St Bernadette’s Roman Catholic Primary School, Whitefield
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About St Bernadette’s Roman Catholic Primary School, Whitefield
St Bernadette’s Roman Catholic Primary School, Whitefield
St Bernadette's is a welcoming and caring school. Pupils told us that the school's motto, 'Together we learn, Together we achieve, Together we grow in God's love', explains perfectly what it is like to be a child in the school.
Pupils are happy and safe. They have many friends and rarely miss a day at school. Within the family-like environment, pupils flourish academically and socially.
Leaders have high expectations of all pupils. Pupils value this and try their best. Relationships between adults and pupils are strong.
Pupils say that staff respect and always have time for them. Pupils behave well in lessons and around the school. They smile, hold doors open... for each other and welcome visitors into school.
Pupils say that bullying does not happen. They know that they can go to staff if they ever have any worries or concerns.
Pupils have many roles and responsibilities.
These prepare them well for the future. Pupils have a deep sense of responsibility. They voice their dismay and offer solutions on homelessness and issues around the world.
They act to help when they can. For example, the 'Mini Vinnie' group organises many events to raise money for different charities.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
The headteacher has led the school well through a difficult period.
He has taken many actions which have led to many improvements. This has resulted in a new leadership team and many changes to staffing. Throughout this time, leaders have made sure that pupils achieve well across the school.
Leaders want all pupils to have the best education. Staff share this aspiration. Leaders and governors care about the staff at the school.
They have considered staff workload when making improvements to the curriculum. Staff acknowledge this and appreciate the support that they receive.
Leaders have planned an ambitious curriculum which makes sure that pupils learn things in a logical order.
In most subjects, they have thought about what they want pupils to know and remember. In these subjects, staff have strong subject knowledge and are confident in their teaching. This is evident in the reading, writing and mathematics curriculum, where pupils achieve well.
Due to staffing changes, a number of subject leaders are new to role. In these subjects, leaders have not identified what they want pupils to know and remember as they get older. However, it is clear from the actions that leaders have taken that they are in the process of bringing this about.
The assessment of pupils' learning in English and mathematics is used well by staff. They make sure that they use this information to match work to pupils' abilities. As a result, pupils achieve well.
However, in some subjects, assessment is not used as well.
Leaders have made sure that reading is at the heart of the curriculum. There are vibrant and well-resourced reading areas and displays in all classrooms.
Pupils enjoy using these areas. Pupils that I spoke to told me that they love reading. They speak confidently about the stories that are read to them in class.
As soon as children start in Nursery, they begin their reading journey. The teaching of phonics is impressive. Leaders ensure that all staff have excellent subject knowledge.
Pupils are given books to read, that are well matched to the sounds that they are learning. The support that pupils get if they need to catch up is thorough. As a result, most pupils meet the expected standard in the Year 1 phonics screening check.
Pupils' achievement in reading is strong.
Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) achieve to the best of their abilities. The person responsible for pupils with SEND is highly effective.
There are strong systems in place to make sure that these pupils achieve well.
Pupils have many opportunities to learn beyond the academic curriculum. Pupils' health education is particularly strong.
Healthy diet and exercise are promoted. Pupils' learning is enhanced well through trips, residentials, visits and a wide range of extra-curricular clubs. For example, the eco warriors produced a film of a fox and a badger exploring their garden at night.
Pupils can also take part in activities, such as running and yoga.
Pupils are proud to attend St Bernadette's. They are confident, caring and respectful.
Across the school, their behaviour is good and disruption to learning is rare.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Leaders make sure that keeping children safe is a priority.
Staff receive regular training and information. As a result, they act quickly when they have concerns about pupils' safety. Leaders have established effective systems within the school.
They ensure that records are detailed and thorough.
Leaders work well with other professionals to make sure that pupils and their families receive the support that they need. Parents say that staff go above and beyond to support them.
Pupils spoken with during the inspection know how to stay safe. This includes when they are online.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
Instability in leadership and staffing has hindered the improvements leaders planned for the curriculum.
As a result, the curriculum is not yet well sequenced and coherently planned in some subjects. However, it is clear from the actions that leaders have taken that they are in the process of bringing this about. In some subjects, curriculum plans do not provide enough detail about what teachers want pupils to know and remember.
Leaders need to make sure that all curriculum plans provide enough detail so pupils' learning over time is further strengthened. For these reasons, Ofsted's transition statements were applied to confirm that pupils benefit from a good education. .
Assessment in the core subjects is effective. However, leaders are developing the use of assessment in the foundation subjects. As a result, assessment is not used as effectively as it could be to identify gaps in pupils' learning.
Leaders should ensure that assessment is consistently used to check pupils' learning to help them know and remember more. . Some subject leaders are new to post.
Consequently, in some subjects, leaders have not mapped out clearly what they would like pupils to learn and by when. Leaders should provide support and training to help subject leaders who are new to role. This will allow new leaders to develop their subjects, so the curriculum is more coherent and is well sequenced.
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