St Bernadette's Catholic Primary School
phone: 01543 452921
headteacher: Mrs Ann Taylor Bsc Hons Pgce Npqh
210 pupils capacity: 87% full
105 boys 56%
75 girls 41%
Last updated: June 18, 2014
Primary — Voluntary Aided School
- Education phase
- Religious character
- Roman Catholic
- Establishment type
- Voluntary Aided School
- Establishment #
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 404810, Northing: 305978
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 52.651, Longitude: -1.9303
- Accepting pupils
- 3—11 years old
- Census date
- Jan. 16, 2014
- Ofsted last inspection
- Oct. 15, 2013
- Archdiocese of Birmingham
- Region › Const. › Ward
- West Midlands › Aldridge-Brownhills › Brownhills
- Urban > 10k - less sparse
- Free school meals %
- 0.2 miles Ogley Hay Junior School WS86AE
- 0.2 miles Brownhills School WS87QG (649 pupils)
- 0.3 miles Ogley Hay Nursery School WS86AU (56 pupils)
- 0.3 miles Ogley Hay Infant School WS86AB
- 0.3 miles St James Primary School WS86AE (173 pupils)
- 0.3 miles Chase House School WS86AR (5 pupils)
- 0.5 miles Watling Street Primary School WS87LW (236 pupils)
- 0.6 miles Millfield Primary School WS86BN (203 pupils)
- 0.9 miles Holy Trinity Church of England Primary School WS87EG (234 pupils)
- 1.1 mile Brownhills West Primary School WS87LA (179 pupils)
- 1.2 mile Shire Oak School (A Science College) WS99PA
- 1.2 mile Chasetown Specialist Sports College WS73QW
- 1.2 mile Shire Oak Academy WS99PA (1405 pupils)
- 1.2 mile Erasmus Darwin Academy WS73QW (923 pupils)
- 1.3 mile Chasetown Primary School WS78QL
- 1.4 mile Walsall Wood School WS87BP (237 pupils)
- 1.4 mile Ridgeway Primary School WS74TU (344 pupils)
- 1.4 mile Chasetown Community School WS73QL (68 pupils)
- 1.5 mile Ridgeway Middle School WS78TP
- 1.6 mile St Joseph and St Theresa Catholic Primary WS73XL (209 pupils)
- 1.7 mile St John's Church of England Primary School WS99NA (377 pupils)
- 1.7 mile Oakwood School WS99JS (61 pupils)
- 1.8 mile Castlefort Junior Mixed and Infant School WS99JP (234 pupils)
- 1.8 mile Springhill Primary School WS74UN
St Bernadette's Catholic
Narrow Lane, Walsall, WS8 6HX
|Inspection dates||15−16 October 2013|
|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:
| The school is well led and managed by the |
Pupils make good progress in reading, writing
Pupils’ behaviour in and around school is very
headteacher and the governing body. The
governors effectively challenge and support
the school well.
and mathematics and achieve good standards
at the end of both Key Stage 1 and Key Stage
2, as a result of good teaching over time.
good. They are very proud of their school and
| Parents and carers are positive about the |
Disabled pupils and those with special
school. They praise the staff’s commitments to
keeping their children safe and happy at
educational needs and those supported by the
pupil premium funding make at least as much
progress as other pupils.
| A small minority of teaching requires |
The recently appointed middle leaders are not
improvement. At times pupils’ work is not
matched to their abilities well enough.
yet fully involved in monitoring and
evaluating the quality of teaching.
| The quality of marking in pupils’ books does |
Standards in mathematics are not yet as high
not always help them to improve their work.
as in reading and writing. The school is
continuing to help pupils to make faster
|Inspection report:||St Bernadette’s Catholic Primary School, 15−16 October 2013||2 of 9|
Information about this inspection
- Inspectors visited 15 lessons. Two lessons were observed jointly with the headteacher.
- Meetings were held with pupils, governors, a representative from the local authority, and senior
staff in the school.
- The views of the 24 parents and carers who responded to the survey on Parent View were taken
into account, as well as those gathered through discussions with parents and carers on the
playground. The inspectors also received and considered 11 staff questionnaires.
- Inspectors observed the school’s work, including assembly and hymn practice, and looked at a
wide range of documentation including: national assessment data and the school’s own
assessments; the school’s evaluation of its work; procedures for the management of teachers’
performance; the school development plan; the sports funding premium action plan; and
samples of pupils’ work. They also heard pupils read.
- Inspectors scrutinised the arrangements and records kept to safeguard pupils.
|Michelle Pickering, Lead inspector||Additional Inspector|
|Stephen Palmer||Additional Inspector|
|Inspection report:||St Bernadette’s Catholic Primary School, 15−16 October 2013||3 of 9|
Information about this school
- This is a smaller than average size primary school.
- The proportion of pupils who are supported by school action is slightly above average and the
proportion supported at school action plus or with a statement of special educational needs is
- The proportion of pupils known to be eligible for the pupil premium is equal to the national
average. This is additional funding provided to schools by the government to support pupils
eligible for free school meals, children in the care of the local authority and children with a
parent or carer in the armed services. At the time of the inspection, there were no children from
families in the armed services.
