St Cuthbert's Catholic Primary School

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1 School report St Cuthbert's Catholic Primary School Lightwood Avenue, Blackpool, Lancashire, FY4 2AU Inspection dates May 2013 Overall effectiveness Previous inspection: Satisfactory 3 This inspection: Inadequate 4 Achievement of pupils Inadequate 4 Quality of teaching Inadequate 4 Behaviour and safety of pupils Good 2 Leadership and management Requires improvement 3 Summary of key findings for parents and pupils This is a school that has serious weaknesses. Some groups of pupils do not make enough progress in writing and mathematics in Years 1 to 6. Standards in both subjects have declined in recent years. Over time teaching has not been, and is still not, good enough to ensure pupils consistently achieve as well as they can in Years 1 to 6 in writing and mathematics. Pupils do not have enough opportunities to use their writing skills to support their learning in other subjects or to use their numeracy skills well in solving mathematical problems. Teachers marking does not give pupils clear enough guidance about how to improve their work. Until recently, leaders and managers have not been strong enough in addressing issues from the previous inspection. Leaders of subjects are not playing a big enough part in raising the quality of teaching and learning. Until recently, the governing body did not ask enough searching questions about the quality of teaching and pupils achievement. The school has the following strengths Children make good progress in the Early Years Foundation Stage because of good teaching and good leadership in this area of provision. Pupils make at least expected progress in reading throughout the school. Pupils behave well, feel safe and get on well with each other and with adults. There is good provision for pupils spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. Leaders, managers and governors have improved their effectiveness and have a good understanding of the strengths and weaknesses in the school, particularly in teaching. Consequently, teaching is improving.

2 Inspection report: St Cuthbert s Catholic Primary, May of 10 Information about this inspection The inspectors observed 16 lessons or parts of lessons. Additional short visits to lessons were carried out to look at issues such as how well pupils get on with their classmates and how well they behave. Meetings were held with groups of pupils chosen at random, members of the governing body and with senior staff. A meeting was also held with a representative from the local authority. Inspectors heard pupils read and talked to them about the types of books they enjoy. Pupils current work and assessments from the previous academic year were scrutinised, including information which showed how well pupils do in English and mathematics. Fifteen responses were received to the on-line questionnaire (Parent View). In addition, inspectors scrutinised the school s own parent questionnaire survey. The lead inspector also spoke to parents who requested this, on the telephone. Inspectors reviewed the inspection questionnaires completed and returned by staff. Inspection team Geoffrey Yates, Lead inspector Frances Farnorth Clare Daniel Additional Inspector Additional Inspector Additional Inspector

3 Inspection report: St Cuthbert s Catholic Primary, May of 10 Full report In accordance with the Education Act 2005, Her Majesty s Chief Inspector is of the opinion that this school requires significant improvement, because it is performing significantly less well than it might in all the circumstances reasonably be expected to perform. Information about this school The school is an average-sized primary school. The proportion of pupils supported through school action is broadly average. The proportion of pupils supported at school action plus or with a statement of special educational needs is slightly above average. The proportion of pupils from minority ethnic groups is below average. The proportion of pupils for whom the school receives pupil premium funding is well above average. (The pupil premium is additional funding for those pupils who are known to be eligible for free school meals, children from service families and those children that are looked after.) In 2012, the school met the government s current floor standard which sets the minimum expectations for attainment and progress. The school has achieved external awards, including Healthy School status. In the last 18 months, there has been staffing disruption. In addition, some year groups have teachers who job-share. What does the school need to do to improve further? Ensure that all teaching, particularly of mathematics and writing, is good or better by: - eradicating inconsistencies in teaching across and within Years 1 to 6 - making sure the work pupils are asked to do is well matched to their needs - ensuring that teachers do not spend too much time introducing and explaining tasks that then limits the time pupils have to work independently - ensuring that teachers questioning is used well to clarify whether pupils understand what it is they are being asked to do - developing teachers marking to make sure it is used well in helping pupils understand how they might improve their own work. Improve pupils achievement in Years 1 to 6 so that it is at least good in writing and mathematics by: - ensuring teachers help pupils to improve their spelling, punctuation and use of interesting vocabulary in their writing - providing more opportunities for pupils to use their numeracy skills in solving mathematical problems - providing more opportunities for pupils to make use of their writing skills to support work in other subjects. Improve the effectiveness of leadership, management and governance by: - ensuring the headteacher and senior leaders use the information they gain from checks on pupils progress to eradicate remaining weaknesses in teaching and pupils achievement - involving subject leaders even more in helping teachers to improve the quality of their teaching

