St Mary’s Catholic Primary School

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St Mary’s Catholic Primary School


Name St Mary’s Catholic Primary School
Inspections
Ofsted Inspections
This inspection rating relates to a predecessor school. When a school converts to an academy, is taken over or closes and reopens as a new school a formal link is created between the new school and the old school, by the Department for Education. Where the new school has not yet been inspected, we show the inspection history of the predecessor school, as we believe it still has significance.
Address Wharf Lane, Brewood, Stafford, ST19 9BG
Phone Number 01902850261
Type Academy
Age Range 2-11
Religious Character Roman Catholic
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 109 (47.7% boys 52.3% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 17.1
Academy Sponsor The Painsley Catholic Academy
Local Authority Staffordshire
Percentage Free School Meals 9.2%
Percentage English is Not First Language 0.9%
Persistent Absence 4.2%
Pupils with SEN Support 7.3%%
Highlights from Latest Inspection
This inspection rating relates to a predecessor school. When a school converts to an academy, is taken over or closes and reopens as a new school a formal link is created between the new school and the old school, by the Department for Education. Where the new school has not yet been inspected, we show the inspection history of the predecessor school, as we believe it still has significance.

Main findings

This is a good school, where pupils achieve well and attainment is above average in English and mathematics.

All groups of pupils, from the least to the most able, including those from minority ethnic backgrounds, make equally good progress. The upward trend seen in recent years is being sustained, and represents good improvement since the previous inspection. Pupils and their parents and carers comment positively on the improvements that have taken place since that time.

They attribute them to the commitment and dedication of the staff and the strong teamwork evident throughout the school. Good leadership and management, supported by the headteacher's clarity of vision, have successfully bro...ught staff, governors, pupils, and their parents and carers together to support the school in its drive to raise standards further. The school's self evaluation is accurate, if somewhat cautious in places, and the outcomes are used well to improve teaching and learning.

All of this gives the school good capacity for sustained improvement. Children get off to a good start by making good progress in Reception. Pupils are taught well in all key stages and, at times, teaching is inspiring.

This was seen as the school's 'Family Life' project was incorporated into literacy and numeracy work. Here, pupils' learning was pushed hard as they explored feelings and dealt with potentially real life situations, including managing a limited budget. Teachers readily take on board the advice they receive when their work is monitored and evaluated.

Where teaching is only satisfactory, a contributory factor is that support staff do not support pupils well enough in whole class sessions, or maintain the pace of learning when they are working with different groups. The school assesses pupils' learning carefully and it checks that the assessments are accurate. It keeps good records, and has a very clear picture of progress for individual pupils in each year group, and uses the information to plan the next steps in their learning.

It does not have a similarly clear picture of achievement over time, however, because it does not systematically collate assessment information to secure this. Systems to do so are currently under discussion. The curriculum meets the needs of the pupils well.

Basic skills are given due attention, although numeracy skills are not promoted as well as literacy skills in different subjects. Pupils are proud of their school and their achievements. They behave well and readily welcome others into their midst.

They commented that this happens because 'it's just the way we are' and they are following the example set by their teachers who are 'always kind and helpful'. The school's warm and welcoming ethos provides a safe and supportive learning environment for the pupils, and pupils have a good understanding of how to keep themselves safe, fit and healthy. They enjoy school, attendance is good, and they make a good contribution to the school and wider community.

All of this is the result of the good care, guidance and support they receive, which ensures that they leave the school as mature, articulate youngsters, well prepared for their future.

Information about the school

This school is much smaller than the average primary school where all pupils, including Reception children, are taught in mixed-age classes. The proportion of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities is broadly average, while the proportion known to be eligible for free school meals is below average.

The proportion of pupils from minority ethnic backgrounds has risen since the previous inspection and is now above average. The proportion of pupils who speak English as an additional language is average. The small numbers in each year group means that these proportions can vary from year to year.

This is exemplified in Year 2, where the proportion of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities is well above average. There have been several changes in staffing since the previous inspection and the present headteacher took up her post in April 2009. Adjacent to the school is the privately run Noah's Ark Nursery, which is inspected separately.