Holy Rood Catholic Primary School

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About Holy Rood Catholic Primary School

Name Holy Rood Catholic Primary School
Website http://www.holyroodcatholicprimaryschool.co.uk/
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs Emma Braund
Address Greenbank Road, Watford, WD17 4FS
Phone Number 01923223785
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Roman Catholic
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 452
Local Authority Hertfordshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Year after year, pupils achieve very well.

The subject-specific learning ignites pupils' interest in academia, sports and the creative arts. Pupils happily talk at length about all that they learn. For example, younger pupils can explain what makes numbers odd or even, while older pupils describe each step of the water cycle.

What is most impressive is how much pupils recall from lessons learned in years gone by.

Pupils benefit greatly from the rich and varied extra-curricular offer. This includes clubs such as chess, football and Irish dancing, to name but a few.

Whole-school events, such as French Day, introduce pupils to different cultures. Such e...vents open pupils' eyes to people and places they may not otherwise have come across.

All of the school's values are woven into everyday school life, though it is 'love and solidarity' that shine most brightly.

Pupils relish the opportunity to nominate a peer for the 'Holy Rood Heart Award'. They take a lot of joy from celebrating their own and others' success. Through the buddy system, older pupils keenly welcome younger ones into the fold.

Older pupils pass on the importance of being kind, working hard and using good manners. This serves to maintain the exceptional high standards of behaviour. It makes the school a happy and supportive place to attend.

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

Since the last inspection, the school has maintained a culture of high expectations. Those responsible for governance are strategic and thorough. They are strategic in how they actively recruit governors who have suitable skill sets, and thorough in how they visit the school to assure the accuracy of the information they receive.

Leaders communicate clearly, evaluate honestly and welcome challenge readily. Pupils, parents and staff sing the school's praises. They recognise the school's relentless drive to ensure pupils' safety and high achievement.

Children in the early years slot seamlessly into school life. Staff's expertise ensures that the learning environment encourages purposeful play. For example, in mathematics, children learned how to count gems one at a time.

Next, they matched the amount to the numeral it represented. Children then chose to count other objects, like toy farm animals, when playing. This progression is a regular cycle, ensuring children embed the knowledge they need for Year 1.

Pupils achieve highly in reading across the school. Expressive storytelling in the Nursery Year hooks children into reading. It readies them for learning the sounds that letters make.

The training for staff and the workshops for parents encourage home-school partnerships. This is shown in pupils regularly reading suitably challenging books. Because staff watch pupils closely, they resolve pupils' misunderstandings within lessons.

As a result, very few pupils fall behind the pace of the reading programmes.

The curriculum ensures pupils have a good grounding in related knowledge before they encounter new topics. For example, in history, pupils study the Ancient Egyptians in depth after they have learned about a range of other civilisations.

Pupils eloquently explain what they know. This is owing to staff's clear explanations and the high-quality schoolwork pupils complete.

Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities receive high-quality care and academic support.

This is because there is a collective drive to reflect on pupils' needs and to seek advice about how best to help them. It shows in the bespoke support being well thought through. For example, some pupils receive tailor-made storybooks that achieve two goals.

First, pupils practise reading aloud the letter sounds learned to help embed them. Second, pupils communicate through 'key word signing'. This helps pupils to read and to express their thoughts and feelings.

Across the school, there is a palpable air of peace and kindheartedness. It filters down from leaders to staff to pupils and parents. There is consistency in how adults form positive relationships with pupils.

Pupils then want to look and listen, both to learn from and to show respect, to adults and peers in school.

Pupils' attendance is high. All that the school offers encourages pupils to come to school.

Even so, when the school has attendance concerns, they confront these head on. It resolves issues quickly before poor attendance habits bed in.

There is an extensive, exciting personal development programme.

At its heart, its aim is to build pupils' self-esteem. Ample opportunities exist for pupils to talk, present and perform to others. Close ties with the community complement the curriculum well.

Younger pupils get to meet a search and rescue dog, while older pupils hold discussions with various religious leaders. In addition, the school connects pupils' wider opportunities with what they learn in school. For example, pupils compete in inter-school sporting competitions.

Before these, they hone their skills in physical education lessons. It helps pupils to achieve their best when competing.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

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