St James’ Church of England Primary School, Clitheroe

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About St James’ Church of England Primary School, Clitheroe

Name St James’ Church of England Primary School, Clitheroe
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mr Jonathan Leeming
Address Greenacre Street, CLITHEROE, BB7 1ED
Phone Number 01200423599
Phase Primary
Type Voluntary aided school
Age Range 4-11
Religious Character Church of England
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 291
Local Authority Lancashire
Highlights from Latest Inspection


St James' Church of England Primary School, Clitheroe continues to be a good school.

What is it like to attend this school?

This is a school where everyone feels valued. Leaders and teachers have high expectations of pupils.

Pupils behave well. They are proud to be on the 'St James' journey'. Everyone understands that the 'journey' is about learning, behaving well and being respectful of others.

Pupils' learning is interesting and varied. Pupils appreciate the way in which teachers plan visits to enhance their learning. For example, younger pupils visited the zoo as part of their science topic and older pupils visited a Roman museum during their history topic.

Pup...ils talked positively about the number of clubs that they can join, for instance choir, science club, dance club and coding club.

Pupils said that they feel safe. They said that bullying is rare and, if does occur, they are confident that it is dealt with swiftly and effectively by adults.

The school has very close links with the local community. Pupils regularly raise money for local charities and take part in community events. Pupils appreciate that everyone is different.

They make sure that everyone is welcome at St James'.

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

Pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities, achieve well. Leaders ensure that pupils have access to an interesting and ambitious curriculum.

Teachers meticulously plan each topic to ensure that pupils cover the full range of national curriculum subjects in a well-ordered manner. Teachers do this well, overcoming the challenges of changing the way classes are organised each year.

The teaching of reading is a high priority for the school.

There is a well-sequenced phonics programme in the Reception class and in Year 1. However, there is not always a sense of urgency about how quickly phonics teaching is introduced at the start of the academic year for the children in the early years. Teachers receive regular training.

This means that phonics teaching is engaging and helps pupils to become successful readers. If pupils fall behind, they receive the support they need to help them catch up quickly. Older pupils enjoy reading.

They speak with enthusiasm about the books they share together in class. They are able to discuss their favourite books and authors.

The mathematics curriculum is clearly sequenced.

Teachers' planning helps pupils to understand and practise new concepts. Pupils can talk with confidence about the mathematics knowledge that they have learned. For example, Year 2 pupils talked about their understanding of time and Year 6 pupils discussed how to change a fraction to a decimal number.

Leaders have made sure that teachers have the subject knowledge to teach the full range of subjects in the ambitious curriculum. Pupils enjoy their learning. They are gaining the knowledge and skills that leaders have set out in the curriculum plans.

Pupils can remember and discuss what they have learned in detail. For example, older pupils could discuss aspects of an ancient civilisation and others showed they understood the concept of democracy. However, at times, the work in pupils' books does not always reflect the depth of their understanding in each subject.

The curriculum in the early years begins by focusing on helping children to become independent and resilient learners. Children build towers with blocks and can count confidently to compare which model is taller or shorter. Pupils learn about the world and can talk about the season of Christmas.

Parents and carers appreciate the start that their children receive in the Reception class. A comment from one parent typifies the views of others: 'I couldn't be prouder to be part of this school family.'

Governors are very committed to the school.

They make sure that they ask challenging questions, which allows them to have a good understanding of the school's effectiveness. Teachers are appreciative of leaders' efforts to reduce the workload of staff. They said that leaders listen to their views and are supportive.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Safeguarding has a high priority. Staff are well trained and receive regular updates.

They know what to do and who to talk to if they are worried about a pupil. Leaders, including governors, ensure that the systems for recruiting new staff are robust. All the appropriate checks are carried out on staff.

Teachers know families well and relationships are strong. Leaders work closely with a wide range of professionals to make sure that vulnerable families get the help and support that they need.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

The teaching of phonics is well planned and delivered.

However, children in the early years do not always get started on the phonics programme quickly enough. Leaders should ensure that phonics is taught from the start of the Reception Year to ensure that children get the very best start in developing their early reading skills.


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 a section 8 inspection of a good school or non-exempt outstanding school. We do not give graded judgements on a section 8 inspection. However, if we find some evidence that the school could now be better than good or that standards may be declining, then the next inspection will be a section 5 inspection.

Usually this is within one to two years of the date of the section 8 inspection. If we have serious concerns about safeguarding, behaviour or the quality of education, we will convert the section 8 inspection to a section 5 inspection immediately.

This is the first section 8 inspection since we judged the school to be good on 30 June 2015.

Also at this postcode
Bowland Preschool

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