St Nicholas Catholic Primary School

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About St Nicholas Catholic Primary School

Name St Nicholas Catholic Primary School
Ofsted Inspections
Executive Headteacher Mrs Jane Burns
Address Oakwood Lane, Leeds, LS9 6QY
Phone Number 01132930318
Phase Primary
Type Voluntary aided school
Age Range 4-11
Religious Character Roman Catholic
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 314
Local Authority Leeds
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils who attend St Nicholas Catholic Primary School understand the importance of the school's Christian vision to 'love one another, as I have loved you'. This vision is reflected strongly in their words and actions.

Pupils understand, respect and celebrate their similarities and differences. They listen attentively to staff and other pupils in lessons. They are proud of their school and their achievements.

Parents have many opportunities to get involved in the school community. Lesson visits, 'stay and play' sessions and celebration assemblies allow parents to be part of their child's journey through school.

Pupils enjoy coming to school.

They fee...l safe and know that if they tell an adult about a problem, it will quickly be sorted out. Pupils rarely see or hear bullying or unkind language. School virtues, such as hope and patience, are a focus for staff and pupils.

Reflecting on these virtues helps pupils to overcome challenges they may face.

Staff support leaders' ambition that pupils achieve their very best. They encourage pupils to be resilient and hard-working.

Pupils support one another inside and outside of lessons. For example, 'sports leaders' arrange activities at lunchtime and older pupils act as 'buddies' to children in Reception. Pupils know the importance of staying healthy.

Leaders place an equal value on supporting pupils' physical and mental health.

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

Leaders have planned a curriculum that prepares pupils well for their future. The important knowledge and skills that pupils need to learn are clearly set out.

Teachers take into consideration what Reception children already know when they start school. This means they skilfully adapt the curriculum each year to meet the needs of the children. Curriculum plans provide opportunities for pupils to revisit what they have previously learned.

Staff use assessment well to find out what pupils do and do not remember. They provide pupils with additional support, inside and outside of lessons, to fill these gaps.

Pupils start learning phonics as soon as they join Reception.

Leaders understand that becoming a fluent reader is an essential first step in every pupil's education. Staff know the sounds that pupils should be able to read at each stage of the phonics programme. However, some staff are new to the teaching of phonics.

They do not always identify pupils' misconceptions quickly. Leaders provide ongoing training to ensure phonics is taught consistently across the school.

Reading is important to all pupils.

They read regularly in lessons, at home with an adult and for pleasure at lunchtime. Some pupils and parents attend a 'Reading Café' at the start of the school day. Here, pupils share their favourite books with an adult.

This further develops pupils' love of reading. Student librarians undertake their role with enthusiasm. They help others to choose books and visit local bookshops with staff to purchase new books for the school library.

Leaders carefully select books for pupils to study in lessons that deepen their understanding of the curriculum.

Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) receive additional support in lessons. Staff are aware of their needs and create targets in pupils' individual learning plans.

However, these targets sometimes lack detail about the specific support each pupil needs. The activities pupils complete do not always allow them sufficient practice to learn important skills and knowledge. This means that some pupils with SEND do not learn as well as they might.

Children in the early years learn and play well with one another. They have access to engaging indoor and outdoor spaces. Carefully planned activities help to develop their language, communication and social skills.

Staff support children by asking increasingly challenging questions. There are strong routines that prepare children well for Year 1. Leaders carefully plan what each child should know and be able to do by the end of Reception.

However, some staff require further training to understand the purpose of each activity they are supporting.

Pupils take part in a range of residential and educational visits. These events enrich their education.

The student council, 'eco warriors' and 'mini-vinnies' all contribute strongly to school life. Pupils in these groups take pride in their roles. Pupils raise money for charity, collect items for food banks and make suggestions for new clubs and activities.

The curriculum for personal, social and health education covers a range of important themes, including mental health, staying safe online and healthy relationships. Pupils discuss some of these topics with confidence. However, pupils' understanding of fundamental British values, protected characteristics and other faiths and cultures is limited.

These topics are not taught or revisited often enough for pupils to learn about them in depth.

Staff are proud to work at the school and feel well supported by leaders. Professional development opportunities contribute strongly to effective teaching at the school.

Governors have a range of relevant skills and knowledge, which they use to support and challenge school leaders.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders provide regular training for staff so that they understand the potential risks to pupils' safety.

Staff are confident to report their concerns, however small, to leaders. Leaders work with parents and external agencies to keep pupils safe. They pursue any concerns they have with determination to ensure the best possible outcomes for young people and their families.

Leaders' records show appropriate actions are taken when pupils are at risk of harm.

Pupils know how to stay safe in person and online. For example, they understand the risks of speaking to an unknown person on the internet or not keeping a password secure.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• The targets on individual learning plans for pupils with SEND vary in quality. Some pupils do not have targets that specifically match their current needs and support their next steps. Leaders should check that the targets on the support plans are matched closely to the needs of pupils and are being implemented consistently.

• The personal development curriculum does not place adequate focus on important aspects of life in modern Britain. This means that pupils' understanding of British values, protected characteristics and other faiths and cultures is too variable. Leaders should ensure that pupils revisit important content in the personal development curriculum so that it becomes embedded over time.

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