St Bernard’s Roman Catholic Primary School

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About St Bernard’s Roman Catholic Primary School

Name St Bernard’s Roman Catholic Primary School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs Julie Le Feuvre
Address Sherbourne Road, Ellesmere Port, CH65 5EW
Phone Number 01513552047
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 2-11
Religious Character Roman Catholic
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 228
Local Authority Cheshire West and Chester
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

This is a happy school where pupils' learning often extends beyond the classroom and beyond the school day.

There is a real sense of community in the school. Pupils have good relationships with their friends and the adults who teach them. They behave well and do their best to live up to the high expectations that staff have of them.

Educational trips and residential visits underpin the school's exciting curriculum. Leaders and staff also provide a wide range of after-school activities to support pupils' development. This inspires pupils to develop positive attitudes and become successful learners.

Pupils are encouraged to be proud of their achievements and am...bitious for their futures.

Pupils learn about the importance of equality and justice. They learn about cultures and beliefs that are different from their own.

They learn to see difference as a positive aspect of their lives.

The pupils who spoke to us said that they feel safe in school. Staff take good care of pupils and do all that they can to support their well-being.

Pupils said that bullying rarely happens. They trust staff and said that problems are sorted out quickly. One pupil said, 'We can tell our teacher anything.'

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

Leaders, including governors, are ambitious for all pupils. They have developed a curriculum that is well structured and imaginative and supports pupils' learning across all subjects. The curriculum inspires pupils to learn and to develop a love of learning.

Teachers ensure that pupils of all abilities achieve well. This includes those pupils who are disadvantaged and pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).

Mathematics is a strength.

The structure of the curriculum helps pupils to develop a secure understanding of what they are learning before moving on to new topics. As a result, pupils learn more and remember more in mathematics as they move through the school. They achieve well in this subject at the end of Year 6.

Leaders have worked successfully with staff to improve the reading curriculum. Published data shows that pupils are now making better progress in reading across key stage 2. They attain well by the end of Year 6.

However, there are still too many pupils who fail to reach the expected standard in the Year 1 phonics screening check. Some of the pupils who struggle with their early reading do not get the support that they require to catch up quickly with their peers. These pupils also need more guidance on the books that they choose to read for pleasure.

Leaders have organised the history curriculum so that pupils not only study past events but also consider the impact that these events have on our lives today. Pupils in Year 6 had a good understanding of significant events from the past. For example, they understood how the Second World War began and ended.

They also understood how war is impacting on people and communities today. Leaders have also developed a science curriculum that supports pupils' learning effectively. Pupils regularly use practical work and scientific enquiry to test their increasing scientific knowledge.

However, when recording their learning in science and history, many pupils do not apply their writing skills well enough.

The early years curriculum is well organised and matched to children's needs. Children behave well and enjoy the challenges that are set for them each day.

They enjoy talking about their learning. They develop a love of books and stories. They also develop a good understanding of number.

Leaders support pupils' personal development exceptionally well. Every pupil is equally valued as a member of the school community. They behave well and value the friendships that they make in school.

Staff support pupils in developing confidence and resilience. They teach pupils about the importance of keeping physically and mentally fit. Pupils also learn about environmental issues and the importance of becoming a good citizen.

However, overall attendance has been below the national average over recent years and too many pupils are persistently absent from school. This has a negative impact on their achievement.

There are many activities for pupils to get involved in outside of lessons.

Pupils regularly take part in drama productions and musical events. Older pupils have recently worked with a local theatre company to create a play about the plight of refugees. Pupils also enjoy residential visits where they are given experiences such as canoeing and rock climbing.

Teachers are extremely well supported by leaders. They have regular access to training and are knowledgeable about the subjects they teach. The members of staff we met said that they enjoy working at this school.

They said that they feel valued and that senior leaders are mindful of their workload and their well-being.

Governors are well informed about the school. They ensure that the school is well led and managed and they provide a good balance of support and challenge for senior leaders.

Parents and carers hold the school in high regard. They are extremely positive about the school's leadership team and the support that staff provide for pupils.


Safeguarding is given the highest priority at this school.

Staff are vigilant.

Leaders ensure that appropriate checks are made on all adults who work at the school. Staff are well trained in safeguarding matters.

They know what to do if they have any concerns about a pupil's safety or welfare. Leaders have developed an excellent working relationship with parents. Leaders work well with other professionals, where necessary, to ensure that pupils and their families are given the support that they need.

Leaders also ensure that pupils learn how to keep themselves safe.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

Some of the pupils who struggle to develop their phonics knowledge find it difficult to catch up with their peers. This impacts on their current and future learning in English and other subjects.

Staff need to ensure that they adapt the reading curriculum plans more effectively to meet the varied needs of pupils. They also need to better support pupils in choosing the books that they read for pleasure. .

Pupils' attendance has been well below the national average over recent years and too many pupils are persistently absent from school. This means that many pupils are not learning as well as they should. Leaders need to work closely with parents to ensure that all pupils attend school regularly.

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