School etc

Holy Rood Catholic Junior School Closed - academy converter July 31, 2011

see new Holy Cross Catholic Primary School

Holy Rood Catholic Junior School
Upham Road

phone: 01793 *** ***

headteacher: Mrs Catherine Inskip


school holidays: via Swindon council

Primary — Voluntary Aided School

Education phase
Religious character
Roman Catholic
Establishment type
Voluntary Aided School
Establishment #
Close date
July 31, 2011
Reason closed
Academy Converter
OSGB coordinates
Easting: 415940, Northing: 184088
GPS coordinates
Latitude: 51.555, Longitude: -1.7715
Accepting pupils
7—11 years old
Ofsted last inspection
Oct. 22, 2009
Diocese of Clifton
Region › Const. › Ward
South West › South Swindon › Walcot and Park North
Urban > 10k - less sparse

rooms to rent in Swindon

Schools nearby

  1. Holy Cross Catholic Primary School SN31DH (272 pupils)
  2. 0.3 miles Lainesmead Primary School SN31EA (354 pupils)
  3. 0.3 miles Lainesmead Junior School SN31EA
  4. 0.4 miles The Drove Junior School SN13AH
  5. 0.4 miles Drove Infants' School SN12LB
  6. 0.4 miles King William Street Church of England Primary School SN13LB
  7. 0.4 miles Holy Rood Catholic Infant School SN12LU
  8. 0.4 miles Drove Primary School SN13AH
  9. 0.4 miles Priory College Swindon SN14AS
  10. 0.4 miles Holy Rood Catholic Infant School SN12LU (180 pupils)
  11. 0.4 miles Churchfields Academy SN31ER (842 pupils)
  12. 0.4 miles Drove Primary School SN13AH (625 pupils)
  13. 0.4 miles King William Street Church of England Primary School SN13LB (196 pupils)
  14. 0.5 miles Lethbridge Junior School SN14BY
  15. 0.5 miles Lethbridge Infants' School SN14BY
  16. 0.5 miles Churchfields School SN31HQ
  17. 0.5 miles Lethbridge Primary School SN14BY
  18. 0.5 miles Lethbridge Primary School SN14BY (482 pupils)
  19. 0.5 miles Wizard Education SN13JG
  20. 0.6 miles Gilberts Hill Infant School SN13PL
  21. 0.6 miles New College Swindon SN31AH
  22. 0.7 miles St Joseph's Catholic College SN33LR
  23. 0.7 miles St Joseph's Catholic College SN33LR (1233 pupils)
  24. 0.7 miles The Croft Primary School SN31RY (95 pupils)

List of schools in Swindon

Holy Rood Catholic Junior School

Inspection report

Unique Reference Number126485
Local AuthoritySwindon
Inspection number340988
Inspection dates22–23 October 2009
Reporting inspectorJoyce Cox

This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.
Type of schoolJunior
School categoryVoluntary aided
Age range of pupils7–11
Gender of pupilsMixed
Number of pupils on the school roll269
Appropriate authorityThe governing body
ChairMonsignor Canon Richard Twomey
HeadteacherTony McAteer
Date of previous school inspection 6 February 2007
School addressUpham Road
Telephone number01793 527679
Fax number01793 491647
Email address reveal email: h…

Age group7–11
Inspection dates22–23 October 2009
Inspection number340988

© Crown copyright 2009


This inspection was carried out by three additional inspectors. The inspectors visited 14 lessons, and held meetings with governors, staff and groups of pupils. They observed the school's work, and looked at documentation relating to self-evaluation, the tracking of pupils' progress and the safeguarding of pupils. They analysed 115 parental questionnaires, 18 staff questionnaires and 91 pupil questionnaires. Inspectors looked at pupils' work, the latest school improvement partner's monitoring report and the school improvement plan.

The inspection team reviewed many aspects of the school's work. It looked in detail at the following:

    • the reasons for the dip in attainment in writing and the success of the school's actions to remedy this
    • the progress made by different groups of pupils with a particular focus on pupils from minority ethnic backgrounds
    • how successfully staff use assessment information to match work to pupils' various capabilities and learning needs
    • the effectiveness of the monitoring by the leadership team and governors, of the actions taken to address perceived areas for improvement to ensure the good progress of all groups of learners.

