St John Rigby Catholic Primary School

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About St John Rigby Catholic Primary School

Name St John Rigby Catholic Primary School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs Michele McGettigan
Address Polhill Avenue, Bedford, MK41 9DQ
Phone Number 01234401900
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 5-11
Religious Character Roman Catholic
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 328
Local Authority Bedford
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

St John Rigby is a happy school.

Pupils enjoy warm, trusting relationships with their peers and with staff. Parents recognise how these relationships help their children to thrive. The school is a nurturing place to learn, which parents value.

Pupils understand and follow the school's rules 'Be Ready, Be Respectful, Be safe'. They learn how to be good friends and show kindness to others. Pupils would tell a trusted adult if they had worries.

Pupils enjoy learning. Pupils have a love of reading. This is because 'when I read it takes me to another world'.

Pupils are proud of their peer's successes and celebrate their achievements. Pupils achieve well i...n a range of subjects.

Pupils usually behave well in lessons.

Sometimes where there is low-level disruption it is not addressed quickly. Pupils can be talkative, but they are not unkind to others. Pupils behave well around school, including at playtimes and at lunchtimes.

They show respect to visitors to the school and are happy to engage with them.

Pupils enjoy the variety of clubs they can attend at school that let them try new things or develop their interests. These include sports, music, mindfulness and art clubs.

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

Reading is a priority at the school. This is because staff want every pupil to be a confident, fluent reader. This includes those who have fallen behind and pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).

The school has ensured that there is a clear curriculum in place for reading. Pupils build their reading knowledge in a structured, sequential way. Pupils progress from mastering initial letter sounds in early years to developing inference skills in Year 6.

Teachers regularly assess how well pupils read and provide appropriate support if this is needed.

In most subjects, subject leaders carefully consider what pupils should learn in each year. Pupils have opportunities to revisit and build upon previous learning.

This helps pupils to develop age-appropriate skills and knowledge. In these subjects, teachers make good use of assessments to check pupils' understanding. Pupils who are struggling receive extra help so that they can keep up with their peers.

Consequently, pupils make strong progress. In a minority of subjects, staff have not identified exactly what pupils should learn or when. In these subjects, teachers are not clear about what they should teach or how they build up the learning over time.

This means pupils' understanding is less secure, which slows their progress.

The early years curriculum is well thought out and captures children's interest. Staff consider children's different starting points.

Children quickly settle into the school routines. They play and learn nicely with each other. Children use the wide range of resources available to develop age-appropriate skills and knowledge.

Children in early years are well prepared for the next stage of their learning.

Pupils with SEND are well supported. The school ensures that the curriculum is adapted to meet the specific needs of pupils with SEND.

This includes using individualised timetables and ways of teaching and communicating for some pupils. Staff check and adapt the provision for pupils with SEND to ensure that it is effective.

Staff have high expectations of behaviour.

Many pupils behave well and focus on their learning. There is a positive and respectful culture towards adults and each other. In a few cases, teachers do not consistently follow routines or reinforce the school's high expectations for all pupils.

In these cases, a few pupils sometimes disrupt learning and time is wasted.

Staff ensure activities enrich the curriculum and support pupils' wider understanding of how they keep themselves safe. These range from cycling proficiency sessions to events linked to e-safety.

The school also emphasises the importance of pupils' mental well-being. Weekly class assemblies explore pupils' understanding of emotions and mental health. All classes have systems in place so that pupils can say how they are feeling.

Governance is strong. The local academy council knows the school well. It challenges and supports the school to ensure it develops and improves further.

They have made mental health and staff well-being a priority. Trust directors are also ambitious for the school. They understand the school, not only at a strategic level but also at a day-to-day level through visits and rigorous monitoring systems.

Trust leaders are ambitious and know what they need to do next. The trust is determined to keep improving the school.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• In a small minority of foundation subjects, subject leaders are not clear on how the different components of learning fit together to sequence the curriculum. Therefore, teachers are not clear about what they should teach and when, or how it links to prior learning. The school must clarify exactly what it wants pupils to learn at each stage in every foundation subject.

• Occasionally, some pupils disrupt learning in lessons. This low-level disruption takes place because teachers sometimes do not reinforce the school's high expectations of pupil behaviour or its effective learning routines. The school needs to ensure that all staff understand the high expectations of pupils' behaviour and how to achieve them so that all pupils maintain focus in lessons.

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