St Cuthbert's Roman Catholic Voluntary Aided Primary School
Tyne and Wear
phone: 0191 5536080
headteacher: Mrs Jane Ward
210 pupils capacity: 120% full
120 boys 48%
130 girls 52%
Last updated: June 19, 2014
Primary — Voluntary Aided School
- Education phase
- Religious character
- Roman Catholic
- Establishment type
- Voluntary Aided School
- Establishment #
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 436549, Northing: 555385
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 54.892, Longitude: -1.4317
- Accepting pupils
- 3—11 years old
- Census date
- Jan. 16, 2014
- Ofsted last inspection
- May 15, 2013
- Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle
- Region › Const. › Ward
- North East › Washington and Sunderland West › St Anne's
- Urban > 10k - less sparse
- Free school meals %
- 0.2 miles Broadway Junior School SR48NW (255 pupils)
- 0.3 miles Sandhill View School SR34EN (820 pupils)
- 0.3 miles Grindon Hall Christian School SR48PG
- 0.3 miles Springwell Dene School SR34EE
- 0.3 miles Grindon Hall Christian School SR48PG (540 pupils)
- 0.3 miles Springwell Dene School SR34EE (58 pupils)
- 0.4 miles Sunningdale School SR34HA (82 pupils)
- 0.6 miles Thorney Close Primary School SR34BB (266 pupils)
- 0.6 miles Pennywell School SR49BA
- 0.6 miles Academy 360 SR49BA (801 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Pennywell Nursery School SR49AX (102 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Grindon Infant School SR49QN (213 pupils)
- 0.7 miles St Anne's Roman Catholic Voluntary Aided Primary School SR49AA (230 pupils)
- 0.8 miles Hasting Hill Primary School SR34LY
- 0.8 miles Hasting Hill Academy SR34LY (311 pupils)
- 0.9 miles Sunderland Pupil Referral Unit SR31SS
- 0.9 miles Barnes Junior School SR47QF (289 pupils)
- 0.9 miles Barnes Infant School SR47QF (334 pupils)
- 0.9 miles Havelock Community Primary School SR40DA
- 0.9 miles Plains Farm Primary School SR31SU
- 0.9 miles Bede School SR34AH
- 0.9 miles Humbledon School SR31SS
- 0.9 miles City of Sunderland College SR34AH
- 0.9 miles Highfield Community Primary School SR40DA (396 pupils)
St Cuthbert's Roman Catholic
Voluntary Aided Primary School
Grindon Lane, Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, SR4 8HP
|Inspection dates||15–16 May 2013|
|Overall effectiveness||This inspection:||Outstanding||1|
|Achievement of pupils||Outstanding||1|
|Quality of teaching||Outstanding||1|
|Behaviour and safety of pupils||Outstanding||1|
|Leadership and management||Outstanding||1|
Summary of key findings for parents and pupils
This is an outstanding school.
| The headteacher’s ambitious vision and |
Children get off to a flying start in the Early
Pupils make excellent progress, regardless of
outstanding leadership have transformed the
school since its previous inspection. She is
wholeheartedly supported by highly skilled,
dedicated staff and governors who share her
ambitions for every child to be the best they
Years Foundation Stage. They quickly follow
routines and become confident learners who
enjoy finding out things for themselves. By
the end of Reception they have very good
reading, writing and number skills.
their starting points, because they are eager
to learn and work hard, and their teachers
make sure they find success in every lesson.
By the end of Year 6 pupils exceed the
national average in English and mathematics;
standards in reading are exceptionally high.
| Teaching is outstanding. Teachers and |
Pupils’ behaviour is exemplary. They show
The rich curriculum provides many
teaching assistants work at a high level to
meet the needs of every pupil. They constantly
check on how well each pupil is learning so
that they can set the right level of challenge
for more improvement.
consideration and respect for each other from
the earliest age. They work hard in lessons
because learning is so much fun. Pupils say
they feel safe in school because people are
kind. Excellent pastoral care from all staff
creates a warm, safe environment where
strong relationships and good learning flourish.
opportunities for pupils to find out about the
world around them, follow their own interests
and develop a strong sense of responsibility
towards others. Their spiritual, moral, social
and cultural development is outstanding.
