St Christopher’s Church of England School, Cowley

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About St Christopher’s Church of England School, Cowley

Name St Christopher’s Church of England School, Cowley
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Ms Katie Screaton
Address Temple Road, Cowley, Oxford, OX4 2HB
Phone Number 01865779772
Phase Academy
Type Academy sponsor led
Age Range 5-11
Religious Character Church of England
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 349
Local Authority Oxfordshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

A strong inclusive ethos is at the heart of this school. It is committed to serving and welcoming all pupils and their families.

The care given to pupils by staff show the school's values of nurture, love, belonging, respect and courage in action. Pupils embrace these values to help them make the right choices, meeting the staff's high expectations and behaving well.

The school is ambitious for pupils' achievements, including for those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) and pupils who speak English as an additional language.

The school has a strong understanding of individual pupils' needs. Staff work relentlessly to make every day succ...essful for every pupil. As a result, pupils achieve well.

Pupils are polite, well-mannered and respectful. At social times, pupils eat and play sensibly with their friends. Pupil leadership opportunities, such as those of school councillors and eco leaders, enable them to have a genuine role in decision-making.

The school provides a rich set of experiences for pupils. These include curriculum visits that enhance learning in history and science. Pupils also raise money each year for the Year 6 residential trip, as a result the cost is lowered, and far more pupils attend.

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

The school recognises that pupils did not achieve as well as they should have by the end of key stage 2 in reading and mathematics. Leaders have taken decisive and effective action to address this. The school has now embedded a broad and ambitious curriculum.

They have ordered knowledge sensibly and worked out the most important knowledge that pupils, including pupils with SEND, need to know.

Leaders have prioritised improving staff subject knowledge through precisely targeted training. Within lessons, staff check and address pupils' mistakes or misunderstandings.

In subjects such as reading and mathematics, staff effectively check what pupils can remember. This leads to pupils knowing more in these subjects. However, in a few subjects, assessment is not always used well enough to check pupils' knowledge.

Consequently, in these subjects there are some gaps in what pupils can remember.

Pupils love reading and this is fostered expertly throughout the school. Staff read to pupils each day and recommend books to pupils and each other to create a culture of reading in the school.

In Reception, children concentrate well because teachers keep them interested and enthused, particularly in phonics. Children learn phonics quickly, and staff identify gaps in children's understanding by checking how well they are starting to read. Skilled staff provide high-quality support for those who need to catch up.

Books closely match the sounds that pupils need to practise, and support is regularly reviewed to ensure that it is impactful. As a result, pupils quickly become fluent readers as they move through the year groups.

The school's provision for pupils with SEND is strong.

Regular checking ensures that support and interventions meet pupils' individual needs. Pupils recognise their emotions and are given strategies to help manage their behaviour. As a result, pupils with SEND feel included and achieve well.

The school has high expectations of pupils' attendance, and it is everyone's responsibility. Rigorous, shared systems have driven strong improvements in pupil attendance since 2022. Should families find supporting their children to attend regularly difficult, leaders are extremely diligent in helping to find a solution.

Pupils' personal development is exceptional. The school provides extremely strong welfare and pastoral support for both children and their families, steered by the school's values. The school's extensive nurture provision identifies and addresses the social and emotional needs of each child and their families effectively.

For example, the school runs classes for families who want to develop their confidence with speaking English. This helps parents grow in confidence and be able to better support their children's learning. Pupils talk with a deep understanding about relationships, growing up and what it means to be respectful to themselves and others.

Leaders are highly ambitious for all pupils, staff and the community that they serve. A well-structured programme of training supports strong teaching. The school prioritises staff workload and well-being.

Staff value the collaborative working within the trust schools, which supports their teaching. The trust and local governing board fulfil their statutory duties with expertise, ensuring a strong partnership across the trust.


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, teachers do not always use assessment well enough. Where this is the case, some pupils do not remember what they have learned before in sufficient detail. The school must ensure that teachers in all subjects assess what pupils know equally effectively.

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