St Hilda’s CofE Primary School

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About St Hilda’s CofE Primary School

Name St Hilda’s CofE Primary School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs Patricia Burton
Address Tilbury Street, Oldham, OL1 2HJ
Phone Number 01616243592
Phase Primary
Type Voluntary aided school
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Church of England
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 393
Local Authority Oldham
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils are happy and settled at this school. They told inspectors that they are proud to be part of the school's community. Pupils value the relationships that they quickly develop with their peers and with staff.

In recent years, the school has taken the necessary steps to establish a culture where there are high expectations for what pupils can and should achieve. This shift has improved pupils' own aspirations for their achievement and for their future lives. For example, pupils aspire to become teachers, surgeons, scientists and police officers.

Pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) and those who are disadvantaged, learn well.

Pupils behave well during lessons and at social times. They aim to follow the school's values, for example by respecting others.

Pupils understand equality issues and the importance of treating everybody fairly. In their roles as mental health champions, pupils have had training to help support and look after their peers.

The school provides pupils with a variety of rich experiences.

For instance, pupils recently relished a live music concert in school. They look forward to residential trips and visits, including to the church, to choral performances and to the local council chambers. Pupils enjoy participating in various after-school activities.

These include sports, dance, art and gardening clubs.

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

The school and the governing body have placed a strong focus on bringing about the required changes to improve the curriculum following the previous inspection. While these changes have been successful, published data belies the strengths of the school.

In 2023, pupils' attainment in some subjects was significantly below national averages. A considerable number of pupils joined the school at various times in each key stage and speak English as an additional language. Nonetheless, most current pupils are achieving well.

The school has a suitably ambitious curriculum. In most subjects, it has identified and ordered logically the important knowledge that pupils should learn. However, in some subjects, the precise knowledge that pupils should acquire and how this should build over time is not clear.

This limits the depth of some pupils' knowledge.

Most staff demonstrate strong subject knowledge and give clear explanations during lessons, particularly in subjects where curriculum thinking is more robust. In these subjects, staff select suitable activities to successfully deliver curriculum content.

They check effectively what pupils have remembered. However, from time to time, teachers do not choose learning activities that enable pupils to learn the intended curriculum well. This hinders some pupils from learning all that they should.

The school quickly identifies the additional needs of pupils with SEND as soon as they start in the early years. Staff work effectively with external agencies, and with parents and carers, to support these pupils to access the full curriculum.

The curriculum is centred around high-quality texts.

The school encourages pupils to read widely and often. Pupils enjoy visiting the school's well-stocked library. They look forward to taking part in reading challenges and achieving reading rewards.

Pupils perform poetry during assemblies, and they share books with younger pupils.

In the early years, children listen to a wide range of stories, poems, songs and rhymes. Staff introduce carefully chosen vocabulary and revisit this during different learning contexts.

This prepares children well for the start of Reception Year when they begin to learn phonics. Staff are trained to implement the phonics programme consistently well. Pupils read from books that contain the sounds that they already know.

Staff provide additional help for pupils who find reading difficult and for those who speak English as an additional language. Pupils typically become fluent and confident readers by the end of Year 6.

The school is proactive in ensuring that pupils attend well.

Reasons for any non-attendance are known and the school works well with parents to foster regular attendance habits. Pupils understand the importance of being in school and they have positive attitudes towards their learning. Pupils are well mannered and polite, which contributes to calm and purposeful classroom environments.

Pupils benefit from a well-designed programme that supports their personal development. They learn how to be safe outside of school and how to protect their physical and mental health. Pupils develop their leadership skills through fundraising and various roles such as school councillors and play leaders.

Some pupils have had specific training from the church to lead the school's collective worship.

Most staff are committed to assisting the school on its continual improvement journey. They appreciate being part of a close-knit team.

Staff feel supported to fulfil their roles well, including by having their workload considered by the school. They appreciate the training and many coaching opportunities that they have.


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, the school has not determined the important information that pupils should learn and how this knowledge should build over time. This hinders some pupils from developing a deep body of knowledge. The school should identify all the essential information that pupils should learn and when this will happen.

• At times, teachers do not select the most appropriate activities when delivering subject-specific content. This limits how well some pupils learn the intended curriculum. The school should ensure that teachers carefully choose activities that help pupils to learn as well as they should.

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