Information about this inspection
- Inspectors observed 18 lessons or parts of lessons delivered by 10 teachers, one of which was a
shared observation with the headteacher.
- Discussions were held with senior leaders, staff, governors, groups of pupils and a
representative of the local authority.
- Inspectors looked at a range of evidence, including the school’s self-evaluation of its work, the
school’s information about pupils’ progress, and documentation relating to teachers’ performance
and safeguarding procedures.
- Inspectors took account of 143 responses from parents to the school’s questionnaire, conducted
in March 2013, because there were insufficient responses to the online questionnaire (Parent
View) to register their views. They also took account of 22 responses from staff.
|Moira Fitzpatrick, Lead inspector||Additional Inspector|
|Sue Smith||Additional Inspector|
Information about this school
- The school is an average-sized primary school.
- The proportion of pupils known to be eligible for the pupil premium, which provides additional
funding for children in the care of the local authority, pupils known to be eligible for free school
meals and children whose parents are in the armed services, is above average.
- The proportion of disabled pupils, and those with special educational needs who are supported
at school action, is below average. The proportion supported at school action plus or with a
statement of special educational needs is slightly above average.
- Nearly all pupils are of White British heritage and no pupils speak English as an additional
- The school meets government floor standards, which set minimum expectations for attainment
What does the school need to do to improve further?
- Continue with plans to increase the proportion of outstanding teaching, so that pupils’
achievement rises even further.
|The achievement of pupils||is outstanding|
- Children join the school in the Nursery with skills that are below those expected for their age.
Regardless of their starting points, all children settle quickly and make outstanding progress by
the end of Reception. They make excellent progress in the development of their language and
communication, including early reading skills. By the end of the Reception class children are very
well prepared for Year 1 with good literacy skills, a good knowledge of number and good levels
of confidence and independence.
- From this strong base pupils make excellent progress as they move through the school. At the
end of Year 6, in 2012, test results were above average in English and mathematics, confirming
pupils’ excellent progress from their starting points.
- Results in reading are consistently high because high-quality teaching in the Reception class
gives children an excellent start with early reading skills. Pupils quickly progress to become
fluent readers in Key Stage 1 because they are encouraged to read regularly and there is well-
planned support for those children who need it. As a consequence, nearly all reach the level
expected for their age by the end of Year 2.
- Provision for learning about letters and sounds (the basis of early reading skills) extends up to
Year 6 for any pupil who needs it. This ensures that all pupils reach the expected level in reading
before moving on to secondary school.
- Pupils who have special educational needs are supported to achieve as well as other pupils by
teachers’ careful planning and good-quality support from teaching assistants. Their progress is
closely monitored so that any signs of falling behind are quickly spotted and interventions put in
place to help them catch up.
- Pupil premium funds are very well targeted to ensure that the achievement of pupils for whom
the funds are intended at least matches that of other pupils in the school. In 2012 Year 6 pupils
who were eligible for free school meals made slightly better progress than other pupils in the
cohort and their attainment was at the same level as that of other pupils.
- Lesson observations during inspection, and examination of books in every class, support the
school’s tracking information that pupils are making better than expected progress throughout
the school. Parents overwhelmingly agree their children make good progress.
|The quality of teaching||is outstanding|
- The headteacher has led a sustained drive to improve the quality of teaching since the previous
inspection. Teachers comment that they feel more skilled and have a better understanding of
what constitutes high-quality teaching and learning than formerly. They have received high-
quality training and support, and now routinely share their good practice.
- Pupils learn at a rapid pace because teachers have a very accurate knowledge of their needs.
They use this skilfully to plan lessons that take account of pupils’ different starting points in each
subject. This ensures that pupils are able to succeed with tasks, which gives them confidence
and spurs them on to make the best progress they can during lessons.
- High-quality marking is a hallmark of teachers’ work throughout the school. Marking is frequent,
tells pupils what they have done well and gives advice on what, and how, to improve. Teachers
then give pupils time to make corrections and improve, so that they understand the importance
of such tasks. The high quality of presentation in books reflects teachers’ high expectations and
pupils’ clear understanding of these.
