St John’s Church of England Primary School

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About St John’s Church of England Primary School

Name St John’s Church of England Primary School
Ofsted Inspections
Executive Headteacher Martina Parsons
Address 121-147 Orts Road, Reading, RG1 3JN
Phone Number 01189375540
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Church of England
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 437
Local Authority Reading
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils from a wide range of cultural heritages enjoy attending this friendly and welcoming school. Uniquely, the church is situated at the heart of this school.

This reflects the central importance of the school's Christian ethos. It underpins a tangible culture of respect which is lived out by staff and pupils.

Right from when pupils start in the early years, warm relationships with staff are nurtured.

The youngest children are made to feel secure and confident in their new surroundings. Pupils feel safe and cared for and know that if they need to talk to someone about their worries, there is always a trusted adult to help. One pupil told inspectors, 'This f...eels like your second home, teachers take time to listen and to help us, however long this takes.'

Leaders have high expectations for all pupils both socially and in their learning. They encourage all pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), to strive to be the best they can. Behaviour around the school is calm, and pupils know that unkindness towards each other is not tolerated.

They are taught how to build positive, healthy relationships, meaning there are very few incidents of bullying.

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

This is an inclusive school where leaders aspire for all pupils to enjoy learning and achieve their best. Leaders carefully consider what pupils need to learn, and how to sequence this to help pupils remember what they have been taught.

Where pupils with SEND need extra support, this is planned and targeted to promote success. For those pupils who require a bespoke and personalised approach, leaders have worked with experts to develop a specialist nurture class to meet their needs.

Teachers have high expectations of pupils and encourage them to always do their best.

Staff check what pupils know and can do. However, in some classes pupils are not always given activities that really help them remember the important information or knowledge that they have been taught. In foundation subjects, consistent effective processes are not in place for teachers to quickly identify where pupils have misconceptions or key gaps in important knowledge.

Many pupils at this school speak English as an additional language. Leaders have therefore rightly understood the need for staff to take an even sharper focus on teaching important vocabulary and language so all pupils can access learning. This is especially evident in the early years.

The teaching of reading is a real strength. Right from when they first join the school, children are taught phonics using an effective programme. Adults are experts in helping pupils learn to read.

Staff are quick to notice when a child needs extra help to catch up. The intervention used is targeted and effective. The books children use to practise reading match the sounds they are learning.

This grows their confidence and helps children to become fluent readers. Pupils eagerly listen to and read a diverse and interesting selection of books. The children in the early years enjoy stories and rhymes throughout the day.

As a result, pupils develop a love of reading.

Leaders have high expectations of behaviour. This is demonstrated in the kindness and respect that is deep-rooted in the interactions between pupils, staff and visitors.

Pupils also learn about understanding and respecting people who are different to themselves. Thoughtful assemblies take place in the church, which many pupils describe as a special place in the school. They learn about what spirituality means to Christians and to people from other religions.

Children in the early years are provided with opportunities to explore their capabilities and try new experiences. The outdoor area has been developed to include riding trikes and a small tree for safe climbing in the little forest area. Children enjoy getting to know one another in play activities that help them to learn to share and take turns.

Local governors care about the school. They recognise they need to make sure that they are more closely checking on the school's work so that they can bring the necessary support and challenge to leaders. Oversight and support from the trust provide further oversight and support to increase the effectiveness of governance.

School leaders have worked tirelessly and effectively to do what is right to improve this school. Their plans to continue this work are well thought through. Staff feel that leaders are considerate of their workload.

New teachers to the profession speak well of the support and guidance they receive from leaders.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders know pupils and their families well, and act with empathy and sensitivity for the pupils that they help.

Staff receive training to make sure they recognise when a pupil might need help. They precisely record any details that may be a cause of concern. Leaders are swift to take action when needed and work well with external agencies to get extra support for pupils who need it.

Pupils are taught how to be safe online and know what to do if they are worried. They say they can talk to trusted adults in school who will help them.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Local governors do not consistently assure themselves that school leaders are setting the right priorities, and whether the actions taken consistently meet the statutory duties.

Local governors need to ensure they implement rigorous systems and processes to continue to check on the work of school leaders. ? Leaders have not fully implemented a consistent assessment system across the school in all subjects. Leaders need to put in place an effective assessment process across foundation subjects so that teachers can identify and quickly remedy any gaps in pupils' knowledge and understanding.

• Sometimes the work provided does not help all pupils achieve leaders' ambitious aims. This means that some pupils have gaps in their understanding. Leaders need to ensure that teachers have the necessary expertise they need to match activities carefully to be able to check what pupils know and remember.

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