St Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Primary School

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About St Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Primary School

Name St Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Primary School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs Margaret Sanderson
Address High Street, Carisbrooke, Newport, PO30 1NR
Phone Number 01983522747
Phase Primary
Type Voluntary aided school
Age Range 5-11
Religious Character Roman Catholic
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 202
Local Authority Isle of Wight
Highlights from Latest Inspection


St Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Primary School continues to be a good school.

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils thrive in this caring and nurturing environment.

The school's mission of 'live, love, believe', is underpinned by the seven school virtues. These are interwoven across all aspects of school life. Pupils are rewarded when they use a virtue, such as courage.

Relationships between adults and pupils are strong. Pupils feel safe. They know there is always someone to talk to who will listen and help them with any worry.

Pupils know the rules, 'bee kind, bee brilliant, bee respectful'. In class, pupils from the Reception Year to Year 6 are engaged ...and eager to participate in lessons. Pupils can explain what a bully is.

If bullying happens, adults swiftly deal with it. This is confirmed in behaviour records seen. During lunch, pupils are calm and chat away with their friends.

They leave the hall quietly and sensibly. Pupils who struggle with their behaviour receive the support they need.

Governors and leaders are highly ambitious for all pupils, including pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).

Leaders strive to ensure that pupils have many opportunities to widen their horizons. These range from going to the theatre on the mainland to listening to a world champion freestyle footballer.

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

Leaders have carefully considered their curriculum, designing one that is engaging, broad and ambitious.

Leaders know what they want pupils to know and remember from the early years to Year 6. They ensure that teachers have strong subject knowledge. Staff value their thorough training.

They are also appreciative of leaders' support and consideration for their well-being and workload.

Teachers know what pupils have learned and where they need to get to. They make sure that learning is well sequenced and progressive, so that pupils build their knowledge and skills securely over time.

For example, in the Reception Year, children use their knowledge of counting to fill in missing numbers to 20. Year 5 pupils' knowledge of times tables helps them to find if a large number is a multiple of 3.

Teachers start each lesson recapping learning from the previous term, week and day.

This helps pupils to embed their learning and make connections with the new knowledge. Teachers make sure that pupils understand the task before they move learning on. Staff use assessment effectively.

They quickly spot any pupil who is struggling. Support is given and any misconceptions are resolved promptly.

Reading is a high priority for leaders.

This year, they have made significant changes to the teaching of reading. Leaders have ensured that all staff are well trained in the phonics programme. They check regularly that pupils are reading books that match the sounds they are learning.

Children in the Reception Year get off to an excellent start in reading. They learn their phonics as soon as they start school. However, leaders know that, currently, not all pupils are reading as fluently as they could.

This is because leaders' improvements to reading approaches are not yet fully embedded.

Leaders foster pupils' love for reading. They have invested in high-quality books to ensure that pupils experience a range of different texts.

For example, leaders have purchased books that support pupils' understanding of issues, such as diversity. The youngest children have 'linked books' in all their areas of learning. For example, in the construction area they can enjoy reading about 'Rosie Revere' the engineer.

Parents and pupils value the opportunities to read together in the reading cafe.

Leaders know pupils with SEND well and have high expectations for them. Pupils with barriers to their learning are quickly and accurately identified.

However, in a few subjects, teachers do not always adapt tasks as well as they could to support learning. Leaders have already planned training to address this development priority.

Pupils, including the youngest, are engaged and eager to learn in their lessons.

They listen attentively, concentrate well and do not distract others from learning. The school is generally calm and purposeful.

The curriculum contributes well to pupils' personal development.

Leaders aim to ensure that pupils thrive personally and learn to be responsible citizens. Pupils have opportunities to take on roles of responsibility. For example, as ambassadors for the class or as a class chaplain.

Pupils know that differences should be celebrated and that everyone is equal. However, some pupils' understanding of fundamental British values and other cultures and religion is not well developed. Over time, leaders ensure that pupils experience a variety of valuable outdoor learning experiences in the school woods.

This includes learning the skill of orienteering.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders ensure that all staff receive weekly safeguarding updates.

Staff are well trained and are able to identify safeguarding concerns. Records of concern are dealt with swiftly by the safeguarding team. Leaders work effectively with outside agencies.

Safer recruitment checks are carried out. The single central record is well maintained and checked by leaders and governors. Pupils are taught how to stay safe.

They can talk about how the school helps them to keep safe and not talk to strangers. They know when online not to share information.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Changes to the implementation of the phonics programme are not yet fully embedded.

As a result, some pupils are not yet learning to read as quickly as they could be. Leaders need to fully embed recent improvements and strengthen further the support for pupils who are not yet fluent readers. ? Some pupils do not have a secure understanding of British values or other faiths and cultures.

Consequently, some pupils are not well enough prepared for life in the wider world. Leaders should ensure that pupils receive a curriculum that prepares them for life in modern Britain.


When we have judged a school 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 January 2018.

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