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This is an outstanding school that provides a caring and stimulating learning environment for pupils. Pupils are confident, enjoy their lessons and like their teachers.
An overwhelming majority of parents and carers agree that teaching is good and the school prepares pupils well for the future. One parent wrote: 'St Paul's is an excellent school which is a credit to the headteacher and her fantastic team.' Pupils' achievement is outstanding.
By the end of Year 6, attainment is high and pupils' progress is good. The proportion of pupils attaining at the highest levels in English and mathematics is exceptional. Very effective systems are in place to support the progress and attainment of pupils... of below average ability and those eligible for free school meals.
Excellent care and guidance are provided for potentially vulnerable pupils and those with special educational needs and/or disabilities. Consequently, these pupils show no significant difference in their rates of progress in comparison to other groups. Some of the work seen in pupils' books during the inspection, particularly in writing and science, was of a very high quality.
Pupils know their individual targets and frequently refer to them in their lessons. The school has a strong Christian ethos and a clear focus on 'the whole child' permeates its work. Excellent relationships contribute greatly to the outstanding strengths in pupils' personal development.
In lessons, pupils listen attentively and respect each other's views and opinions. Their exemplary behaviour makes a strong contribution to their enjoyment of lessons. They report feeling totally safe and secure in school and they have an excellent understanding of healthy lifestyles.
The school council has initiated improvements, such as playground markings for games. Members were proud to represent the school at the Wokingham Carnival. The outstanding curriculum makes excellent links between subjects.
Themed weeks and special days such as the 'Greek morning' seen during the inspection excite and stimulate pupils' learning. Teaching is good and sometimes outstanding. Teachers make good use of interactive whiteboards in lessons to make learning more interesting and use questions effectively to consolidate and extend learning.
Assessment data are used well by teachers in their planning to ensure that work provided is challenging and matched well to ability. Teaching assistants too often, however, play a passive role during the teacher's input, which means opportunities are missed to help pupils and accelerate their learning. Marking in books is inconsistent as it does not always give pupils a clear indication of ways to further improve their work.
The headteacher is an outstanding leader and her senior teachers are an extremely effective team. The school's accurate self-evaluation is based upon searching analysis of its own performance by staff and the excellent governing body. Leaders at all levels show a strong drive for continuous improvement.
A common sense of purpose is evident and there are strong systems in place to support the continued development of the school. Their work has resulted in a significant impact upon the curriculum, attainment and the personal development of pupils. Taking into consideration the improvements in pupils' achievement, attainment and the curriculum, the school's capacity for future improvement is outstanding.
Information about the school
St Paul's is much larger than the average sized junior school. The proportions of pupils from minority ethnic backgrounds and those for whom English is an additional language are below average, as is the proportion known to be eligible for free school meals. The number with learning difficulties and those with a statement of special educational needs and/or disabilities is below average.
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