St Benedict's Catholic Primary School
phone: 0151 5266423
headed by: Mr Michael Phillips
297 pupils capacity: 77% full
115 boys 50%
115 girls 50%
Last updated: July 21, 2014
Primary — Voluntary Aided School
- Education phase
- Religious character
- Roman Catholic
- Establishment type
- Voluntary Aided School
- Establishment #
- Open date
- Sept. 1, 2005
- Reason open
- Result of Amalgamation
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 336011, Northing: 400035
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 53.493, Longitude: -2.966
- Accepting pupils
- 3—11 years old
- Census date
- Jan. 16, 2014
- Ofsted last inspection
- June 3, 2014
- Archdiocese of Liverpool
- Region › Const. › Ward
- North West › Bootle › St Oswald
- Urban > 10k - less sparse
- Free school meals %
- St Benet's Catholic Primary School L307PG
- 0.1 miles St Ambrose Barlow Catholic College L307PQ (384 pupils)
- 0.3 miles Bootle High School L305RN
- 0.5 miles The Grange Primary School L300QS (296 pupils)
- 0.5 miles St Oswald's Church of England Primary School L305RH (238 pupils)
- 0.6 miles St Raymond's Catholic Primary School L300QP
- 0.7 miles Netherton Moss Primary School L303RU (185 pupils)
- 0.8 miles Holy Spirit Catholic Primary School L302NR (198 pupils)
- 0.8 miles Our Lady of Walsingham Catholic Junior School L303SA
- 0.8 miles Our Lady of Walsingham Catholic Infant School L303SA
- 0.8 miles Our Lady of Walsingham Catholic Primary School L303SA (236 pupils)
- 1 mile Netherton Park Primary School and Early Years Unit L301QW
- 1.1 mile IMPACT L302QQ (50 pupils)
- 1.1 mile Daleacre Community Primary School L302QQ
- 1.1 mile Maghull High School L317AW
- 1.1 mile Rowan Park School L210DB (124 pupils)
- 1.1 mile South Sefton College L302DB (535 pupils)
- 1.1 mile Maghull High School L317AW (1135 pupils)
- 1.2 mile Aintree Davenhill Primary School L108LE (463 pupils)
- 1.2 mile Hudson Primary School L315LE (158 pupils)
- 1.2 mile Litherland Moss Primary School L217NW (162 pupils)
- 1.2 mile Maghull Community Primary School L317AN
- 1.2 mile Litherland High School L210DB (834 pupils)
- 1.2 mile School of the Good Shepherd L210DA
St Benedict's Catholic
Copy Lane, Netherton, Bootle, L30 7PG
|Inspection dates||3–4 June 2014|
|Overall effectiveness||This inspection:||Good||2|
|Achievement of pupils||Good||2|
|Quality of teaching||Good||2|
|Behaviour and safety of pupils||Good||2|
|Leadership and management||Good||2|
Summary of key findings for parents and pupils
This is a good school.
It is not yet an outstanding school because
| From low starting points, pupils achieve well |
Teaching is good overall and some teaching
Behaviour in lessons and around the school is
There have been improvements in the way
Pupils feel safe in school and are kept safe by
so that by the time they leave Year 6 they
reach broadly average standards in reading,
writing and mathematics.
good. Pupils really enjoy school and like their
reading, writing and mathematics are taught.
staff that care for them very well. They are
considerate and respectful towards adults and
| The curriculum meets the needs of pupils well |
The headteacher is effectively supported by
Leaders at all levels, including governors, have
and there is a successful programme for
promoting pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and
the deputy headteacher and has the full
confidence of staff and governors. Together
they are a strong team whose members share
the ambition to provide the best for every
maintained the levels of pupils’ achievement
and the quality of teaching through a period of
significant change to the senior leadership
| There is not enough outstanding teaching. |
During some activities, pupils are not
effectively challenged and do not learn as
much as they should.
| In the Year 1 check, too few pupils reach the |
expected standard in matching letters with the
sounds that they make. This is because the
excellent practice that exists in the school is
not always adopted and some pupils are not
fully involved in the lessons.
Information about this inspection
- Inspectors observed teaching and learning in 17 lessons and also observed sessions taken by
teaching assistants. One lesson was observed jointly with the headteacher.
- Inspectors observed and spoke to pupils during lessons and at lunchtime. They met formally
with two groups of pupils and listened to pupils reading.
- Meetings were held with staff, senior leaders and managers, members of the governing body
and a representative from the local authority.
