St Edward's RC Primary School
Headteacher: Mrs Colleen Short Med
Diocese of Middlesborough
383 pupils, Mixed
|Unique Reference Number||111700|
|Inspection date||20 March 2009|
|Reporting inspector||Gianna Ulyatt|
This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.
The registered childcare, managed by the governing body, was inspected under section 49 of the Childcare Act 2006.
|Type of school||Primary|
|School category||Voluntary aided|
|Age range of pupils||3–11|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Number on roll|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Chair||Mrs Janet Quinn|
|Headteacher||Mrs Colleen Short|
|Date of previous school inspection||2 May 2006|
Date of previous funded early education|
|Not previously inspected|
|Date of previous childcare inspection||Not previously inspected|
|School address||Eastbourne Road|
|Telephone number||01642 819507|
|Fax number||01642 882050|
|Inspection date||20 March 2009|
© Crown copyright 2009
The inspection was carried out by two Additional Inspectors.
The inspectors evaluated the overall effectiveness of the school and investigated the following issues:
Evidence was collected from observations of lessons and scrutiny of relevant documents including the views of parents, expressed in their questionnaires. Discussions were held with pupils, staff, senior leaders and governors. Pupils’ work, key documents and data, including the school’s self-evaluation, were scrutinised. Other aspects of the school’s work were not investigated in detail, but inspectors found no evidence to suggest that the school’s own assessments, as given in its self-evaluation, were not justified and these have been included where appropriate in this report.
This large Roman Catholic primary school is near to the centre of town. Socio-economic conditions are average. Most pupils come from the immediate catchment area with about a quarter coming from further afield. The proportion of pupils eligible for a free school meal is about half the national average. The percentage of pupils who have learning difficulties and/or disabilities is below average. Very few pupils come from minority ethnic backgrounds and all pupils have English as their first language. Children in the Early Years Foundation Stage receive part time provision in the Nursery and full time provision in Reception classes.
Overall effectiveness of the school
‘Teachers are the best thing in the school!’ This comment was made by Year 6 pupils and is one of the main reasons why this school is outstanding. Most parents wholeheartedly support the school and this statement is typical of many: ‘St. Edward’s has a strong ethos of community spirit and pastoral care and there is a good consistency of academic excellence from Nursery to Year 6.’ The inspection team entirely agrees.
The headteacher’s inspiring, passionate and determined commitment to raise achievement and develop the whole child is shared by an excellent and enthusiastic leadership team and a very effective governing body. The excellent ethos of high quality care and focused climate for learning ensure that every single child is treated as an individual. Consequently, pupils’ personal development, including their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, and their academic achievements, are exceptional.
Children start the Nursery with levels typical for their age except in early writing and calculating where they are below expectation. They make very good progress in the Early Years Foundation Stage and this continues in Key Stage 1, where standards are significantly above average and have been so for a number of years. Although standards for Key Stage 1 pupils in 2008 dipped slightly, progress was very good. Pupils continue to make exceptionally good progress in Key Stage 2 and standards for the past four years have been significantly above average in all subjects. Test results show that pupils in the 2008 cohort also made exceptional progress and over half the cohort reached the higher Level 5 in all subjects. In this very inclusive school, pupils who have learning difficulties and/or disabilities achieve very well due to good quality, additional adult support. A major strength of the school is the way it tracks the progress of every pupil so that any who need extra support receive it. School assessment data show that the present Year 2 and Year 6 pupils are achieving exceptionally well and are on track to reach or exceed the challenging targets set for them.
