Our Lady's Catholic Primary School
phone: 01925 633270
headteacher: Mrs Julie Johnson
210 pupils capacity: 107% full
115 boys 51%
110 girls 49%
Last updated: June 19, 2014
Primary — Voluntary Aided School
- Education phase
- Religious character
- Roman Catholic
- Establishment type
- Voluntary Aided School
- Establishment #
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 362062, Northing: 387095
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 53.379, Longitude: -2.5718
- Accepting pupils
- 3—11 years old
- Census date
- Jan. 16, 2014
- Ofsted last inspection
- Jan. 24, 2012
- Diocese of Shrewsbury
- Region › Const. › Ward
- North West › Warrington South › Latchford East
- Urban > 10k - less sparse
- Free school meals %
- 0.2 miles Sir Thomas Boteler High School WA41JL
- 0.2 miles Sir Thomas Boteler Church of England High School WA41JL (744 pupils)
- 0.3 miles Alderman Bolton Junior School WA41PW
- 0.3 miles Alderman Bolton Infant School WA41PW
- 0.3 miles Alderman Bolton Community Primary School WA41PW (311 pupils)
- 0.5 miles St Augustine's Catholic Primary School WA41PY (150 pupils)
- 0.5 miles St Thomas' CofE Primary School WA42AP (224 pupils)
- 0.5 miles Priestley College WA46RD
- 0.8 miles Warrington St James's CofE Primary School WA41AP
- 0.8 miles St Werburgh's CofE Primary School WA46BB
- 0.8 miles Cardinal Newman Catholic High School WA41RX (774 pupils)
- 0.8 miles Irwell County Infant School WA46BB
- 0.8 miles Latchford CofE Primary School WA41AP (206 pupils)
- 0.9 miles Stockton Heath Primary School WA46HX (330 pupils)
- 0.9 miles The Cobbs Infant School WA43DB (361 pupils)
- 0.9 miles St Elphin's (Fairfield) CofE Voluntary Aided Primary School WA12GN (359 pupils)
- 1 mile St Monica's Catholic Primary School WA43AG (173 pupils)
- 1.1 mile Bradshaw Community Primary School WA42QN (174 pupils)
- 1.1 mile Broomfields Junior School WA43AH (426 pupils)
- 1.2 mile Grappenhall St Wilfrid's CofE Primary School WA43EP (395 pupils)
- 1.2 mile Bridgewater High School WA43AE (1688 pupils)
- 1.3 mile Oakwood Avenue Junior School WA13SZ
- 1.3 mile Oakwood Avenue County Infant School WA13SZ
- 1.3 mile Thelwall Community Infant School WA42HF (130 pupils)
Our Lady's Catholic Primary
Wash Lane, Latchford, Warrington, Cheshire, WA4 1JD
|Inspection dates||3–4 March 2015|
|Overall effectiveness||This inspection:||Good||2|
|Leadership and management||Good||2|
|Behaviour and safety of pupils||Good||2|
|Quality of teaching||Good||2|
|Achievement of pupils||Good||2|
|Early years provision||Good||2|
Summary of key findings for parents and pupils
This is a good school.
It is not yet an outstanding school because
| Our Lady’s is a happy school where relationships |
Pupils are proud of their school. Their behaviour is
Teachers and teaching assistants strive to do their
Pupils of all abilities, including disabled pupils,
Pupils are keen to learn, well mannered and
between adults and pupils are excellent.
good inside and outside classrooms. They have
positive attitudes toward learning.
best. Teaching is consistently good.
those who have special educational needs, those
who are disadvantaged, and those at the early
stages of learning English as an additional
language, make good progress.
polite. They feel safe and happy in school.
