St John Fisher Catholic Primary School
phone: 0121 4753489
headteacher: Mrs Anna Murphy B. Ed. (Hons.)
210 pupils capacity: 99% full
110 boys 53%
95 girls 46%
Last updated: July 30, 2014
Primary — Voluntary Aided School
- Education phase
- Religious character
- Roman Catholic
- Establishment type
- Voluntary Aided School
- Establishment #
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 402835, Northing: 277295
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 52.394, Longitude: -1.9598
- Accepting pupils
- 4—11 years old
- Census date
- Jan. 16, 2014
- Ofsted last inspection
- Nov. 26, 2013
- Archdiocese of Birmingham
- Region › Const. › Ward
- West Midlands › Birmingham, Northfield › Kings Norton
- Urban > 10k - less sparse
- Free school meals %
- 0.5 miles West Heath Nursery School B313HB (88 pupils)
- 0.5 miles West Heath Infant School B388HU
- 0.5 miles West Heath Junior School B388HU
- 0.5 miles Albert Bradbeer Infant and Nursery Community School B314RD
- 0.5 miles Cofton Primary School B314ST (237 pupils)
- 0.5 miles Albert Bradbeer Primary B314RD (427 pupils)
- 0.5 miles West Heath Primary School B388HU (369 pupils)
- 0.5 miles Albert Bradbeer Primary B314RD
- 0.6 miles Albert Bradbeer Junior School B314RD
- 0.6 miles Turves Green Primary School B314BP (395 pupils)
- 0.6 miles Turves Green Boys' School B314BS (515 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Turves Green Girls' School and Technology College B314BP (628 pupils)
- 0.9 miles Fairway Primary School B388XQ
- 0.9 miles Hawkesley Anglican Methodist Church Junior School B389TR
- 0.9 miles Hawkesley CofE and Methodist Infant School B389TR
- 0.9 miles Hawkesley CofE/Methodist Primary School B389TR
- 0.9 miles Hawkesley Church Primary Academy B389TR (235 pupils)
- 0.9 miles Fairway Primary School B388XQ (198 pupils)
- 1.1 mile The Meadows Primary School B312SW (468 pupils)
- 1.1 mile Wychall Farm Junior School B313EH
- 1.1 mile Wychall Farm Infant School B313EH
- 1.1 mile Bournville College of Further Education B312AJ
- 1.1 mile Wychall Primary School B313EH (418 pupils)
- 1.2 mile Primrose Hill Community School B389DH
St John Fisher Catholic Primary
Alvechurch Road, West Heath, Birmingham, B31 3PN
|Inspection dates||26–27 November 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
| Pupils achieve well and make good progress |
Teaching has improved so that it is now good
Teachers use good subject knowledge to
Pupils have positive relationships with
Pupils continue to attend very well, as
in reading, writing and mathematics.
Consequently achievement is good.
with examples of outstanding practice.
enthuse and engage pupils.
teachers and each other. They behave well in
lessons and on the playground and feel safe.
reported at the previous inspection.
| The effective provision and progress in the |
The school checks on the progress of pupils
The headteacher, senior leaders and the
Reception Year has been maintained.
and quickly puts in effective additional support
to enable pupils to catch up if necessary.
governing body have ensured improved
teaching and achievement for pupils. Leaders’
drive for improvement is shared by all staff
| The proportion of outstanding teaching and |
Teachers do not check regularly enough in
Targets for the progress of pupils are not
level of challenge is not high enough to
secure rapid progress for all pupils,
particularly the most able.
every lesson that pupils are making good and
consistently set high enough to enable them
to make outstanding progress.
| Information collected about pupils’ |
The monitoring and evaluation of the
performance is overly complicated and does
not provide a clear enough picture of their
progress and attainment.
governing body do not focus well enough on
the main areas for school development
|Inspection report:||St John Fisher Catholic Primary School, 26-27 November 2013||2 of 10|
Information about this inspection
- Inspectors observed 17 lessons of which 11 were shared observations with the headteacher and
deputy headteacher. They also observed an assembly and support for learning in small groups of
- Inspectors talked to pupils about their work in lessons, looked at books, listened to pupils read
and met with two groups of pupils from Key Stages 1 and 2.
