St Thomas More Catholic Primary School, Kidlington

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About St Thomas More Catholic Primary School, Kidlington

Name St Thomas More Catholic Primary School, Kidlington
Ofsted Inspections
Executive Principal Mrs Julieann Exley
Address Oxford Road, Kidlington, OX5 1EA
Phone Number 01865373674
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Roman Catholic
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 196
Local Authority Oxfordshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection


There has been no change to this school's overall judgement of good as a result of this ungraded (section 8) inspection. However, the evidence gathered suggests that the inspection grade might be outstanding if a graded (section 5) inspection were carried out now.

The school's next inspection will be a graded inspection.

The headteacher of this school is Julieann Exley. This school is part of The Pope Francis Multi Academy Company, which means other people in the trust also have responsibility for running the school.

The trust is run by the chief executive officer, Fraser Long, and overseen by a board of trustees, chaired by Paul Concannon.

What is it like to attend this school...?

A sense of warmth and inclusion permeates the school. Pupils feel overwhelmingly safe and happy.

The school views itself and everyone in it as a family, creating a strong sense of belonging. The school values are fully realised and celebrated at every opportunity.

The school has the highest ambition for every pupil to be the best they can be.

Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) benefit from excellent support provided by expert staff. Pupils with SEND achieve exceptionally well and are fully involved in school life.

Pupils' behaviour is first rate.

They behave incredibly well in lessons and at play times. Older pupils relish the opportunity to be role models for younger children and look after them with care and compassion. They delight in the opportunity to bring early years children to assembly or to create exciting games for them to play.

Pupils benefit from a vast array of additional opportunities. These include clubs and theatre trips as well as the chance to perform in the local community. Pupils are keen to support local and national charities.

They understand the importance of helping people in need.

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

The school has introduced a highly ambitious curriculum. Staff are determined that all pupils will reach their full potential.

The curriculum begins in Nursery, where children have access to many high-quality, well-planned learning opportunities. The broad and balanced curriculum is rigorously sequenced, enabling pupils to build their knowledge as they move through the school. Pupils are supported to use this knowledge to hypothesise and evaluate information well.

For example, in geography pupils confidently articulate the benefit of living near a volcano for hydroelectric power, as well as analysing the risk and danger during eruptions. The curriculum carefully maps out the knowledge, skills and vocabulary pupils will learn. This supports all pupils to achieve highly.

Children get off to a flying start in early years. The curriculum design enables children to develop a strong understanding of language and communication and also number. Children successfully explore through play the numbers they have learned.

Staff expertly support children to be successful through skilful questions and individual interactions. Children are highly engaged on their tasks, showing determination and an early positive attitude to school. Staff are quick to identify children with SEND from an early age and provide immediate and effective support.

Reading is a top priority in this school. Pupils love to read. They are excited by the books adults read to them in class.

Pupils appreciate how these texts help them learn more about the subjects they are studying. The reading curriculum develops pupils' fluency and confidence. Every member of staff is highly trained to deliver the phonics programme with precision and accuracy.

Staff rigorously check throughout lessons that pupils are keeping up with new learning. They are swift to identify those who are struggling and offer support to catch up. Pupils new to speaking English receive effective support to make rapid progress with their reading.

The school has high expectations for pupil attendance. Staff are tenacious in their approach and challenge to ensure pupils are in school learning. Because the curriculum is well designed, pupils want to be in school and demonstrate this through the high levels of engagement and positive behaviour seen in lessons.

The personal development of pupils is exceptional. Pupils celebrate the inclusive and diverse school community and welcome everyone from around the world. They love to learn about other cultures.

This includes the Chinese Lunar New Year and sharing food from Brazil. Pupils have a deep understanding of their school values and can also carefully link these to fundamental British values. They understand the meaning of respect and tolerance, knowing that everyone is different, with differing experiences and families.

The school supports pupils to keep safe through well-planned activities, such as swimming, learning first aid or going on trips to learn about possible dangers. Pupils love taking on extra responsibilities and value their roles and responsibilities that support the school community.

Leaders are ambitious for all pupils.

They understand the context and school community exceptionally well. Families are overwhelmingly effusive in their praise of the school and the commitment and dedication of staff. Staff feel well supported by leaders, governors and the trust.

Those responsible for governance have an accurate picture of the school and work well together to ensure that statutory duties are fully met.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.


When we have judged a school to be good, we will then normally go into the school about once every four years to confirm that the school remains good.

This is called an ungraded inspection, and it is carried out under section 8 of the Education Act 2005. We do not give graded judgements on an ungraded inspection. However, if we find evidence that a school would now receive a higher or lower grade, then the next inspection will be a graded inspection, which is carried out under section 5 of the Act.

Usually this is within one to two years of the date of the ungraded inspection. If we have serious concerns about safeguarding, behaviour or the quality of education, we will deem the ungraded inspection a graded inspection immediately.

This is the first ungraded inspection since we judged the school to be good in September 2018.

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