Attendance is average.
| Pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural |
The headteacher is passionate about improving the
The governing body is highly skilled and effective at
Governors have a good understanding of the
The school works closely with parents. Parents hold
The early years provision is led well. It provides a
development is outstanding. It prepares them very
well for life in modern Britain.
school. She has developed a very strong staff team.
holding the school to account.
school, its strengths and how it can become even
very positive views about their children’s progress,
safety and happiness at school.
good start to children's education, preparing them
well to move into Year 1.
| The quality of teaching does not result in |
Pupils do not have enough opportunities to
outstanding achievement for pupils. The work set
does not always provide enough challenge,
especially for the most able pupils. This limits the
rate at which pupils make progress.
practise and apply higher-level punctuation and
grammatical skills in extended pieces of writing.
| Pupils do not always receive enough guidance |
about how to improve their work. When advice is
given, teachers do not always give pupils time to
respond to it or check that they have acted upon it.
Information about this inspection
- Inspectors observed teaching and learning in a range of lessons. In addition, they made a number of short
visits to lessons and listened to pupils from Year 2 and Year 6 read. They also gathered other evidence
related to the quality of teaching over time.
- The inspectors observed two lessons jointly with the headteacher. They also observed the headteacher
reporting back to teachers on her findings regarding teaching, learning and pupils’ achievement.
- Inspectors held meetings with the headteacher and senior and middle leaders. Inspectors also met with
five governors, including the Chair of the Governing Body.
- The inspectors took into account the 18 responses to the online questionnaire, Parent View. They also
spoke informally with groups of parents who brought their children to school.
- Inspectors considered the views expressed in the 21 responses to the staff questionnaire.
- Inspectors observed the school at work and scrutinised the work in pupils’ books, the school’s own data
on pupils’ current progress, improvement plans, planning and monitoring information and minutes of
governing body meetings. Inspectors also reviewed records relating to behaviour and attendance and
documents relating to safeguarding and child protection.
|Mr Anthony Kingston, Lead inspector||Additional Inspector|
|Mr Mark Williams||Additional Inspector|
Information about this school
- Our Lady’s is slightly smaller than the average-sized primary school.
- The proportion of disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs is average.
- The proportion of disadvantaged pupils, eligible for support through the pupil premium, is slightly above
average. The pupil premium is additional funding that the school receives for those pupils known to be
eligible for free school meals and those children who are in the care of the local authority.
- The very large majority of pupils are of White British heritage.
- The proportion of pupils who join the school part-way through their education is well above average. The
majority of these pupils are at the early stages of learning English as an additional language.
- The early years comprises a Nursery class, which offers part-time places in both the morning and the
afternoon, and a Reception class, where children attend on a full-time basis.
- The school meets the government’s current floor standards which are the minimum expectations for
pupils’ attainment and progress in English and mathematics.
What does the school need to do to improve further?
- Improve teaching and increase the rate at which pupils make progress, particularly the most able, by
making sure that teachers always:
challenge pupils, especially the most able, by consistently setting demanding work in lessons
ensure marking and feedback help pupils to know exactly how they can improve their work
ensure pupils are always given time to correct and improve their work by acting on the guidance in their
- Raise pupils’ attainment in writing, especially for the most able, by providing pupils with more well-
planned opportunities to write at length.
|The leadership and management||are good|
- The school is well led by a determined, caring and enthusiastic headteacher, ably supported by all the
staff and by a well-informed and active governing body. The headteacher is highly respected by all who
work alongside her. The staff are a cohesive team and work extremely well together.
- Systems to check on the school’s performance are rigorous. Senior leaders and governors are reflective
and outward looking. Consequently, they have an accurate view of exactly what they need to do to
strengthen school performance even more. Actions are clear and their impact evaluated to ensure
improvements are sustained.
- Senior leaders and teachers with subject responsibilities have put in place a thorough system to check the
quality of teaching and for managing staff performance. Teachers feel supported by this monitoring
process and welcome feedback about their performance in lessons. Feedback is sharp and focused.
Targets for improvement are clear and training and support ensure they are met. This leads to
improvements in teaching and learning. Teachers’ pay is linked closely to their performance; the targets
set for teachers, which are linked to pupils’ progress, are challenging.
