St Catherine’s RC Primary School

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About St Catherine’s RC Primary School

Name St Catherine’s RC Primary School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Miss J Quiligotti
Address School Lane, Didsbury, Manchester, M20 6HS
Phone Number 01614456359
Phase Primary
Type Voluntary aided school
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Roman Catholic
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 423
Local Authority Manchester
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils enjoy attending St Catherine's.

They explained that adults put them first. Pupils described a genuine sense of care between adults and themselves. Pupils feel happy and safe at this school.

Pupils are highly respectful of one another. They show courtesy and respect to the adults that they meet. Pupils have a strong moral compass and they understand what is right and wrong.

The behaviour system is easily understood. Pupils are clear on how to obtain value points and can articulate why they have received these rewards.

The school has high expectations for pupils, including those pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND)....r/>
Pupils overwhelmingly rise to meet these aspirations. For example, pupils enjoy developing and enhancing their subject knowledge. They said that staff design fun and exciting learning activities.

Overall, pupils achieve well and they are well prepared for the next stage of their education.

Pupils have the opportunity to take part in a cultural exchange visit with other pupils from partner schools in Spain. This helps pupils to gain an insight into cultures other than their own and to develop a rich and deep understanding of language.

This is greatly valued and appreciated by pupils and parents alike.

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

The school has designed an ambitious curriculum, which typically includes the essential knowledge and skills that pupils must learn by the end of each stage of their education. Pupils with SEND have been carefully considered in the construction of the curriculum.

This is to ensure that they can learn successfully alongside their peers. Overall, the school's curriculum, coupled with staff's secure subject knowledge, enables pupils, including those with SEND, to learn well.

The curriculum begins in the early years, where recent changes to what is taught have been well thought out and implemented.

For example, staff design interesting and engaging learning opportunities for children, both inside and outside the classroom. These activities successfully enable children to develop their knowledge and skills across the areas of learning in the early years. Children are well prepared for future learning in Year 1 and beyond.

Across key stages 1 and 2, pupils continue to build their knowledge in a logical order. However, in one or two subjects, where the curriculum content has recently been revised, some staff are not sure of exactly what to teach and when. On occasion, this prevents a few pupils from developing the depth of subject knowledge that they could.

The school's assessment systems are well thought out in the majority of subjects. However, in those subjects that have recently been revised, some teachers do not revisit essential knowledge, skills and vocabulary often enough. From time to time, this prevents a few pupils from committing aspects of new knowledge into their long-term memory.

The school has placed reading front and centre of the curriculum. Children learn about letters and the sounds that they represent as soon as they begin in the Reception class. Pupils practise their reading using books that are carefully matched to the sounds that they know.

Staff routinely check that pupils are keeping up with the phonics programme. If pupils struggle with reading, skilled staff provide effective support to help them catch up quickly. Although recent changes have been made to the phonics programme, staff continue to deliver phonics with considerable expertise.

The school has a strong partnership with parents and carers to continually improve pupils' reading knowledge. Staff support parents by giving them the information that they need to help their child at home with their reading. This, coupled with the school's well-designed reading curriculum, enables most pupils to become fluent readers.

The school places the development of the whole child at the heart of what it does. Leaders ensure that staff are suitably equipped to identify pupils' additional needs with accuracy. Staff know each pupil and their needs exceptionally well.

This enables those pupils with SEND to achieve as well as their peers.

Pupils' talents and interests are nurtured at St Catherine's. The school enables pupils to access activities such as peripatetic music lessons, African drumming or performing locally with the school choir.

The school ensures that pupils are well prepared for life in modern Britain. Pupils value diversity and they celebrate difference. They are tolerant of opinions that differ from their own.

Pupils are clear on the importance of democracy. They are elected to various leadership roles such as school ambassadors and school councillors. In these roles, they contribute to both the life of the school and the parish.

Pupils also raise money for local and national charities.

Leaders at all levels, including governors, work in partnership to ensure that the high expectations that they have for pupils are realised. In doing this, leaders have paid close attention to the well-being and workload of staff in their decision-making about when to introduce new curriculum elements for each subject.

Staff have appreciated the introduction of a new training programme, which focuses on the specific elements of professional development that each individual member of staff needs. Staff, parents and governors are overwhelmingly positive about the open, supportive and nurturing culture of the school.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• In one or two subjects, teachers are not implementing the school's revised curriculum as intended. This prevents some pupils from developing the depth of subject knowledge of which they are capable. The school should ensure that staff are well trained to implement the new curriculum in these remaining subjects.

• In a few subjects, the school does not provide enough opportunities for pupils to revisit essential knowledge, skills and vocabulary. On occasion, this prevents some pupils from having sufficiently secure foundations on which to build new learning. In these remaining curriculum areas, the school should develop strategies to ensure that pupils embed knowledge successfully into their long-term memory.

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