St Aelred’s Catholic Primary School - a Catholic Voluntary Academy

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About St Aelred’s Catholic Primary School - a Catholic Voluntary Academy

Name St Aelred’s Catholic Primary School - a Catholic Voluntary Academy
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs Claire Hughes
Address Fifth Avenue, York, YO31 0QQ
Phone Number 01904806075
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Roman Catholic
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 196
Local Authority York
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

St Aelred's Catholic Primary School is a welcoming school.

Pupils are proud to attend. They know and understand the school values of friendship, courage and respect. Pupils demonstrate these values in their attitudes to learning and relationships with each other and with staff.

Leaders and those responsible for governance are highly ambitious for the pupils who attend the school. Recent changes to leadership and to the school curriculum ensure that pupils are rising to these expectations. Pupils enjoy their learning.

They know how they are getting better and learning more.

Classrooms are calm and focused places to learn. Pupils benefit from clear sch...ool rules.

Their positive attitudes and hard work are rewarded in different ways. School leadership roles such as school councillors and anti-bullying ambassadors are celebrated. Pupils in these roles enjoy the positive contribution that they make to school.

Pupils remember their learning beyond the classroom, such as school visits, with enthusiasm. Various after-school activities, such as dance and art club, help pupils to socialise and learn beyond the school day.

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

The high expectations set by new leaders are shared across the school community.

The school has a rigorous and well-planned curriculum for all pupils, including pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). Senior leaders ensure the curriculum helps pupils to build key knowledge and skills in readiness for their next stages in learning. Pupils benefit from teaching that helps them to build the small steps of knowledge that they need to be successful.

Outcomes for 2023 do not reflect the recent and positive changes in the curriculum offer. Leaders take prompt action to ensure that the gaps in pupils' knowledge are identified and addressed. Assessment is well used in mathematics to ensure that pupils can remember previous learning.

This also happens effectively in history and phonics. Staff use subject-specific training well to ensure that the curriculum is implemented as intended. Where this is most effective, pupils remember and connect their learning.

In subjects like art, this is less well developed.

Making a prompt start to reading is a high priority for the school. Pupils receive consistent and focused phonics lessons.

Pupils who need to catch up with their reading access timely intervention. Focused training means that teachers are skilled in teaching phonics. In phonics lessons and when supporting pupils with reading, staff use the same language, gestures and structures consistently.

This means that pupils succeed and apply the sounds that they know confidently. Older pupils show interest in reading through reading challenges in school and through work with the local library. A love of reading starts in early years, where children enjoy story time and explore key language linked to texts.

Pupils with SEND receive timely and focused support so that they can access the curriculum alongside their peers. Teachers make careful adaptations to support pupils with SEND in the classroom. The school uses the advice of additional professionals to meet the needs of pupils with SEND effectively.

Rapid progress is evident in the pace of change to strengthen the curriculum and improve behaviour in school. Senior leaders lead this effectively. Leadership roles beyond senior leaders are less well developed.

The school has high expectations for pupils' behaviour and positive attitudes to learning. Pupils benefit from consistently applied routines. This allows pupils to focus on their learning.

Pupils know and understand the clear and effective school rules. Pupils can see how recent changes to behaviour have improved the school. Children in early years are well supported to work in familiar routines and structures.

They play and learn together well. Older pupils have experienced previous poor behaviour. This has improved significantly, although some worry that it can still happen.

Leaders have well-considered procedures to support pupils where issues arise. Pupils know that adults will sort out any challenging behaviour.

Pupils show maturity and confidence when talking about a range of issues.

Equality and fairness are a key part of school life. Pupils understand some of the risks that they may face online and in the community. They understand what healthy relationships look like.

School leadership responsibilities include established roles like the school council and new initiatives such as head boy and girl. Pupils recognise that voting for these roles is democracy in action.

Stakeholders, such as governors, trustees and trust leaders, are proactive in holding leaders to account.

They have the same high expectations as leaders. While there have been recent changes to the school, stakeholders maintain a sharp focus on the well-being of staff.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Some areas of the wider curriculum are newly developed, and pupils are in the early stages of developing their knowledge and skills in line with these changes. The implementation of these subjects is not always consistent across key stages, impacting on the ambition of the intended curriculum. The school should ensure that the implementation matches the expectations of the curriculum intent closely so that pupils build and connect knowledge over time.

• Behaviour incidents that do not match the high expectations of the school still occasionally occur. This means a small number of pupils worry about the behaviour of some pupils. The school should continue to embed the newly implemented behaviour policy to build upon the improvements in behaviour.

• Leadership, beyond senior leaders, is not as well developed. Some aspects of the school's work to improve further are not as effective as they might be. The school should develop opportunities and training to develop leadership at varying levels further.

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