Information about the school

This junior school is larger than average and serves an extensive parish that covers the whole of Swindon. Many pupils travel some distance to receive a Catholic education and the school is oversubscribed. A third of the pupils speak English as an additional language. Eleven languages other than English are spoken with Konkani and Polish being the most frequent other languages. Five pupils are at an early stage of speaking English. A below average proportion of the pupils have special educational needs and/or disabilities which are mainly related to moderate learning and speech, language and communication difficulties. The school has a number of awards, including Healthy School Status, Activemark, the Basic Skills Quality Mark and a Dyslexia Friendly School Award. A new headteacher joined the school in September 2009.

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

Inspection judgements

Overall effectiveness: how good is the school?


The school's capacity for sustained improvement


Main findings

Holy Rood is a good school with several outstanding features. It has consolidated and improved its performance since the last inspection. Strong Catholic principles lie at the heart of the school's work and are the basis of the outstanding care, guidance and support provided for all pupils. Therefore all pupils, including the most vulnerable, make good progress and pupils feel extremely secure. Pupils' excellent spiritual, moral, social and cultural development clearly reflects the school's mission statement to be a 'welcoming school family where everyone is equally important'. Consequently, pupils have an excellent insight, based on first-hand experiences, into their own and others' cultures. Parents are very positive about the school, and make such comments as, 'the pastoral care is excellent and academically pupils are set challenging but realistic targets'. Behaviour is outstanding and pupils make a good contribution to school life. The school works closely with all parents and makes good use of external agencies and bilingual staff to ensure that pupils who have specific learning or language needs receive good quality support.

Most pupils join the school with average starting points, achieve well and reach above average standards by the end of Year 6. Pupils make good progress throughout the school as a result of the good teaching they receive. Teachers involve pupils in interesting activities, which encourages them to talk about their work, persevere and enjoy learning. However, although most teachers use assessment information well to plan work to meet pupils' various capabilities, work sampling shows that on some occasions all pupils receive the same work, and this restricts their progress.

The new headteacher has wasted no time in establishing an accurate view of the school's strengths and areas to develop. He is skillfully building on the good leadership and management seen during the last inspection. He has correctly identified the need to improve the way pupils' attainment is tracked so that it is easier to identify the achievement of specific groups of pupils. In addition, he has accurately observed that some of the school's self-evaluation procedures require updating. Governors provide effective support and there has been good improvement since the last inspection in terms of raised standards. The staff are a strong team with a common purpose and shared determination to ensure all pupils achieve their potential both personally and academically. This, together with sustained progress since the last inspection, indicates that the school has a good capacity for further improvement.

What does the school need to do to improve further?

  • Further improve the quality of pupils' learning in lessons by:
    • ensuring all staff make consistently good use of assessment data to plan pupils' learning to meet their various capabilities.
  • Strengthen leadership and management by:
    • revising the way pupils' progress is tracked throughout the school so that it is easier to identify the achievement of specific groups of pupils
    • making sure all the relevant self-evaluation procedures are up to date.

Outcomes for individuals and groups of pupils


Standards at the end of Year 6 have improved since the last inspection and are above average in English, mathematics and science. Over the last two years, senior leaders have observed that pupils did not perform quite as well in writing as in the other subjects. They put effective measures into place such as ensuring pupils acquired accurate punctuation and spelling skills and had clear targets for improvement. These measures, together with a new writing scheme, gave staff and pupils more confidence and consequently raised standards considerably. Pupils learn good basic skills and also embed good personal skills for the future. They learn effectively and say they enjoy their lessons, particularly when they contain a clear practical task. They respond well to praise and listen carefully. They concentrate best when activities are short and varied and they understand the purpose of what they are doing. Pupils who have special educational needs and/or disabilities are supported well in lessons, usually with an extra adult and specially adapted work. As a result, they make progress which is at least good. Those pupils who speak English as an additional language make good progress. They feel very safe and secure and staff make a point of checking that pupils can understand the task and specific vocabulary.

Pupils say they feel very safe in school at all times. They are highly aware of what safety means in their own lives with regards to using the internet and mobile phones responsibly. They have a good knowledge of how to take care of their health and take good advantage of the many opportunities for sport the school offers. Their consistently thoughtful behaviour is instrumental in creating an extremely positive and welcoming ethos. Pupils are very open to new ideas and value and totally respect the cultural diversity in their school. They are fully involved in raising money for charity through social and cultural events and conscientiously and maturely undertake their roles as school councillors, peer mediators, prefects and young leaders. However, there is less evidence of pupils reaching out to and working with the local community.

