English Martyrs Catholic Primary School
Headteacher: Mrs Catherine Flood B.Ed, Npqh
Diocese of Leeds
252 pupils, Mixed
|Unique Reference Number||108256|
|Inspection dates||3–4 March 2010|
|Reporting inspector||Brenda Clarke|
|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||251|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Chair||Mrs Karen House|
|Headteacher||Mr Bernard Martin|
|Date of previous school inspection||9 July 2007|
|School address||Dewsbury Road|
|West Yorkshire WF2 9DD|
|Telephone number||01924 303635|
|Fax number||01924 303639|
|Inspection dates||3–4 March 2010|
© Crown copyright 2009
This inspection was carried out by three additional inspectors. The inspectors spent approximately 65% of their time looking at pupils' learning. Inspectors visited 18 lessons, observed all teachers teaching, and held meetings with governors, staff, groups of pupils and parents and carers. They observed the school's work, and looked at a range of evidence including pupils' work, the school's records indicating pupils' progress and attainment over time, a range of school policies and the school improvement plan. The inspectors also analysed 59 questionnaires returned by parents and carers.
The school is broadly average in size. The proportion of pupils who are eligible for free school meals is average. A below average proportion of pupils have special educational needs and/or disabilities. The number of pupils with statements of special educational needs is above average. Most pupils are White British. A rising number of pupils are at an early stage of speaking English. The school provides for nursery and reception aged children in a newly built Early Years Foundation Stage unit. Since the last inspection the school has experienced significant staffing difficulties. The school has received the Activemark and Healthy School awards. It is an Investor in Pupils.
|Inspection grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is satisfactory, and 4 is inadequate|
|Please turn to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms|
Overall effectiveness: how good is the school?
The school's capacity for sustained improvement
This is a satisfactory school which is very well thought of by parents and carers. One parent's view reflects that of many when saying, 'The school provides a warm and welcoming environment for children and cares very much about the individual child'. Strong Christian values underpin all aspects of the school's work enabling pupils to develop outstanding spiritual and moral awareness. Pupils have an outstanding understanding of healthy lifestyles and many participate in the wide range of sporting activities. They make a good contribution to the school community when acting as monitors or taking decisions on the school council. Safeguarding procedures are outstanding, enabling pupils to enjoy school and feel very safe.
There has been a decline in standards since the last inspection leading to a significant number of pupils making less than expected progress. This has been due mainly to a high level of staff absence that has led to turbulence in pupils' education. The leadership team has begun to halt this decline. Staffing is now relatively stable and pupils are making at least satisfactory progress. Attainment is broadly below average by the end of Year 6 for most groups of pupils. Although teaching is satisfactory overall, the pace of learning is not always fast enough to ensure good progress in every lesson and learning activities are not always adapted well enough to meet the needs of all pupils. There is sometimes a lack of challenge in lessons which has an adverse impact on the attainment of more able pupils in particular.
The satisfactory curriculum has some strengths in its breadth and diversity. Clubs such as Young Engineers, initiatives with partner schools, and exciting events such as Book Week enrich the curriculum. Assessment is not being used as well as it could be to ensure that pupils' skills are developed step by step across a range of subjects and applied in different subjects; for example, by applying skills in mathematics to science.
The school is soundly led and managed and benefits from a very experienced and active governing body. The headteacher and senior managers focus strongly on developing the whole child, but are sometimes insufficiently rigorous in evaluating the precise progress pupils make in lessons. Rigorous evaluation and tracking of pupils' progress and newly introduced procedures to tackle the school's weaknesses are resulting in sound improvements in pupils' writing and mathematics. As a result pupils are becoming more confident and independent in these subjects. A clear plan of action together with a whole school approach to improving provision places the school in a satisfactory position to improve further.
