taught and make connections across their learning.

Teachers regularly check what pupils know and can do. They use this information to identify and address any gaps in pupils' learning in a highly effective manner.

Leaders' ambition for pupils with SEND is realised by all staff.

They understand their role in ensuring that all pupils flourish, regardless of their needs. Staff know pupils very well and, as a result, quickly spot when a pupil may have any barriers to learning. Teachers skilfully adapt learning for pupils.

Pupils with SEND learn the same curriculum as their peers. Leaders work closely with external agencies to ensure that all pupils get the right kinds of support, whatever their needs may be.

Leaders have prioritised reading.

Starting from Nursery, children are immersed in books, stories and environmental sounds. As soon as children join the Reception class, they are taught the sounds that letters make. This is done in a systematic way, and continues in Year 1 and beyond.

Pupils read books that are closely matched to the sounds they have been taught and know. This helps them to become fluent readers. Teaching staff are experts at teaching phonics.

At the earliest opportunity, any pupil who is falling behind is quickly picked up, and extra reading practice is put in place. A love for reading is promoted throughout the school. Pupils enjoy the daily story time sessions and the weekly times set aside to 'drop everything and read' that all adults and pupils take part in.

Pupils' behaviour in lessons and around school is excellent. Pupils have positive attitudes to their learning and try their best in lessons. They are focused and attentive in class.

The provision for pupils' wider development is extensive. This includes specific sessions designed to develop pupils' speaking and communication skills and opportunities to debate. Educational visits enrich the taught curriculum and pupils attend a range of extra-curricular clubs.

Pupils are taught, and understand, that not all people and families are the same. They learn about how society is enriched by difference and that everyone can learn from the diverse experiences and backgrounds of others. Pupils are taught how to keep physically and mentally healthy.

Leaders at all levels are reflective. They continuously strive to improve and strengthen what is already in place. Staff are proud to work here and feel that their workload and well-being are considered.

Their professional development is also clearly prioritised by leaders. For instance, staff benefit from working on the curriculum with their counterparts across the federation.

The governing body members know the school well.

They provide an effective balance of challenge and support.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders have created a strong culture of safeguarding.

Staff receive regular training. They know the signs to look out for that indicate a pupil might be at risk of harm. Leaders' procedures for reporting and recording concerns are clear and well understood by staff.

Leaders have good oversight of any concerns raised. They liaise and work closely with other agencies to help families and pupils get the support that they need.

Through the curriculum, pupils learn how to keep themselves safe, including when online.

Information about keeping safe is threaded through what pupils learn in a range of subjects. For example, pupils are taught about fire safety when they study the Great Fire of London and about water safety through their swimming lessons.


When we have judged a school to be outstanding, we will then normally go into the school about once every four years to confirm that the school remains outstanding.

This is called an ungraded inspection, and it is carried out under section 8 of the Education Act 2005. We do not give graded judgements on an ungraded inspection. However, if we find evidence that a school would now receive a higher or lower grade, then the next inspection will be a graded inspection, which is carried out under section 5 of the Act.

Usually this is within one to two years of the date of the ungraded inspection. If we have serious concerns about safeguarding, behaviour or the quality of education, we will deem the ungraded inspection a graded inspection immediately.

This is the first ungraded inspection since we judged the school to be outstanding in December 2016.

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