St Mary’s Catholic Primary School - a Catholic voluntary academy

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About St Mary’s Catholic Primary School - a Catholic voluntary academy

Name St Mary’s Catholic Primary School - a Catholic voluntary academy
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Miss F Mackle
Address Cross Lanes, Richmond, DL10 7DZ
Phone Number 01748822365
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Roman Catholic
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 165
Local Authority North Yorkshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils behave well and feel safe in this school.

They are well cared for by the adults, who know them well. When pupils join the school, they quickly become part of a caring community. Links with the local church are well established and pupils are active within their parish community.

Leaders have high expectations for pupils' achievement. This starts in the early years, where the curriculum has been well thought through to support pupils to learn. By the end of key stage 2, pupils have the skills that help them to be ready to move to secondary education.

Pupils are proud of the work that they do at school to support others, such as creating their own small ...foodbank. They enjoy the many after-school clubs on offer, such as archery, dodgeball, football and dancing club. Pupils also appreciate the opportunity to take on responsibilities, for example as eco-warriors, school councillors and members of Mini-Vinnies.

Pupils feel safe and are happy here. They trust the adults in school to help them. They understand how leaders and staff expect them to behave.

They are highly respectful of each other and of adults. This makes the school a calm and orderly place. Pupils follow the school's rules well.

Pupils said that any incidents of poor behaviour, including rare instances of bullying, are sorted out fairly and effectively. Children in the early years play happily together. Older pupils said that if they had a problem at playtime, they could speak to staff to help them resolve any problems.

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

Leaders have introduced a new curriculum that allows pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) and disadvantaged pupils, to develop rich knowledge and understanding. Leaders have rigorously developed this curriculum. It is coherently organised.

For example, in science, leaders have structured learning carefully so that pupils' knowledge builds up from the early years through to Year 6. In physical education, skills are developed methodically. Teachers ensure that pupils revisit prior learning regularly.

This helps pupils to remember learning. Teachers have strong subject knowledge They use it effectively in order to implement the curriculum. Pupils have a secure understanding of their learning and talk about learning with confidence.

For instance, in science, pupils use scientific vocabulary fluently and accurately.

In some subjects, leaders are still developing assessment systems that are closely matched to the curriculum. Currently, not all teachers are using these assessment systems consistently.

This results in staff not always knowing when there are gaps in pupils' understanding.

Leaders have prioritised effective systems to ensure pupils with SEND are quickly identified. Leaders then support these pupils by adapting teaching, or identifying resources to help pupils make progress.

However, some adaptations are not precisely tailored to pupils' individual needs. This means that, from time to time, these pupils do not consolidate their understanding as quickly as they might.

From the moment that children arrive in the early years, leaders ensure that they benefit from a well-structured approach to learning phonics.

Staff are highly knowledgeable about early reading because of the training that they receive. Staff match reading books well to the sounds that pupils are learning. As a result, almost all pupils become confident, fluent readers by the end of Year 2.

Across the school, pupils have access to a wide range of books. They enjoy reading and do so regularly. Teachers identify pupils who are falling behind and provide targeted support to help them to catch up.

Leaders prioritise pupils' mental health and well-being through effective support and mentoring. Leaders successfully develop pupils' awareness and understanding of equality and diversity. As a result, pupils know why democracy, respect and tolerance are important.

This prepares them well for later life.

Members of the governing body are proud to be a part of the school community. They are highly knowledgeable about many aspects of the school.

They support and challenge leaders to help them to improve the school. Governors and trustees share a common vision and want pupils to achieve. All staff enjoy working at the school and value the support that leaders and governors provide.

Staff appreciate the steps that leaders have taken to make their workload more manageable and, in some cases, more family friendly.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders and staff know pupils well.

They work closely with pupils, and their families, to check on and look after their well-being. Staff receive regular safeguarding training and know how to keep pupils safe. Staff identify pupils who may be vulnerable.

They diligently pass on any concerns to leaders responsible for safeguarding. Leaders are tenacious in following up on these concerns. They ensure that pupils and their families get timely support if they need it.

Leaders ensure that pupils receive highly effective support for their emotional health and well-being.

Pupils know how to keep themselves safe online and offline. They know that they should speak out if they are made to feel uncomfortable by other pupils or adults.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

Some targets for pupils with SEND do not specify the precise knowledge or skills that are to be developed. This means that some small steps in learning are missed, and pupils find learning difficult. Leaders should ensure that teachers have the training to develop precise, achievable, and measurable targets for pupils with SEND.

• Some assessment processes are still being developed. This means that gaps in learning are not always being identified quickly. Leaders need to ensure that assessment criteria is closely matched to the curriculum and that staff regularly and effectively assess pupils' understanding.

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