|Name||St Joseph’s and St Gregory’s Catholic Primary School|
|Ofsted Inspection Rating||Requires improvement|
|Inspection Date||19 November 2019|
|Address||Chester Road, Bedford, MK40 4HN|
|Religious Character||Roman Catholic|
|Number of Pupils||508 (47% boys 53% girls)|
|Number of Pupils per Teacher||23.3|
|Academy Sponsor||Our Lady Immaculate Catholic Academies Trust Ltd|
|Percentage Free School Meals||20%|
|Percentage English is Not First Language||80.7%|
|Pupils with SEN Support||5.5%|
|Catchment Area Information Available||Yes, our catchment area data is FREE|
|Last Distance Offered Information Available||No|
What is it like to attend this school?
Pupils are happy and feel safe. Staff provide well for pupils’ well-being and personal development. Pupils feel that adults have high expectations of them. Children in the early years work and play together well.
There has been a decline in the quality of education in key stage 2 since the previous inspection. This is particularly the case in the teaching of writing and mathematics. Leaders are taking action to bring about the necessary improvements.
Pupils told us that they enjoy most of their learning but sometimes find it too easy, especially in mathematics. They find science and French more difficult. One junior pupil summed up the views of others in saying that, ‘It’s better if learning is hard because you learn from your mistakes.’
Pupils are usually kind to each other in lessons and on the playground. Pupils know about types of bullying and what to do when bullying occurs. Pupils are confident that on the rare occasions when unkindness or bullying takes place, adults help pupils to resolve any problems.
In some classes, teachers have established positive relationships. Pupils have good attitudes to their learning and work well. In other classes, some pupils misbehave. This stops them and their classmates from learning as much as they could.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
Children learn well in the early years. The leader of early years quickly notices when adults could do things better to help children learn as much as possible. Changes are made without delay. Adults in Nursery and Reception are determined to give children the best possible start with their literacy. Staff model speaking and writing so that children can see how to use English well. By the time children are in Reception, they are beginning to chat about their learning.
There has been a decline in the quality of education in key stage 2 since the school changed from a middle school to a primary school. Leaders, governors and the trust are acting to stop this decline. They have been successful in offering a wide range of subjects and in improving pupils’ reading skills, but they have not identified all the areas that need to improve. For example, pupils’ writing and higher-level mathematics skills are still not good enough.
There are classes in which some pupils’ behaviour interrupts their learning and that of others. Pupils told us that this low-level disruption happens often. Some staff do not follow the school’s policy for behaviour management. They do not act quickly enough to stop learning being disrupted. Where routines are well established, pupils listen to adults and work well. Pupils generally behave well and follow rules at playtime and lunchtime.Curriculum leaders know what and how they want pupils to learn in each subject. Leaders visit lessons to check that teachers are doing what is planned. Leaders have not, however, checked that teaching is helping pupils to learn.
The teaching of writing is not good enough. Teachers do not have high enough expectations of what pupils can write. Teachers do not regularly help pupils to correct poor punctuation, grammar and handwriting. Teachers do not give pupils the chance to write often enough.
Teachers follow the school’s mathematics programme, which is helping younger pupils to learn well. The programme is not similarly well adapted to meet pupils’ needs in key stage 2. Pupils who are capable of doing more difficult mathematics say that the work is too easy. They rarely have the chance to try work that would make them think hard. This is also the case for lessons in physical education (PE) and art.
The teaching of reading is a strength of the school. Staff pronounce sounds correctly and offer a clear sequence of learning in phonics. As a result, pupils make strong progress with their reading. Reading books are carefully matched to what pupils can read. Junior pupils told us that they enjoy reading books by a range of favourite authors.
Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) make better progress than other pupils. Teachers adjust tasks to help pupils learn what they need to know next.
Leaders and staff support disadvantaged pupils and vulnerable pupils well. These pupils develop confidence in their learning and play. The nurture room is used by pupils of all ages to meet a variety of their needs. Leaders ensure that all pupils can go on outings and learn from activities outside school.
There is a wide range of clubs after school and at lunchtimes. Many pupils take advantage of these activities and enjoy them. Pupils enjoy lunchtime, where the food is healthy, flowers decorate the tables, classical music plays and table manners are expected.
When pupils experience friendship problems or feel unhappy, staff provide suitable support. Staff listen to pupils and suggest strategies to help them to develop good friendships. Pupils are being well prepared for life in modern Britain.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Leaders prioritise the safeguarding of pupils. Leaders ensure that staff have regular safeguarding training. Staff know the signs that might raise concerns about pupils’ welfare and know what actions to take. Leaders work with other organisations whenit is appropriate.
Records of the checks leaders carry out on adults working in the school are thorough.
Pupils are aware of dangers and risks that they may face online and in person. They know what the school does to keep them safe. They told us that they practise fire drills. Pupils also know how to stay safe when they are in science lessons or on school trips.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
The quality of pupils’ writing is not as good as it should be. This is because teachers have low expectations for the presentation, quantity and quality of pupils’ work. Teachers need to raise their expectations of what pupils can do, including the use of basic grammar and punctuation, and joining handwriting correctly. Teachers need to ensure that pupils have sufficient opportunities to write so that writing and communication skills can develop. . Teachers do not meet the needs of pupils in key stage 2 consistently well, especially the needs of pupils who are capable of reaching higher standards. As a result, pupils do not achieve as well as they could. Leaders should ensure that teachers provide suitably demanding learning activities so that pupils learn well. . Curriculum leaders are developing their leadership skills so that they can carry out some parts of their roles independently of senior leaders. Curriculum leaders need to ensure that their monitoring focuses on whether the curriculum and how it is delivered is impacting on pupils’ progress as intended. . In some classes, too much learning time is lost through pupils’ low-level disruption. Leaders need to ensure that teachers do not allow poor behaviour to continue. Teachers should use the school’s behaviour management policy consistently so that pupils do not lose learning time as a result of their own behaviour or that of others.