Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School

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About Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School

Name Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs Jenna Thompson
Address Highfield Road, Hemsworth, Pontefract, WF9 4LJ
Phone Number 01977625354
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 4-11
Religious Character Roman Catholic
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 117
Local Authority Wakefield
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils have many opportunities to learn inside and outside the classroom at Sacred Heart Catholic School.

They engage in learning in lessons, at lunchtimes and after school. Pupils can take part in table tennis, construction or listening to stories in the 'Starbooks café. Pupils enjoy these experiences and say that they learn a lot from them.

Pupils value the 'respect' school charter that they created. This reminds them to aim for excellence and perseverance, which they do. They are polite and respectful to adults and each other.

In lessons and around school, pupils behave well. This is a school where caring and helping others is valued. Pupils say, 'sharing caring.'

If bullying happens, teachers resolve it promptly and with care. All of this helps pupils to feel safe.

There are lots of opportunities for pupils to be leaders such as librarians, 'Minnie Vinnies' and school council leaders.

Pupils' learning extends beyond the school day. There are many after-school clubs, such as football and yoga. Pupils learn about different faiths and have many opportunities to take part in sharing the core values of different faiths.

Parents and carers speak highly of the school and the changes that have been made. They say their children are well supported and have flourished.

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

Leaders have created a curriculum which inspires pupils to learn.

It is well sequenced and ambitious. In the foundation subjects pupils are taught precise vocabulary that they use in lessons. In history lessons pupils use timelines to help them remember key events from the subject.

Teachers have good subject knowledge. In the curriculum, the sequences of learning are clear to follow and build upon prior knowledge. In lessons, teachers use resources that allow pupils to practise this knowledge.

This supports them in becoming more competent in each subject and pupils enjoy getting better at skills and knowing more. Sometimes though, activity choices used by teachers do not always help pupils to recall the knowledge that they are supposed to.

In mathematics, teachers check what pupils can and cannot do and then adjust their teaching, which supports pupils' mathematics knowledge developing further.

However, in some other subjects, teachers do not always have a consistent approach to accurately check what pupils know, and so miss opportunities to provide this support.

Early reading is taught consistently well. Younger pupils enthusiastically take part in phonics lessons.

Leaders have given careful thought to how to best organise these lessons. All adults follow the school system and teach phonics with care. They revisit prior learning to check pupils can recall the sounds that they know well, before moving on.

Pupils read books that are matched well with the sounds that they know. Over time, they write the words that they know and build longer and longer sentences. Additional phonics lessons are in place for pupils who need to catch up.

Pupils speak with confidence about how they learn to read. They enjoy reading.

The curriculum in the early years is also well planned.

Children enjoy an extensive, well-considered environment matched to this curriculum. All adults know what children need to learn and are clear what success will look like. Adults use questions and a rich vocabulary to extend children's language.

Adults model using this language well. Children are calm and orderly when learning independently. They stay on tasks at length.

During the inspection, children made rangoli patterns with rice and sand. They independently used examples to help them make their own patterns. They questioned each other on the choices that they had made.

Leaders have designed a carefully considered personal, social, health and education curriculum to support pupils' well-being. Staff use this curriculum to teach pupils about the specific risks and the diversity that enriches their local community. Visits from the local police community support officer remind pupils of how to be responsible.

Pupils learn how to stay safe on bonfire night. In lessons, pupils learn the internet safety rules. They have a clear understanding of what cyber-bullying is and what they need to do if it happens to them.

In after-school 'youth club', pupils learn about the risks that they may face when using online games. Pupils understand the importance of having good mental health. If they have a worry, they can post a note to 'Bobby Bear' and an adult will help them to deal with the worry.

The chief executive officer and governing body have been key partners in reshaping the strategic direction of the school. The executive leadership team know the school well. They have worked alongside school leaders to drive rapid, sustainable improvements in school.

Trustees perform the required statutory duties with purpose and care. They hold senior leaders to account. Teachers are well supported.

They express their gratitude at being part of this strong staff team.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders have ensured safeguarding systems are well embedded in the school.

All adults take part in an annual training programme. They know how this training will help them to spot pupils who may be vulnerable or at risk. Leaders have undertaken safer recruitment training.

Leaders work with local partners to make sure that appropriate support is in place for all pupils and their families. They understand the risk their pupils may face. Leaders ensure all adults who work at and visit the school have undergone the correct checks needed.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Leaders do not have an accurate assessment system in place for the foundation subjects. Teachers are not accurately identifying gaps in knowledge or misconceptions in pupils' learning in these subjects. Leaders need to put an assessment system in place that allows teacher to purposefully check what pupils do and do not know.

• In some subjects, teachers do not always choose the most appropriate activities to help pupils learn the planned knowledge long term. Pupils do not retain the key knowledge that teachers want them to acquire. Leaders should ensure that teachers receive appropriate training to support them in selecting the activities that best support pupils in acquiring the knowledge set out in the curriculum.

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