St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School

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About St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School

Name St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Miss Clare McFlynn
Address Highgate Hill, Highgate, London, N19 5NE
Phone Number 02072721270
Phase Primary
Type Voluntary aided school
Age Range 2-11
Religious Character Roman Catholic
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 417
Local Authority Islington
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils are enthusiastic about coming to this exceptional, nurturing and inclusive school. Their behaviour and the pride they take in their school consistently reflect the school's values.

The school has very high expectations for all. Pupils are proud of the way they strive to meet these expectations. This can be seen in the excellent quality of work produced across different subjects.

The school has set out a highly structured and aspirational curriculum. Teaching approaches, such as the 'last, last, last' activities, help pupils to retain their knowledge about each subject. Pupils speak knowledgeably and eloquently about their learning, recalling in depth what they ...have learned during their lessons.

Pupils' behaviour is exemplary. Throughout the school there is a purposeful, yet calm, atmosphere. At breaktimes and lunchtimes, pupils play well with each other and encourage one another to join in with their activities.

In lessons, they focus on their work and listen attentively to their teachers.

The school provides a rich range of opportunities for pupils to develop their interests and talents. Pupils choose from a wide range of clubs and activities, including sports and music, dance and environmental studies.

Pupils are keen to give back to others, both in the school community and beyond. They take on leadership responsibilities such as pupil chaplains, librarians and digital leaders. They also actively fundraise for local charities and global appeals.

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

The school has developed a broad and highly effective curriculum. It is ambitious for everyone, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). For example, the mathematics curriculum enables pupils to discuss their learning and use technical language with ease.

Pupils' secure prior knowledge means that they approach their learning, including new concepts, with confidence. Pupils who need further support are given tailored extra help, for instance, in small groups before and after school. This helps to ensure that every pupil achieves highly and is able to keep up in learning the curriculum.

The school prioritises making sure that high-quality learning starts from the first moments that children, some as young as two, join the school. Recognising how important school attendance is, the school works closely with parents and carers to ensure that pupils attend well.

The school has prioritised reading.

Pupils who are at the earliest stages of reading are supported through a highly structured approach to teaching phonics knowledge. The school holds regular meetings with parents to share what learning to read looks like in school. This includes giving resources and ideas on how reading can be supported at home.

The books that pupils read, both at school and at home, are closely matched to the sounds that pupils have been taught. Pupils are encouraged to develop a real love of reading. They relish their regular visits to the school's inspiring library.

The school has carefully considered the books that pupils will want to read, and staff make suggestions for new titles to develop pupils' breadth of reading. The school also organises book fairs and events, such as author and illustrator visits, to further enthuse pupils about books.

The school ensures that all pupils' needs are fully supported.

Pupils with SEND have their needs identified quickly. Teachers skilfully ensure that pupils access the curriculum, including resources used to support learning. Pupils with SEND are fully included in the life of the school and flourish in their learning.

All pupils are encouraged to aim high and do their best.

Children in early years make an excellent start to their education. This includes two-year-old children.

The school has considered carefully how its curriculum will meet the needs of all children, including the very youngest. Children settle well and develop their understanding of the routines and expectations that the school has. The early years environment is inviting and nurturing.

The school makes sure that activities and resources connect with and extend children's interests, alongside supporting them to understand key ideas. Staff communicate with and question children skilfully, developing and enriching their vocabulary. This approach continues as pupils move through the school.

The school has carefully considered how to broaden pupils' experiences. A rich programme of special activities and events has been integrated purposefully into the curriculum. For example, pupils learn about robotics and coding, and through working with outside organisations, they are exposed to other aspects of science and technology.

Pupils also have regular opportunities to learn in the school's outdoor spaces, including learning the names of trees, plants, animals and birds. In addition, clubs and eco-friendly initiatives develop pupils' interest in the world around them, complementing what they are taught in other aspects of the curriculum. Pupils also learn about the unique history of the local area, which helps to deepen their cultural education.

The school is well led. The governing body and all staff work together to ensure that they offer the best possible education for all pupils. All school leaders' work is shaped by the view that 'nothing is too good' for the children at St Joseph's.

Staff feel well supported. They are proud of the work that they do to support all pupils to be highly successful in their learning.

Parents are very pleased that their children come to this school.

One parent, reflecting the views of many others, said: 'St Joseph's is not just a school, but a community. My children love going to school every day and take pride in being part of the St Joseph's family.'


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

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