St Thomas More Roman Catholic Primary School, Middleton, Rochdale

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About St Thomas More Roman Catholic Primary School, Middleton, Rochdale

Name St Thomas More Roman Catholic Primary School, Middleton, Rochdale
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs Joanne Butterworth
Address Evesham Road, Alkrington, Manchester, M24 1PY
Phone Number 01616437132
Phase Primary
Type Voluntary aided school
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Roman Catholic
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 339
Local Authority Rochdale
Highlights from Latest Inspection

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a good school The swift and decisive actions that leaders and governors have taken since the last inspection have resulted in good outcomes for pupils across the school, including disadvantaged pupils and those with SEND.

The headteacher's relentless drive to raise pupils' achievement is shared by governors and staff alike. Everyone works together to achieve the school's mission statement, 'We love, we learn, we live with Christ'. Leaders and governors draw upon a wide range of information to help them to evaluate the school's effectiveness.

This enables them to have an accurate understanding of the school's strengths and weaknesses. Teaching is effect...ive and routinely meets the needs of almost all pupils, especially in reading, writing and mathematics. Sometimes, the most able pupils do not make the progress they could in other curriculum subjects because the work they are given is not challenging enough.

Leaders have made important improvements to the quality of teaching in phonics for younger pupils. These changes are not sufficiently embedded to ensure that more pupils reach the expected standard by the end of Year 1. Leaders and governors have established a curriculum that prepares pupils well for life in modern Britain.

Pupils develop extremely well spiritually, morally, socially and culturally and benefit from a wide range of extra-curricular activities. Governors are highly committed to improving their own effectiveness. They now ask leaders more challenging questions to hold them to account for the outcomes of pupils.

However, they are less challenging about the spending of the pupil premium because they rely too heavily on information provided by the headteacher. Arrangements for pupils' personal development, behaviour and welfare are outstanding. Pupils feel safe and well cared for in school, and parents and carers agree with this view.

Pupils are diligent, respectful and extremely well behaved in school. The school's provision for children in early years is outstanding. Children make excellent progress from their typical starting points because of the very high quality of teaching they receive.

Information about the attendance of current pupils, including those who are

disadvantaged, suggests this is set to continue. Pupils' behaviour in class and around school is impeccable. Classrooms are busy, purposeful places where pupils enjoy learning.

Those who spoke to inspectors had strong views about anyone who disturbs their learning by talking in class! They are polite and courteous to their teachers and to visitors, and older pupils provide an excellent role model for younger ones. Pupils are self-assured and demonstrate high levels of self-discipline. They say bullying at school is very rare, but that if it does occur, teachers always deal with it very quickly and effectively.

Outcomes for pupils Good Outcomes for pupils by the time they leave school at the end of key stage 2 have been improving steadily each year as a result of the actions that leaders have taken. Published information from the key stage 2 national tests in 2018 shows that a higher proportion of pupils than the national average reached at least the expected standard in reading, writing and mathematics. The key stage 2 national tests in 2018 showed that pupils in Year 6 had not only attained well, but had also made strong progress from their starting points at the end of key stage 1.

Evidence from the work of pupils currently in key stage 2 shows that they continue to make strong progress in reading, writing and mathematics. Pupils are enthusiastic about reading and were keen to tell inspectors about their favourite authors. They select challenging texts to read for themselves both in and out of school and read with fluency and enjoyment.

Pupils' writing shows that they practise their skills in a range of ways and write to a similar standard across a range of subjects. Leaders' actions since the last inspection have brought about an improvement in the way that pupils develop and practise problem solving and reasoning in mathematics. This is contributing to the good progress that current pupils make.

The most able pupils had also made strong progress by the time they left Year 6 in 2018, especially in reading and mathematics. A higher proportion of pupils reached the higher standards in the reading and mathematics national key stage 2 tests than the national average. Although higher ability pupils currently in school continue to make good progress in reading, writing and mathematics, in other subjects, pupils do not routinely receive work that challenges them sufficiently.

