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About St Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Primary School
Pupils are proud to attend this school. They thrive from the caring ethos here.
Pupils understand the importance of being kind and respectful to everyone. As a result, pupils feel welcome and cared for in the school.
Pupils enjoy going to school.
They particularly like the opportunities for learning outside the classroom when they go on educational visits. For example, pupils visited the Saatchi Gallery and Westminster Cathedral which supported their learning.
Teachers set high expectations for all pupils.
They enable pupils to behave well across the school. Pupils are polite and hard working. They conduct themselves well in and outside of l...essons.
Pupils are eager to receive rewards such as earning 'house points' and 'gold card' awards. In early years, staff support children's development well.
Teachers encourage pupils to take on wider responsibilities.
Pupils are keen to get involved in the many opportunities available such as the school council, gardening and eco-clubs. This helps them to learn about being responsible citizens and enables them to contribute their school.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
Leaders have developed a well-planned curriculum that matches the expectations of the national curriculum.
In early years, the curriculum is meticulously planned and sequenced. This helps children to be fully ready for Year 1. In most subjects, there is a strong focus on the knowledge that leaders want pupils to learn and when.
In a few subjects, leaders' curricular thinking is not as well developed. This is because they have not identified the important content that they want pupils to learn in these subjects. This limits pupils' deeper knowledge and understanding.
Teachers set high expectations in lessons and pupils are eager to learn. This helps pupils to gain subject-specific knowledge and skills well, including in mathematics. Teachers ensure that they explain and deliver subject content clearly.
They check and address any misconceptions in pupils' understanding. In early years, staff enable children to learn successfully across all areas of learning through purposeful activities. Staff maximise learning opportunities for children in a well-resourced and stimulating environment.
The school helps pupils to read well. Leaders have put a phonics programme in place that is understood by all. Staff who teach early reading receive training so that approaches to teaching reading across the school are consistent.
Pupils have lots of opportunities to read a variety of texts. Visits from authors inspire pupils to read widely. Leaders' work to prioritise reading has helped pupils to develop as confident readers.
A small number of pupils who struggle with reading do not read books closely matched to the sounds that they know. This limits these pupils' reading fluency.
The school identifies the needs of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) effectively.
Pupils with SEND are happy and enjoy attending school. Staff support pupils with SEND well, academically and socially.
The school is a very happy community where everyone is valued.
Teachers have strong working relationships with pupils. Learning is rarely interrupted, and staff are swift to address any behaviour that does not meet the school's high expectations. This helps pupils to concentrate well during lessons.
In early years, staff enable children to follow routines and instructions positively.
Leaders ensure that there is strong emphasis on pupils' personal development. Staff teach pupils to be respectful of different faiths and cultures.
Pupils talk confidently about the importance of treating everyone equally. All pupils learn age-appropriate content about mental and physical health. Staff teach pupils about positive relationships and personal safety.
The governing body has a very strong understanding of leaders' work. They support and hold leaders to account robustly. Staff are overwhelmingly positive about working at this school.
They feel very well supported by leaders and value the professional development they receive. Staff shared that leaders take their well-being and workload seriously when making decisions.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
All staff know their pupils and families very well. Staff receive regular training which helps them to swiftly identify the signs that a pupil may be at risk of harm. Any concerns are reported promptly to leaders, who make swift and detailed referrals to appropriate agencies.
The curriculum provides pupils with information about how to keep themselves safe. As a result, pupils know how to keep themselves safe in and around school. For example, pupils spoke confidently about online and road safety.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
• A minority of the weakest readers do not routinely read books that are matched closely to the sounds that they know. This limits these pupils' reading confidence and fluency. The school must ensure that all pupils are supported to develop their phonics and reading accuracy with precision.
• In a small number of foundation subjects, leaders have not planned the curriculum in sufficient detail. As a result, pupils do not routinely develop a deep body of knowledge in these subjects. Leaders should ensure the curriculum in all subjects makes explicit what pupils should learn and when.
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