Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Primary School

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About Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Primary School

Name Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Primary School
Website http://www.ourlady-starofthesea.org.uk
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs Claire Roberts
Address Seaforth, Select, L21 3TE
Phone Number 01519283158
Phase Primary
Type Voluntary aided school
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Roman Catholic
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 216
Local Authority Sefton
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils enjoy learning and playing at this nurturing school. Adults and pupils make sure that everyone feels welcome, respected and valued.

Pupils said that staff look after them well. They know that there are adults in the school who will listen to their concerns. Pupils who arrive from other countries quickly feel safe, make friends and play a full part in the life of the school.

The school expects all pupils to work hard and achieve well. Most pupils, including those who are disadvantaged and those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), achieve well in most subjects.

Pupils' positive behaviour starts in the early years.

Children... gradually learn to listen, follow instructions, share and take turns. In lessons and at social times, pupils live out the school's values, including those of respect and kindness. They help each other and behave well.

They enjoy each other's company.

Pupils take full advantage of the many opportunities that the school provides for their personal development. They attend a wide range of clubs that staff organise for them at lunchtimes and after school, including drama, gardening and many sports.

They relish responsibilities such as taking on the role of well-being ambassadors and representing their class on the eco-council. Visits by local people from a variety of professions contribute to the development of pupils' determination to aim high in life.

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

The school has devised an ambitious curriculum which is bespoke to the school.

It sets out clearly what pupils need to learn in each subject at each stage of their education. Following the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a dip in pupils' attainment and progress in some subjects. In response, the school made revisions to the curriculum.

These changes have had a positive impact on pupils' achievement, including in mathematics.

Teachers have strong knowledge of the subjects that they teach. They carefully choose activities which help pupils to learn well.

Staff regularly revisit learning so that pupils remember it and can build on their knowledge when introduced to something new. Staff frequently check what pupils know and remember. They adapt future teaching to address gaps in pupils' knowledge.

Reading is very important in this school. Pupils are enthusiastic about the many ways in which the school encourages them to enjoy reading. They excitedly explained that when a bell rings at different times during the day, they can 'drop everything and read'.

Staff ensure that children in the early years steadily increase their skills, including listening and speaking, often from low starting points. Children have fun listening to stories and rhymes and learning about the sounds that letters make. These activities help them when they begin to follow the school's well-devised phonics programme from the start of the Reception Year.

Staff have undertaken considerable training in early reading. They help pupils who struggle. For some pupils this works well.

However, although most staff implement the phonics programme very effectively, a minority sometimes do not use the school's agreed approach or vocabulary. This inconsistency contributes to some pupils not becoming fluent and accurate readers by the start of key stage 2.

The school quickly identifies the needs of pupils with SEND.

Staff use this information to plan the help and resources that these pupils need to successfully follow the same curriculum as their peers. The school ensures that pupils with SEND enjoy taking part in all aspects of school life.

Staff ensure that the school is calm and orderly during lessons and at social times.

Nearly all pupils listen attentively and remain engrossed in their learning. Some pupils have needs which make it hard for them to follow rules and concentrate. Skilled staff patiently help them to learn alongside their peers.

The school prioritises working with pupils, families and external agencies to promote good attendance. However, since the COVID-19 pandemic, attendance has deteriorated. Too many pupils miss too much important learning and wider opportunities for development.

The school provides pupils with very strong opportunities for personal development. Pupils embrace difference. They enjoy celebrating the increasingly wide range of cultures represented in the school.

They learn to put themselves in the shoes of those less fortunate than themselves. They support global and local charities. They are very aware of the responsibilities that come with 'living sustainably and in solidarity with the poor'.

Staff are proud to work at this school. They said that the school values their hard work and takes into account their workload when making changes. The school makes sure that parents and carers are involved in their children's learning, including by organising reading workshops.

Governors know the school very well. With considerable changes to staffing and leadership this year, they have ensured stability and maintained a strong focus on the quality of education that the school provides.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• A minority of teaching staff do not consistently use the school's agreed approaches to the implementation of the phonics programme, including agreed terminology. As a result, some pupils become confused and take longer than they should to increase and use their phonics knowledge. The school should ensure that all those who teach early reading use agreed language and activities so that more pupils reach the standard appropriate for their age.

• Too many pupils are too frequently absent from school. As a result, they miss important learning and opportunities for personal development. The school should strengthen strategies to improve attendance so that all pupils benefit fully from the education and experiences that the school provides.

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