At the heart of the school is the belief that when pupils are nurtured and valued in a strong Christian community, they grow into a ‘caring, sharing and giving community’, which is the school’s mission statement. This is an important reason why pupils’ personal development and well-being are outstanding. Pupils show great respect for themselves and others. Their behaviour is exceptional. They are successful learners who are responsive and eager to learn. Pupils show great pride in their school and in their academic achievements. They thoroughly enjoy school life as is seen by their above average attendance. Pupils are eager to fundraise for the developing world and have a strong compassion for those less fortunate than themselves. A group of Year 6 pupils independently organised a sponsored swim in support of Red Nose Day charities. Pupils have a deepening awareness of ecological issues and are beginning to develop a garden area in the school grounds. The pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is outstanding overall. The school makes a good contribution to community cohesion. Very strong links between the school, the local community and parish communities give pupils an excellent understanding of their own and regional culture. National and global links are not as well developed but pupils still have a good understanding of the diversity of modern Britain. Pupils say they are ‘proud and privileged’ to have responsibilities. The school council played a major role in selecting a new uniform and in choosing new décor for the toilets. Pupils enjoy helping with the smooth running of the school, taking care of younger pupils and teaching them playground games. Pupils have a very active lifestyle complemented by a sensible approach to diet; they have very good knowledge about the impact of diet and exercise on the body. They are very well prepared for their next stage of learning.
Pupils learn so well because relationships in all classes are warm and friendly, creating a positive and purposeful attitude to learning. Activities and topics are interesting and relate to real life experiences. Pupils say lessons are exciting because they have to, ‘think a lot, but like it this way’. Teachers have improved the way they address teaching in Key Stage 1 to make learning more attractive, especially for boys. They plan practical outdoor sessions such as writing new phonemes on the playground with chalk. This motivates boys and girls alike to improve their spelling. Pupils enjoy peer discussions in class because, ‘we learn so much from each other’. Teachers provide challenging work; consequently, pupils display high levels of concentration and an impressive work ethic. Teachers have deep subject knowledge and know exactly what pupils need to learn next. The quality of marking is outstanding and guides each individual pupil step by step towards improving their own work. Pupils also learn how to evaluate the work of other writers. An increasing strength is the dedication and effectiveness of the support offered by teaching assistants. Pupils are improving their competence with technology and use it across the curriculum.
The curriculum is broad, balanced and exciting. The school takes good account of pupils’ views about its organisation and this adds to its relevance, interest and enjoyment. The extensive range of extra activities is planned so well that pupils want to take part either just for fun or because they are striving to excel or represent their school in competitive sports, including football, tag rugby and cricket. The development of the school’s extensive skills-based thematic curriculum provides many exciting opportunities for pupils to practise, develop and transfer their skills across the whole range of subjects. Pupils say they enjoy this approach since it, ‘…always gives you something to refer to. Everything is related and it helps you to understand much better.’ The attractive displays around the school provide evidence of the pupils’ stunning artwork and outstanding work in other subjects. Pupils receive very high levels of care because systems and procedures to protect and safeguard them are in place and well adhered to. Staff are very well informed and well trained in protecting children. Pupils say everyone is friendly and they can speak in confidence to any member of staff should they need to.
Leadership and management are inspirational. The school is very well run with efficient procedures and systems. Every aspect is kept under regular review to ensure pupils’ safety, personal and academic development. Despite pupils’ exceptional achievement over the past four years the school is not complacent and is continuously looking at ways to improve and develop. Rigorous self-evaluation is part of the culture of the school and managers continually identify areas for potential improvement, and act on them. They have improved the school’s strengths recognised in the last inspection and have fully implemented the areas for improvement. Rigorous processes have identified some minor areas for improvement and staff are currently working through the action plans to address these. The knowledgeable governors take an active and critical part in managing and leading the school. They keep a close check on pupils’ academic and personal achievements. This is an outstanding school and has excellent capacity to continue to provide an excellent education for its pupils.
Effectiveness of the Early Years Foundation Stage
Provision is outstanding and children get an excellent start to their education. Most children enter Nursery with levels of skills and knowledge typical of those expected for their age, but lower in early calculation and writing. Children make very good progress and by the end of Reception their skills and knowledge in most areas of learning are above average and in calculating and writing they are average. These excellent outcomes are the result of high quality teaching, sensitive support for younger children and a clear focus on developing strong attitudes to learning through purposeful play. Relationships are excellent and engender confidence and a love of learning. Behaviour is exceptional. Staff allocate time throughout the day to observe children and make notes about their learning. This valuable information is used as a basis for planning so children’s individual needs are very well catered for. Adults plan and create exciting places for children to learn and there is free flow use of indoors and outside. The appropriate balance between activities where children discover for themselves and those where they work with an adult, encourages children to gain the skills needed to become independent learners. Activities to promote phonics and calculating are interwoven into many of the games provided. Consequently, learning is accelerated in these areas. The partnership with parents, pre-school providers and other agencies is a strength. Excellent induction and welfare arrangements ensure children settle and thrive in the warm and supportive environment. Transition to Key Stage 1 is smooth and ensures continuity and progression in children’s learning and development. Outstanding leadership and strong teamwork provide a vibrant and interesting learning environment. Leaders have a clear vision for future development.