4 Inspection report: St Cuthbert's Catholic Primary School, May of 10 - ensuring the governing body sustains the effective steps already made in challenging and supporting the school.

5 Inspection report: St Cuthbert s Catholic Primary, May of 10 Inspection judgements The achievement of pupils is inadequate Standards in English and mathematics have declined since the previous inspection. In 2012, attainment was well below average in both subjects. Staffing disruption and weaknesses in teaching resulted in groups of pupils in Years 1 to 6 making less than expected progress in writing and mathematics. Current data show that, by the end of Year 2, a significant number of pupils are not on track to attain the levels expected of them in writing and mathematics. Many pupils do not have a strong enough understanding of spelling, punctuation and the importance of using interesting words in their writing. They also have difficulty in applying their numeracy skills well in solving problems. There are some signs of improvement in pupils progress, especially in Years 3 and 6, as a result of good teaching. However, while gaps in pupils learning in mathematics and writing are now being addressed well, this has yet to have a substantial impact on pupils overall achievement. The school s assessment information and the work in pupils books show that pupils currently in Year 6 are on track to do better this year but that their attainment is likely to be broadly average at best. These levels of attainment reflect rates of progress which still require improvement from pupils individual starting points. Children start school with skills and knowledge that are below those typically expected for their age. They make good progress in the Early Years Foundation Stage because work is well matched to children s needs. For example, children on a mini-beast hunt enjoyed the challenge of finding out where the plastic animals were hidden, they kept a close tally on the number they found. This activity helped them develop their knowledge of numbers to 20. Attainment in reading is average at the end of both key stages. Pupils enjoy reading. Pupils did better than pupils in schools nationally in the 2012 Year 1 phonics (the sounds that letters make) check. In previous years, the progress made by disabled pupils and those with special educational needs was inadequate. However, improved assessment arrangements and better-organised support means that these pupils are now making better progress, although this still requires improvement. The attainment of pupils who were known to be eligible for free school meals in 2012 was behind that of other pupils in the school in English and mathematics by approximately one year. However, if the pupils who joined the school in upper Key Stage 2 are discounted, the gap is reduced to one term. The overall progress they made was similar to that of pupils who were not known to be eligible for free school meals. The school s records show that, currently, there is no significant difference between the attainment of pupils known to be eligible for free school meals and those who are not. In this respect, the promotion of equality of opportunity is improving; however, much still remains to be done with regard to addressing the weaknesses, and ensuring pupils equality of opportunity in writing and mathematics. The quality of teaching is inadequate Teaching since the last inspection has been, and still is, inadequate overall; it has not ensured that all groups of pupils make the progress that they should. A large percentage of pupils in Year 6 in 2012 did not make expected progress in Key Stage 2 in either English or mathematics. During the inspection, examples of good teaching were observed throughout the school, but too much still requires improvement. There are too many inconsistencies in teaching in Years 1 to 6 and this is not just between, but also within year groups, when staff share the responsibility for teaching a class.

