St Bernadette’s Catholic Primary School

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About St Bernadette’s Catholic Primary School

Name St Bernadette’s Catholic Primary School
Ofsted Inspections
Mrs Jane Zamora
Address Tewkesbury Lane, Monkston Park, Milton Keynes, MK10 9PH
Phone Number 01908692438
Phase Primary
Type Voluntary aided school
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Roman Catholic
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 428
Local Authority Milton Keynes
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils are proud to belong to this highly inclusive, happy school. They greatly value everyone's unique qualities.

Pupils explained to inspectors that everyone is welcome at this school and that difference is to be celebrated. Relationships across the school are warm and supportive.

Pupils thoroughly enjoy school and behave exceptionally well.

They live up to leaders' and staff's high expectations. Pupils are particularly kind and respectful of each other. They struggle to recall any incidents of unkindness or bullying, and feel safe and very well cared for by staff.

Personal development is of exceptional quality. Values such as service, respect, com...passion, justice and friendship are golden threads that knit this community together. Pupils understand and demonstrate these important school and Christian values.

Pupils learn that, through their actions, they can help to make the world a better place. They are eager to take on extra responsibilities and be one of St Bernadette's community, prayer or eco 'Mini Vinnies'. Older pupils reflect maturely on issues related to social justice and fairness.

As one pupil explained, 'People should not be excluded from this world if they are different, poor or don't have food to eat.'

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

Leaders' work is founded on their strong moral purpose for every pupil to thrive. They have been unswerving in their determination and work to improve this school.

As a result, they have secured much improvement and the school now provides a good quality of education.

In recent years, leaders have overhauled the curriculum. This is now shaped around themes that help pupils to connect with the world around them.

In most subjects, leaders have made sure that staff know what to teach and when. This is helping pupils to learn well. However, a few subjects in the wider curriculum are not so well developed and curriculum content is not so clear.

In subjects such as geography and history, leaders have not yet identified or sequenced content well enough. This means that pupils are not able to build on previous learning as well as they do in other subjects. Leaders also know that there is not yet enough clarity and precision in the English writing curriculum.

The curriculum is taught well. Teachers engage pupils well in discussions and use these to check pupils' understanding. Lessons start with a recap to help pupils reconnect with previous learning.

Teachers are skilled at explaining new concepts in subjects such as mathematics. They are quick to spot and iron out any misconceptions.

Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities are fully included in the life of the school.

Additional needs are accurately identified and extra help is swiftly put in place. Leaders work in close partnership with parents and carers, staff and other agencies, so that pupils receive the right support.

From children's very first days in Nursery, staff focus strongly on developing their communication and language skills.

No opportunity is missed to engage children in discussion. In early years, and across the school, pupils get to know and love many rhymes, stories and good-quality texts. These texts form the backbone of the school's reading and writing curriculum.

Phonics teaching gets under way promptly and most pupils get off to a good start to learning to read. Staff are skilled in teaching phonics and step up support for any pupils not keeping up. However, occasionally the books for pupils who have fallen behind are not well matched to their reading abilities.

When this happens, adults sometimes encourage these pupils to use picture clues. This limits opportunities for them to practise and apply their phonics skills and risks pupils not catching up quickly enough.

Many pupils benefit from the numerous and varied extra-curricular activities.

Opportunities abound for pupils to get involved in supporting other communities through charitable events, including for their partner school in Ghana. The links with this school give pupils a window into life and education in another country.

Governors bring considerable expertise and skill to their roles.

They fulfil their responsibilities well. They have strong processes to enable them to have a well-rounded and accurate understanding of the school. They make sure that safeguarding and the well-being of pupils and staff are always under the spotlight.

Staff enjoy working at the school, feel supported and are proud to be on the staff team. The school's partnership with parents and carers is strong and parents are full of praise for the school. One parent commented, 'Sending my child to this school is the best decision I have made.'


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Safeguarding and pupils' well-being are everyone's responsibility. Leaders' work to identify and support any pupils at risk of harm is top notch.

Safeguarding arrangements, including recruitment processes, are robust. Leaders have a very good understanding of the community and the contextual safeguarding risks in the locality. Staff are trained well and updated regularly about specific aspects of safeguarding.

They know what to be alert to, how to spot anything that may be a concern and the procedure to follow. The slightest worry is brought to leaders' attention without delay and followed up swiftly.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Pupils who are behind with their reading are occasionally given books that are not well matched to their reading skills.

Sometimes, adults encourage pupils to use picture clues rather than apply their phonics. This limits opportunities for pupils to practise and apply their phonics skills and risks them not catching up quickly enough. Leaders should take action to address these few inconsistencies in the school's reading provision.

• In a few foundation subjects, leaders have not specified with enough precision the important knowledge or concepts they want pupils to learn and remember and the order in which pupils learn new content. As a result, some pupils find it difficult to make meaningful connections with previous learning and build on this. Leaders should ensure that they identify and sequence the most important concepts and content they wish pupils to learn and remember.

• In some aspects of the English writing curriculum, leaders have not identified with complete clarity the component knowledge that pupils need to secure in some units of learning. This risks some important knowledge being inadvertently overlooked. Leaders need to implement their plans to further refine the English writing curriculum and identify more clearly the component knowledge that pupils need to learn.

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