Outcomes for individuals and groups of pupils
Pupils enjoy learning. In lessons they are enthusiastic and persevere. They listen attentively and behave well. Pupils get on well with classmates and share ideas with partners responsibly. In most lessons, pupils work at a satisfactory pace but are capable of achieving more. This is because they are not always challenged enough. Pupils enjoy the newly introduced 'maths passport' initiative and show great enthusiasm for the stimulating mathematical activities. This is already beginning to accelerate pupils' confidence and dexterity when solving mathematical problems.
From starting points which are below those expected on entry to Year 1, pupils make satisfactory progress so that by the end of Year 6 standards remain below those expected nationally in English, science and mathematics. Very few pupils attain above the expectation for their age. Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities and those learning English as an additional language achieve in line with their class mates due to the carefully planned support they receive.
Pupils develop good social skills, are polite and show respect and care for others. As pupils mature, most become confident, articulate learners who care about their school and take an active part in organising school events such as recycling. Pupils' behaviour is good in most lessons and around the school. Pupils develop a strong sense of community enabling them to feel happy and safe but have limited understanding of communities that are different to their own. Pupils are prepared satisfactorily for their next stage of education.
These are the grades for pupils' outcomes
|Pupils' achievement and the extent to which they enjoy their learning|
Taking into account:
The quality of pupils' learning and their progress
The quality of learning for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities and their progress
|The extent to which pupils feel safe||1|
|The extent to which pupils adopt healthy lifestyles||1|
|The extent to which pupils contribute to the school and wider community||2|
|The extent to which pupils develop workplace and other skills that will contribute to their future economic well-being|
Taking into account:
|The extent of pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development||2|
1 The grades for attainment and attendance are: 1 is high; 2 is above average; 3 is broadly average; and 4 is low
The quality of teaching is satisfactory overall, with examples of good practice. Pupils make best progress when learning gets off to a brisk pace and in lessons where learning activities are well matched to the abilities of pupils. In such lessons, teachers ensure high levels of engagement so that no time is wasted. In satisfactory lessons, assessments are not used as effectively to match activities to the full ability range in the class. In a significant minority of lessons too much speaking by the teacher results in pupils losing concentration and on occasion behaving inappropriately. The use of targets to help pupils improve their work is at an early stage of development. Inspection of pupils' work over time indicates inconsistency in teachers' marking so that pupils are sometimes unsure how to improve their work. Teachers ensure that classrooms are well organised and that pupils' work is displayed attractively. Relationships are very caring and supportive. Teaching assistants are deployed effectively and give good support to less able pupils. A good range of intervention strategies, for example to improve reading, gives pupils effective additional support.
The school is rightly focused on improving the curriculum to promote and improve pupils' skills in mathematics and written work. There is a greater emphasis across the school on giving pupils steps to success when writing and using creative stimuli such as drama and role play to extend pupils' thinking. This is at an early stage of development in some year groups but is successful overall because pupils' have the support they need and are beginning to build skills in a consistent way. Strong links with the Catholic partnership and other professionals such as visiting musicians enrich provision and offer exciting creative and enjoyable opportunities. There is effective provision overall for information and communication technology but there are occasional gaps in pupils' learning.
The school takes good care of its pupils. An inclusive ethos provides pupils with good guidance and support to ensure that they work and play well together. Pupils feel extremely secure and say that there is no bullying. Pupils, parents and carers know that adults within the school will give support and help. The child and family support worker makes a significant contribution to the pastoral care of pupils and their families ensuring that their differing needs are met. Pupils are given good guidance on their personal development. The school is working with parents and carers to improve attendance from average to above average.
These are the grades for the quality of provision
|The quality of teaching|
Taking into account:
The use of assessment to support learning
|The extent to which the curriculum meets pupils' needs, including, where relevant, through partnerships||3|
|The effectiveness of care, guidance and support||2|
Senior leaders are clearly focused on driving improvement and addressing areas of weakness, such as improving pupils' progress in mathematics and the quality and content of pupils' writing. Systems to assess and monitor pupils' progress have become more rigorous; however, procedures to monitor the quality of teaching are not as robust and this has led to some inconsistencies in provision and a lack of focus on the quality of pupils' learning in lessons. Governors are very committed, well organised and are directly involved in setting priorities for improvement. They are increasingly involved in monitoring and evaluating the performance of the school. Good links with parents and carers and the school's 'open door' policy result in high levels of parental satisfaction.