6 Inspection report: St Cuthbert's Catholic Primary School, May of 10 Throughout the school, relationships between staff and pupils are good. Teachers manage pupils behaviour well. Pupils behave well in lessons even when the tasks they are asked to complete lack sufficient challenge, especially for the more-able. Pupils are not given enough opportunities to use their writing skills in other subjects or to use their numeracy skills in solving mathematical problems. The teaching of reading is better than teaching in other subjects. As a result, most pupils achieve what is expected of them in reading and pupils say they enjoy reading. Teaching in the Early Years Foundation Stage is of a good quality. Tasks are well matched to children s needs and children enjoy a wide variety of interesting activities in a pleasant and stimulating environment both inside and out. Where teaching is good pupils are encouraged to work together on challenging tasks. No time is wasted on overly long explanations and pupils are engaged in meaningful and suitable activities which match their needs well. For example, pupils observed in a Year 6 lesson were totally engaged in designing their own advertising campaigns for a particular product. Where teaching is weakest, teachers do not plan their lessons well enough to ensure that there is enough time for pupils to work independently. In some lessons teachers only seek comments from those pupils who put up their hands, rather than questioning particular pupils to keep them on their toes. Teachers marking is not always good enough. Teachers do not always ensure that pupils understand the comments and feedback in their marking or make sure that pupils are given enough time to act on them so they know how to improve their work. The work of support staff in lessons is more effective. Support staff ensure that the learning needs are met of those pupils who are known to be eligible for the pupil premium funding and of disabled pupils and those with special educational needs. However, there are still times when teachers do not use the skills of support staff effectively enough. The behaviour and safety of pupils are good Pupils have good attitudes to learning and enjoy school. Parents who completed the school s questionnaire and those who completed the on-line questionnaire agree with this. Pupils attendance is above average. Behaviour in lessons is good. Although at times pupils have to sit too long on the carpet listening to unnecessarily long introductions to lessons, or undertake work that is not match well to their needs, they behave remarkably well. Behaviour in and around the school out of lessons is also good. Pupils are keen to learn and are happy to share their learning with their classmates. On occasions, this enthusiasm is not tapped into enough by teachers to allow pupils to be more independent. The school is successful in fostering very good relations and there are many opportunities provided in the curriculum to promote pupils spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. Pupils raise money for a range of good causes and have positive views on the importance of helping those less fortunate than themselves. One child commented, We are lucky in Blackpool and we should help those who are not so lucky. Pupils are very polite and friendly. Pupils who take part in, for example, a lunchtime club or those learning to play the violin are proud of what they achieve. A scrutiny of records and observations during the inspection show that behaviour over time is good. Isolated incidents of unacceptable behaviour are dealt with well. Pupils have a good understanding of how to keep safe and are very confident that any issues they raise will be dealt with promptly by the school. They recognise dangers when using the internet and know how to avoid these problems. Pupils have a good understanding of different types of bullying. Pupils respond extremely well to the many opportunities provided for them to take on

7 Inspection report: St Cuthbert's Catholic Primary School, May of 10 responsibilities. These include being a member of the school council or being a pal to younger pupils. School council members are pleased that their ideas have been acted on, for example, with regard to improving wet playtime equipment. The pupils who are road safety officers are rightly proud of the contribution they made to improving a footpath outside school. The leadership and management requires improvement Increased rigour in the checks leaders carry out are giving them a much clearer view of the school s performance. As a result, the headteacher, other leaders and governors are beginning to improve the school at a faster rate. For example, the good use made of checks on teaching and learning carried out by the headteacher and the recent actions taken to deal with inadequate teaching have been successful. While there is some way to go, there have been improvements in pupils progress in some year groups and better use is now made of assessment information about pupils progress. The improvements made so far show that the school has the capacity to improve further. The school makes satisfactory use of the extra money from pupil premium funding to enhance the learning opportunities of the pupils. This includes, where required, pupils being given additional support in class or in withdrawal groups. Although standards are beginning to rise and pupils progress has speeded up, leaders of subjects, while more involved in leading their areas of responsibility, are not playing a big enough part in checking teaching quality in their subject areas. The Early Years Foundation Stage is well led and managed. As a result, teaching in both the Nursery and Reception classes is of a good quality, resources both inside and out are used very well and children make good progress. In previous years, the targets set as part of performance management have not been successful in raising the quality of teaching. There is now a more effective system in place, with pay awards linked to teachers performance. As a result, the quality of teaching is beginning to improve. The curriculum supports pupils improving basic skills. Activities outside lessons, such as the breakfast club, are much appreciated by the pupils. The local authority is providing support to the school and has linked the school with a successful school in the Blackpool area. Regular meetings involving the headteacher and members of the governing body are held. As such, the local authority is working more closely with the school to bring about improvement. The governance of the school: - Governance has improved but still requires further improvement because, until recently, governors have not taken action quickly enough to bring about changes to the school s performance. Governors now have a growing understanding of the school s strengths and areas for development and meet regularly to discuss what is happening and how they can help. As such, the governing body is playing a more active part in moving the school forward although this improvement in challenge and support has not yet been sustained over the longer term. Governors make sure that policies are regularly reviewed and that safeguarding arrangements meet regulatory requirements. Governors understand the performance management process well and keep a close eye on making sure that money is well spent, especially with regard to teachers pay which is linked to their performance. Governors also understand the importance of making sure that additional pupil premium funding is spent on the purpose for which it is intended. Governors ask questions as to what impact the funding is having on pupils progress.