- Meetings were held with members of the governing body, the local authority and school leaders.
- During the inspection, inspectors took account of 29 responses to the Ofsted survey, Parent
View, two letters and an e-mail message from parents and held informal discussions with
parents. They took account of 17 questionnaires returned by staff members.
- Inspectors looked at a number of documents including: school improvement plans, records
relating to behaviour, attendance and safeguarding, minutes of meetings of the governing body
and records of the school leaders’ monitoring of lessons and information on the management of
- Inspectors took account of the school’s data on pupils’ attainment and progress.
|Shannon Moore, Lead inspector||Additional Inspector|
|David Shears||Additional Inspector|
|Inspection report:||St John Fisher Catholic Primary School, 26-27 November 2013||3 of 10|
Information about this school
- The school is smaller than the average-sized primary school. Around 20% of the pupils are from
minority ethnic groups.
- A breakfast club is available at the school but as it is not managed by the governing body it did
not form part of this inspection.
- The proportion of pupils in receipt of the pupil premium, which is extra government funding for
pupils known to be eligible for free school meals, looked after children and other groups, is
broadly average and increasing.
- The proportion of disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs supported by
school action is average. The proportion supported through school action plus or with a
statement of special educational needs is well-below average.
- The school meets the government’s current floor standards, which set the minimum expectations
for pupils’ attainment and progress.
- The school has good working relationships with local primary schools and two secondary schools
and is an active member of the Birmingham Catholic Partnership.
What does the school need to do to improve further?
- Increase the quality of teaching further so that it is outstanding by ensuring that teachers:
- have high expectations of what different groups of pupils can achieve in lessons and always
make these clear to pupils, including the most able
- rigorously check the progress of all pupils in lessons so that timely support and challenge can
be given to deliver greater gains in learning
- give pupils the opportunity to respond fully to comments about how they can improve on
written work before they move on.
- Strengthen the quality of leadership and management through:
- setting consistently high targets for every year group that will enable pupils to make
- refining the information that is collected about pupils so that it gives a clearer picture of their
individual progress and attainment and of the progress and attainment across year groups
- ensuring that the monitoring of the governing body is focused more clearly on evaluating the
school’s main areas of development.
|Inspection report:||St John Fisher Catholic Primary School, 26-27 November 2013||4 of 10|
|The achievement of pupils||is good|
- When children enter the Reception class their levels of skill are those expected for their age and
they make good progress across the range of well-planned activities. For example, in a lesson
children learned through a story how to use positional language such as ‘over’, ‘under’ and
‘around’ and explored this through a wide variety of practical activities both in the classroom and
outdoors. Children enter Year 1 well prepared for their next stage of learning.
- Pupils continue to make good progress in Years 1 and 2 in reading, writing and mathematics so
that by the end of Year 2 their attainment is above the national average. The percentage of
pupils reaching higher levels has increased.
- The teaching of phonics (the sounds that letters make) has been a priority and results of the
phonics screening check in 2013 were well ahead of the national average. Learning to read
through the use of phonics is now a strength of the school.
- Throughout Years 3 to 6, pupils maintain their good progress and leave with attainment that is
above average in reading, writing and mathematics. More pupils attained higher levels in 2013,
particularly in mathematics. The pupils show real keenness to learn in class, which is captured
by teachers when planning their learning.
- Pupils have access to a wide range of books and are encouraged to read widely and often. They
read fluently and confidently, including at home with the support of their parents. There are
incentive schemes to encourage young readers to read more often at home. The school has
used the expertise of authors and poets to inspire pupils.
- The school has an inclusive and caring set of values and the impact of these is seen in how
groups within the school achieve so well. Disabled pupils and those who have special educational
needs make good progress as a result of well-planned and frequently reviewed extra help and
support. Pupils with differing personal and academic needs receive targeted support and all
make good progress.