- Time is very well used in lessons because teachers provide a range of activities that allow pupils
to work together. For example, Year 2 pupils made outstanding progress in a mathematics
lesson solving number problems by working with friends. The teacher made excellent use of this
time to check on how well all were learning and ironed out difficulties or challenged pupils to
extend their thinking further. This accelerated progress so that problems were solved in double-
- Small-group teaching is highly effective in boosting the learning of pupils who need additional
support. Children in a Reception class made rapid and secure progress in their knowledge of
simple three-letter words because of the individual attention the teaching assistant was able to
provide for each one.
- Teachers make lessons exciting in a range of ways. Learning with and from friends is popular
with all pupils, who say they enjoy learning this way and feel they do well. Sometimes teachers
create a special atmosphere in the classroom to help pupils imagine story settings, as in a Year 4
English lesson where pupils wrote powerful descriptions in response to the ‘creepy’ atmosphere
the teacher created with subdued lighting and ‘eerie’ music.
|The behaviour and safety of pupils||are outstanding|
- Pupils feel safe, are happy and care for each other very well because of the excellent example
they are set by all staff.
- Pupils’ excellent attitudes to learning spring from the many exciting and interesting activities that
teachers provide for them. They have been taught to keep going and support each other, so
overcoming difficulties in their learning presents no problems. They are convinced they will
succeed if they are determined enough.
- Pupils are confident that adults will look after them well and take their concerns seriously.
Outstanding pastoral care gives first-rate support, especially to vulnerable pupils and their
families. Pupils say that bullying is rare and they can talk about the different forms bullying can
take. They have been well taught to keep themselves safe and know about risks connected with
- Pupils enjoy opportunities to help the school improve. Older pupils acting as playground friends
ensure no one is left out, while prefects and members of the school council have an increasing
voice in where improvements are needed. Pupils also contribute to the life of the community, for
example through the work of the school choir which delivers very-high-quality concerts in the
community and, sometimes, at Durham Cathedral.
|The leadership and management||are outstanding|
- The headteacher’s determined leadership has inspired staff to rapidly develop their skills, not
only in teaching but also in leading improvements across a wide front. It is the total commitment
of all staff which continues to accelerate significant improvements to teaching and learning,
pupils’ behaviour and achievement, and the school’s overall effectiveness. Morale is high and,
together, staff have demonstrated an outstanding capacity to further improve the school.
- Systems to track pupils’ progress have been refined since the previous inspection, and training
has given staff the skills to quickly spot any pupil who is at risk of underachievement. The
effectiveness of these systems is seen in the very high proportion of pupils who reach at least
the expected level and beyond by the end of Year 6, regardless of their starting points.
- Teachers’ performance is well managed through straightforward, measurable targets linked to
pupils’ progress, other school priorities and salary progression. The provision of good training
opportunities, together with strong teamwork for sharing good practice, is producing consistently
high-quality teaching across the school.
- Pupils all have equal opportunities to succeed because of teachers’ careful planning to meet
individuals’ needs. For example, pupils eligible for the pupil premium are very well supported
with additional learning resources, small-group teaching and funding to allow them to join in all
of the school’s activities, including instrumental tuition.
- Productive links with partner schools have seen the curriculum develop rapidly. Teachers take a
creative approach to linking topics so that pupils see connections between different subjects.
They provide frequent opportunities for pupils to develop their basic skills across their learning.
- The local authority provides light-touch support for the school.
- The vast majority of parents would recommend the school to other parents.
- The governance of the school:
Governors have detailed knowledge of the school’s strengths and are well aware, through their
good understanding of the school’s data on pupils’ achievement, of how well the school is
performing. They bring a wide range of expertise to the service of the school and are well
placed to challenge, as well as support, its work. They ensure that safeguarding procedures
meet requirements. Governors have approved the use of pupil premium funding to provide
additional support. They are aware that this funding is used effectively to enable these pupils
to achieve as well as others. Governors evaluate the school’s appraisal system, understand the
arrangements that link pay to the quality of teaching and pupils’ performance, and challenge
the headteacher to ensure that performance targets 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||108838|
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||246|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Date of previous school inspection||28 June 2011|
|Telephone number||0191 5536080|
|Fax number||0191 5536081|