St Mary’s Catholic Primary School

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St Mary’s Catholic Primary School

Name St Mary’s Catholic Primary School
Ofsted Inspection Rating Outstanding
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.
Inspection Date 05 October 2011
Address Glenure Road, Eltham, London, SE9 1UF
Phone Number 02088507835
Type Primary
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Roman Catholic
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 462 (48% boys 52% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 25.8
Academy Sponsor The Greenwich Catholic Schools Trust
Local Authority Greenwich
Percentage Free School Meals 6.2%
Percentage English is Not First Language 20.6%
Persisitent Absence 0.8%
Pupils with SEN Support 8.2%
Catchment Area Information Available Yes, our catchment area data is FREE
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

Information about the school

St Mary’s Catholic Primary is a larger than average-sized voluntary aided school with a Nursery, taking pupils from three to 11 years. Fifty-two children attend the Nursery on a part-time basis and there are two Reception classes. Years 2 and 6 are streamed in ability sets for mathematics. This system is currently being introduced in the rest of Key Stage 2. The large majority of pupils are of White British heritage, with just under a quarter coming from other minority ethnic heritages. A growing number of families are joining the school from Eastern European countries. Few pupils speak English as an additional language. The number of pupils known to be eligible for free school meals is low. Although the proportion of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities is smaller than found nationally, the proportion with statements of special educational needs is about average. The headteacher has led the school since September 2010.

Main findings

This is an outstanding school. Since the last inspection, it has successfully and rapidly addressed the issues identified for improvement under the inspirational leadership of the headteacher. The school gives outstanding value for money because pupils are making good progress in their learning, leading to very high attainment and outstanding achievement. Improvement has been galvanised at all levels. The governing body has undertaken a wholesale review of the school’s performance, has embraced the drive for improvement with determination, and is providing effective support. The staff are wholeheartedly behind the headteacher in her quest to provide the best possible learning environment for the pupils. Teaching is good and improving rapidly, with many examples of exemplary practice. Assessment is also good overall, but not of consistently high quality in all classes in the school. These good features, combined with robust planning and the outstanding care, guidance and support that are provided, stimulate pupils’ outstanding personal development. A vivid, imaginative, and creative curriculum provides exciting opportunities for the pupils to develop their talents for music, art and sport to the full. The Catholic ethos influences every aspect of school life. Pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is outstanding. They are deeply appreciative of the efforts of the staff to provide a safe and caring environment: ‘They listen to us, they care about us,’ pupils say. Pupils confirm that the school is a very safe environment where ‘everybody is kind to each other’ and ‘there’s not really anything that can be improved’. Parents and carers agree, paying tribute to the headteacher and staff in comments such as: ‘Our experience has been nothing short of exceptional. We cannot praise St Mary’s staff highly enough.’ Because pupils love their school, their attendance is high. Their exemplary behaviour at all times, both in lessons and around the school, their unfailing courtesy and their outstanding awareness of, and engagement in, a healthy lifestyle, leave them extremely well prepared for success in their future lives. The Early Years Foundation Stage is well managed, provides the children with a stimulating and enjoyable curriculum, and has made good use of the outdoor space to provide a learning environment that is well matched to the children’s needs. Accurate self-evaluation has informed measures to consolidate and improve upon good teaching practice, leading to a steep upward trend in pupil performance. As a result, pupils are making more consistent progress, lessons are more challenging, and leaders at all levels evaluate the impact of their actions effectively and plan for improvement. The speed with which the school has moved forward, especially in the past year, and its outstanding outcomes, demonstrate that the school has outstanding capacity to continue to improve.