St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School B/S

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About St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School B/S

Name St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School B/S
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mr Peter Coldwell
Address Great Hadham Road, Bishop’s Stortford, CM23 2NL
Phone Number 01279652576
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Roman Catholic
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 428
Local Authority Hertfordshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils at St Joseph's are happy and safe. They show pride in their school.

They act out the Christian values of respect and tolerance, which supports everyone to feel included. Pupils enjoy learning about the world around them. They compare other people's experiences to their own to understand and learn about difference.

Pupils behave well in lessons and during playtimes. Bullying rarely happens, but if it does, adults sort it out. Pupils overwhelmingly say that their peers at the school are kind.

They know the expectations in place and gently remind each other of the rules.

Pupils experience a wide range of opportunities linked to the curriculum and... the Catholic faith. Pupils take on responsibilities to help shape the future of their school and community.

These include the chaplaincy committee and sports captain roles.

Addressing issues of sustainability is a golden thread running through the school. Pupils are reflective and mature when considering how their actions affect the world.

Pupils benefit from celebrations and awards that recognise their qualities and achievements. These include the 'Jack Fielder achievement award' for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) and the 'Franciscan value award'.

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

Leaders have planned a curriculum with high expectations.

The curriculum has a sharp focus on pupils learning new vocabulary and putting this into practice through their speaking and writing. The majority of the curriculum is planned in detail, highlighting the order of skills and knowledge to be taught. Teachers revisit this knowledge to check pupils are remembering what they have learned.

In a few subjects, leaders have not provided as much detail. This can lead to some teachers missing out key knowledge that pupils need. Consequently, some pupils have gaps in their understanding of these subjects.

Leaders' reading curriculum introduces pupils to a wide range of texts. Pupils are taught specific skills to improve their understanding of what they are reading. Staff have received training in how to teach phonics and reading.

As a result, they teach reading consistently well in alignment with leaders' plans. Leaders have correctly identified a small but significant number of pupils, including pupils with SEND, who are struggling to learn to read. The extra sessions that are in place for these pupils do not follow a structured or organised approach.

Consequently, these pupils are not catching up quickly enough.

Leaders have implemented some positive changes across the school for pupils with SEND. Pupils with SEND have specialist equipment to support their learning when needed.

Pupils with social, emotional and mental health needs are well supported.These pupils are making excellent progress because of the well-planned pastoral support. However, as with other pupils in key stage 1 who find reading and writing difficult, these pupils are not given the correct help they need to catch up.

This is having an impact on their ability to learn some aspects of the wider curriculum.

Children in the early years benefit from the recent changes to the curriculum. Children in the Nursery are taught to listen to sounds in words they hear.

This skill is further built upon during the Reception Year. Children use their knowledge of phonics and words to independently write messages to each other. Adults model new vocabulary and sentences well to the children.

Adults creatively link these activities directly to the planned curriculum and the children's interests.

Pupils' behaviour and attitudes to learning are very positive. Staff know pupils well and relationships are strong.

Leaders place an overarching focus on pupils' personal development. There are a wealth of opportunities and meaningful enrichment activities linked to the catholic faith and the wider world. Leaders make sure that pupils with SEND or who are disadvantaged benefit equally well from these.

This includes enterprise and STEM week, outdoor learning club and chaplaincy work. Music tuition, art club and roles on the school council help develop all pupils' character for the future.

The governing board is mindful of the well-being and workload of staff.

It routinely ensures that any additional expectations from the trustees are necessary and of benefit to pupils, staff and leaders. Staff are overwhelmingly positive about the support they receive from leaders.

The recently formed multi-academy trust has begun to hold leaders to account more systematically than previously.

However, it is too soon to see the impact of this additional rigour. Trustees, governors and the local authority know the strengths in the quality of education. They have an accurate understanding of how the school can improve but have not monitored leaders' progress in these areas to date.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders ensure that keeping pupils safe is a priority for all staff. Staff use reporting procedures well and leaders are quick to respond to concerns.

Leaders ensure appropriate support is in place for the families and pupils that need it.Pupils are taught to keep themselves safe, both in their community and when online. Pupils are encouraged to ask questions if they are unsure about something.

Staff answer pupils with sensitivity. Pupils can also use the worry box as a form of communication.

All suitability checks during and after recruitment for staff are in place.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Pupils in key stage 1 who are struggling at the early stages of reading, including some with SEND, do not have the appropriate interventions and support to catch up. This means these pupils are not achieving as well as they could in reading or writing. Leaders must ensure staff have the training to know how to plan and deliver appropriate interventions and support so that pupils who fall behind in reading catch up quickly.

• Leaders of some curriculum subjects do not clearly identify all the skills and knowledge pupils need to learn. This means that less experienced staff do not always know what knowledge has been taught already or needs to come next. Leaders must ensure that they outline precisely what should be taught across the whole curriculum.

Also at this postcode
Stagecoach Bishops Stortford The Pre-School at St Joe’s Ltd Early Birds, Night Owls & Little Ladybirds Pre-School

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