These are the grades for pupils' outcomes

Pupils' achievement and the extent to which they enjoy their learning
Taking into account:
          Pupils' attainment¹
          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 safe1
Pupils' behaviour1
The extent to which pupils adopt healthy lifestyles2
The extent to which pupils contribute to the school and wider community2
The extent to which pupils develop workplace and other skills that will contribute to their future economic well-being
Taking into account:
          Pupils' attendance¹
The extent of pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development1

1 The grades for attainment and attendance are: 1 is high; 2 is above average; 3 is broadly average; and 4 is low

How effective is the provision?

Teaching methods are chosen well to motivate pupils, and teachers ensure excellent behaviour through establishing clear routines and high expectations. They make sure activities are brisk and focused so that no time is wasted. Pupils' enthusiasm is captured through lively teaching alongside learning through practical activities. Some aspects of assessment are working well. Pupils know and use their individual literacy and numeracy targets. Teachers use questions effectively as a means to establish how well individual pupils and groups understand their learning. In some lessons pupils are given useful success criteria at different levels of difficulty, so that various ability groups have something specific to aim for and they can give teachers clear feedback on whether they have understood. However, a scrutiny of pupils' work reveals that in a small minority of lessons all pupils receive the same work to do regardless of their various capabilities. This practice clearly impairs pupils' progress.

Teaching assistants play an effective part in lessons, often teaching the lesson's content at an adapted level to small groups of lower-attaining pupils. Bilingual Konkani and Polish-speaking staff provide good support to those pupils in the early stages of speaking English by focusing on language development and specific word meaning in all activities. As a result, these pupils thoroughly enjoy their work and become increasingly confident and fluent in English. The key to the good progress that the most vulnerable pupils make in the school is the excellent care, support and guidance they receive and the security this gives them. Individual needs, including social or health-related needs, as well as learning difficulties, are meticulously explored and staff consistently 'go the extra mile' to ensure outstanding provision.

While good overall, the curriculum provides some memorable learning experiences. These include many special events such as a recent much-enjoyed French day. Staff and pupils, finely arrayed in the colours of the 'Tricolor', participated enthusiastically in a wide variety of activities including an early breakfast of croissants, baguettes and cheese. The curriculum is planned carefully to meet the needs and aspirations of all the pupils. Good provision is made for the development of basic skills. Staff use computer technology well to enliven lessons but pupils say they have few chances to use the interactive whiteboards. Pupils of all backgrounds take advantage of the wide range of extra activities the school offers. Horizons are broadened and expectations raised by many trips, visitors and a residential visit for Year 6 pupils.

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 partnerships2
The effectiveness of care, guidance and support1

How effective are leadership and management?

An ambitious vision is embedded well among the staff and governors and the drive for improvement is good. The new headteacher is successfully building on this and is spearheading even more improvements in terms of establishing a more precise tracking system to easily identify the achievements of various groups of pupils. He has inherited an accurate picture of the school's strengths and areas of weakness but the school self-evaluation form is out of date. All staff and governors are involved in development planning and this gives a strong sense of shared ownership of the school's priorities. There is a clear focus on monitoring the quality of teaching with subject leaders, senior staff and governors involved in the process.

A strong emphasis is placed on child protection and all staff have received relevant training. At the time of the inspection, safeguarding procedures were robust and met all statutory requirements. Governors play a very active role in school life, as they are well informed and knowledgeable. The chair of governors has made a significant contribution to the school over a long period and he is totally committed to improving pupils' life chances and raising their aspirations through high-quality education. The school works well with a range of partners such as local businesses and other schools. Parents are strongly supportive of the school and are particularly complimentary about the new headteacher's approachability and positive nature. These strong partnerships are used effectively to enhance pupils' learning and their personal and social development.

Senior leaders ensure that equality opportunities are promoted effectively. The performance of different groups of pupils is regularly monitored and effective action taken to promote greater equality where necessary. For example, early morning language groups for the Konkani pupils have been established to aid with their comprehension of English vocabulary. These groups have had a good impact on the Goan pupils' attainment and achievement.

The school demonstrates that it makes a strong contribution to promoting community cohesion based on a clear evaluation of its religious, ethnic and socio-economic context. Pupils and staff celebrate the similarities and differences between the different cultures represented in the school.

