St Catherine of Siena Catholic Primary School

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About St Catherine of Siena Catholic Primary School

Name St Catherine of Siena Catholic Primary School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Ms Nicola Kane
Address Horseshoe Lane, Garston, Watford, WD25 7HP
Phone Number 01923676022
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 4-11
Religious Character Roman Catholic
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 269
Local Authority Hertfordshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection


St Catherine of Siena Catholic Primary School continues to be a good school.

The headteacher of the school is Nicola Kane. This school is part of the Diocese of Westminster Academy Trust, which means other people in the trust also have responsibility for running the school.

The trust is run by the chief executive officer, Patrick Murden, and overseen by a board of trustees, chaired by Patrick Leeson.

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils happily attend St Catherine's. They are friendly and show compassion for others.

Pupils learn in an encouraging environment, where they can grow and develop. Pupils like to celebrate others' successes and are proud of each... other.

Pupils learn a curriculum that develops their breadth of knowledge effectively.

There have been some recent changes to some subject plans, which are now providing more opportunities for pupils to deepen their knowledge.

Pupils respond well to staff's high expectations. They work hard and are keen to try their best.

Pupils explain that bullying does happen, sometimes, but that teachers are very good at stopping it quickly. Pupils are well behaved and considerate to each other. Pupils feel safe and are safe.

Pupils learn about a range of people, cultures and historical figures. These represent both the make-up of the local community and wider society in modern Britain.

Pupils develop into well-rounded citizens.

They enjoy their extra experiences, including the visitors to the school. Pupils have responsibilities and they take these seriously. For instance, the older pupils who are 'farm rangers' take the younger pupils to visit the school farm.

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

The school has constructed a well-sequenced curriculum that develops pupils' skills and knowledge over time. Leaders carry out checks to make sure that pupils are learning this curriculum effectively. Pupils learn a rich and broad curriculum.

Generally, teachers have good subject knowledge. This helps pupils to achieve well in a range of subjects.

Pupils have developed some gaps in knowledge that the school wants to fill.

To this aim, the school has developed a more consistent approach to how more complex content and subject-specific language are taught. Where this is already taught well, pupils carry out learning tasks with clarity and can explain their thinking more deeply. This further improves pupils' subject knowledge.

However, in a small number of subjects, this is less well developed. In these subjects, teachers do not always explain the learning tasks clearly in a way that pupils can understand. They do not use the subject-specific language that leaders intend.

This means that pupils do not achieve as well as they could in these subjects.

Reading is a high priority across the school. The school ensures pupils learn about our diverse world through developing a love of books, authors and poetry.

Pupils learn to read as soon as they start at school. Children in the early years have daily phonics lessons. They develop positive attitudes to reading by enjoying rhymes and songs and re-reading engaging and fun stories.

Older pupils who struggle with reading have extra sessions that help them to catch up quickly. They read books that match their phonics knowledge and staff help them with reminders about how to use this to read new words. This precise help means pupils become confident and independent readers.

In the early years, staff have created imaginative and exciting activities for children to carry out. Well-trained staff make sure children's communication skills are well developed. Children engage well with these activities and each other.

Children in the early years are well prepared for learning in Year 1.

Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) learn the same curriculum as their peers. Staff know pupils' individual strengths and interests.

They adapt learning to cater for pupils' needs effectively. This helps pupils with SEND to achieve well.

Pupils behave well.

In class, they listen to the teacher and each other. In the playground, younger pupils happily play with older pupils, who try to be positive role models. Pupils develop a sense of right and wrong.

They understand, and have been taught, how to be kind to all others. Pupils develop effective independent study habits.

The school prioritises opportunities for pupils to learn about diversity and fundamental British values.

Pupils learn about other cultures, including some countries' national days, their national dress and the food they eat when celebrating. They learn about differences and disabilities. Pupils enjoy sharing their views and opinions.

They like to celebrate their differences and what makes them unique. All members of the school community feel welcomed and equally valued.

Leaders at all levels work well together.

The trust provides guidance for the governors and support for the headteacher. Staff appreciate the opportunities the trust provides them to partner with other schools to develop their practice. Teachers know that leaders consider their well-being and their workload.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• In some subjects, pupils are not taught using consistent and clear teacher exposition and subject-specific language. Pupils are then not able to carry out the learning tasks succinctly and they find it harder to explain their thinking and understanding.

This means pupils do not learn the curriculum with the clarity and depth leaders intend. The school must ensure that teachers implement the planned curriculum in all subjects effectively.


When we have judged a school to be good, we will then normally go into the school about once every four years to confirm that the school remains good.

This is called an ungraded inspection, and it is carried out under section 8 of the Education Act 2005. We do not give graded judgements on an ungraded inspection. However, if we find evidence that a school would now receive a higher or lower grade, then the next inspection will be a graded inspection, which is carried out under section 5 of the Act.

Usually this is within one to two years of the date of the ungraded inspection. If we have serious concerns about safeguarding, behaviour or the quality of education, we will deem the ungraded inspection a graded inspection immediately.

This is the first ungraded inspection since we judged the school to be good in November 2014.

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