- The percentage of pupils from minority ethnic groups has increased since the last inspection and
is well below average.
- The percentage of pupils who speak English as an additional language is well below average.
- The school meets the government’s current floor standards, which set the minimum expectations
for pupils’ attainment and progress at the end of Year 6.
- The school has been through a period of leadership instability, including the long-term absence
and subsequent resignation of the previous headteacher. The new substantive headteacher is in
her third term leading the school.
- A before- and after-school club operates from the school site.
What does the school need to do to improve further?
- Improve the quality of teaching from good to more frequently outstanding, especially in
mathematics and writing, by improving the use of assessment to meet the needs of pupils of
- Further develop a stimulating curriculum which offers a progression in skills, knowledge and
|Inspection report:||St Bernadette’s Catholic Primary School, 15−16 October 2013||4 of 9|
|The achievement of pupils||is good|
- Many children start at this school with average skills for their age. Their starting points can vary
considerably from year to year but, from their individual starting points, they make good
progress in their early years and by the time they move on to Year 1 their mathematical and
reading skills are close to average when compared to those of others. Pupils continue to make
good progress throughout the rest of the school although achievement is not yet outstanding as
the results for 2013 dipped when compared with those in previous years.
- The phonics screening check in Year 1 last year showed that children were making a good start
in learning to read and spell. These scores were above national figures.
- Pupils make good progress in Key Stage 1 and standards in reading, writing and mathematics
are now above average. In 2013 the proportion of pupils who made good progress was well
- Pupils in Key Stage 1 who are supported by pupil premium funding were achieving higher than
all other pupils. The school has closed the gap between these groups of pupils.
- Standards in Key Stage 2 have been above average since the last inspection, except in 2013.
Pupils do better in mathematics than they do in English. Overall, most make good progress in
improving their literacy skills although they are slightly weaker in writing.
- School checks in the current Years 3 to 6 show that pupils’ progress is good. This indicates that
attainment will continue to rise and be above average. All Year 6 pupils are on track to achieve
above average standards in reading, writing and mathematics.
- Standards at the end of 2013 were not as high as in previous years. This was due to a small
cohort of pupils sitting the tests, with over a third being on the special educational needs
- The attainment of disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs pupils is above
average compared to that of similar pupils. They make at least expected progress in reading and
mathematics and two thirds of the group made at least expected progress in writing.
- Children who are looked after make good progress. The school knows this group of children well
and invests time and resources to ensure they achieve as well as they can.
- Pupils known to be eligible for the pupil premium do well. In 2012, the very small number of
pupils supported by the pupil premium were some two years behind their peers in English and
six months behind in mathematics. Current data show the school is narrowing the gap
significantly between this group of pupils and all other pupils. The funding has been targeted
well and is making a difference to this group of pupils.
- Pupils from minority ethnic groups and those whose first language is not English make the same
progress as their peers in the school.
- The school has not yet received its government sports funding. The school has appropriate plans
to ensure best value for money. It has planned an approach aimed at promoting sport, physical
education and healthy lifestyles, and through a two year staff coaching programme the approach
will be sustainable when the funding ends in two years time. Pupils are enthusiastic about the
additional opportunities this will create for them.
|The quality of teaching||is good|
- A range of teaching was seen by the inspectors. In the lessons that were good there were some
features that were outstanding.
- Pupils’ progress and the monitoring records of the school show teaching is usually good and
sometimes outstanding, for example reading progress in Year 6 is three terms ahead of what
would be expected at this stage.
- Targets are used across the school. They are not yet making a consistent impact on pupils’
progress, particularly in writing and mathematics.
|Inspection report:||St Bernadette's Catholic Primary School, 15−16 October 2013||5 of 9|
- Pupils’ work is generally marked well. The school has recently introduced a new marking
scheme; pupils are now expected to make a written response to the comments from the
teacher. It is not yet developed fully or embedded across the school so has not yet had an
impact on all pupils’ work. Pupils need more guidance about how to respond to and make use of
the feedback from their teachers.
- Work set for pupils is not always suitable. Occasionally, the tasks are either too easy or too
difficult and are not suitably adjusted. This hampers pupils’ progress in both writing and
- Progress is tracked carefully and accurately by the school. This shows that all years groups are
now making more progress than expected in each age range.
- There are good relationships between adults and children; pupils strive to meet the expectations
set by the adults.
- In the best lessons teachers had planned work to meet the needs and the interest of their
pupils, and additional adults were used to promote the learning of a specific group. This ensured
that all pupils were engaged in their learning and could make progress in these lessons.
- Pupils demonstrated a love of reading including those pupils who find reading a challenge. The
school has plans to increase the range of books available for pupils to read.
|The behaviour and safety of pupils||are good|
- Pupils’ behaviour and their enjoyment of learning are good. Pupils are able to work on their own
and in groups. Behaviour is not yet outstanding because in the weaker lessons pupils show too
little engagement in, and enthusiasm for, their learning. Pupils stray off task when the teacher
dominates the discussion or their work is not challenging enough.