Consequently, in these subjects, the most able do not consistently make strong progress. By the end of key stage 2 in 2018, disadvantaged pupils made progress that was at least as strong as that of other pupils nationally in reading, writing and mathematics. Work in pupils' books shows that this continues to be the case for disadvantaged pupils currently in school.

The good support that the school provides for pupils with SEND enables them to make strong progress from their various starting points. At the end of key stage 1 in 2018, pupils attained better at the expected standard in reading and mathematics than other pupils nationally. The proportions attaining greater depth in reading and writing were similar to the national averages.

Fewer pupils than average reached at least the expected standard in writing. However, work in their books and information from the school's assessments show that pupils currently in key stage 1 are making strong progress in writing as well as in reading and mathematics. Despite consistently strong outcomes for children at the end of early years in recent years, fewer pupils than average have gone on to reach the expected standard in the national phonics screening check at the end of Year 1.

Leaders have rightly made improving the quality of teaching in phonics a priority for the school. These improvements are having a positive impact and more pupils currently in Year 1 are now on track to reach the expected standard in the phonics screening check. However, the changes are not fully embedded and there remain inconsistencies in the quality of phonics teaching that hamper pupils' progress.

The improvements in the basic skills of reading, writing and mathematics together with pupils' excellent attitudes to learning mean they are fully prepared for the next stage of their education. Early years provision Outstanding Children at St Thomas More make an excellent start to their education. From their broadly typical starting points when they join the school either in the Nursery or Reception classes, children make substantial and sustained progress over time.

The proportion of children reaching a good level of development by the time they leave the Reception class is consistently above the average nationally and continues to rise. Leadership is effective and the analytical evaluation of a wide range of information, for example from assessments, from observations and from parents' feedback, enables leaders to have an accurate understanding of the many strengths of the early years. However, leaders are not complacent and strive continuously to make things even better for children.

The quality of the environment in which children learn is inspirational. Teaching is superb. Children develop strong characteristics of effective learning because the opportunities that teachers and leaders provide enable them to learn through a wide range of experiences indoors and outdoors.

Children are curious, confident and focused learners, eager to 'have a go' and to try things out for themselves. Adults use questioning skilfully to find out more about what children have understood. They allow enough time for children to formulate their thoughts before speaking and encourage them to develop and extend their ideas and thoughts further.

As a result, children are keen to contribute in discussions, and know that what they have to say is valued. The high-quality training that leaders provide has ensured that managers and staff have strong professional knowledge and expertise about the ways in which very young children learn and develop. Consequently, adults have the skills they need to make accurate assessments about what children already know and can do, and to plan effectively for their various learning needs.

Children develop their early literacy and numeracy skills exceptionally well. Through the excellent teaching they receive, even the youngest children develop a strong awareness of sounds, letters and numbers which is evident in their early attempts at writing. By the time they leave the Reception class, children are very well prepared for Year 1.

Leaders and staff establish excellent working relationships with parents. Parents of children in early years who responded to Ofsted's Parent View and free-text questionnaires were unanimous in their praise of the early years provision. They are highly appreciative of the information they receive about their children's progress.

Safeguarding in early years is effective. Children learn how to keep themselves safe and follow the simple rules and routines that adults have established. Leaders and staff follow the school's rigorous policies for keeping children safe and carry out extra checks which reflect the particular health and safety needs of very young children.

There are no breaches of the statutory welfare requirements. Children, including the very youngest, manage their own behaviour extremely well. Children learn to take care of their own needs, for example by getting their coats to go outside or by washing their hands after using the toilet.

They share resources, play cooperatively and listen carefully to adults' instructions. These excellent learning behaviours prepare them very effectively for future learning. School details Unique reference number 105820 Local authority Rochdale Inspection number 10087822 This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.

Type of school Primary School category Voluntary aided Age range of pupils 3 to 11 Gender of pupils Mixed Number of pupils on the school roll 335 Appropriate authority The governing body Chair Mark Gifford Headteacher Joanne Butterworth Telephone number 0161 643 7132 Website

uk Email address [email protected].

uk Date of previous inspection 7–8 December 2016

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