St Mary’s Catholic Primary School and Nursery, Chorley

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About St Mary’s Catholic Primary School and Nursery, Chorley

Name St Mary’s Catholic Primary School and Nursery, Chorley
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mr Patrick Smyth
Address Hornchurch Drive, Chorley, PR7 2RJ
Phone Number 01257262811
Phase Primary
Type Voluntary aided school
Age Range 4-11
Religious Character Roman Catholic
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 238
Local Authority Lancashire
Highlights from Latest Inspection


St Mary's Catholic Primary School and Nursery, Chorley, continues to be a good school.

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils are very happy and enjoy their learning at St Mary's.

They get on well together and love being with their friends at school. Pupils explained that teachers have high expectations of them. Pupils try their best to display the 'values of the week'.

They are aware of the rewards and consequences associated with the school's behaviour policy. Pupils behave well. They enjoy earning points for their positive behaviour.

Pupils feel safe in school. They told inspectors that they share their worries with staff because they know that staff wil...l listen to them. Pupils explained that, in the past, there have been some cases of bullying and name-calling.

Pupils told inspectors that this rarely happens now. They said that their teachers will deal with it so that it is not repeated.

Pupils, including disadvantaged pupils and those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), enjoy taking part in a wide range of activities.

There are many well-organised clubs, such as art, singing, football and netball. These activities help to develop pupils' sporting and artistic talents.

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

Leaders have planned a coherent curriculum that is suitably ambitious and meets the needs of pupils.

Governors check on leaders' work to ensure that disadvantaged pupils and those pupils with SEND can access the same curriculum as their peers. Pupils who leave St Mary's at the end of Year 6 achieve well. They are ready for the next stage of their education.

Subject leaders have identified the important skills and knowledge that they want pupils to learn and develop. These leaders engage in regular training to deepen their own subject knowledge. This helps them to support teachers to deliver curriculums well.

They are skilled in helping pupils to build on what they have learned before. For example, in geography, younger pupils learn about maps through aerial photos and graphical representations. By the end of key stage 2, pupils can use complex grid references on a variety of maps.

This strong deepening of pupils' learning is evident across many curriculum subjects. For example, in mathematics, pupils' number fluency and rapid recall of important facts develop year on year. In design and technology, older pupils use a range of complex stitches to join materials.

This builds on the gluing and sticking strategies that they learned in the early years.

Leaders have organised the phonics and early reading curriculums so that teachers introduce pupils, including children in the early years, to new sounds systematically. Across the early years and key stages 1 and 2, the teaching of phonics and early reading is consistent.

Staff are appropriately trained. Their subject knowledge is secure. This supports pupils to learn new sounds well.

Teachers provide pupils with appropriate books to practise the sounds they learn in class. This helps pupils to consolidate new learning while developing their reading accuracy. Pupils who fall behind in reading receive timely support to help them catch up quickly.

The emphasis that leaders have placed on developing fluent readers is benefiting all pupils. Although teachers provide pupils with lots of opportunities to read, pupils' love of reading well is not well developed.

Pupils behave well in lessons and while moving around school.

They are friendly and polite. Leaders ensure that children in the early years develop strong behaviour routines that set them up well for learning in key stage 1. As a result, across the school, pupils can get on with their learning without disruption.

Pupils enjoy the wide range of activities that deepen their understanding of different faiths and cultures. Pupils spoke to inspectors about how they have worked alongside a school in Kenya as part of their learning to develop their global awareness. Staff carefully plan trips to broaden pupils' learning experiences.

For example, a recent residential trip for pupils in Year 6 focused on developing pupils' independence and resilience. This was to help them to prepare for the move to secondary school.

Staff are positive about the support that they receive from leaders.

They appreciate the genuine care that leaders offer regarding staff's well-being and workload.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders ensure that staff are well trained and knowledgeable about their safeguarding responsibilities.

As a result, staff are vigilant and understand the role that they play in keeping pupils safe. Leaders make careful checks on the suitability of adults who work in the school. School leaders work with several partner agencies so that families and pupils receive appropriate support.

Pupils who spoke with the inspectors said that they feel safe in school. Pupils learn how to keep themselves safe. Through the computing curriculum, pupils learn how to stay safe online.

Pupils are knowledgeable about the dangers of busy roads.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Despite the positive efforts from leaders to develop reading, their strategies are not nurturing pupils' enjoyment of reading. This means that few pupils can recall stories from the extensive range of authors they have read in the past.

Leaders should consider how to improve their reading strategies to develop pupils' enjoyment of reading. Doing so will support pupils to broaden their vocabulary and curriculum knowledge further.


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 a section 8 inspection of a good or outstanding school. We do not give graded judgements on a section 8 inspection. However, if we find some evidence that a good school could now be better than good, or that standards may be declining, then the next inspection will be a section 5 inspection.

Usually this is within one to two years of the date of the section 8 inspection. If we have serious concerns about safeguarding, behaviour or the quality of education, we will convert the section 8 inspection to a section 5 inspection immediately.

This is the second section 8 inspection since we judged the school to be good on 18 and 19 May 2011.

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