St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Moorthorpe

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About St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Moorthorpe

Name St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Moorthorpe
Ofsted Inspections
Mrs Kelly Picton
Address Barnsley Road, Moorthorpe, Pontefract, WF9 2BP
Phone Number 01977651755
Phase Academy
Type Academy sponsor led
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Roman Catholic
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 199
Local Authority Wakefield
Highlights from Latest Inspection


St Joseph's Catholic Primary School, Moorthorpe continues to be a good school.

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils enjoy attending this school. They feel happy and safe. Pupils treat each other with respect.

A strong community atmosphere is underpinned by the weekly virtues that pupils learn about, for example, kindness and generosity. Pupils learn about how to demonstrate these virtues in their day-to-day lives. They are rewarded on Friday if they have modelled the weekly virtue.

Pupils understand the importance of these virtues in moulding their character. One pupil explained 'they make us think about how to be better people'.

The respectful culture is evident around school means that pupils are considerate of each other.

They talk firmly about empathy. Pupils explain the importance of 'treating others as you would like to be treated'. Pupils do not feel that bullying is a problem at this school.

They understand clearly what bullying is and how to challenge it. Pupils are confident that staff would take bullying very seriously.

Staff have high expectations of what pupils can achieve.

Pupils enjoy the challenge of meeting these expectations. Pupils are encouraged to be independent and resourceful in lessons. If they are stuck, they do not expect to be given the answer.

Teachers also encourage children in the early years to be independent. They help tidy up and zip up their own coats, for example.

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

Leaders from across the trust have focused on building a strong curriculum.

Leaders have ensured that teachers are clear about exactly what they want pupils to learn. The curriculum is ambitious. Leaders have ensured that the knowledge pupils gain builds a strong foundation for future study.

Leaders have also carefully considered the gaps that pupils might have as a result of the disruption caused by COVID-19 restrictions. Teachers make sure these gaps are addressed. This is particularly clear in mathematics.

Leaders have ensured that there is a strong focus on early reading. They have introduced a new phonics scheme. Staff have undergone training to ensure they teach this effectively.

Phonics is taught daily, and pupils read books that are well matched to their knowledge. Leaders have created a culture where pupils talk with enthusiasm about reading and their favourite books. Pupils also enjoy rewards for reading from the book vending machine.

In most lessons, teachers' explanations are clear and precise. Teachers use ambitious vocabulary in the classroom. Pupils often use sophisticated language in their work and their answers.

Teachers in the early years insist on children using language precisely. They model high quality communication. Children benefit from these high expectations.

There are clear routines in place in the early years to ensure that children are well prepared for their next steps. Teachers encourage independence and kindness.

Teachers regularly use 'flashbacks' in lessons to help pupils remember what they have learned.

Pupils find this helpful. In some classrooms, teachers use questioning effectively to uncover gaps in pupils' learning. This is not consistent.

In some classrooms, teachers do not routinely check what all pupils know. This means some gaps in knowledge are not identified quickly enough.

Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are effectively supported to ensure they can access the same curriculum as their peers.

Teaching assistants are used effectively to remove barriers to learning for these pupils. Pupils who have English as an additional language are well supported by teaching assistants who speak their native language.

Pupils behave well in classrooms and around school.

Pupils have high expectations of their own and each other's behaviour. Pupils are keen and engaged in lessons. They want to volunteer answers.

There are strong relationships between staff and pupils. Pupils believe teachers are caring.

Pupils talk maturely about diversity and tolerance.

They explain about respecting race, gender and nationality. Pupils value weekly circle time as a chance to explore important topics in a safe space. Leaders ensure pupils have a wide range of opportunities to contribute to their local community, including choir performances and tree planting.

Pupils are being prepared to be active citizens.

Despite recent changes in leadership, staff feel well supported at this school. They believe that leaders consider their wellbeing.

Staff, including early career teachers, explain ways they have been supported to manage their workload. Staff appreciate the support of the trust. They value the training and resources that trust leaders provide.

All staff are proud to work at this school.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders ensure that safeguarding is a priority in school.

Both staff and pupils clearly understand how to report any worries or concerns they might have. Pupils trust adults to help them and keep them safe. Staff are vigilant in their attention to pupils' well-being.

They are knowledgeable about risks that pupils might face. Pupils are taught effectively about a range of risks, including road safety and online safety.

Leaders ensure that vulnerable pupils and their families receive the support that they need.

Leaders work closely with a range of external agencies to keep pupils safe. Leaders work closely as a team to ensure they can maintain this strong focus on pupil safety.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• In some lessons, teachers are not systematically checking what all pupils know.

This means that gaps and misconceptions are not always identified quickly. Leaders should ensure that, in lessons, teachers are regularly checking what all pupils have learned.


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 or outstanding school, because it is carried out under section 8 of the Education Act 2005. We do not give graded judgements on a section 8 inspection. However, if we find evidence that a school would now receive a higher or lower grade, 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 deem the section 8 inspection as a section 5 inspection immediately.

This is the first section 8 inspection since we judged the school to be good in February 2017.

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