St Marys Catholic Academy

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About St Marys Catholic Academy

Name St Marys Catholic Academy
Ofsted Inspections
Principal Mrs Sarah Rathbone
Address Ford Green Road, Norton-le-Moors, Stoke-on-Trent, ST6 8EZ
Phone Number 01782234820
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Roman Catholic
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 238
Local Authority Stoke-on-Trent
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils love coming to this school.

They feel safe and secure, and they know that staff care about them. They also know that all staff expect them to 'respect themselves, respect others, respect other people's property and respect God'. Pupils rise to the school's high expectations.

The school is a happy, caring and kind community.

Pupils' behaviour is exemplary. They are kind and courteous.

For example, bullying is very rare. Pupils have faith in the school's adults to deal with any bullying that does happen. They know that staff will listen and support them when they are worried about anything.

Staff expect pupils to work hard, and they do.... Teachers plan learning exceptionally well in all subjects. Pupils enjoy their lessons.

They remember what they have been taught. Staff provide excellent support for pupils who find learning more difficult. All pupils make strong progress in their time at St Mary's.

The school makes pupils' wider development a high priority. Pupils enjoy a wide range of activities beyond the classroom. Staff are determined that all pupils will take part in the '100 things to do at St Mary's'.

For example, all pupils take part in public speaking events each year.

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

This is a school that has provided high-quality education for many years. The principal and head of school provide strong and empathetic leadership that staff and parents value.

The school's staff form a united team, committed to the school's ethos of 'many hearts, one accord'. They are determined to do the very best for all pupils.

The curriculum is exceptionally well planned in all subjects.

Curriculum leaders are both experts in, and enthusiasts for, their subjects. They ensure that pupils' learning builds successfully from the start of Nursery to the end of Year 6. The Newman Catholic Collegiate Multi-Academy Company (the collegiate) facilitates subject networks.

These provide high-quality, subject-specific training that is valued by curriculum leaders and staff.

Teachers and teaching assistants are skilled in getting the best from pupils. They explain new ideas clearly, using high-quality resources.

They check pupils' understanding, spotting misconceptions and correcting them. They provide extra help for pupils who are not learning new content as quickly as their peers.

The school makes reading a high priority.

In the foundation stage, children get off to an excellent start. Pupils become proficient readers because of skilful phonics teaching in Nursery, Reception and key stage 1. Those who find reading difficult are given extra help to catch up.

Pupils learn to enjoy reading, as they move through the school. Pupils talked enthusiastically to inspectors about the books they are reading.

Mathematics is taught consistently well throughout the school.

Pupils become fluent in basic arithmetic skills. For example, they learn number bonds in Reception and times tables in key stages 1 and 2. Teaching successfully develops pupils' understanding of mathematical concepts.

As a result, pupils can apply their knowledge and explain their thinking when solving unfamiliar problems.

Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) make strong progress. Staff provide just the right support so that they can learn effectively.

For some pupils, this means a little extra help. For a small number of pupils, teachers adapt the curriculum significantly. Here, teaching assistants provide excellent one-to-one support.

Pupils demonstrate highly positive attitudes to learning. Staff are quick to praise positive behaviour and good work. Pupils enjoy school and almost all attend very regularly.

Leaders work hard to support the families of pupils who attend less regularly than they should.

The school provides a wide and rich array of activities and opportunities beyond the classroom. Leaders carefully plan these to promote pupils' personal development.

All pupils take part. Leaders ensure that cost is never a barrier to participation. For example, all pupils in Years 3 and 4 learn a musical instrument.

Many pupils carry on learning instruments in Years 5 and 6. The school meets the cost for all disadvantaged pupils.

Governance is strong.

Governors have link responsibilities, such as safeguarding, SEND and standards. Each area also has a link director. Link directors and collegiate staff train link governors in their specialist areas.

This means that governors are very well equipped to support and challenge school leaders.

Parents hold the school in high regard. All who responded to Parent View, Ofsted's online inspection questionnaire, said they would recommend the school to other parents.

They praised many aspects of the school. Several cited the high-quality remote learning their children enjoy if they have to study from home.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

There is a strong culture of care and keeping pupils safe throughout the school. Leaders make sure that staff are alert to the signs that pupils might need some extra help. Staff pass concerns to leaders, who deal with them swiftly and appropriately.

Pastoral support is a strength of the school. Staff are skilled in spotting the early signs that pupils might need help. The school then puts in place effective support.

This might be from the school's learning mentor, its safeguarding and well-being officer or from an external agency. This means that pupils get the right help at the right time.

All staff and parents who responded to their respective inspection questionnaires said that pupils are safe in school.

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