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 carers2
The effectiveness of partnerships in promoting learning and well-being2
The effectiveness with which the school promotes equality of opportunity and tackles discrimination2
The effectiveness of safeguarding procedures2
The effectiveness with which the school promotes community cohesion2
The effectiveness with which the school deploys resources to achieve value for money2

Views of parents and carers

Virtually all the completed parental questionnaires were positive. Parents commented on the good leadership and excellent staff team including the administration, catering staff and the site manager and the high-quality support which caters so very well for all groups of pupils and the uniquely special atmosphere at Holy Rood. A very small number of parents raised concerns and there were no issues which were relevant to the school as a whole.

Responses from parents and carers to Ofsted's questionnaire

Ofsted invited all the registered parents and carers of pupils registered at Holy Rood Catholic Junior 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 115 completed questionnaires by the end of the on-site inspection. In total, there are 269 pupils registered at the school.

My child enjoys school635552450000
The school keeps my child safe706145390000
My school informs me about my child's progress595154472200
My child is making enough progress at this school524561532200
The teaching is good at this school665747412200
The school helps me to support my child's learning544760521100
The school helps my child to have a healthy lifestyle595154472200
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)585051443300
The school meets my child's particular needs484264561100
The school deals effectively with unacceptable behaviour524558501100
The school takes account of my suggestions and concerns453964562200
The school is led and managed effectively595156490000
Overall, I am happy with my child's experience at this school655749431100

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%.


What inspection judgements mean

Grade 1OutstandingThese features are highly effective. An oustanding school provides exceptionally well for all its pupils' needs.
Grade 2GoodThese are very positive features of a school. A school that is good is serving its pupils well.
Grade 3SatisfactoryThese features are of reasonable quality. A satisfactory school is providing adequately for its pupils.
Grade 4InadequateThese 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 of schools inspected between September 2007 and July 2008

Overall effectiveness judgement (percentage of schools)
Type of schoolOutstandingGoodSatisfactoryInadequate
Nursery schools395830
Primary schools1350334
Secondary schools1740349
Sixth forms1843372
Special schools2654182
Pupil referral
All schools1549325

New school inspection arrangements were introduced on 1 September 2009. This means that inspectors now make some additional judgements that were not made previously.

The data in the table above were reported in the Annual Report of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Education, Children's Services and Skills 2007/08.

Percentages are rounded and do not always add exactly to 100. Secondary school figures include those that have sixth forms, and sixth form figures include only the data specifically for sixth form inspection judgements.

Common terminology used by inspectors


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.

Overall effectiveness:

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 school's capacity for sustained improvement.
  • Outcomes for individuals and groups of pupils.
  • The quality of teaching.
  • The extent to which the curriculum meets pupils' needs,  including, where relevant, through partnerships.
  • The effectiveness of care, guidance and support.

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.

This letter is provided for the school, parents and
carers to share with their children. It describes Ofsted's
main findings from the inspection of their school.

24 October 2009

Dear Pupils

Inspection of Holy Rood Catholic Junior School, Swindon, SN3 1DH

We really enjoyed visiting your school and I am writing to thank you for two very interesting days. Highlights for us included seeing how much you all enjoyed your French day and looking at the amazing work Year 6 pupils have produced about John Lennon. Thank you to the guides who did a superb job of showing us around the school and to all those who talked to us and filled in our questionnaire. We agree completely with you and your parents that you go to a good school which has excellent features.

The teachers make learning fun and enjoyable and so you make good progress and reach above average standards in your work. You are exceptionally well cared for at school and you receive good support in your learning and in your personal development. A main strength is the effective way in which the headteacher and the deputy headteacher lead the school and make sure it is a welcoming, happy and successful place. We feel you, the pupils, are another huge strength with your excellent behaviour, regular attendance, hard work, and your good contribution to school life. We also noted how much pupils and staff celebrate and respect each other's different cultures and backgrounds.

The headteacher and governors have many good ideas to make the school even better. We agree with all their plans and also feel it would be helpful if all teachers use assessment information carefully to plan your learning so you all do as well as you can. We have also asked senior leaders to improve the way they track your progress through the school and to make sure that staff and governors know what are the strengths and areas for improvement in the school.

Having met you, we are sure you will play your part as well by continuing to work hard and by keeping up your excellent standards of behaviour.

We wish you every success in the future.

Yours faithfully

Joyce Cox

Lead inspector

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: If you would like Ofsted to send you a copy of the guidance, please telephone 08456 404045, or email reveal email: enqu…

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