- Pupils are very polite and courteous around the school and are happy to talk about their school,
work and learning. They move around the school in a calm and controlled way and help each
- Pupils show good behaviour in assemblies, where the school promotes spiritual and moral
development well. Children are reflective and show empathy when asked to consider those who
are not as fortunate as themselves. They show reverence during prayer time and demonstrate
they know the differences between right and wrong behaviour.
- In their responses to the online questionnaire, many parents and carers said they feel that their
children are happy and safe. The school is also holding some workshop sessions for parents and
carers to help them keep their children safe when they are not in school.
- Pupils know about different types of bullying, but say it is very rare in the school. They are
confident that any incidents would always be dealt with effectively by staff.
- The pupils spoken to said they feel safe in school and showed they had an understanding of
how to keep themselves safe in a range of situations, for example on the internet. They were
able to talk about how the school supports them to learn about keeping safe, for example
through the keeping safe on the internet lessons that they had.
- Relationships between adults and pupils are strong. They demonstrate respect for one another.
- The school has very few incidents of poor behaviour and deals effectively with them if they
occur. It is clear from the school’s records that parents and carers are supportive of the
behaviour strategies and are involved fully if their child has misbehaved.
- Attendance is just below the national average. This is as a result of parents and carers
authorising absence in term time to take family holidays. The recently appointed headteacher
does not hesitate in taking robust action when this occurs.
|The leadership and management||are good|
- Leaders, especially the headteacher, care deeply about their school and have detailed plans to
achieve their high ambitions for pupils. The values of the school are reflected in their sense of
purpose, their caring, their high standards and their drive and commitment. The newly
appointed deputy headteacher is providing additional leadership capacity to the school.
|Inspection report:||St Bernadette's Catholic Primary School, 15−16 October 2013||6 of 9|
- The headteacher and governors made key decisions and instigated changes in Key Stage 1
earlier this year which have resulted in a significant rise in end of Key Stage 1 assessments.
- The headteacher has appointed some skilled middle leaders. They are inexperienced, however
and there are plans for them to be coached and mentored to enable them to make a rapid
impact. The school is working effectively with other local schools to provide this coaching model.
- Some leaders are not involved enough in checking on and improving the school. They are not
systematically involved in the analysis of the impact actions are having on pupils’ progress or the
monitoring and evaluation of teaching and learning.
- The results from the staff survey show that the staff are very committed to the current
leadership of the school and recognise all the hard work that the current leadership has
undertaken since taking up this role.
- All aspects of safeguarding are met to keep pupils safe. The school makes sure that all pupils are
given equal opportunities and that discrimination of any kind is not tolerated.
- The local authority has been supportive of both the headteacher and governing body and has
provided suitable training when requested. It has also provided a review meeting process to
oversee the progress the school has been making.
- Arrangements for managing teachers’ performance are now in place. Teachers have
performance targets linked to the progress of the pupils they teach and to the school’s priorities,
and the headteacher will not authorise salary increases unless targets have been met. Teachers
value the support and training they are given and this has raised the quality of teaching in
- Senior leaders have rightly recognised the need to develop the range of subjects offered at the
school by introducing a curriculum based on a progression of skills. The pupils develop well
socially, morally, spiritually and culturally. For example, they are involved in the life of the parish
organising a weekly Mass in school,a monthly Mass in church and singing in the choir. The
school council is involved in decision making, for example raising funds for CAFOD which is a
- Interesting activities provided outside lessons and specialist sports coaching are attended and
enjoyed by pupils.
- The leaders of the school engage parents and carers in the life of the school, including taking
responsibilities for organisation, for example parents and carers run the mother and toddler
group at the school and accompany the walking bus alongside school staff.
- Responses to Parent View and letters from parents and carers were positive about the school,
the headteacher and the support given to their children. The majority of parents and carers who
expressed a view would recommend the school to others.
- The governance of the school:
Governors know the school’s strengths well and what still needs to be done. They are visible in
school and visit lessons and have a good understanding about the strengths in teaching. They
have a good knowledge of how well the school performs and have demonstrated clearly that
they will challenge the leadership of the school to be accountable. They have been closely
involved in all the recent changes to the school. They are now well qualified to check that the
headteacher is setting appropriate performance targets for teachers, rewarding good teachers
and challenging underperformance. The local authority has supported the governing body well
through a period of major change. Its training programme has enabled governors to fulfil their
roles, for example an understanding data workshop has enabled the governors to challenge
and evaluate the impact of the pupil premium funding. Governors know how the school is
performing in relation to other schools and have used this knowledge to question the
headteacher and to influence decisions they make about future spending plans. Governors
have been fully involved in decisions about how the school spends the pupil premium and
|Inspection report:||St Bernadette’s Catholic Primary School, 15−16 October 2013||7 of 9|
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.
|Inspection report:||St Bernadette’s Catholic Primary School, 15−16 October 2013||8 of 9|
|Unique reference number||104242|
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||175|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Chair||Fr David Mellor|
|Headteacher||Mrs Ann Taylor|
|Date of previous school inspection||5−9 March 2009|
|Telephone number||01543 452921|