St Columba’s Catholic Primary School

About St Columba’s Catholic Primary School Browse Features

St Columba’s Catholic Primary School

Name St Columba’s Catholic Primary School
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Address Hillside Road, Huyton, Liverpool, L36 8BL
Phone Number 01514778360
Type Primary
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Roman Catholic
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 224 (49.1% boys 50.9% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 23.3
Local Authority Knowsley
Percentage Free School Meals 57.4%
Percentage English is Not First Language 6.4%
Pupils with SEN Support 18.2%
Catchment Area Indicator Available Yes
Last Distance Offered Available No
Highlights from Latest Full Inspection (03 March 2020)
There may have been more recent inspections such as monitoring visits or short inspections. For details of all inspections, please view this provider on our map here.

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils are at the heart of everything that the school does. They are happy and enjoy learning in a school where they feel safe and secure. Parents and carers who spoke with us agreed with this view. The relationships between adults and pupils are supportive and caring.

Pupils live up to the high expectations that teachers have of them. They want pupils to achieve well. The school has improved rapidly since the last inspection. Pupils now benefit from an ambitious curriculum which is accessible to all, including pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).

Pupils have wonderful opportunities to develop personally. Staff go the extra mile to help pupils develop their talents and interests. Pupils contribute to their community and to the life of the church. Pupils who spoke with us said that they believe that there is no limit to what they are capable of achieving.

Pupils behave well. They move around the school in an orderly manner. Pupils respect their teachers. They listen carefully to instructions and get on with their work. Bullying is not tolerated at St Columba’s. Pupils are confident that it is rare. They know that if it did happen, their teachers would put a stop to it straight away.

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

Since the school was last inspected, leaders have made improvements to the curriculum. This curriculum is broad and balanced, including in the early years. Leaders have identified the key knowledge and skills in each subject they want pupils to acquire by the end of each year. Subject leaders have set out these expectations in clear curriculum plans for teachers to follow.

Teachers plan lessons that help pupils to know more and remember more. Pupils can remember what they had learned in previous lessons, in almost all subjects. However, some pupils could not recall previous learning in science and geography.

Leaders have provided additional training for staff in the teaching of phonics. This has improved the phonics curriculum. Phonics is taught right from the start. Staff take swift action to support pupils who are falling behind. In 2019, significant cohort issues adversely affected the proportion of pupils who reached the expected standard in the phonics screening check. Inspection evidence shows that current pupils are achieving well in phonics. This includes pupils with SEND. However, occasionally, adults do not pronounce letter sounds clearly when they are teaching phonics. When this happens, it hampers pupils’ learning.

Pupils across the school develop a love of reading. Teachers choose high-quality texts for pupils to read in class. Pupils talk enthusiastically about their favourite books and authors. Pupils achieve well in reading at the end of key stage 1 and key stage 2.

Pupils, including those in the early years, said that learning in mathematics is ‘fun’. They could explain what they had been learning. Leaders make sure that teachers have strong subject knowledge in mathematics. Teachers use this knowledge to plan lessons that build up pupils’ knowledge and skills. As a result, pupils achieve well in mathematics.

The curriculum in science meets the expectations of the national curriculum. Pupils particularly enjoy the practical activities that their teachers sometimes provide. They say that these activities help them to remember their learning. However, teachers do not always implement the science curriculum in a way that engages pupils. This is also the case for the geography curriculum. When this happens, pupils find it harder to remember what they have learned.

Pupils enjoy physical education (PE). They develop confidence in their movements and use the space safely. Pupils can explain how their skills have developed and improved over time. Teachers adapt lessons so that all pupils can participate and succeed in PE.

Pupils are keen to learn and this is reflected in their behaviour in lessons. They understand the importance of attending school on a regular basis.

Children thrive in the early years. They achieve well. Well-trained staff take every opportunity to develop and extend children’s language skills. For example, staff read stories to children that introduce them to plenty of new words. Children learn to count accurately and to recognise shapes. Most children are well prepared for Year 1.

Leaders ensure that pupils with SEND receive effective and timely support. This enables them to take part in all aspects of the curriculum.

The school’s provision for pupils’ personal development is excellent. Pupils are ambitious and have high aspirations for the future. They excel in sport and music. Pupils develop strong relationships with local police and contribute to the community. British values are threaded through all aspects of the school’s work. Pupils are extremely well prepared for life outside school in modern Britain.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders and governors understand the risks and dangers that pupils face outside school. They make sure that the curriculum teaches pupils how to keep themselves safe. Pupils know how to keep themselves safe online, and who to speak to if they are worried.

Leaders have made sure that all staff have a range of safeguarding training. This helps staff to be vigilant for signs of harm. There are clear procedures for staff to report any concerns. Staff understand and use these procedures well. Pupils and families facing challenging circumstances receive good levels of support.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

Occasionally, the activities that teachers provide in geography or science are not planned well enough to help pupils retain their knowledge over time. When this happens, some pupils struggle to remember their earlier learning in these subjects. Leaders now need to ensure that teaching in these subjects is more carefully designed so that pupils across the school build and retain knowledge securely. . Leaders have improved teachers’ and staff members’ subject knowledge in phonics. Almost all staff use this strong subject knowledge consistently. However, occasionally some staff still pronounce letter sounds incorrectly when they are teaching phonics. When this happens, it hampers pupils’ own ability to segment and blend the sounds in words. Leaders now need to ensure that these remaining inconsistencies are eliminated, so that all pupils benefit from good phonics teaching.