St Mary’s Catholic Voluntary Academy

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About St Mary’s Catholic Voluntary Academy

Name St Mary’s Catholic Voluntary Academy
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mr John Nish
Address Lowry Drive, Marple Bridge, Stockport, SK6 5BR
Phone Number 01614277498
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Roman Catholic
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 233
Local Authority Stockport
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

St Mary's is a welcoming and nurturing school, which cares about its pupils.

Pupils are polite and well mannered. They are articulate and have a thirst for learning.

Pupils learn the 'St Mary's Way'.

This helps them to understand how to behave in lessons and around school. Pupils behave very well and are a credit to the school. Pupils are well supported to develop valuable skills for life.

They understand that their three 'pocket principles' help to guide their behaviour. As a result, the school is a place of calm.

The school has high expectations of pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).

...Pupils enjoy their lessons and they achieve well. Pupils enjoy supporting one another. Year 6 pupils particularly value and enjoy their role as 'special friends' with children in the Reception class.

Pupils have a strong sense of justice. They have the confidence to speak out if something is not right. Pupils support one another and are kind in both word and deed.

Pupils learn to be active citizens. They contribute positively to their school and local community. For instance, some pupils joined other local schools to sing Christmas carols at a local festival.

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

Reading is at the heart of the school's curriculum. In the early years, children listen attentively during story time and join in with enthusiasm. This helps them to develop a love of books and reading.

The phonics programme begins as soon as children start in the Reception class. Well-trained staff teach children how to link letters and sounds. Parents are invited to school, so that they know how their children will learn to read.

The books that pupils take home to practise reading are well matched to their phonics knowledge. Regular checks ensure that pupils who need extra help are identified and receive the support that they need to catch up. This enables pupils to become fluent readers by the time they move into key stage 2.

The curriculum for pupils in Years 1 to 6 and for children in the early years is ambitious. Thoughtful links are made between the subject content and the local area. This includes a range of trips, which enable pupils to learn more about where they live.

Careful consideration has been given to the order in which pupils learn new knowledge. Teachers regularly check that pupils have remembered what they have learned. As a result, most pupils achieve well.

In some subjects, some pupils are not given sufficient opportunities to complete the activities which have been set to deepen their learning. This limits the progress that some pupils make through the curriculum in a small number of subjects.

The school ensures that the needs of pupils with SEND are identified effectively.

Teachers adapt the delivery of the curriculum, with the needs of individual pupils in mind. This enables pupils with SEND to learn successfully alongside their peers. In addition, the school draws on the expertise of external agencies to make sure that pupils get the support that they need to learn well.

The school expects pupils to behave well and they do. From the early years, routines are quickly established. Pupils across the rest of the school also have positive attitudes to learning.

They listen attentively to their teachers and they are respectful to staff and to one another. Pupils who need extra help to behave well are nurtured by staff and supported by their friends. Outside of lessons, pupils behave sensibly around school.

They play happily together on the playground.

The school prioritises pupils' personal development. Pupils learn about healthy relationships and how to stay safe.

Pupils are tolerant and they respect the differences between themselves and others. They learn about other religions and cultures. Pupils take on leadership roles.

For example, the eco-defenders help to look after the school grounds and the community custodians encourage parents to park safely. Pupils enjoy taking part in clubs, such as pottery, cross-country and choir, to develop their talents and interests.

Parents and carers, including those of pupils with SEND, hold the school in high regard.

They said that their children are happy and learn well because of the staff's caring approach.

Staff and pupils are well supported by the local governing board and the trust. They know the school's strengths and weaknesses well.

The trust invests time and resources into staff development, so that teachers have the tools that they need to be confident and highly skilled. Teachers value the training that they receive and appreciate the impact that this has on helping them to maintain a reasonable workload.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• In some subjects, some pupils do not achieve as well as they could. This is because they are given insufficient opportunities to complete their work and deepen their knowledge. The school should ensure that teachers give pupils enough time to refine, practise and build on their knowledge and skills.

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