- The school checks that all pupils have equality of opportunity to succeed. Overall, the needs of all groups
of pupils, especially those who have special educational needs, those who are disadvantaged or those who
are at the early stages of learning English as an additional language, are identified promptly and support is
provided where most needed.
- The local authority has a very good relationship with the school. It presents challenge and support in
- The curriculum is exciting and captures the interests of pupils as well as catering very well for their
individual needs. It is enriched by many lunchtime and after-school activities such as dodgeball, art club,
rugby, knitting and the Mini-Vinnies, who are responsible for arranging charity events. These help pupils
to broaden their skills and extend their experiences.
- The school works hard to make sure pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural experiences are rich and
varied. For example, respect for others is reinforced through the teaching of cultures and countries,
visiting speakers to the school and the range of faiths pupils explore as they move through the school. In
this way, pupils are very well prepared for life in modern Britain.
- The school uses successfully the primary school sport premium to extend the coaching skills of staff, boost
participation rates by pupils and broaden their sporting experiences.
- Safeguarding arrangements meet statutory requirements. Pupils and parents overwhelmingly support the
view that the school is a safe and friendly place.
- The governance of the school:
Governors are very effective in supporting and challenging school leaders. They know the school very
well and visit it regularly. They keep themselves well informed about all aspects of school life.
Governors bring a range of very valuable skills to the school, which they use to good effect. They
monitor the school’s performance thoroughly and are becoming increasingly challenging in the
questions they ask leaders in order to hold the school to account. They are familiar with the Teachers’
Standards and use them to help manage teachers’ performance. They have a clear understanding of the
link between teachers’ performance and salary progression. They oversee well the spending of pupil
premium funding and the primary school sport premium. Governors are aware of the positive impact
such spending is having on pupils’ achievement and their physical well-being.
|The behaviour and safety of pupils||are good|
- The behaviour of pupils is good. Pupils are proud of their school. Their good attitudes and the respect,
care and consideration they show one another make a significant contribution to the sense of belonging to
a community in which everyone is valued.
- Woven throughout Our Lady’s is the fostering of pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
Consequently, pupils learn about the need for tolerance of different ideas and ways of life and are
adamant that everyone should be treated with equal respect and consideration. This helps them to
develop good relationships with one another and contributes to the caring and harmonious atmosphere in
- Staff encourage pupils throughout the school to take keen interest in both the running of the school and in
the world around them. As a result, many relish the opportunities they have to become, for example,
active members of the school council and the Mini-Vinnies. Others are proud to act as ambassadors when
escorting visitors around the school or to take on the role of translators for parents and their children who,
on entering the school, are at the early stages of learning English as an additional language. This is
exceptionally successful in helping pupils new to England to settle quickly into the school.
- A very small proportion of pupils find it difficult to meet the high standards of behaviour of their
classmates. However, staff are skilled at managing pupils’ behaviour and helping them to make marked
improvements. This was exemplified by one pupil who said, ‘They help to calm me down and when I do I
can get on better with my friends and my work.’
- Attendance has improved rapidly and is now average.
- The school’s work to keep pupils safe and secure is good. Safeguarding procedures are comprehensive
and fully meet current requirements.
- Pupils say that they feel safe in school because adults look after them really well. This was exemplified by
one pupil who said, ‘The teachers are kind and bubbly. I feel protected by them because they are always
there to help us.’ All parents who responded to Parent View agree that their children are happy and safe
- Pupils trust their teachers and have a good understanding of personal safety, especially how to keep
themselves safe on the internet, when crossing the road and when on their bicycles. They understand
what is and what is not bullying and say that it rarely happens in school.
|The quality of teaching||is good|
- Teaching is consistently good throughout the school. This is reflected in pupils’ good progress over time in
writing and especially in reading and mathematics. The work in pupils’ books confirms that pupils make
- Teaching is characterised by teachers’ enthusiasm, their skilful and challenging questioning to probe
pupils’ thinking and their good subject knowledge. These enable staff to provide pupils with precise
explanations. This is successful in helping pupils to move on quickly in their learning and overcome
barriers to their learning.
