St Michael Catholic Primary School & Nursery

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About St Michael Catholic Primary School & Nursery


Name St Michael Catholic Primary School & Nursery
Website http://www.st-michaels.surrey.sch.uk/
Inspections
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mr John Lane
Address Feltham Hill Road, Ashford, TW15 2DG
Phone Number 01784253333
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 2-11
Religious Character Roman Catholic
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 468
Local Authority Surrey
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Expectations of what pupils can achieve are high here. Pupils know this.

They listen to their teachers and their peers with respect. Pupils relish the challenges that staff set and work hard to be better in all they do. They love the opportunities they are given to go beyond the expected.

Pupils' academic achievements are impressive. Their performances, on and off stage, are enthusiastic and often polished. Older pupils enjoy whole-class tuition on a range of instruments.

Trumpets, guitars, clarinets (with an occasional squeak), all feature in day-to-day life here. Younger pupils revel in opportunities such as producing their own opera based on Mozart's 'The ...Magic Flute'.

Playtimes are purposeful.

Pupils' choices are manyfold. Maybe they will choose the treetops climbing frame. Maybe they will opt to listen to an older pupil developing their public speaking skills by extolling the virtues of women in politics at speakers' corner.

Poor behaviour or meanness is not a problem. Teachers teach. Pupils learn.

The small numbers of pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds do very well. The inclusive environment means that pupils thrive, no matter what their barriers or backgrounds are. One telling aspect of this magical school is that absence is minimal.

Pupils want to be here because it is a great place to be.

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

This is a school with clear direction, centred on an inclusive and caring community which offers equality of opportunity for all. The school's Catholic ethos shines through.

Those in positions of governance know the school well and provide strong support and guidance for leaders at all levels. The school's mission statement, focusing on excellence, enrichment, and enjoyment, provides a firm foundation for everything the family of St Michael strives for.

The curriculum is rich in opportunities for pupils to develop both academically and as caring citizens.

This starts in the school's Nursery and Reception Years where children get off to a flying start. Key to this is a very clear expectation that every child will succeed in the calm, well-structured and enabling environment the early years provides.

Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are supported well.

They access the same curriculum as their peers, skilfully adapted and tailored by teaching and support staff. The school is well resourced. The 'Lab' and the 'Imaginarium' provide pupils with noteworthy immersive experiences and exciting opportunities to develop scientific and technical knowledge.

These opportunities motivate pupils and stir their sense of wonder.

Pupils' achievements compare favourably to similar schools by the time they move on to secondary education. They make strong progress from early years through to Year 6 because the curriculum builds pupils' knowledge securely over time.

This is as true in mathematics or reading as it is in other subjects such as Spanish, where pupils relish the opportunity to converse and write at length in another language.

The school's work to ensure that pupils become confident and fluent readers is successful. It provides equally well for pupils with SEND or the growing number of pupils with English as an additional language.

Those who struggle are identified quickly with timely support put in place when needed.

One of the clear strengths of the school is the quality of curriculum leadership. While some subjects are led and taught entirely by subject specialists, others are not.

However, classroom visits showed a consistently high quality in the way the curriculum is delivered across a range of subjects. Consequently, the quality of pupils' work across the whole curriculum stands out as exceptional.

Pupils' personal development is supported equally as well.

Pupils benefit from age-appropriate relationships, sex and health education. Older pupils understand about consent and friendships. Cultural diversity is celebrated.

The school's values are understood and enacted by pupils and staff alike. Pupils understand that they are expected to contribute to school life themselves. As a result, the many opportunities to develop leadership skills are keenly embraced by pupils.

Openings to serve as curriculum ambassadors, an initiative for pupils with particular interests and talents in different areas of the curriculum, are similarly valued.

In a school with many strengths, the opportunities it provides to enrich pupils' learning stand out. Inspectors were serenaded with a fanfare provided by the whole of Year 6 on the first afternoon of the inspection.

Parents enjoyed a mass performance by clarinettists in the hall on day two. Pupils' artwork is of high quality and adorns the school. Trips out of school bring life to their learning in science, history and music.

Residential trips are keenly anticipated. Importantly, the girls' football team is admired and celebrated by boys, not least for the success they have brought to the school recently.

Safeguarding

The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

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