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 Mr Greg Bath
Address Bristol Road, Portishead, BS20 6QB
Phone Number 01275848367
Phase Primary
Type Voluntary aided school
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Roman Catholic
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 205
Local Authority North Somerset
Highlights from Latest Inspection


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

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils enjoy coming to this school, which is described as a 'happy family'. Pupils get along well. Older pupils like having jobs to care for the youngest children.

The gospel values underpin the caring ethos that permeates the school. Pupils say bullying is rare and that staff resolve issues quickly. Pupils conduct themselves well in lessons and at other times of the day.

Pupils are keen to learn because teachers have high expectations. There is a strong curriculum in place, which supports pupils to achieve well. As a result, pupils are well prepared for the next stage... of their education, including the children in the early years foundation stage (EYFS).

However, there are still some inconsistencies in a few subjects that mean pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), could do even better. This includes making sure that pupils who are still learning to read have phonics books that precisely match the sounds they are learning.

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

Leaders, including governors, are not complacent.

They continually check how well the school is doing to get an accurate understanding of the school's strengths and weaknesses. This enables them to take the right actions to improve the school. Recent changes in key leadership posts have not stalled improvement or interfered with the ambitions of the school.

Leaders motivate staff and pupils. They have created a positive environment, where everybody feels valued and want the best for pupils.

Leaders have made the development of the curriculum a high priority.

This has continued during the COVID-19 pandemic, so that pupils benefit from a well-considered curriculum. Leaders have carefully set out what they want pupils to know in most subjects. However, a few subjects still have some minor inconsistencies.

For example, the smallest steps of knowledge in geography, history and computing are not as precise as they could be. These curriculum plans sometimes lack a logical order, such as developing pupils' knowledge of different types of maps in geography. Consequently, pupils do not gain as full an understanding of the whole curriculum as they could.

This includes how the curriculum is designed from, and through, the EYFS.

Leaders prioritise reading in the school. This has become an even higher priority for some pupils, due to the pandemic.

Leaders have clear ambitions and strong plans to get pupils reading. These start with developing children's communication and language skills in the new nursery. This continues with effective teaching of phonics in the Reception Year and beyond.

The progression of phonics builds appropriately through a coherent approach. However, sometimes teachers' assessments do not identify the phonic sounds that pupils must learn or consolidate precisely enough. This means that the choice of reading books is not always matched closely enough to pupils' phonic knowledge.

As a result, a few pupils, who still find reading difficult, find it hard to catch up.

Leaders support pupils to become responsible individuals as part of a caring, wider school community. Their emphasis on developing pupils' personal development prepares pupils well for the world around them and for life in modern Britain.

This starts from when children join the school in the early years foundation stage. For example, children in the Reception class are taught to become independent through registering and tidying away for themselves. Pupils do not shy away from responsibility, such as being school councillors in Year 6 or taking the lead in developing the school grounds in Year 5.

Consequently, pupils become responsible and reflective and are well prepared for the next steps in their lives.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders prioritise safeguarding.

They are diligent in their work to keep pupils safe. The school has effective systems for checking, recruiting and training staff in child protection. Staff know when, and how, to escalate their concerns.

They work well with a range of external partners to ensure pupils' safety and their well-being. Leaders have also taken steps to help pupils recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including promoting pupils' mental health.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• There are some minor inconsistencies in a few subjects.

These weaken the overall knowledge of pupils across the whole curriculum and prevents them from achieving their full potential. Leaders must ensure that the curriculum is coherent and logically sequenced in all subjects, including in the early years foundation stage. ? Despite the overall strengths of the phonics programme, some pupils' reading books do not match their phonic knowledge closely enough.

This means a few pupils struggle when they practise reading. Leaders must ensure that phonics books are consistently matched well to pupils' needs, particularly for those who need to catch up.Background

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 school to be good on 2–3 March 2016.

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