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
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.
Mrs Lucy Smith
Address Rowden Hill, Chippenham, SN15 2AH
Phone Number 01249460231
Phase Academy
Type Academy sponsor led
Age Range 4-11
Religious Character Roman Catholic
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 165
Local Authority Wiltshire
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.

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils are confident and happy. They are polite and considerate to one another.

Pupils treat their friends and adults with respect. They listen carefully to each other when working and playing together. Pupils know the difference between bullying and falling out.

They say that bullying does not happen. Pupils are well behaved.

Leaders plan opportunities for pupils' personal development carefully.

This is rooted in the vision, values and Catholic faith of the school. Pupils appreciate the supportive and caring school community. They know and value diversity and difference.

This prepares the pupils well for life in modern Britain. One parent, ...typical of many, said that staff 'foster kindness and thoughtfulness to others'.

Pupils are proud of their roles of responsibility, such as being school council members or part of the chaplaincy group.

Enrichment activities, including outdoor learning sessions and residential visits, help pupils develop skills for life. These purposeful activities improve pupils' understanding of fair play and teamwork.

Nonetheless, pupils have significant gaps in their wider subject knowledge.

In mathematics, they do not have regular opportunities to apply their knowledge to solving problems and reasoning questions. This limits the development of their mathematical skills, vocabulary and knowledge.

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

Leaders have rightly made learning to read a priority.

Teachers' and teaching assistants' phonics knowledge is secure. They check that pupils say the letters and sounds correctly. They quickly spot pupils who need extra help.

Useful catch-up sessions are provided for these pupils. Reading books match pupils' phonic knowledge appropriately. Pupils build their phonics knowledge, reading speed and accuracy well.

The 'Wiltshire Year of Reading' award recognises the staff's commitment to nurturing pupils' love of reading. Pupils are keen to talk about the books they read. They enjoy sharing books as reading buddies.

Staff promote reading successfully across the school.

Leaders have crafted clearly sequenced English, mathematics and science curriculums. Nevertheless, teachers do not use the mathematics curriculum to develop pupils' mathematical knowledge sufficiently well.

Pupils gain a strong foundation in their number knowledge. Teachers check that pupils understand this important fundamental knowledge accurately. However, pupils do not apply this knowledge across a range of written problems and reasoning questions regularly.

This also limits the development of their mathematical vocabulary.

The art and history curriculums set out the essential knowledge, skills and vocabulary leaders want pupils to learn and remember. This is a new development.

Staff absence due to COVID-19 during the autumn and spring terms, however, slowed the progress of curriculum development in other subjects. In these, the essential knowledge pupils must know and remember is not clearly identified. Likewise, in the early years, the curriculum does not set out the intended learning clearly.

Where curriculums are not complete, teachers cannot check if there are gaps in pupils' knowledge. They cannot plan to fill these gaps quickly. Pupils are not able to make connections or secure new knowledge.

They can often recall the lesson activity, but not the purpose of the enquiry. For example, Year 6 pupils can recall using Newton meters in design and technology (DT), but not why.

Following the identification of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), staff work with external agencies to support these pupils well.

Leaders have plans in place to help strengthen the individual target-setting process with greater input from parents and carers.

Staff care for pupils' well-being. They teach pupils how to be physically and mentally healthy.

Whole-school worship and discussions in lessons help pupils to understand and appreciate different cultures, faiths and societies successfully. Pupils know the school values. They recognise how these values help them learn right and wrong.

This starts in the early years where children are encouraged to make the right choices. This helps ensure that the school has a calm and orderly environment. There are clear routines and expectations for pupils' behaviour.

Pupils respond appropriately.

Leaders help families to overcome any barriers preventing their children from attending school regularly. This work is effective.

Pupils attend school regularly.

Governors understand how to carry out their roles and responsibilities effectively. They increasingly ask questions to challenge and hold school leaders to account.

Their knowledge of the wider subject curriculum is growing.

Staff appreciate the support of school leaders and governors to manage their workload. They know leaders care for their well-being.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders complete appropriate checks before staff and volunteers begin working at the school. Staff and governors attend regular safeguarding training.

They know and understand their roles and responsibilities. For example, governors regularly check that recruitment and training records are up to date.

Staff know how to record and report concerns for pupils' welfare.

Leaders respond with appropriate actions in a timely manner, including engaging with external agencies.

Pupils know how to keep themselves safe. This includes when they are online.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• In some parts of the curriculum, including the early years, the key concepts leaders want pupils to know and remember are not identified. Consequently, pupils cannot make connections between important concepts and build their knowledge over time. Leaders must identify the key concepts pupils must know and remember across the curriculum.

• Pupils have gaps in their knowledge across some foundation subjects. This makes it difficult to secure their knowledge further. Leaders need to support teachers to use assessment information to identify gaps in pupils' essential knowledge and rectify these gaps swiftly.

• Pupils do not apply their mathematical knowledge to problem-solving and reasoning questions regularly. This means they cannot extend their mathematical knowledge and vocabulary appropriately. Teachers need to ensure that all pupils apply their mathematical knowledge, skills and vocabulary across all areas of the mathematics curriculum frequently.

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