8 Inspection report: St Cuthbert s Catholic Primary, May of 10 What inspection judgements mean School Grade Judgement Description Grade 1 Outstanding An outstanding school is highly effective in delivering outcomes that provide exceptionally well for all its pupils needs. This ensures that pupils are very well equipped for the next stage of their education, training or employment. Grade 2 Good A good school is effective in delivering outcomes that provide well for all its pupils needs. Pupils are well prepared for the next stage of their education, training or employment. Grade 3 Requires improvement A school that requires improvement is not yet a good school, but it is not inadequate. This school will receive a full inspection within 24 months from the date of this inspection. Grade 4 Inadequate A school that has serious weaknesses is inadequate overall and requires significant improvement but leadership and management are judged to be Grade 3 or better. This school will receive regular monitoring by Ofsted inspectors. A school that requires special measures is one where the school is failing to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education and the school s leaders, managers or governors have not demonstrated that they have the capacity to secure the necessary improvement in the school. This school will receive regular monitoring by Ofsted inspectors.

9 Inspection report: St Cuthbert s Catholic Primary, May of 10 School details Unique reference number Local authority Blackpool Inspection number This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act Type of school Primary School category Voluntary aided Age range of pupils 3 11 Gender of pupils Mixed Number of pupils on the school roll 252 Appropriate authority The governing body Chair Paul Marley Headteacher Desmond Kennedy Date of previous school inspection 28 June 2011 Telephone number Fax number address

10 Any complaints about the inspection or the report should be made following the procedures set out in the guidance raising concerns and making complaints about Ofsted', which is available from Ofsted s website: If you would like Ofsted to send you a copy of the guidance, please telephone , or You can use Parent View to give Ofsted your opinion on your child s school. Ofsted will use the information parents and carers provide when deciding which schools to inspect and when and as part of the inspection. You can also use Parent View to find out what other parents and carers think about schools in England. You can visit or look for the link on the main Ofsted website: The Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills (Ofsted) regulates and inspects to achieve excellence in the care of children and young people, and in education and skills for learners of all ages. It regulates and inspects childcare and children's social care, and inspects the Children and Family Court Advisory Support Service (Cafcass), schools, colleges, initial teacher training, workbased learning and skills training, adult and community learning, and education and training in prisons and other secure establishments. It assesses council children s services, and inspects services for looked after children, safeguarding and child protection. Further copies of this report are obtainable from the school. Under the Education Act 2005, the school must provide a copy of this report free of charge to certain categories of people. A charge not exceeding the full cost of reproduction may be made for any other copies supplied. If you would like a copy of this document in a different format, such as large print or Braille, please telephone , or You may copy all or parts of this document for non-commercial educational purposes, as long as you give details of the source and date of publication and do not alter the information in any way. To receive regular alerts about new publications, including survey reports and school inspection reports, please visit our website and go to Subscribe. Piccadilly Gate Store St Manchester M1 2WD T: Textphone: E: W: Crown copyright 2013

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