- The quality of relationships with pupils is a strength of the school. There is a very impressive level of
mutual respect and trust. This has allowed pupils to develop a willing-to-have-a-go attitude because they
are not afraid of making mistakes.
- Teachers assess the attainment and progress of pupils regularly and accurately. Generally, they use this
information to set work that is matched well to the different ability groups within each class.
- Teachers have high expectations of what most pupils can achieve and plan lessons accordingly. However,
on occasions, teachers do not plan work that is hard enough, especially for the most able pupils, and so
the progress of some pupils is not as rapid as it might be.
- The teaching of reading is particularly strong throughout the school. Pupils enjoy the opportunities given
by the school to read for pleasure and to extend their skills through reading groups. These help to develop
pupils’ skills of comprehension and inference.
- The teaching of mathematics is also strong. Teachers ensure that pupils have many varied opportunities
to apply their skills to real-life contexts and investigations. For example, in Year 6, pupils calculated the
areas of rooms in a house and worked out the cost of carpeting them. Others investigated the relationship
between the circumference and the area of circles.
- The teaching of writing is good, particularly grammar, punctuation and spelling. However, pupils do not
have enough opportunities to write extended pieces of writing. This limits the opportunities of some
pupils, especially the most able, to practise their skills at the levels of which they are capable and thereby
reach the higher Level 5.
- Mostly, teachers give good consideration to pupils’ varying needs so that the work provided meets their
needs and abilities. Teachers and skilled teaching assistants adapt work successfully so it is at the right
level to meet pupils’ needs. This includes for pupils who find learning more difficult and those who are at
the early stages of learning English as an additional language.
- Teaching assistants provide crucial support for learning. They routinely liaise very closely with teachers,
assessing the effectiveness of their support to promote good standards of achievement. They are often
responsible for specific group tuition, using an effective range of strategies to help pupils who have special
educational needs and those who are in danger of falling behind. They are skilled and highly effective in
giving pupils a boost to their learning.
- Marking does not always give pupils clear enough advice on how they can improve their work. Even when
advice is given, teachers do not do enough to make sure pupils have made corrections or acted on the
advice to speed up learning.
|The achievement of pupils||is good|
- The number of pupils who join the school part-way through their education is rising rapidly. Many of these
pupils are at the early stages of learning English as an additional language. These pupils make good
progress but do not always attain national standards.
- From their starting points at the beginning of Year 1, pupils make good progress. However, in 2014,
standards by the end of Key Stage 1 dipped in reading, writing and mathematics to well-below average.
This was due to the composition of the year group, particularly the high proportion of pupils who joined
the school throughout Years 1 and 2.
- Since 2010, standards reached by pupils by the end of Year 6 in reading, writing and mathematics have
been average. However, in 2014, standards dipped to below average. This was due to the composition of
the year group. In particular, there was a small but significant proportion of pupils who joined the school
throughout Key Stage 2. These pupils were at the early stages of learning English as an additional
language. Nevertheless, the proportion of pupils who made expected and better than expected progress
was close to the national average. Hence, pupils in Year 6 who had been at the school throughout the
whole of Key Stage 2 achieved average standards in reading, writing and mathematics and above-average
standards in grammar, punctuation and spelling.
- The school’s own data and inspection evidence indicate that the progress made by all groups of pupils in
all current year groups is above average. Standards are improving rapidly.
- Reading is a priority throughout the school. The teaching of linking letters and sounds (phonics) is
enabling younger pupils to tackle new and unfamiliar words with greater confidence. This is reflected in
the results of the Year 1 phonics check, which show that standards are consistently average.
