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 Michelle Keating
Address High Street, Puckeridge, Ware, SG11 1RZ
Phone Number 01920821450
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Roman Catholic
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 118
Local Authority Hertfordshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils enjoy being part of this close-knit school community. They are proud of their school. Pupils have positive attitudes towards learning and towards each other.

When they join in Reception, children quickly learn, and live up to, the school's values. Older pupils look out for younger children and check that they are happy.

Pupils are cared for and well looked after.

All pupils, including those who are disadvantaged and those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), are helped to achieve well and develop socially.

Pupils behave well. They are proud to talk about the school's 'golden rules' and they are kind and respectful towards... others.

Teachers listen and act on the views of pupils. Self-esteem and a positive, healthy mindset are nurtured at this school.

Children in Reception are encouraged to help each other socialise and learn.

They learn ambitious vocabulary and enjoy sharing their learning with adults and other children. As pupils move through the school, they collaborate well and are enthusiastic about learning.

Pupils feel safe at school.

They are confident that staff would deal with any rare instances of bullying immediately.

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

Pupils enjoy learning a wide range of subjects. In most subjects, leaders have clearly identified and broken down the knowledge that pupils should learn.

They have organised this knowledge so that it follows on what pupils have learned previously. This helps teachers to plan lessons that build successfully on what pupils already know and can do.

In a few subjects, leaders have not ensured that curriculum plans provide enough detail about what subject knowledge pupils need to learn.

Teachers sometimes do not focus on pupils having a secure understanding of the knowledge needed to tackle more complex concepts. This means that in these subjects, pupils are not learning as quickly as they might. Overall, however, pupils learn well across the curriculum.

Teachers have strong subject knowledge and explain concepts clearly. They check regularly how well pupils are learning and provide pupils with help when they make mistakes or misunderstand.

Leaders have prioritised reading.

Teachers adopt consistent approaches to the teaching of reading. In Reception and key stage 1, pupils learn what they need in order to become successful readers. As a result, pupils learn sounds swiftly and blend sounds to read familiar words and sentences.

Teachers quickly spot pupils who find reading difficult. They ensure that pupils get the help they need to catch up. Teachers make sure that pupils read books that are closely matched to the sounds that pupils know.

This helps pupils to practise using their phonic knowledge to read familiar and new words.

Older pupils read with fluency and expression. They read texts that support their learning and develop a love for reading.

Pupils are enthusiastic about reading and enjoy talking about books they have read and how reading makes them feel.

Leaders identify pupils with SEND accurately. Leaders ensure that staff have the knowledge to meet pupils' needs.

Teachers adapt their teaching to ensure that pupils with SEND access the same learning as their peers. Pupils with SEND make good progress.

Pupils are given opportunities to take part in artistic, sporting and cultural activities.

They learn about local and global charitable events, which broadens their understanding of the wider world. Leaders promote pupils' wider development through a thoughtfully planned personal, social and health education curriculum. There is a genuine culture of care between leaders, staff and pupils.

Staff prepare pupils well to live alongside people who have different beliefs and lifestyles. Pupils learn about different faiths and cultures found in contemporary Britain. Staff provide pupils with regular opportunities to reflect on who they are and how they relate to the world around them.

Children make outstanding progress in their learning and development in early years. Staff deliberately teach ambitious vocabulary and communication strategies to all children. They use skilful questioning to further children's understanding of the world around them.

Staff meticulously plan exciting and challenging activities to ignite the imagination and curiosity in children. Children are prepared exceptionally well for learning in Year 1.

Trust leaders and the local governing body provide appropriate support and challenge to leaders.

They ensure that pupils benefit from any changes made. Leaders, governors and the trust know what works well and what could be even better. Staff are appreciative of the support they receive from leaders, including consideration of staff workload and well-being.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Staff receive regular training on how to keep pupils safe. Staff know their pupils well and report any concerns appropriately.

Leaders ensure that they act on concerns quickly to keep pupils safe. They work well with external agencies when needed to ensure that pupils receive the support they need.

Pupils learn how to stay safe at school, at home and when online.

They know how and when to report concerns.Leaders ensure that thorough checks are made on all new members of staff. Trust leaders and members of the local governing body ensure that leaders carry out their safeguarding duties effectively.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• In some subjects, leaders' curriculum planning does not break down the knowledge into smaller steps to help pupils learn. This means that teachers do not always plan lessons that build on prior learning effectively or help pupils to understand more complex ideas. Leaders should ensure that the curriculum in each subject breaks down the most important knowledge, so that teachers are supported in planning sequences of lessons that build effectively on pupils' prior learning.

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