- A range of documents were considered by inspectors, including the school’s analysis of how well
it is doing, the school development plan, information about pupils’ progress, checks on the
quality of teaching, minutes of governing body meetings, and records relating to attendance and
safeguarding. Inspectors also examined work in pupils’ books.
- Inspectors took account of 19 responses to the online questionnaire (Parent View) and spoke
informally to a small group of parents at the start of the school day. They also took account of
pupil safety questionnaires recently distributed by the school.
|Louise Murphy, Lead inspector||Additional Inspector|
|Catherine Beeks||Additional Inspector|
Information about this school
- This school is similar in size to most primary schools.
- The proportion of pupils supported at school action is very near the national average. The
proportion supported at school action plus or with a statement of special educational need is
below that usually found.
- The proportion of pupils known to be eligible for support through the pupil premium (additional
funding for pupils known to be eligible for free school meals and those looked after by the local
authority) is slightly below average.
- The vast majority of pupils are from a White British heritage and speak English as their first
- The school meets the government’s current floor standards, which are the minimum
expectations for pupils’ attainment and progress at the end of Year 6.
- A new headteacher and deputy headteacher have been appointed since the last inspection.
What does the school need to do to improve further?
- Further improve teaching and thereby pupils’ progress by making sure that:
planned activities build on what pupils already know and can do so that they get on with
challenging tasks quickly and make as much progress as possible
when pupils are learning how to match letters with the sounds that they make, the most
successful approaches to supporting learning are consistently adopted and pupils are fully
involved throughout the lessons.
|The achievement of pupils||is good|
- Children enter the Nursery class with skills that are much lower than those typical for their age.
By the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage, they have made good progress. This is because
they benefit from the well-resourced indoor and outdoor learning areas that inspire them to
want to get involved and persevere with their exciting tasks. Pupils join Year 1 well prepared for
the next stage in their learning.
- Although the standards reached by pupils by the end of Key Stage 1 in 2013 in reading, writing
and mathematics were below those seen nationally, the most recent national tests at the end of
Key Stage 1 show that standards are now rising. By the end of Year 6 attainment is broadly
average in reading, writing and mathematics. This confirms that compared to where they
started, pupils at St Benedict’s make good progress.
- The school’s information on pupils’ progress and work seen in pupils’ books suggest that the
current Year 6 pupils who have recently taken the national tests have made even better
progress in reading, writing and mathematics than pupils in previous years.
- School leaders rightly recognise that the proportion of pupils reaching the expected level in the
Year 1 phonics check (a check to see how well pupils match letters to the sounds that they
make) needs to increase. Strategies have been put into place to achieve this, including
appointing additional staff. Though there is some excellent practice, especially in the Nursery
class, there are times when some pupils get too few opportunities to practise their letter sounds
because they have to wait too long for their turn.
- Older pupils who spoke and read to inspectors were very positive about reading and said that
the school encourages them to read books regularly, both at home and during the school day.
Class novels are used effectively across the curriculum. For example, the book
inspired some excellent writing and artwork.
- The school provides a good level of support for disabled pupils and those with special
educational needs. These pupils learn well and make good progress.
- The most able pupils are well provided for, their needs are quickly identified and effective
support is put into place to help them meet their targets.
- In Year 6 in 2013, pupils eligible for free school meals and supported through the pupil premium
funding achieved results that were approximately one term behind those of their classmates in
reading, writing and mathematics. Current school data show that any gaps between eligible
pupils and others are quickly addressed. This reflects the school’s commitment to making sure
that everyone is given the same chance to succeed.
|The quality of teaching||is good|
- Overall, the quality of teaching is good and there are some examples of outstanding practice.
Consequently, pupils are well supported to make good progress in reading, writing and
- Most pupils are clear about what they have to do because teachers explain what they expect
pupils to achieve. A good range of resources are provided to support learning, including prompts
around the classroom that pupils can refer to when they need to.
- There has been a successful focus on improving the quality of pupils’ writing. For example,
pupils watched a production of
The Three Little Pigs
, then each class concentrated on
developing a different form of writing based on the same, well-known, fairy tale theme. This
event, and others like it, provide interesting experiences that motivate pupils and give them a
reason to want to write.
- There has also been a drive to improve the teaching of mathematics. For example, assessment
information is used to identify gaps in learning. Pupils of similar abilities are then taught together
once each week. These sessions are well planned to accurately meet pupils’ learning needs.
- Pupils are making good progress overall. However, there are times when the work given is too
easy for some pupils and too difficult for others. As a result, pupils are not always accurately
challenged. This stops progress from getting any better than good.
