St Vincent's is an outstandingly effective school.
Remarkable leadership has ensured that attainment by the end of Year 6 has risen rapidly in recent years from consistently above average to high. Given that children enter the Nursery with knowledge and skills in line with those expected for their age, this is evidence of outstanding achievement. The school is an extremely caring, cohesive community in which pupils are known very well as individuals.
Pupils say they feel very safe at school and are entirely confident that issues they raise will be dealt with efficiently by the adults who work with them. Very high expectations are set for each pupil in terms of progress, attainment and behavio...ur. Pupils respond very positively to these high aspirations and this is clearly demonstrated by the outstanding progress they make in the school.
As one parent said, 'We are extremely happy with the educational project at St Vincent's. Children enjoy a nurturing and stimulating environment, where they thrive both emotionally and academically.' This is a view emphatically supported by many parents who responded to the Ofsted questionnaire.
Teachers are very skilled in breaking down the steps in learning so that pupils understand key concepts and ideas. Very good use is made of information about pupils' prior learning in planning lessons. This also takes into account pupils' attitudes to learning and their pastoral needs, resulting in very calm, supportive learning environments.
Excellent examples of teachers' written feedback were seen by inspectors, especially in English. Nevertheless, the school recognises that this practice is not consistent enough. In addition, occasionally teachers do not share strongly enough with pupils what they need to do to make good progress in the lesson.
A very exciting, highly tailored curriculum meets the needs of all pupils and contributes strongly to their enjoyment of learning. 'Enterprise Week' was the theme during the inspection and all areas of learning were linked to the objective of using twenty pounds to design and sell a product to the school community to make a profit. Pupils feel very well supported and confident to achieve because of the outstanding care, guidance and support they receive.
Pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is excellent. It was an inspirational experience to observe Years 3 and 6 singing 'Marching to the Light of God' in Zulu and English with such remarkable passion, energy and unity. The leadership of the headteacher is exceptional; she is very ably supported by a highly effective leadership team, who have embedded a culture of continuous improvement within the school community.
The school is highly self-evaluative and any areas of underperformance are tackled rigorously. The commitment to continuous improvement is a driving force in this school and is highlighted by the fact that, since the last inspection, the quality of provision and pupils' achievement, including in the Early Years Foundation Stage, has improved from good to outstanding. This shows that the school's capacity for sustained improvement is outstanding.
Information about the school
The school is average in size and serves a culturally and socially diverse inner London community. The proportion of pupils eligible for free school meals is slightly below average. Most pupils are from minority ethnic groups and just over half speak English as an additional language, although very few are at the early stages of learning the language.
The proportion of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities is slightly below the national average and very few have a statement of special educational needs. The school has the Healthy Schools status and the BECTA Information and Communication Technology (ICT) mark 2009. There is also extended school provision throughout the week, which forms part of this inspection.