St Mary Magdalene Catholic Primary School, a Voluntary Academy

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About St Mary Magdalene Catholic Primary School, a Voluntary Academy

Name St Mary Magdalene Catholic Primary School, a Voluntary Academy
Ofsted Inspections
Associate Headteacher Mrs Bridget Loughran
Address Wellfield Drive, Burnley, BB12 0JD
Phone Number 01282436880
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 4-11
Religious Character Roman Catholic
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 205
Local Authority Lancashire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils arrive at school happy and ready to learn. Staff welcome them warmly into school each day.

Parents and carers are positive about the school. Pupils and their parents feel well supported by staff.

Pupils want to learn and they demonstrate this willingness during lessons.

They try their best. Staff manage any low-level disruption well. Pupils are calm and polite when they are moving around the school.

Pupils know that staff will sort out any problems quickly. The school has appropriate systems in place to deal with bullying effectively. This helps pupils to feel safe in school.

The school has high expectations for pupils' achievement. P...upils, including children in the early years, achieve well across the curriculum. The school encourages parents to share in pupils' successes, for example, through regular celebration assemblies.

Pupils enjoy the range of opportunities to develop their leadership skills. From as early as the Reception Year, staff encourage children and pupils to apply for positions of responsibility. Pupils take pride representing their class as members of the school council and acting as curriculum ambassadors.

Pupils understand how important it is to treat each other fairly and to respect the differences between people. Pupils are eager to embrace the ethos of the school's motto, 'love one another'.

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

The school has introduced a phonics scheme that supports staff to deliver the early reading curriculum in a logical order.

With the support of the trust, the school has trained staff to deliver this programme skilfully. Pupils start learning to read as soon as they join the Reception class. Staff check that the books that pupils read match the sounds that they have learned.

Staff look out for any pupils who are struggling to keep up in reading. In the main, expert staff ensure that these pupils receive additional support quickly. However, on occasion some aspects of the reading curriculum are not delivered sufficiently well.

This hinders some pupils in becoming fluent readers as quickly as they could.

A strong reading culture underpins the whole curriculum. The school has chosen high-quality texts that capture pupils' imaginations.

Pupils listen to stories from a wide range of authors. They are enthusiastic about reading and they understand the importance of reading widely.

The school has developed a curriculum which meets the needs and interests of pupils.

The curriculum is well thought out and this helps pupils to build logically on earlier learning. Staff have strong subject knowledge and they use this to explain concepts clearly to pupils. Staff design activities which support pupils to learn the curriculum successfully.

The school has ensured that staff are well equipped to check on what pupils have learned and remembered. Staff use the information that they gain about pupils' learning to shape and hone their delivery of the curriculum. This supports pupils to make links in their learning and to deepen their understanding of concepts.

The school has appropriate systems in place to enable staff to identify the additional needs of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). Pupils with SEND receive the support they need. Staff adjust how they deliver the curriculum to ensure that they meet these pupils' needs.

Pupils with SEND participate fully in all that the school has to offer.

Pupils are polite and kind to one another. For example, they hold the doors open for staff and their peers without needing adults to remind them.

Pupils are confident and curious learners. Children in the early years settle into school life quickly. Routines are well established.

Staff provide suitable support for the small number of pupils who, at times, struggle to manage their own behaviour. For example, in 'the potting shed', pupils learn how to manage their feelings and emotions.

Pupils take part in a range of extra-curricular activities, such as choir, dance, football, netball and laser tag.

They learn how to keep themselves safe online. Pupils have a strong understanding of what it means to be fair and treat everyone equally. Pupil groups within school are keen to support many local and national charities.

Nevertheless, some pupils knowledge of other cultures is less well developed than it could be.

The school has worked hard to build positive relationships with parents. For example, parents were particularly complimentary about improvements that the school has made to how they communicate with staff.

These developments have ensured that parents feel better informed about their children's learning.

The trust and the local governing board are highly knowledgeable about the school. The trust has provided a range of appropriate support for the school, particularly in relation to staff training.

Staff feel well supported by leaders and they enjoy working at the school. They appreciate the changes that the school has made to reduce workload and to support them to look after their well-being.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• The school has not ensured that staff are delivering all aspects of the reading curriculum sufficiently well. This hinders some pupils in becoming fluent readers as quickly as they could. The school should ensure that staff are well equipped to support pupils to become confident and fluent readers.

• The school has not ensured that some pupils have a secure enough understanding of different cultures. This prevents these pupils from being as well prepared as they could be for life in modern Britain. The school should ensure that pupils learn about cultures that are different to their own, so that they are better prepared to take their place in a culturally diverse society.

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