The school works diligently to ensure equal opportunities so that all pupils are fully included and their differing needs met. Harassment is not tolerated. Procedures for safeguarding pupils are outstanding with exemplary practice in all areas of provision. Strong partnerships with a range of professionals enhance provision and ensure that the needs of vulnerable pupils are quickly met. The school's contribution to community cohesion is satisfactory. The school enjoys strong community and international links but has yet to develop a cohesive plan to extend pupils' understanding of other cultures and communities in multi-ethnic Britain.
These are the grades for leadership and management
|The effectiveness of leadership and management in embedding ambition and driving improvement|
Taking into account:
The leadership and management of teaching and learning
|The effectiveness of the governing body in challenging and supporting the|
school so that weaknesses are tackled decisively and statutory responsibilities met
|The effectiveness of the school's engagement with parents and carers||2|
|The effectiveness of partnerships in promoting learning and well-being||2|
|The effectiveness with which the school promotes equality of opportunity and tackles discrimination||3|
|The effectiveness of safeguarding procedures||1|
|The effectiveness with which the school promotes community cohesion||3|
|The effectiveness with which the school deploys resources to achieve value for money||3|
Children enter the Nursery with skills mostly well below those expected for their age. They settle well and make good progress due to skilled teaching and the wealth of well planned learning opportunities in the unit and outdoors. Progress slows in the Reception year because not all activities are so well matched to children's needs. Planned activities frequently lack a clear learning intention and opportunities are missed to reinforce children's learning in stimulating ways. This results in children making satisfactory rather than good progress. Evidence over time indicates that children enter Year 1 with skills typical for their age in personal development and early mathematics but below in the significant areas of reading, linking sounds to letters and writing. Although there are carefully structured opportunities to learn the sounds that letters make, opportunities are missed for children to write for a variety of purposes.
Adults take good care of children enabling them to feel very safe in this welcoming environment. Parents and carers particularly appreciate the good arrangements for induction into the nursery, enabling children to settle quickly. Relationships are strong so that children are happy and get on well together. Leadership is developing. Provision is sometimes organised into two separate age groups rather than as a cohesive unit. Hence, although most staff have considerable expertise opportunities are missed to use their skills more widely, for example developing a range of story telling opportunities to more closely match children's' differing stages of development.
These are the grades for the Early Years Foundation Stage
|Overall effectiveness of the Early Years Foundation Stage|
Taking into account:
Outcomes for children in the Early Years Foundation Stage
The quality of provision in the Early Years Foundation Stage
The effectiveness of leadership and management of the Early Years Foundation
About one fifth of the parents or carers responded to the questionnaire. A very large majority of these are happy with the school's provision. Most feel that their children enjoy school and that school keeps them safe. Almost all believe that teaching is good. Inspection findings judge the quality of teaching and learning to be satisfactory overall. Parents and carers rightly state that the school takes good account of suggestions and concerns. A very small minority feel that their children are making insufficient progress. Inspection findings agree that a significant minority of pupils are capable of achieving more highly.
Ofsted invited all the registered parents and carers of pupils registered at English Martyrs Catholic Primary School to complete a questionnaire about their views of the school.
In the questionnaire, parents and carers were asked to record how strongly they agreed with 13 statements about the school.
