St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Northfleet

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About St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Northfleet

Name St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Northfleet
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mr Andrew Baldock
Address Springhead Road, Northfleet, Gravesend, DA11 9QZ
Phone Number 01474533515
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 5-11
Religious Character Roman Catholic
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 208
Local Authority Kent
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils love coming to this school. Friendships are important here. There is a genuine warmth about the welcome everyone receives.

Pupils see the school as a safe place. Levels of attendance are high, as are levels of respect for others and for the multitude of different cultures and ethnic backgrounds that make up the family of St Joseph's. Pupils who struggle in any way are supported with kindness and understanding by their peers and by staff alike.

Pupils 'own' their own list of expectations for 'positive behaviour' and 'playing a part'. Written and agreed by the school council, these guidelines underpin all aspects of school life. Crucially, they build on the high ...aspirations of staff, making for purposeful classrooms and a determined yet caring community spirit across all phases of the school.

Pupils know they come here to learn. They enjoy acquiring new knowledge, but also understand the importance of supporting each other to achieve their best. A group of older boys unexpectedly revealed after a music lesson that they love playing the recorder.

It was not necessarily the instrument that they liked, but the 'teamwork' required to produce the impressively harmonious whole-class performance the inspector had enjoyed earlier that afternoon.

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

New leaders have injected fresh purpose and energy into this already excellent school. The senior leadership team members, not all of whom are new to the school, have quickly settled to their work of seeking continuous improvement in all aspects of provision.

Middle leaders are also talented and hard-working. Their contribution to ensuring that the curriculum meets the needs of all pupils is particularly worthy of note. This includes in the school's early years phase, where the curriculum is well thought through and closely linked to what will follow when children progress to Year 1.

This is an outward-looking school. Despite its seemingly small stature, much of the work that goes on here is of a very high quality. Teaching and support staff are dedicated.

They are not afraid to look further afield to identify good practice, and use the expertise available through partnership schools or external experts to improve their work. This impacts particularly positively on the achievements of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities. Recent adaptations to the science and art curriculum are also good examples of staff constantly looking to improve.

The result of this is a rich curriculum that takes every pupil on a journey of discovery, from day one in Reception through to their transition to secondary school.

A striking characteristic of the curriculum is its breadth and quality of learning in subjects such as music and French. Pupils love to sing, and play a variety of instruments.

Often, this is in whole-class groups, where pupils learn to evaluate and improve their own performances. Pupils learn French from the beginning of Year 1, because leaders want them to achieve well before they move to secondary school. Some subjects are planned and delivered by subject specialists.

Others are taught by class teachers, who benefit from a wide range of professional development to ensure that they are well equipped to teach the key knowledge pupils need to know.

The school's programme to teach reading is well established. Pupils love books, many of which are chosen to celebrate the rich heritage of the many different backgrounds they come from.

Pupils also love to reason and solve mathematical problems. Strong leadership of English and mathematics ensures that these core subjects are taught well. This means that pupils enjoy high degrees of success as they move through the school.

Pupils' personal development is another strength of this outstanding school. Consequently, pupils are kind, caring, resilient and thoughtful. Those from disadvantaged backgrounds are supported well.

Expectations of their success are equally high. A bespoke personal, social and health education programme is in place. Pupils learn about relationships, diversity and difference in an age-appropriate way.

Parents who replied to Ofsted Parent View through free text were also positive about the care their children receive. The large majority would recommend the school, although a few would like communication to be better.

Governance of the school is multilayered, and effective in providing the support and challenge leaders need as they strive for excellence.

The chair of the local governing committee and the chief executive officer of the partnership know the school equally well. Their work together with the archdiocese to appoint new executive and academy principals last year has been instrumental in the school's ongoing success.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Staff at all levels take their responsibilities to safeguard children seriously. They understand that the smallest piece of information could be useful in identifying potential risks to children. Training is up to date, rigorous and ongoing.

Staff know what to do if they have concerns. Leaders act when they need to. Relationships with outside agencies are positive.

Appropriate recruitment processes and checks on adults in the school are in place. Pupils know whom to talk to if they have worries or concerns. They particularly appreciate the 'stay safe team', who act quickly to address any concerns, large or small.

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