- Pupils who are known to be eligible for extra support through the pupil premium make similar
progress to that of others in the school, which is good progress overall. This means that by the
end of Key stages 1 and 2 they have good attainment. However, in 2013, these pupils in Year 6
were attaining four terms behind their peers in reading, one term behind in writing and one half-
term ahead in mathematics. Information about the progress of pupils currently in the school
shows that any gaps in attainment are closing because of the effective support they are
- More-able pupils make good progress in lessons. However, they are not always challenged
enough to ensure rapid progress.
- Pupils from minority ethnic communities and the few for whom English is an additional language,
get expert support and are taught well with the result that they make equal progress to that of
other pupils in the school in reading, writing and mathematics.
|The quality of teaching||is good|
|Inspection report:||, St John Fisher Catholic Primary School 26–27 November 2013||5 of 10|
- Teaching in the school is good and, as a result, pupils learn well and make good progress in
reading, writing and mathematics. They leave school well prepared for secondary school with
attainment that is above average.
- In the Reception class, staff work well together to provide a stimulating range of activities that
help the children to explore, think, and understand and to write and speak well. They are
encouraged to make decisions and to choose activities.
- Teachers plan lessons to engage pupils in learning. Staff have good subject knowledge and use
technology, such as interactive whiteboards and visualisers to enhance teaching. In one lesson
observed, a teacher used a visualiser effectively to display pupils’ work to encourage others to
discuss how a word, ‘stick’, could be used as a noun or a verb, to illustrate a teaching point.
- Teachers ask questions that deepen pupils’ understanding and help them to think hard. The
pupils and teachers have good relationships and pupils respond well to the challenges provided
to improve their work and to explain their thinking.
Teaching assistants are used well to give focused and effective support to groups of pupils,
particularly disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs and others who
might underachieve. For example, in a language support session for a small group of pupils,
some of whom speak English as an additional language, the teaching assistant used well-
directed questioning to probe their understanding of sounds, letters and colour.
The quality of marking has improved since the previous inspection in both literacy and
mathematics. Teachers give positive comments and tell pupils what they need to do to
improve. However, pupils are not always given enough time to respond and improve their
- Expectations of what groups of pupils are able to achieve are not always high enough or made
clear enough in lessons. Consequently, pupils, including the most able, do not always make as
much progress as they could.
- Teachers do not always check regularly during lessons whether all pupils are making rapid
progress. Consequently, sometimes opportunities are missed to address misconceptions or
provide further challenge.
|The behaviour and safety of pupils||are good|
- Pupils enjoy school. They are enthusiastic in lessons, enjoy learning and make good progress.
Pupils work well together but can work equally well independently when required. Their
behaviour in the playground and around school is good.
- Pupils say that bullying and instances of poor behaviour were rare and were followed up by
teachers. Appropriate records are kept. Pupils could not recall examples of name-calling and
consequently felt safe. They knew how to keep safe and feel well cared for.
- Pupils have a sense of right and wrong and are proud of the support they give to charities. They
have good opportunities to develop their spiritual, moral, social and cultural understanding
through a wide range of activities specially organised, such as the ‘Faith and Culture Week’. This
is an example of steps taken to promote a close-knit community and tackle discrimination. There
are many opportunities for reflection and worship to support pupils’ spiritual development.
|Inspection report:||, St John Fisher Catholic Primary School 26–27 November 2013||6 of 10|
- Pupils develop leadership and team-building skills well through the school’s involvement in a
range of sports activities, ecological work and healthy schools activities. Spending the primary
school sports funding in collaboration with partner schools has been agreed. This initiative is to
be implemented from January 2014, so the impact cannot yet be evaluated.
