St Thomas Aquinas Catholic Primary School

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About St Thomas Aquinas Catholic Primary School

Name St Thomas Aquinas Catholic Primary School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs Shenade Moorhouse
Address North Street, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 7DG
Phone Number 01782307530
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Roman Catholic
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 240
Local Authority Stoke-on-Trent
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

The school's motto, 'Making the heart, mind and spirit soar', permeates daily routines. Attendance is excellent because pupils and children in the early years thoroughly enjoy coming to school.

From the moment they start, they are surrounded by care, kindness and encouragement to aspire. As a result, they are safe, happy and confident.

Pupils behave exceptionally well.

High standards are set from the early years. Even the youngest children are quickly introduced to the concept of respect for others.Pupils are kind to one another.

In this very diverse school, they enjoy learning about each other's cultures and traditions. They are aware of their diffe...rences and share them with confidence. As a result, bullying is very rare.

Leaders and teachers want the very best for their pupils. They set high expectations and do everything possible to make sure that all pupils do the very best that they can. Pupils work hard.

They enjoy their successes and the many rewards they can earn. They express great appreciation for the exceptionally wide range of opportunities provided to broaden their experience and understanding of the world around them. There are many leadership roles that pupils can achieve, and they aspire to do so.

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

Leaders and teachers have high ambition for all pupils, including pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). Leaders invest a great deal of time and effort to identify the potential needs of children before they start in the early years. As a result, support is in place at the earliest possible opportunity.

Leaders have made sure that the curriculum is carefully designed and sequenced from early years through to Year 6. The key building blocks of knowledge are identified in each subject. The sequence of learning helps all pupils to work towards the planned end points.

Leaders are committed to ensuring that pupils with SEND follow the same curriculum and have the same opportunities as all others.

Following a review of the curriculum, some subject curriculums have only been implemented this term, following redevelopment. In these cases, although the sequence of learning is clear, the small steps towards building skills and knowledge are not as well defined.

All teachers have good subject knowledge. They present new learning clearly. They are usually well supported by high-quality resources.

However, occasionally, teachers do not know enough about what pupils have learned in previous years. This means that sometimes pupils do not learn as well as they could.

Leaders have established effective assessment routines.

Teachers check that children have understood and remembered what they have learned in every lesson. Regular formal assessment identifies any pupil who may be falling behind and the additional support they may need.

Leaders strive to make sure that every child learns to read.

Teachers introduce early reading behaviours, including listening to environmental sounds, as soon as children join the nursery. Phonics is taught from the beginning of Reception class. Routines are well established.

Teachers and teaching assistants use them skilfully. Pupils who need additional help are identified and support is put in place quickly. Pupils enjoy learning to read and achieve well.

Reading is a high priority in this school. Classroom displays and book areas celebrate the stories, poems, rhymes and non-fiction books that pupils read. Rewards for reading at home are greatly prized.

Older pupils are proud to be reading buddies to help the younger pupils. Reading is a popular choice of pastime. All pupils say that they love their daily story time.

School leaders are proud of their inclusive school. They strive to ensure that pupils know what it means to be inclusive both through the taught curriculum and the impressive range of extra-curricular activities. Pupils talk with understanding about being respectful of others and their life choices.

The school abounds with displays that celebrate the opportunities offered to all pupils to develop their character, resilience and aspirations. Every class has their 'extraordinary experiences' to be completed throughout the year. Pupils can choose from a vast array of clubs and take opportunities to learn many different musical instruments.

Visits and visitors are carefully planned to introduce pupils to experiences and concepts that prepare them to be responsible and respectful adults of the future.

Staff are proud to work at this school. They say that leaders listen to their concerns and take their well-being and workload into account.

Parents too, are universally positive about the school and its staff.The multi-academy company (MAC) has ensured that it is well versed in all aspects of the school's work. Together with the local governing body, the MAC provides effective support and ensures that all statutory duties are met.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Safeguarding is central to the school's work. Leaders know the children and families very well.

They have secured an array of additional support options to supplement those available through working with external partners. Consequently, help is always at hand.Leaders have ensured that all staff and governors receive appropriate training.

All staff know when to raise a concern and how to record this. Pupils are taught how to keep themselves safe, including when they are online.

Leaders have received training in safer recruitment and make sure that all appropriate checks are completed and recorded.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Some areas of the curriculum are at an early stage of redevelopment. Not all components of learning are clearly defined. Leaders should review and embed the new curriculums to ensure that the planned sequence of learning has the expected impact.

• Occasionally, teachers do not have a secure enough understanding of what pupils have already learned in a subject and what they will need to learn in the future. Where this is the case, pupils do not learn as much as they could. Leaders should make sure that teachers have the time and opportunity to familiarise themselves with the sequence of learning across subjects, particularly where there have been significant changes.

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