Our Lady Catholic Primary School

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About Our Lady Catholic Primary School

Name Our Lady Catholic Primary School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs Sarah Snowball
Address Old Hale Way, Hitchin, SG5 1XT
Phone Number 01462622555
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 5-11
Religious Character Roman Catholic
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 160
Local Authority Hertfordshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

This is a friendly and welcoming school.

Relationships are positive. Pupils are happy and enjoy learning. Pupils benefit from a broad curriculum that develops their interests and their curiosity.

They are keen to share their knowledge and their ideas. Pupils appreciate the various trips and visitors to school. These experiences help pupils connect their learning with the wider world.

Pupils make good progress. They are well prepared for the next stage of their education.

Pupils behave well.

They are polite and respectful. Pupils respond to the high expectations that adults have of their learning and their behaviour. Pupils listen carefully t...o adults and to each other.

Pupils are proud to take on additional responsibilities in school. They carry out their roles with commitment and enthusiasm.

Pupils feel safe.

They are confident that adults will help them sort out any worries they may have. Pupils know who to talk to in school when they have any concerns. Pupils say that bullying is rare.

When it happens, it is followed up quickly and resolved by staff.

Most parents and carers are positive about the school. They feel they are part of a caring school community in which their children flourish.

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

Leaders have carefully considered how the curriculum supports pupils to gain the important knowledge and understanding they need to achieve well from the Reception Year to Year 6. Pupils make good progress across the full range of subjects. Teachers plan lessons that build on what pupils have learned before.

This helps pupils secure important knowledge in each subject. Teachers use assessment well to identify the specific areas of a subject where pupils need more practice. They promptly address any misunderstandings pupils may have.

Leaders ensure that the curriculum is suitably adapted so that pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) learn and achieve well alongside their peers.

Subject leaders are knowledgeable and enthusiastic. They support staff to teach the curriculum well.

Many subject leaders are new to the role. Subject leaders monitor the implementation of the curriculum in their subject. Leaders recognise that the next step is to develop subject leaders' confidence so that they can make a strong contribution to developing the quality of education and the curriculum.

Reading is promoted across the school. Pupils practise their reading regularly and become confident and fluent readers. Leaders ensure that pupils experience a wide range of texts.

Pupils deepen their understanding of texts they read and enjoy discussing the choices that authors make.

Leaders have introduced a new programme to teach systematic synthetic phonics. This programme is strengthening the teaching of early reading.

Pupils in the Reception class and key stage 1 secure their phonics through daily teaching and regular practice. Pupils read books that match the sounds they are learning in school. Pupils learn to apply their phonics knowledge to decode unfamiliar words.

Pupils in key stage 2 who are at the early stages of learning to read benefit from extra sessions that help them develop their phonics knowledge and reading fluency. Staff have received appropriate training to teach the new phonics programme. Leaders recognise there is work to do to ensure that the programme is implemented consistently well by all staff.

This includes the additional support that pupils receive to develop their confidence and fluency in reading.

Children in the Reception class learn the routines and behaviours that enable them to be successful in school. Staff are skilful in their use of questions to develop children's thinking and their play.

Children are taught how to hold a pencil and form their letters and numbers correctly. Children develop their language and communicate well with adults and with their peers. Children are gaining a good understanding of number and mathematical concepts through direct teaching, through stories, and through their play.

Staff have high expectations of what children can and should achieve across the curriculum. Children are well prepared for key stage 1.

Pupils' personal development is supported well through the curriculum and the wider opportunities that are available, such as sport and music.

Pupils learn to keep themselves and others safe, including online. Pupils learn about different cultures, their traditions and beliefs. Pupils learn to respect each other's differences and celebrate diversity.

Governors are diligent in their work. They ensure that leaders' actions are making a positive difference to improve the quality of education for all pupils.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders have established a strong culture of safeguarding. Staff receive relevant training and regular updates. This helps keep safeguarding at the forefront of everyone's mind.

Staff are vigilant and well informed. They can recognise the signs of potential neglect or abuse. All staff understand the systems for recording and reporting concerns.

Leaders take prompt action and work effectively with other agencies to ensure that vulnerable pupils and families access the support they need.

Governors carry out regular checks to assure themselves that safeguarding procedures are robust and carried out effectively. This includes staff recruitment and pre-employment checks.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Leaders have introduced a new programme for the systematic teaching of synthetic phonics and early reading. Staff have taken part in relevant training. Leaders should ensure that staff continue to receive the guidance and training they need to implement the new programme well, building on the effective practice that is already in place.

This includes ensuring that the additional support for pupils who are at the early stages of reading fluency is consistently strong. ? Some subject leaders are new to their role and need to develop confidence in their role. This is so they can drive further improvements in their subject and in the curriculum.

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