St Joseph’s Primary School

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About St Joseph’s Primary School

Name St Joseph’s Primary School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs Debra McFarlane
Address St Joseph’s Road, Handsworth, Sheffield, S13 9AT
Phone Number 01142692773
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Roman Catholic
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 224
Local Authority Sheffield
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

St Joseph's Primary School is a warm and welcoming school. Pupils are polite and courteous.

They speak to adults with maturity and curiosity. The class learning ambassadors introduce themselves to visitors when they enter the classroom and explain the topic that they are learning about. The Catholic ethos is evident throughout the school.

Leaders have high expectations for how pupils will behave and learn. Most of the time, pupils meet these expectations. Pupils display respect and tolerance towards each other.

They approach their learning with enthusiasm and interest.

Pupils are happy and feel safe at school. They have trusted adults to speak to if ...needed.

Parents value the support that staff provide to the pupils at St Joseph's. Pupils interact positively with each other, including at breakfast club and at playtimes.

Pupils learn how to keep themselves safe online and in the community.

They can talk about healthy relationships in an age-appropriate way. The school provides a range of meaningful leadership opportunities for pupils. For example, house captains plan and lead an assembly each week.

Reading prefects look after the library and read to younger children.

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

Leaders have developed an ambitious curriculum that meets the needs of all pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). Leaders want pupils to develop positive character traits and skills that will prepare them for future learning and a changing world.

To achieve this, the school is working with a local university to develop these skills through the 'maker spirit'. Activities have been woven into the curriculum to develop independence, critical thinking and debate. Within these activities, pupils use resources such as virtual reality and 3D printing to give real purpose to their learning.

Leaders have recently reviewed and improved some areas of the curriculum. In most curriculum areas, subject leaders have carefully identified the knowledge and skills that pupils will acquire. They have designed the curriculum to build knowledge logically from reception through to Year 6.

In a small number of subjects, the curriculum is not as developed as others. Where this is the case, there are clear plans in place to complete this work.

The curriculum for children in early years is equally ambitious.

Areas of provision support and promote children's use of language. Children develop positive learning behaviours, for example by asking each other questions, making suggestions and completing tasks. Pupils are well prepared for Year 1.

Reading is a priority at St Joseph's. Last year's Year 1 phonics published outcomes were not as high as in previous years. In response, leaders have made some improvements to the early reading curriculum.

Leaders are closely monitoring the delivery of phonics and offering coaching and drop-in sessions for staff where needed. As a result of this, staff subject knowledge has improved and the curriculum is taught well. Leaders identify pupils who are not keeping up with the phonics programme.

Adults support these pupils to catch up quickly.

Provision for pupils with SEND is a strength of the school. Leaders work closely with parents to put thorough plans in place for these pupils.

Teachers make effective adaptations to their lessons so that pupils with SEND can access the curriculum. A small number of pupils access an adapted curriculum. This curriculum meets the needs of these pupils well.

Most pupils behave well at St Joseph's. However, there is occasionally low-level disruption in lessons. The behaviour policy is not always applied as consistently as it could be across the school.

At times, this has a negative impact on pupils' learning. Leaders have worked hard to keep attendance levels high. They identify any pupils falling below expected levels of attendance and put additional support in place to help these pupils.

As a result of this, the number of pupils attending school who are persistently absent has significantly reduced this year.

Pupils develop a good understanding of fundamental British values. They learn about different faiths and beliefs.

Leaders have worked hard to raise pupils' aspirations. Previous pupils visit the school to talk about their experiences at university and work. Pupils from a secondary school in the city visit school to share their experiences of future study and careers.

Those responsible for governance have a strong oversite of the school. They have made recent strategic decisions to strengthen school leadership. The diocese has a close relationship with the school and helps it to work in partnership with other local schools.

Leaders are very considerate of staff well-being and encourage random acts of kindness between staff. Staff are happy and proud to work at St Joseph's.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Leaders have not fully developed the curriculum in a small number of subjects. The curriculum in these subjects is not as effective as it is in other areas of the curriculum. Leaders should continue with their plans to improve the curriculum in these subjects so that pupils' learning is consistently strong across all areas of the curriculum.

A small number of pupils do not display consistently positive behaviours during lessons. This results in occasional disruption to learning in some year groups. The school should ensure that the behaviour policy is consistently well embedded across school.

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