St Mary’s Catholic Primary School

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About St Mary’s Catholic Primary School

Name St Mary’s Catholic Primary School
Ofsted Inspections
Executive Headteacher Mrs Denise Mellor
Address Silverdale Road, Newcastle Under Lyme, ST5 2TA
Phone Number 01782619685
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Roman Catholic
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 410
Local Authority Staffordshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection


St Mary's Catholic Primary School continues to be a good school.

What is it like to attend this school?

St Mary's Catholic Primary School is a warm and welcoming place. Pupils enjoy school and are happy. Bullying does not worry them.

Pupils know that leaders will respond to any reported incidences of bullying and take effective action.

Relationships between staff and pupils are based on mutual respect. There is a strong sense of pastoral care across the school, which reflects the school's Catholic values.

All staff and pupils care about each other. One comment by a pupil is shared by many others, 'The school is a community, we all help each other.' As a result, th...e school is a calm and orderly place in which to learn, and pupils say they feel safe.

Leaders have high aspirations for what the pupils can achieve. Staff expect pupils to work hard and try their best. Pupils live up to these expectations and achieve well.

This begins in Nursery when children begin to develop good listening skills.

Pupils value the opportunities beyond the classroom that leaders provide for them. This includes a range of clubs such as football, drama and recorders.

They speak enthusiastically about trips to the zoo and a Greek bakery. Leaders help pupils to develop a sense of responsibility. For example, they can be a school ambassador, sports leader or guardian angel.

Pupils take on these responsibilities willingly.

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

All leaders and staff have a clear vision for the school. They want all pupils to achieve the best they can.

Leaders have created an environment in which pupils enjoy learning. They think carefully about the subjects that pupils learn. All pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), learn a broad range of subjects alongside their peers.

This prepares pupils well for their next steps.

Teachers have a good understanding of the subjects they teach. They use assessment well to check pupils' learning and identify where they need extra help.

Consequently, pupils learn the curriculum well and make good progress. Lessons are well planned and sequenced. Teachers regularly revisit pupils' prior learning; this helps learning to stick in pupils' minds.

Leaders have prioritised the teaching of reading. They have revamped the school library. Pupils in Years 5 and 6 can train to be a reading mentor, and pupils read to a reading dog that comes into school.

Pupils enjoy reading both fiction and non-fiction books. A new reading scheme has been introduced this year. This starts in Nursery.

Most staff have had training in how to deliver the programme. Leaders check how well pupils are learning to read. Most pupils are developing into confident, fluent readers.

If pupils fall behind, leaders provide them with extra help. However, the reading scheme is still relatively new. Leaders know there is more work to do to fully embed the scheme.

Pupils with SEND say they enjoy school. Adults take good care of them. Teachers create pupil passports for all pupils with SEND.

The plans describe what the pupils need help with. However, leaders have not ensured that they are precise enough. They do not accurately identify what staff need to do to help pupils with their learning or manage their emotions.

This limits pupils' progress.

In the early years, adults use resources well to support pupils' literacy and numeracy. The 'delve into twelve' key texts promote children's enjoyment of reading.

Teachers identify key words for the day. This helps to develop pupils' vocabulary. Adults' consistent approach to teaching number prepares children well for their learning in Year 1.

Good routines for behaviour begin in Nursery. For example, adults insist on children taking turns. These expectations continue throughout other year groups.

This leads to pupils behaving well in school.

Leaders promote pupils' personal development well. They teach them how to be responsible, active citizens.

Pupils raise money for charity or make donations to organisations in the local community. Parents and carers value the opportunities available to their children. A comment made by a parent reflects the views of many others: 'My child is not just learning academically, but also spiritually and how to be a kind and caring person.'

Staff work closely together and support each other well. They say that leaders have an open-door policy and can always be approached if they need help. Staff appreciate this.

Leaders consider their well-being and workload. They make staff's workload more manageable. For example, they give teachers time to plan together.

Directors and governors are committed to ensuring that the school continues to improve and that pupils are happy and enjoy their learning. They provide leaders with an appropriate balance of support and challenge. For example, they make sure that services bought in by the school provide good value for money.

This helps to ensure pupils receive high-quality provision.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.Staff take pupils' welfare seriously.

Leaders make sure staff know about potential risks to pupils in the local area. Staff report concerns confident in the knowledge that leaders will deal with them effectively. Leaders make sure that pupils and their families get the right help at the time it is needed.

Pupils are taught how to keep themselves safe. For example, in computing, they learn how to keep themselves safe when working online. Pupils know, for example, not to share their personal information online.

Therefore, pupils are safe.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Leaders have not yet fully embedded the new reading scheme. This means that some pupils do not develop into confident and fluent readers quickly enough.

Leaders should ensure that all staff have the knowledge and skills to deliver the programme to a consistently high standard so that all pupils learn to read well. ? Leaders have not ensured that pupils with SEND are supported with their learning as well as they could be. Information about what support will look like for individual pupils is not precise enough.

This means that pupils may not be fully achieving their potential. Leaders need to ensure that staff are enabled to plan and deliver effective additional support for pupils with SEND.


When we have judged a school to be good, we will then normally go into the school about once every four years to confirm that the school remains good.

This is called an ungraded inspection, and it is carried out under section 8 of the Education Act 2005. We do not give graded judgements on an ungraded inspection. However, if we find evidence that a school would now receive a higher or lower grade, then the next inspection will be a graded inspection, which is carried out under section 5 of the Act.

Usually this is within one to two years of the date of the ungraded inspection. If we have serious concerns about safeguarding, behaviour or the quality of education, we will deem the ungraded inspection a graded inspection immediately.

This is the first ungraded inspection since we judged the school to be good in January 2017.

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