- School leaders have put systems in place to improve the impact of teachers’ marking. Teachers’
comments help pupils to make their work even better and completing corrections helps pupils to
learn from their mistakes.
- Teachers question pupils carefully to check their level of understanding and pupils regularly
assess their own level of learning so that staff can provide help quickly when pupils are not sure
about what to do next. Pupils also have opportunities to share their ideas and learn from each
- Effective teamwork between teachers and teaching assistants guarantees a good level of support
for pupils. It contributes well to the learning and progress of all groups of pupils, including the
most able and pupils with additional needs.
|The behaviour and safety of pupils||are good|
- The behaviour of pupils is good. They show respect for each other and the adults around them.
They say that they want to learn and enjoy coming to school. Year 6 pupils who spoke to
inspectors remarked that they really did not want to leave.
- The school environment is well looked after and attractive; impressive displays of pupils’ work
are evident throughout the school. One pupil said to her friend that she loved walking through
the ‘art corridor’ as she pointed out a piece of her work that she was extremely proud of.
- The school councillors gather suggestions from pupils on how they can make their ‘perfect
school’ even better. As a result, they helped to raise money to buy a ‘buddy bench’ and painted
it themselves. This bench is used to provide a quiet place in the playground and to make sure
that all pupils have someone to play with.
- There are pupils at St Benedict’s whose circumstances make them vulnerable. They are very well
supported by the school and their behaviour rarely prevents learning from taking place.
However, there are times when the work provided is not of an appropriate level of challenge and
this leads to some pupils becoming distracted from their learning.
- The school’s work to keep pupils safe and secure is good.
- Pupils feel safe because they know that adults will keep them safe in school. Pupils know about
various forms of bullying and the difference between bullying and falling out. They agree that
bullying is rare and school records confirm this.
- All parents who spoke to the inspectors and the majority of those who responded to the online
questionnaire believe that behaviour is good. They think their children are kept safe and
commented on how happy children are at St Benedict’s.
- Pupils’ attendance has been low in recent years. However, school has worked well with pupils
and their families to improve attendance, which is now at an average level and reflects the
pupils’ enjoyment of school.
|The leadership and management||are good|
- The headteacher is highly ambitious for the school and is clearly focused on continuing to
improve standards. He is well supported by the deputy headteacher, staff and governors. School
leaders have the skills and expertise to make sure that the school continues to improve.
- Targets set for teachers are closely linked to the priorities set out in the school’s planning
documents and both are focused on improving standards. The school’s analysis of how well it is
doing is correct because it is based on regular evaluation of the work that it does.
- Senior leaders check the quality of teaching and learning and put actions into place to address
identified areas for development. For example, staff are supported by a programme of training
and peer coaching to meet their individual needs and school priorities. However, school leaders
recognise that the impact of these actions has not always been checked quickly enough and they
are making appropriate plans to check the impact of actions more rigorously.
- Middle leaders are knowledgeable about all aspects of their areas of responsibility. They are well
supported by senior leaders to develop their skills and work well with other members of staff to
share their expertise.
- The curriculum meets pupils’ needs; it is enhanced by a range of after-school activities and visits
and visitors carefully linked to topic themes. Pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural
awareness is well developed. For example, most classes have had the opportunity to enjoy
watching dancing from countries across the world and all pupils attend the service to celebrate
the achievements of those pupils who graduate from the Children’s University.
- The primary school sport funding is used to pay for additional equipment and sports coaching
from experts who work with pupils and staff. Pupils are also able to use the facilities at the
nearby high school, which means that they have access to a wide range of sporting activities to
help them stay healthy and promote well-being.
- Home-school links are strong, especially for vulnerable pupils and their families. The pastoral
mentor has developed very good relationships with parents. School leaders and governors are
committed to continuing and developing family work still further.
- The local authority provides an appropriate level of support to this good school.
- The governance of the school:
Governors are highly committed to the school and make sure that school leaders are both
supported and challenged. They know about the quality of teaching because they are trained
to analyse pupils’ performance data, visit school regularly and receive comprehensive reports
from the headteacher. Governors check that the pupil premium funding is spent wisely and
has a positive impact on the progress of eligible pupils. They make sure that teachers’ pay is
linked to how effective they are, that pupils and staff are kept safe and that statutory duties,
including sound financial management, are met.
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 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 |
|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 Ofsted inspectors.
|Unique reference number||135085|
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||238|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Date of previous school inspection||6 July 2010|
|Telephone number||0151 526 6423|
|Fax number||0151 531 9530|