Notre Dame Catholic Girls’ School

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About Notre Dame Catholic Girls’ School

Name Notre Dame Catholic Girls’ School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Ms Blon Byrne
Address 118 St George’s Road, London, SE1 6EX
Phone Number 02072611121
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 11-16
Religious Character Roman Catholic
Gender Girls
Number of Pupils 521
Local Authority Southwark
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

The school is warm and welcoming. Pupils enjoy the friendships that they forge here.

Many pupils start school during the school year and many speak English as an additional language. Pupils are patient and kind to their peers, helping each other in lessons. They enjoy participating in the range of clubs and activities on offer to all.

Leaders aspire for pupils to achieve well. Pupils study a broad curriculum. In some subjects, pupils develop an in-depth understanding of what they have learned.

However, overall, the quality of education that pupils receive is not strong. This is because teaching does not support all pupils to remember and apply knowledge secur...ely over time in many subjects.

There have been numerous changes at the school since January 2023.

Following a period of turbulence, the school is now more stable. Pupils and staff say that they can see positive improvements. For example, the school has made positive changes to the curriculum.

These are not fully embedded. Leaders have made recent changes to the way pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are taught so that they are fully integrated into the life of the school.

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

The school wants the best for pupils, irrespective of their personal circumstances or the challenges they may face.

Leaders have thought carefully about the knowledge that pupils should learn and the order in which this should be sequenced.

Typically, teachers have strong subject knowledge. Some staff use their expertise well to design suitable learning activities for pupils.

Nevertheless, the school does not always provide clear guidance. This means that teachers do not always ensure that learning activities are effective. In some subjects, pupils are not supported well to connect their prior learning to new subject content.

This affects how well they remember what has been taught.

The school's curricular thinking and implementation in some subjects is very effective. For example, pupils achieve highly in English, where the published outcomes were strong in 2023.

However, the curriculum is not taught consistently well across all subjects. Sometimes teaching does not check if pupils have understood earlier content carefully enough. This hinders how well pupils, including those with SEND, achieve the aims of the curriculum.

During lessons, pupils with SEND receive variable levels of support. Although leaders have accurately identified which pupils require additional support, the information provided to staff about what works well for these pupils is sometimes not precise enough to match their needs.

Until recently, reading has not been sufficiently prioritised.

The work to identify and support pupils who struggle to read is in its infancy. The school has now put systems into place to check pupils' reading knowledge gaps in Years 7 and 8. However, this work is at the early stages of development.

This limits how quickly pupils who struggle to read can catch up.

The school has raised its expectations of pupils' behaviour and introduced new routines to promote a positive learning environment. Typically, the atmosphere around the site is calm and orderly.

During lessons, most pupils listen attentively to their teachers and follow instructions. However, there is sometimes disruption to learning. This is because the school's new behaviour systems are not fully implemented and embedded.

The school's personal, social and health education curriculum is comprehensive. This includes teaching pupils about the importance of healthy and unhealthy relationships. This includes an age-appropriate relationships education.

Pupils benefit from a comprehensive careers programme. This allows pupils to engage with a variety of college providers and employers. This means that pupils can make informed choices about their future.

Pupils speak highly of the support they receive to make applications to college and have high aspirations for a bright future.

The school has high expectations of pupils' attendance. Most pupils attend school regularly and leaders follow up on any pupils whose attendance is a concern.

Most staff are proud to work at the school. They believe that leaders are considerate of their workload and well-being. Trustees and trust leaders understand the strengths and weaknesses of the school.

They work in partnership to challenge and support leaders. While many strategies are very new, trust leaders and governors are committed to helping the school to improve further.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Over the course of study, teaching is not enabling pupils to remember long-term content securely. This limits pupils' ability to deepen their subject-specific understanding and to integrate new knowledge into larger ideas. The school should ensure that pupils' prior learning is reviewed and embedded in long-term memory to enable pupils to develop a firm foundation for new learning.

• At times the curriculum is not successfully adapted or developed to meet the needs of all pupils with SEND. This means that some pupils with SEND are not able to develop their knowledge and skills effectively. The school should ensure that all teachers develop their expertise and confidence to ensure that they consistently make the most effective pedagogical choices to support pupils to secure learning well.

The school has only recently introduced systems to support pupils who struggle with their reading. This means that these pupils do not catch up quickly. The school should make sure that pupils' gaps in reading are swiftly identified and that support to help them to read fluently is precisely matched to their needs.

• New behavioural systems and expectations are not fully embedded and enacted across the school. This means that some pupils disrupt the learning of others. The school should ensure that the new systems and expectations are consistently applied and that all pupils are supported to manage their behaviour appropriately.

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