St Joseph’s Catholic School

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About St Joseph’s Catholic School

Name St Joseph’s Catholic School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs Rachel Ridley
Address Church Road, Laverstock, Salisbury, SP1 1QY
Phone Number 01722335380
Phase Secondary
Type Voluntary aided school
Age Range 11-16
Religious Character Roman Catholic
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 594
Local Authority Wiltshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils feel welcome and included at St Joseph's. Kindness, tolerance and respect permeate all aspects of school life.

Pupils know that they are valued as individuals, whatever their faith or background. Most pupils attend well and are keen to learn. However, the way the curriculum is taught does not always enable pupils to achieve well.

The harmonious, inclusive atmosphere is underpinned by warm relationships between pupils and staff. Pupils have trusted adults to whom they can speak if they have any worries. They are confident that staff will respond swiftly to the rare incidents of bullying.

Most pupils feel well supported and cared for. Many parents commen...t positively on the strong pastoral support that helps their children to flourish.

The trips, visits and clubs that the school offers help pupils to develop a range of talents and interests.

The leadership roles that pupils take on help them to learn about democracy and the importance of being an active citizen. Pupils value the many opportunities to discuss important issues. This helps them to think for themselves and develop their own 'moral compass'.

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

The curriculum is clear about what pupils need to learn, and when. There has been an increase in the proportion of pupils who continue to follow a strongly academic curriculum in key stage 4. Leaders have made changes to ensure that the key stage 3 curriculum stays broad for longer.

The 'St Joseph's Way' sets out the school's approach to teaching the curriculum. However, the activities and work given to pupils do not always help them to learn effectively. Some pupils struggle to remember what they have learned before.

Consequently, they are not able to build their knowledge and deepen their understanding. Pupils' gaps in knowledge, as well as any misconceptions, are not always identified. This is particularly evident for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) and those who are disadvantaged.

As a result, they do not achieve as well as they could. Recent changes in SEND provision mean that the school is now better meeting the needs of pupils who have an education, health and care plan.

Pupils who are not fluent readers get the support they need to catch up with their peers.

Staff have received training in how to support pupils to develop their vocabulary through reading in tutor times and lessons. However, this is at an early stage. It is not done consistently well enough to ensure that all pupils benefit.

Pupils behave well. Learning is rarely interrupted by poor behaviour. The atmosphere around school is calm and harmonious during social times, as well as in lessons.

Pupils show high levels of respect for staff and for their peers. They are usually courteous, cooperative and friendly. Leaders' actions have rapidly reduced instances of poor behaviour in lessons.

Pupils learn how to stay safe and healthy. The school uses its knowledge of the local area to ensure that pupils are well prepared for the particular risks they may face.

Pupils' spiritual and moral development is integral to all that the school does.

Pupils show tolerance and respect to those from different faiths and cultures. They exemplify the school's message that they are 'all God's children'. Pupils know how to stand up to intolerance and support others who may experience discrimination in society.

Governors hold leaders to account and provide the support necessary to ensure the school improves. They have a clear understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the school. The school's leadership is well supported by the local authority and diocese.

After a period of turbulence, the school is now beginning to bring about rapid improvement to the quality of the education that pupils receive.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Teaching does not always check effectively what pupils know.

Consequently, some pupils have gaps in their learning, or misconceptions that persist. This is particularly evident for pupils with SEND and those who are disadvantaged. The school needs to ensure that pupils' learning is checked effectively and that the curriculum is successfully adapted to meet pupils' needs so that pupils know and remember more.

• Some teaching activities do not focus closely on the learning that the curriculum intends. This means that the activities pupils complete do not always enable them to gain the knowledge and skills that they need for future learning. The school should ensure that the curriculum enables pupils to acquire sufficient knowledge over time.

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