- As pupils move through the school, they are encouraged to read often and widely. This results in instilling
in pupils a love of reading. This was exemplified by a group of Year 6 pupils who agreed that, ’The tension
which builds up and your own imagination sucks you into the stories. It’s like experiencing everything
yourself.’ Pupils throw themselves fully into characterisation. They read with expression and show they
understand what characters may be feeling or thinking.
- Pupils’ writing is helped by the emphasis that is given to reading. This boosts the range of words the
pupils understand and use, and helps them to speak and explain ideas in lessons. This is increasingly
reflected throughout pupils’ writing, enhancing the fluency and meaning of what they write. For example,
in Year 6, one pupil who composed a poem in the style of Dr Martin Luther King’s speech,
‘I have a
wrote, ‘I have a dream that one day worries will float away like butterflies in the spring breeze.’
- Pupils are competent mathematicians. Their ability to complete numerical calculations and apply them to
problem-solving activities is secure.
- Pupils are proud of their achievements. This is reflected in the high standard of presentation in all of their
books. Disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs make good progress. This is
because accurate assessment of their skills ensures that extra support and work in lessons successfully
address their specific learning needs.
- Disadvantaged pupils in Year 6 in 2014 achieved standards one term behind non-disadvantaged pupils
nationally in reading, two-and-a-half terms behind in writing and two terms behind in mathematics. In
comparison to other pupils in the school, disadvantaged pupils were one-and-a-half terms ahead in
reading, of a similar standard in writing, and one-and-a-half terms behind in mathematics. In all current
year groups, disadvantaged pupils are making progress at least in line with, and sometimes at faster rates
than, their school peers. As a result, standards are rising and gaps between disadvantaged and non-
disadvantaged pupils are closing rapidly.
- Pupils who join the school late in their primary school careers and who speak English as an additional
language make good progress in speaking. They close the gaps in their learning with their classmates,
especially in writing in sentences, vocabulary and fluency in their reading and writing.
- Virtually all parents who responded to Parent View or spoke with inspectors believe their children are
taught well, make good progress and are set appropriate homework for their age.
|The early years provision||is good|
- Children start in the early years with skills which, for the overwhelming majority, are below and for some,
are significantly below, those typical for their age. This is especially so in communication, reading, writing
and personal and social development.
- Children make good progress because of skilful teaching and carefully planned activities which are
matched to individual children’s interests and needs. As a result, by the time children leave early years at
the end of the Reception Year, the proportion reaching a good level of development is now closing rapidly
on the national average.
- Critical to children’s good progress is the focus on developing children’s personal skills. Adults carefully
explain how to behave and what the routines are and they encourage children to work and play together.
- The behaviour of children is good. When children first enter the Nursery, they are helped to learn what is
expected of them and to behave as part of a community. As a result, they quickly learn to be polite and
caring. Relationships are excellent. Consequently, children are happy and feel safe and secure.
- Much thought goes into developing children’s language skills. Daily opportunities to work in groups,
listening to one another and discussing ideas, make a significant improvement to their language
development. Those children who enter the early years speaking English as an additional language are
supported extremely well.
- The quality of teaching is good and provides a secure base for future learning. A well-planned balance of
adult-led activities and opportunities for children to explore for themselves mean that children can practise
the skills they learn as they play. Adults track the progress children make and use this information
carefully to plan the next steps in their learning.
- Links with parents are strong. Staff encourage parents to involve themselves in their children’s education
from the outset. Parents are appreciative of the time and effort staff put in to help their children feel
happy and secure.
- The Nursery and Reception class teachers lead and manage the provision well. Adults work together
effectively to ensure all children make good progress. They monitor the children’s individual progress
closely on a daily basis and use this information effectively to plan next steps for children’s learning.
What inspection judgements mean
|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
|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 |
|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 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.
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
|Unique reference number||111305|
This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.
|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||212|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Chair||Mr Pat Gibbons|
|Headteacher||Mrs Julie Johnson|
|Date of previous school inspection||24 January 2012|
|Telephone number||01925 633270|
|Fax number||01925 654584|