St Mary’s Catholic Primary School


Name St Mary’s Catholic Primary School
Website http://www.kells-stmarys.cumbria.sch.uk/
Ofsted Inspection Rating Outstanding
Inspection Date 04 March 2014
Address High Road, Kells, Whitehaven, Cumbria, CA28 9PG
Phone Number 0194666356
Type Primary
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Roman Catholic
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 214 (43% boys 57% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 19.5
Local Authority Cumbria
Percentage Free School Meals 25.5%
Percentage English is Not First Language 0.9%

Information about this school

This primary school is of average size. The great majority of pupils are of White British heritage. None are learning to speak English as an additional language. About half of the pupils are eligible for the pupil premium, which is double the national proportion. (The pupil premium is additional funding for those pupils who are known to be eligible for free school meals, children from service families and those children who are looked after by the local authority.) The proportion of pupils whose learning needs are supported at the level known as school action is average. The proportion of pupils supported at school action plus, or with a statement of special educational needs, is below average. The school meets the government’s current floor standards, which are the minimum expectations for pupils’ attainment and progress in English and mathematics by the end of Year 6. Pupils are usually taught in separate year groups, but for part of the time some Nursery and Reception children work together. Some pupils arrive early to school and are looked after by school staff in a ‘breakfast club’. There are after-school clubs and, for older pupils, there is some coaching in what is normally holiday time. At the time of the inspection, there were temporary teachers in two classrooms, although in one of them the usual teacher was present at times, following a period of leave from the school. Several staff have some leadership responsibility. In addition to her headship of St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, the headteacher is Executive Headteacher of Oughterside Primary School.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is an outstanding school. When young children join the school, most have skills that are less well developed than is usual for their age; markedly so with some. By the end of Year 6, standards are well above those found nationally. Pupils make excellent progress throughout the school. Achievement is outstanding. There is rapid progress in Nursery and Reception classes. By the start of Year 1, pupils generally have a level of development that is normal for their age. Pupils for whom there is additional funding (pupil premium) reach standards as high as those of others in the school and make at least as much progress. Pupils who are disabled or who have special educational needs make progress from their starting points that is similar to that of other pupils. Teaching is outstanding and has ensured that pupils’ learning has been excellent over time. Teachers cater very well for the needs of pupils of different abilities. Work in lessons and in additional sessions in school time and after hours enables all pupils to prosper, including those for whom learning is not easy. Teaching assistants make an excellent contribution to pupils’ learning. The most-able pupils are generally given the chance to tackle more difficult things, although occasionally they could strive even more. Marking of pupils’ work is exceptionally diligent. Pupils respond very positively to advice. Very occasionally, additional specific points, such as improving handwriting, could be pressed. Pupils’ behaviour is outstanding in lessons and about the school. They are very eager to learn and unfailingly considerate of others. They feel very safe and well looked after in school, and are aware of possible hazards in new situations. The leadership and management of the school are outstanding. Achievement and the quality of teaching have improved steadily over the last few years due to exceptionally careful checks on the school’s work and the headway that pupils are making. Staff are highly committed and keen to do their best for pupils. There are excellent links with the local community. The school’s improvement has been very well supported by the local authority. Governors carry out their responsibilities painstakingly and with impressive vigour. They have fostered the school’s improvement very effectively.