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St Joseph’s Ofsted Report

Inspection of St Joseph’s Catholic

Primary School

Inspection dates:

Overall effectiveness

The quality of education Behaviour and attitudes Personal development Leadership and management Early years provision Previous inspection grade

26–27 May 2021






Good Inadequate

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils enjoy attending school. They are happy and feel safe. The quality of education that they receive has improved significantly. Leaders have raised staff’s expectations about what pupils can achieve. They are ambitious for all pupils. They have made sure that the curriculum is delivered well by teaching staff. As a result, pupils achieve well.

Leaders have made reading a priority. Pupils enjoy reading. They like listening to adults read to them in the daily ‘reading for pleasure’ sessions. Younger pupils vote each day for the book they would like to read. Parents recognise the improvements in the school, particularly in the teaching of reading.

Pupils say that there is very little bullying. They know that if it does happen, adults sort it out quickly. In lessons, there is a calm and purposeful atmosphere, which helps pupils to get on with their learning.

Pupils speak with excitement about trips to the community park and farm. Pupils are polite and respectful. They learn about people from other faiths and cultures. They understand that everyone should be treated equally.

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

Leaders have rapidly improved the school, including the quality of education that pupils receive. Leaders have adopted a new curriculum for all subjects. This sets out, in a carefully planned sequence, the knowledge that pupils should learn. Staff have received training to help them to teach the new curriculum well. Teachers explain new learning clearly. They check that pupils have remembered the most important knowledge.

Subject leaders have worked alongside specialist leaders of education to check that the changes that have been made to their subject curriculum are helping pupils to know and remember more. Through this process, subject leaders have developed the skills they need to effectively monitor the implementation of the curriculum for their subjects. However, not all subject leaders have sufficient time to undertake these checks.

Leaders have established a rigorous approach to teaching early reading. Staff have received specialist training. The reading leader coaches staff to further improve the teaching of reading. Teachers check the sounds that pupils already know, and they use this information to make sure that pupils are taught at the right level. Staff give pupils lots of opportunities to practise the new sounds they are learning in their reading lessons and in the books they read. If pupils need help to catch up with the school’s curriculum for reading, they receive this quickly. As a result, pupils who are learning to read achieve well.

Inspection report: St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School 26–27 May 2021


Pupils are given lots of opportunities to explore mathematics. They are encouraged to explain their mathematical thinking. Leaders have introduced additional ‘maths meetings’, which are used to revisit previously taught content. As a result, pupils are remembering more of their learning in mathematics. Pupils told us they enjoy mathematics and know they are getting better at it. Occasionally, teachers do not identify that some pupils have made mistakes in their mathematics work.

In subjects in the wider curriculum, such as geography, pupils are well supported to understand how their new learning links to what they already know. Pupils talk knowledgably about their learning. For example, one pupil in year 3 was able to connect his previous learning about biomes, in geography, when reading about Greenland. Teachers routinely check what pupils have remembered so that they know pupils are ready for new learning.

The curriculum for the early years is well designed. There is an emphasis on developing children’s language and a love of reading. Teachers plan appropriate sequences of lessons to help children to learn the knowledge and skills they need. This helps them to be ready for the next stage in their learning. For example, teachers have provided additional opportunities for children to develop their fine motor skills to help them improve their letter formation and writing.

The special educational needs coordinator (SENCo) is knowledgeable. She provides effective guidance for teachers. The needs of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are quickly identified. The SENCo and teachers work with parents to put suitable plans in place. These plans detail how pupils with SEND should be supported in lessons. As a result, pupils with SEND receive the right support to help them achieve as well as they should.

Pupils behave well in lessons. A new behaviour policy and training have made sure that most staff manage behaviour in the same way and pupils know what to expect. Incidents of poor behaviour have decreased. Occasionally, some pupils do not behave as well at lunchtimes as they do in lessons. This is because a few staff who supervise pupils at lunchtime do not manage pupils’ behaviour consistently in line with the school’s behaviour policy.

The governing body share leaders’ ambitions to improve the quality of education. They provide appropriate support and challenge to school leaders. They seek verification of the impact of leader’s actions to improve the school so that they can hold leaders to account.

Staff confirmed that leaders are considerate of their workload. They appreciate the professional development opportunities provided for them.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Inspection report: St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School 26–27 May 2021


Leaders ensure that staff have regular safeguarding training so they can identify if a pupil may be at risk of harm. Staff know how to report concerns. Leaders keep thorough safeguarding records. They work effectively with other agencies, such as social care, to ensure that families are well supported, and pupils are helped to stay safe.

The curriculum is planned well so that pupils are taught how to manage risks to their safety. Pupils were able to explain how they would take steps to keep themselves safe when using the internet.

Leaders ensure that appropriate checks are undertaken of staff who work in the school. Some minor administrative errors on the school’s single central register were corrected during the inspection.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

◼ In a few subjects, subject leaders have not had the time they need to check how well the curriculum is being implemented. Some of this work has been undertaken instead by the specialist leaders of education who have been supporting the school. This means that a few subject leaders are less clear about how to improve the curriculum in their subject area. Senior leaders should ensure that these subject leaders have the time they need to check that the curriculum is being implemented effectively.

◼ Some staff at lunchtime do not use the school’s behaviour policy consistently. This means that, occasionally, some pupils’ behaviour at lunchtime is not as good as it is in the classroom. Leaders should make sure that lunchtime staff receive training so that they understand how to effectively manage pupils’ behaviour in line with the school’s behaviour policy.

How can I feed back my views?

You can use Ofsted Parent View to give Ofsted your opinion on your child’s school, or to find out what other parents and carers think. We use Ofsted Parent View information when deciding which schools to inspect, when to inspect them and as part of their inspection.

The Department for Education has further guidance on how to complain about a school.

If you are the school and you are not happy with the inspection or the report, you can complain to Ofsted.

Inspection report: St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School 26–27 May 2021


Further information

You can search for published performance information about the school here.

In the report, ‘disadvantaged pupils’ refers to those pupils who attract government pupil premium funding: pupils claiming free school meals at any point in the last six years and pupils in care or who left care through adoption or another formal route.

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