|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: ofsted.gov.uk.|
|Key to judgements: grade 1 is outstanding, grade 2 good, grade 3 satisfactory, and grade 4 inadequate.||School Overall|
|How effective,efficient and inclusive is the provision of education,integrated care and any extended services in meeting the needs of learners?||1|
|Effective steps have been taken to promote improvement since the last inspection||Yes|
|How well does the school work in partnership with others to promote learners' well-being?||1|
|The capacity to make any necessary improvements||1|
|How effective is the provision in meeting the needs of children in the EYFS?||1|
|How well do children in the EYFS achieve?||1|
|How good is the overall personal development and well-being of the children?||1|
|How effectively are children in the EYFS helped to learn and develop?||1|
|How effectively is the welfare of children in the EYFS promoted?||1|
|How effectively is provision in the EYFS led and managed?||1|
|How well do learners achieve?||1|
|The standards¹ reached by learners||1|
|How well learners make progress, taking account of any significant variations between groups of learners||1|
|How well learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities make progress||1|
|How good are the overall personal development and well-being of the learners?||1|
|The extent of learners' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development||1|
|The extent to which learners adopt healthy lifestyles||1|
|The extent to which learners adopt safe practices||1|
|The extent to which learners enjoy their education||1|
|The attendance of learners||2|
|The behaviour of learners||1|
|The extent to which learners make a positive contribution to the community||1|
|How well learners develop workplace and other skills that will contribute to their future economic well-being||1|
|How effective are teaching and learning in meeting the full range of learners' needs?||1|
|How well do the curriculum and other activities meet the range of needs and interests of learners?||1|
|How well are learners cared for, guided and supported?||1|
|How effective are leadership and management in raising achievement and supporting all learners?||1|
|How effectively leaders and managers at all levels set clear direction leading to improvement and promote high quality of care and education||1|
|How effectively leaders and managers use challenging targets to raise standards||1|
|The effectiveness of the school's self-evaluation||1|
|How well equality of opportunity is promoted and discrimination eliminated||1|
|How well does the school contribute to community cohesion?||2|
|How effectively and efficiently resources, including staff, are deployed to achieve value for money||1|
|The extent to which governors and other supervisory boards discharge their responsibilities||1|
|Do procedures for safeguarding learners meet current government requirements?||Yes|
|Does this school require special measures?||No|
|Does this school require a notice to improve?||No|
20 March 2009
Inspection of St Edward’s RC Primary School, Middlesbrough, TS5 6QS
Thank you so much for making Mr Kingston and myself so welcome in your school. We thoroughly enjoyed talking with you because you are mature and interesting people. The school and your parents must be very proud of you. Your school is an outstanding school because your teachers know every one of you so well that they make sure your lessons are fun, exciting and interesting, but they also make sure you have to think very hard. You show high levels of concentration and great enthusiasm in all you do. This is one of the reasons why your standards are so high and your school is one of the top achievers in the country.
Discussions with older pupils led me to understand that you like your teachers very much and that your school is a wonderful place to be. You feel very safe and can talk to anyone about problems, whether they be large or small. You talk with great compassion and concern about children less fortunate than yourselves and I was so impressed with the group of Year 6 pupils who independently organised a sponsored swim for Red Nose Day. That shows excellent leadership and organisational skills. Well done!
You have high regard for the environment and are now developing your very own garden. You have great links with the parish and other local schools and it was wonderful listening to the choir rehearsing for the competition in the cathedral. You are very familiar with your own area and its culture very well. I have asked the school to extend this excellent understanding to the diversity of cultures in modern Britain and also globally.
I hope you continue to enjoy your time at school. I hope you work hard, so you are ready for the next school and that your ambitions are well fulfilled.
With very best wishes