Our Lady & St Paul’s RC Primary School, A Voluntary Academy

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About Our Lady & St Paul’s RC Primary School, A Voluntary Academy

Name Our Lady & St Paul’s RC Primary School, A Voluntary Academy
Website http://www.olsp.stoccat.org.uk
Ofsted Inspections
Mrs Marie Gavin
Address Sutherland Road, Darnhill, Heywood, OL10 3PD
Phone Number 01706360827
Phase Academy
Type Academy sponsor led
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Roman Catholic
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 196
Local Authority Rochdale
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils are happy coming to this welcoming and caring school. The school is building positive relationships with families across the school community.

Pupils feel safe. They know that staff will listen to them and give them the support that they need. Pupils praise the care offered by the school.

Children get off to a flying start in the early years. The school is ambitious for the achievement of all pupils, including pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). The majority of pupils achieve well in most subjects.

Pupils are polite and have good manners. They speak confidently with visitors. They are proud to take on leadership roles, for... example as members of the school council.

The school deals with any bullying effectively. There are high expectations for behaviour. Classrooms are calm.

This allows pupils to do their best in lessons.

Pupils benefit from a wide range of high-quality opportunities that enhance their learning and support their personal development. The school has made many links with outside organisations and this helps to support its vision to raise aspirations.

Pupils participate in interesting trips and visits. There is also a wide range of clubs, including arts, crafts and numerous sports.

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

The school, with the support of the trust, is successfully reversing a legacy of underachievement.

It has made improvements to the curriculum in recent years. These have had a positive impact on results in the reading, writing and mathematics assessments at key stage 1. However, results at the end of key stage 2 in 2022 were affected by the legacy of instability of staffing and the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The trust has supported the school in addressing its staffing issues, and there is now greater stability and strength across the school. The school has reviewed the curriculum. It is ambitious for all pupils, including pupils with SEND.

The school has identified the key knowledge that pupils should acquire. However, in some subjects, staff's variable subject knowledge and levels of confidence mean that learning is not precise enough to ensure that pupils acquire and retain this knowledge over time.

The curriculums in most subjects are organised well.

However, some subjects are less well developed. In these subjects, teaching is not precise enough to ensure pupils learn more and remember more over time.

Teachers make checks on pupils' learning.

This helps them to identify which pupils need more help or guidance. In most subjects, the school gathers a range of information about how the curriculum supports pupils' learning. However, in some subjects other than mathematics and English, pupils show an insecure recall over time of what they have learned.

Children make an excellent start to their education in the early years. The curriculum in early years has been developed over a greater period of time. It is well designed to meet the identified needs of children in the Nursery and Reception classes.

As a result, children make excellent progress from their starting points. They are well prepared for their future learning in Year 1.

The school has introduced a well-ordered phonics curriculum.

Teachers in the early years and in key stage 1 build pupils' phonic knowledge skilfully. They make sure that pupils read books that are carefully matched to their phonic knowledge. Teachers are swift to spot any pupils who may be falling behind with their reading.

Staff help these pupils to catch up quickly. Pupils are developing effective reading habits.

Pupils behave well.

They rarely disturb the learning of their peers. The school has developed a highly effective programme of learning to support pupils' personal development. It makes sure that pupils learn about a range of important issues, such as equality and fundamental British values.

The school has created a link with a primary school in a different community to enhance pupils' understanding of diversity. Pupils have extensive opportunities beyond the classroom. For example, working alongside a local football foundation, they are able to develop confidence and pride in their talents.

Pastoral support for pupils is very effective.

The school identifies the needs of pupils with SEND accurately. Detailed learning plans set out precisely the help that these pupils should receive in school.

Staff implement these plans well, and this gives pupils with SEND access to the same curriculum as other pupils. The school works closely with outside agencies and specialist providers to ensure that pupils with SEND receive the support that they need.

The trust and members of the local governing body have worked effectively to monitor progress against the actions in the school's development plan.

The school takes staff's workload and well-being into consideration when making decisions. Staff feel respected and valued.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• In some foundation subjects, the school's curriculum development is not as far forward as in others. This means pupils' knowledge in these subjects is not as secure as leaders would wish. The school and trust should sharpen aspects of teaching, which will help pupils to know more and remember more over time.

Across some foundation-subject curriculums, teachers' subject knowledge and confidence are not secure. Consequently, sometimes learning activities do not provide pupils with opportunities to deepen and remember their knowledge sufficiently well. The school and trust need to support teachers in improving their subject knowledge and confidence so that teaching enables pupils to know more and remember more.

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