- The school’s systems to encourage attendance are effective and, as a result, above-average
attendance has been maintained since the previous inspection. Very few pupils are persistently
absent because of the school’s vigilance.
|The leadership and management||are good|
- The headteacher, ably supported by the deputy headteacher and staff, has worked successfully
to improve the quality of teaching and, as a result, the progress of pupils has accelerated.
- The school’s self-evaluation of its effectiveness is both thorough and accurate and informs the
planning of further improvements.
- Checks on the quality of teaching are used to inform leaders of how effective teaching is in
enabling pupils to make progress. Teachers’ pay is linked to their success in helping pupils to
learn and achieve well.
- The leadership of Reception is good. Planning ensures that the children have an exciting time
exploring across a range of activities. Good monitoring means that each child’s good progress is
secured. The staff keep fully up to date by taking opportunities to train and collaborate with staff
from other schools.
- Subject leaders have a good understanding of how their subjects are taught in the school. They
monitor subject work by looking at teachers’ planning of learning and pupils’ books and talking
with pupils. They are currently rightly focusing on adapting planning of learning to meet the
requirements of the new National Curriculum.
- Leaders below senior level are able to access a range of effective training opportunities to
improve their skills. Examples included formal taught specialist courses, working alongside
experts, for example a sports coach, and through support from senior managers and colleagues
from partner schools.
- The imaginative uses of resources and good partnership working with other schools have
enabled the school to increase the pace of improvement. For example, the new system to
manage staff performance was jointly developed with other local headteachers.
- Pupils who are identified at risk of underachieving are given good support to enable them to
catch up. This illustrates the school’s commitment to promote equal opportunities.
- The school has been proactive in developing support for and from parents. For example, this has
included the development of a more informative website and their engagement in supporting
daily reading at home and holiday activity in literacy.
- The local authority gives helpful support and the school benefits from collaborative moderation
of pupils’ work, training and joint development of policies. The school’s positive working
relationships with other local schools provide valuable opportunities for sharing expertise.
|Inspection report:||, St John Fisher Catholic Primary School 26–27 November 2013||7 of 10|
- The well-planned curriculum includes an effective focus on English and mathematics and pupils
achieve well in these subjects. Special ‘focus days’ provide helpful opportunties to explore
different cultures. On Fridays, pupils follow a special drive to improve writing at length. They
have ‘theme’ lessons where an interesting topic is explored in depth and includes other subjects,
such as science, geography and history. In these lessons, pupils apply their communication and
numerical skills in varied situations. There are many additional clubs and societies where pupils
can learn new skills and they can take part in competitive games and sports with other local
- The school’s information about the progress and attainment of pupils is overly complicated,
making it difficult to have a clear and accurate picture of how well different groups of pupils are
- Targets for the progress of pupils across some year groups are set higher than in others. To
ensure that pupils, including the more able, are challenged to make outstanding progress,
targets for the progress of pupils will have to be consistently high across all year groups.
- The governance of the school:
The governing body is ambitious for the school and has a clear understanding of the main
development priorities. Governors are regularly briefed by the headteacher and staff and know
from this information and their own analysis and findings how well pupils achieve. The
governing body has undertaken training to develop its expertise, for example in gaining a
better understanding of the information about the performance of pupils. There is evidence in
records of governing body meetings and correspondence that governors hold leaders to
account and challenge the leadership team to explain school performance. Members consider
carefully the evidence from performance management of staff when approving pay
progression, and ensure that pupils’ progress is always taken into account in these decisions.
Governors monitor the use of the pupil premium funds and the impact on eligible pupils’
personal and academic development. Although school improvement planning identifies the
right priorities, the checks that the governing body makes on the effectiveness of the school
are not always focused clearly enough on these main priorities.
|Inspection report:||St John Fisher Catholic Primary School, 26-27 November 2013||8 of 10|
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 John Fisher Catholic Primary School, 26-27 November 2013||9 of 10|
|Unique reference number||103452|
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||4–11|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Number of pupils on the school roll||207|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Date of previous school inspection||8 November 2011|
|Telephone number||0121 4753489|
|Fax number||0121 4765782|