St Michael’s Catholic Primary School

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About St Michael’s Catholic Primary School

Name St Michael’s Catholic Primary School
Ofsted Inspections
Mrs Charlotte Chapman
Address Clumber Street North, Elswick, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE4 7RE
Phone Number 01912739383
Phase Academy
Type Academy sponsor led
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Roman Catholic
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 229
Local Authority Newcastle upon Tyne
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils thrive at this vibrant and inclusive school.

Staff expect pupils to work hard, respect one another and behave well. Pupils live up to these high expectations. Pupils' behaviour is exemplary.

Pupils understand the significance of being good friends to one another. They say that they care and look out for each other. Pupils told inspectors that lessons on relationships and themes in assemblies teach the importance of this.

Pupils' individual differences are valued and celebrated at St Michael's. Pupils told inspectors that school is like a family. Some pupils take on responsibilities to do 'good works' in the local community.

Others have roles w...hich develop their leadership skills. Pupils talk with pride about being a school councillor, an eco-warrior, a hygiene hero or a well-being warrior.

Pupils understand the importance of attending school regularly.

They enjoy coming to school and develop into confident and resilient learners.

Pupils told inspectors that bullying is extremely rare. They recognise types of bullying and tell someone immediately if it happens.

Pupils use the 'worry box' in each classroom to share any concerns, no matter how small. Adults sort out concerns quickly. Pupils look out for each other and are honest with one another about how they feel.

Pupils say adults help them to learn from their mistakes through discussing the choices they have made.

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

Senior leaders have a determination that pupils will excel. Subject leaders share that vision for the curriculum.

They identify the crucial knowledge they want pupils to learn in every subject. Leaders set out clear, aspirational goals in curriculum plans. Teachers are clear on the steps that pupils need to take to reach these end points.

Leaders check how much pupils can remember and have learned in every subject, across each year. However, the way that teachers use assessment to plan what pupils learn next, day to day, is variable. The way that teachers set work to match what pupils know and can do is not consistent across key stages, classes and subjects.

Leaders of English and mathematics have secure subject knowledge. Pupils practise calculation skills and methods. Leaders ensure that pupils apply their phonics knowledge to write and spell words.

Pupils develop this as they move through school to produce high-quality writing. During some lessons, some pupils find the task too easy. At other times some pupils find it too difficult.

Teachers identify pupils who need support to attend additional sessions to catch up and keep up with learning in English and mathematics.

The leader of geography has high aspirations for pupils. Pupils learn about their immediate surroundings in the early years.

They build on their knowledge of locations and geographical features to learn world geography. A partner secondary school has provided training for staff on developing geography fieldwork skills.

Pupils receive a daily phonics session and opportunities to practise their reading.

Pupils' reading books match their phonics knowledge. This is helping them to be confident readers. In key stage 2, pupils learn the skills of reading, such as how to infer meaning.

Leaders promote a love of reading. For example, pupils participate in 'snuggle up with a book'. Pupils take home a story book to share with a family member, some hot chocolate, and a cuddly toy.

Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are identified early. Leaders have invested heavily in high-quality training in SEND for all staff. A sensory room enables pupils with sensory needs to access a bespoke curriculum.

Adults provide support in class for pupils with SEND.

Children enter the Reception class from a wide range of pre-school settings. Teachers wait for children to settle into Reception before beginning some of the curriculum plans.

This means that for children joining from the school Nursery, there is a delay until other children are ready to begin learning. Children are happy in their learning. Staff plan a communication-rich learning environment.

They develop vocabulary by immersing children into stories, songs and rhymes. Some parents of children in Nursery attend 'small talk' sessions where they can play, chat and read with their children. The early years learning space both indoors and outside is inviting and well resourced.

Leaders have created a highly inclusive environment. Pupils have positive opportunities to develop in many diverse aspects of life. Leaders promote democracy, mutual respect, individual liberty, rule of law and different faiths exceptionally well.

Pupils demonstrate a very high level of maturity and self-control. They have highly positive attitudes to learning and excellent relationships with peers and adults. The nurture provision supports pupils well to develop their confidence, resilience and self-esteem.

Staff are overwhelming positive about working at this school. They say that leaders ensure staff do not feel overburdened with their workload. Staff morale is high.

Governors bring a wide range of skills to their roles. They have checked leaders' actions over time to ensure rapid school improvement takes place. All parents who gave their views during the inspection would recommend this school to others.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

The designated safeguarding leader (DSL) acts promptly on all safeguarding concerns raised by staff or pupils. She is supported well by three deputy DSLs.

Records checked show that pupils stay safe because leaders act swiftly and appropriately.

The welfare officer works well with pupils, their families and external professionals to keep pupils safe. Pupils and their families get the support and guidance they need.

Leaders make sure that pupils who are absent are safe. Leaders carry out appropriate and thorough recruitment checks before staff, governors and all volunteers work with children.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Teachers' use of assessment in lessons is inconsistent across the school, including in the early years.

This means that sometimes teachers plan day-to-day tasks that do not fully match what some pupils know or can do, or the exact next steps they need. Therefore, some pupils find their work in some lessons too easy or too difficult. Leaders should ensure that teachers' assessment on a day-to-day basis is accurate and they use this knowledge to plan precisely what each pupil should learn next.

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