St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Hartlepool

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About St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Hartlepool

Name St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Hartlepool
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs Debra Hargreaves
Address Musgrave Street, Hartlepool, TS24 7HT
Phone Number 01429272747
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Roman Catholic
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 126
Local Authority Hartlepool
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Everyone belongs at St Joseph's Catholic Primary School. Pupils learn to celebrate diversity.

They do this with great pride. Pupils are eager to show visitors their 'Global Map'. This displays the heritage of pupils across the school.

Pupils enjoy coming to their school. They are happy and safe in this caring environment.

Pupils benefit from high expectations for their achievement.

Children in the early years get off to a great start. They learn in a high-quality environment. This helps them to develop their social interaction and knowledge.

Children in early years leave the setting well-prepared for Year 1. Older pupils study a broad curric...ulum. They enjoy their lessons and read widely for pleasure.

Pupils are clear about the rules in the school. They try hard to live up to leaders' high standards. As a result, instances of poor behaviour are very low.

Pupils have a good understanding of different forms of bullying. They are clear that it does not happen in their school. Pupils appreciate the rewards they receive.

This includes recognition for academic achievement and for displaying good character. Trust values, such as compassion, underpin these character awards.

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

Leaders have reviewed and improved the curriculum at the school.

Trust leaders have supported this well. The curriculum is broad and balanced. Leaders are ambitious about what pupils should learn.

However, the ambitious vision is not embedded across all subjects. Leaders are not clear on where subjects need improving. This is because they do not check the curriculum carefully enough.

Relationships between staff are pupils are positive. Teachers have good subject knowledge. They present information clearly.

They ensure that pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) have the support they need. However, teachers do not use assessment consistently well to check pupils' understanding. Some pupils, including those with SEND, develop gaps in knowledge or misconceptions as a result.

Leaders have developed an ambitious curriculum in early years. Children make good progress in the setting. Outdoor learning is carefully constructed to support physical development.

Staff enhance the planned provision with activities linked to children's interests. For example, children learn about toys in the past such as the Jack-in-the-Box. Staff build on children's fascination with this object in future activities.

Children then recall their learning about the past while completing a new task.

There is a sharp focus on ensuring pupils learn to read. This begins in early years.

Young children learn sounds from the summer term of Nursery. Phonics lessons begin as soon as children enter Reception. Children show high levels of concentration in these lessons.

This sets them up well for further learning. Adults are well trained to support the phonics programme. Pupils read suitable books with increasing fluency.

Staff address gaps in phonic knowledge. Leaders have put a comprehensive catch-up programme in place. Leaders help parents to support reading at home.

Pupils attend well and on time. Leaders act swiftly when there are barriers to pupils' high attendance. The family support officer has built strong links within the community.

This has helped pupils to improve their attendance. There have been no recent suspensions or exclusions at the school. Staff support pupils to make the right choices.

This leads to a warm and respectful culture within the school. If pupils do make mistakes, the response by staff is fair and appropriate. Pupils reflect on their behaviour with a trusted adult.

Staff teach pupils how to stay safe. Pupils are clear about risks both on- and offline. They enjoy assemblies from local police that focus on how to behave well in the community.

Pupils engage with activities beyond the academic curriculum. These include sporting clubs led by a professional coach. They also engage with their community.

Pupils collect for a food bank and learn about local events such as the Tall Ships Races. However, the range of opportunities beyond the academic curriculum is not wide enough. Pupils do not have access to a sufficiently varied enrichment programme.

For example, opportunities linked to art and music are limited.

Several leaders are new in post across the school. They have an ambitious vision for the pupils.

Trustees and governors know the school well. They ensure they provide effective challenge and support to school leaders. Staff appreciate the teaching materials the trust provides.

This positively supports their workload. Parents are positive about the school. One parent represented the views of many by saying that the school feels like 'home'.

Parents are proud of the school's approach to cultural diversity. They feel the school embraces the local community.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Assessment is not used consistently well in the school. Some pupils have gaps in their knowledge or misconceptions. Leaders should ensure staff are supported to use effective assessment strategies that are carefully matched to the aims of the curriculum.

• The school does not have a clear understanding of how the curriculum is being implemented across the school, including for pupils with SEND. There are inconsistencies within subjects and across the wider curriculum. Leaders should sharpen the monitoring systems that underpin their action plans for improving the quality of education even further.

• Opportunities beyond the academic curriculum are not as broad as they could be. This hampers pupils' ability to discover their talents and interests. Leaders should intensify actions to broaden the wider curriculum offer.

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