The inspection team received 68 completed questionnaires by the end of the on-site inspection. In total, there are 251 pupils registered at the school.
|My child enjoys school||49||72||18||26||1||1||0||0|
|The school keeps my child safe||50||74||16||24||1||1||1||1|
|My school informs me about my child's progress||38||56||26||38||2||3||2||3|
|My child is making enough progress at this school||36||53||27||40||3||4||0||0|
|The teaching is good at this school||40||59||26||38||1||1||0||0|
|The school helps me to support my child's learning||37||54||27||40||4||6||0||0|
|The school helps my child to have a healthy lifestyle||41||60||25||37||2||3||0||0|
|The school makes sure that my child is well prepared for the future (for example changing year group, changing school, and for children who are finishing school, entering further or higher education, or entering employment)||34||50||28||41||2||3||0||0|
|The school meets my child's particular needs||40||59||23||34||3||4||0||0|
|The school deals effectively with unacceptable behaviour||30||44||29||43||5||7||3||4|
|The school takes account of my suggestions and concerns||28||41||35||51||2||3||1||1|
|The school is led and managed effectively||40||59||25||37||2||3||0||0|
|Overall, I am happy with my child's experience at this school||47||69||19||28||2||3||0||0|
The table above summarises the responses that parents and carers made to each statement. The percentages indicate the proportion of parents and carers giving that response out of the total number of completed questionnaires. Where one or more parents and carers chose not to answer a particular question, the percentages will not add up to 100%.
|Grade 1||Outstanding||These features are highly effective. An oustanding school provides exceptionally well for all its pupils' needs.|
|Grade 2||Good||These are very positive features of a school. A school that is good is serving its pupils well.|
|Grade 3||Satisfactory||These features are of reasonable quality. A satisfactory school is providing adequately for its pupils.|
|Grade 4||Inadequate||These features are not of an acceptable standard. An inadequate school needs to make significant improvement in order to meet the needs of its pupils. Ofsted inspectors will make further visits until it improves.|
|Overall effectiveness judgement (percentage of schools)|
|Type of school||Outstanding||Good||Satisfactory||Inadequate|
|Pupil referral |
the progress and success of a pupil in their learning, development or training.
the standard of the pupils' work shown by test and examination results and in lessons.
|Capacity to improve:|
the proven ability of the school to continue improving. Inspectors base this judgement on what the school has accomplished so far and on the quality of its systems to maintain improvement.
|Leadership and management:|
the contribution of all the staff with responsibilities, not just the headteacher, to identifying priorities, directing and motivating staff and running the school.
how well pupils acquire knowledge, develop their understanding, learn and practise skills and are developing their competence as learners.
inspectors form a judgement on a school's overall effectiveness based on the findings from their inspection of the school. The following judgements, in particular, influence what the overall effectiveness judgement will be.
the rate at which pupils are learning in lessons and over longer periods of time. It is often measured by comparing the pupils' attainment at the end of a key stage with their attainment when they started.
Thank you very much for making the inspectors so welcome and answering all our questions. We really enjoyed finding out about your work and the ways in which you help around the school.
Yours is a satisfactory school and you make satisfactory progress. You really enjoy school and most of you feel very safe. We agree with you when you say adults take good care of you and that your school helps you to be healthy. Your behaviour is good and you are very polite. You are kind and considerate to others. Well done! In some lessons you are not always challenged to work at a fast pace and the work is sometimes too easy, especially for those pupils who are working at the higher levels.
We have asked your headteacher, other staff and governors to do some important things to make the school even better for you. These are to raise standards in English, mathematics and science particularly for those of you working at the higher levels by making sure that work is not too easy. To make sure that teachers' marking helps you to know what you need to do next to improve. Also to make sure that senior leaders carefully monitor the teaching and learning in classrooms to ensure that you always make good progress.
You can help by working hard and using the new things you have learnt in your 'maths passport' lessons to become really good mathematicians!
|Any complaints about the inspection or the report should be made following the procedures set out in the guidance 'Complaining about inspections', which is available from Ofsted's website: ofsted.gov.uk. If you would like Ofsted to send you a copy of the guidance, please telephone 08456 404045, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.|