Holy Cross Catholic Primary School

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About Holy Cross Catholic Primary School

Name Holy Cross Catholic Primary School
Website http://www.holycrossrcpri.iow.sch.uk
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs Lucie Banks
Address Millfield Avenue, East Cowes, PO32 6AS
Phone Number 01983292885
Phase Primary
Type Voluntary aided school
Age Range 5-11
Religious Character Roman Catholic
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 146
Local Authority Isle of Wight
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils are happy at Holy Cross. They build strong relationships with school staff and each other. Pupils know their routines.

They behave well and feel safe at school. Pupils enjoy their breaktimes, playing on the adventure playground or chatting with their friends. They are polite and well-mannered in their interactions.

Pupils enjoy many opportunities to work with the local community and to make a difference. Year 5 pupils talk with enthusiasm and empathy about their recent art project at a nearby hospice. They are proud of the joint artwork they created and the relationships they built with the staff and patients.

Pupils participate in other activities to ...fundraise for local charities and food banks. They value being part of a supportive community.

Leaders are ambitious for all pupils to achieve well.

They have rightly focused on improving English and mathematics, and pupils now learn well in these subjects. However, many other subjects are still being developed and, consequently, pupils do not always achieve as well as they should across the whole curriculum. Parents and carers are supportive of the school's improvement journey.

Many of them commented on the positive changes made by the new leadership team.

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

There has been significant turbulence in the school's leadership and staffing since the previous inspection. Since September 2022, the interim executive headteacher, governors and other senior leaders have brought much-needed stability.

They have acted swiftly and effectively to improve the teaching of English and mathematics, engaging well with the extensive support offered by the local authority. In these subjects, leaders have identified precisely what pupils should know and be able to do.

However, there are still substantial improvements needed across the other subjects.

In mathematics and reading, leaders have identified the small steps of knowledge that should be taught and how these link together. In other subjects, this work is not yet complete. This means that teachers do not always know what to teach and assess, and pupils cannot always recall essential learning.

Leaders rightly prioritise teaching pupils to read. Staff have been well trained in delivering the school's phonics programme. As a result, pupils become confident and fluent readers.

Their reading books match the sounds they learn. Pupils are skilled at 'chunking' words into sounds and then blending them together to read. Struggling readers receive the help they need to catch up.

Many pupils enjoy the books they study in lessons and their frequent story times. In early years, the daily 'line leader' delights in the privilege of being able to choose the class story.

Children get off to a strong start to their school life in early years.

They are highly motivated to learn and greet their activities with enthusiasm. This is because leaders have carefully designed the early years curriculum. Teaching staff skilfully shape learning to reflect and build on children's interests.

There are an abundance of literacy and mathematics opportunities in the environment. Children work together to problem-solve and are resilient learners. They show high levels of concentration and curiosity about the world around them.

Leadership of the provision for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) has strengthened. Pupils with SEND are identified quickly, and parents are fully involved in this process. Staff make appropriate adaptations to tasks and activities to ensure that these pupils access the same curriculum as their peers.

However, due to the varying stages of subject development, pupils with SEND do not experience a clearly defined curriculum in all subjects.

Pupils live up to leaders' high expectations for behaviour. They know the school rules and show respect to staff and each other.

In lessons, pupils are attentive and work hard. There is a positive attitude towards learning, shown by all. Pupils enjoy their celebration assemblies and value being able to share their achievements from outside school.

Pupils' wider development is well considered. Leaders create opportunities for pupils to develop their interests through a range of after-school clubs, including the popular book club. Pupils enjoy representing the school in a range of competitive and inclusive sporting competitions.

They share each other's success with pride. Leaders provide pupils with a range of leadership opportunities. The democratically elected school councillors take their responsibilities seriously and value their role in representing their classmates.

Members of the governing body have an accurate view of the school and know its strengths and what needs improving. They support the school's leaders in implementing change to bring about improvement. There is a shared determination for pupils to leave Holy Cross fully prepared for their next educational steps.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders are rigorous in the way they ensure there is a strong, school-wide culture of safeguarding. Staff are well trained and know how to identify and report any concerns.

Record-keeping is meticulous, and allows leaders to identify themes and appropriately refer concerns to external agencies. Leaders follow up concerns to check families receive support. Governors routinely monitor the effectiveness of leaders' procedures.

Pupils know whom they can talk to if they feel worried. They value the safeguarding posters around the school which provide them with useful information. They are confident that staff will listen and help them with any worries.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• The curriculum in wider subjects is not sufficiently developed. This means that the key knowledge and skills that pupils need to learn are not clearly defined. Leaders must ensure that curriculum development is completed in all subjects so that pupils are fully prepared for their next stage of education.

• Assessment processes in many subjects are not well developed. Consequently, leaders do not know how well pupils learn. Leaders should improve the effectiveness of assessment to ensure that pupils know and remember more across the school's curriculum.

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