St John Fisher RC Primary School, Denton
phone: 0161 3365308
headteacher: Mrs Helen Hayes
194 pupils capacity: 115% full
130 boys 57%
95 girls 42%
Last updated: June 18, 2014
Primary — Voluntary Aided School
- Education phase
- Religious character
- Roman Catholic
- Establishment type
- Voluntary Aided School
- Establishment #
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 393778, Northing: 394103
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 53.444, Longitude: -2.0951
- Accepting pupils
- 3—11 years old
- Census date
- Jan. 16, 2014
- Ofsted last inspection
- July 9, 2013
- Diocese of Salford
- Region › Const. › Ward
- North West › Denton and Reddish › Denton South
- Urban > 10k - less sparse
- SEN priorities
- ASD - Autistic Spectrum Disorder
- Free school meals %
- 0.3 miles Two Trees Sports College M347QL
- 0.5 miles Manor Green Primary and Nursery School M347NS (455 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Corrie Primary School M346FG (355 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Linden Road Primary School and Hearing Impaired Resource Base M346EF (230 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Linden Road Primary School and Hearing Impaired Resource Base M346EF
- 0.8 miles St George's CofE Primary School SK141JL (224 pupils)
- 0.9 miles Hyde Pupil Referral Unit SK141ND
- 0.9 miles Dowson Primary School SK145HU (475 pupils)
- 0.9 miles St Thomas More RC College Specialising in Mathematics and Computing M346AF (770 pupils)
- 1 mile Greenfield Primary School and Early Years Centre SK141QD (289 pupils)
- 1 mile St Anne's Primary School M343DY (204 pupils)
- 1 mile St Mary's RC Primary School M342AR (232 pupils)
- 1 mile Ashlea House School M346ET (4 pupils)
- 1.1 mile Woodley Infant School SK61LH
- 1.1 mile Woodley Junior School SK61LH
- 1.1 mile Denton Central Primary School and ASD Resource Base M342AN
- 1.1 mile Greswell Primary School and Nursery M342DH (461 pupils)
- 1.1 mile Leigh Primary School SK145PL (322 pupils)
- 1.1 mile Leigh Street Junior School SK142RP
- 1.1 mile Leigh Street Infant School SK142RP
- 1.1 mile Woodley Primary School SK61LH (445 pupils)
- 1.2 mile Gee Cross Holy Trinity CofE (VC) Primary School SK145LX (235 pupils)
- 1.2 mile Hyde-Clarendon College SK142JZ
- 1.3 mile Flowery Field Primary School SK144SN (477 pupils)
St John Fisher RC Primary School,
Manor Road, Haughton Green, Denton, Manchester, M34 7SW
|Inspection dates||9–10 July 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’ achievement is good. Pupils from the |
Pupils’ attainment in English and mathematics
Children in the Early Years Foundation Stage
The quality of teaching is good and a
The spiritual character of the school makes a
specially resourced base also achieve well.
Pupils who are disabled and those with
special educational needs receive effective
support and make good progress.
has risen to above average.
make good progress in the very stimulating
and attractive classrooms and outdoor areas.
significant amount is outstanding. Pupils
enjoy the challenge and excitement of
grasping new knowledge and skills.
positive contribution to pupils’ moral, social,
cultural and spiritual development.
| Behaviour is good and pupils are unfailingly |
Staff come together in a shared commitment
Changes in leadership of the governing body
The headteacher and governors have worked
This is an effective and improving school
polite around school. Pupils are keen
conversationalists and confident young people.
to improve the achievement of pupils because
of clear expectations set by senior leaders.
over the past year have been managed
effectively to ensure that the school is
continuously held to account by governors.
well in successfully tackling some weaknesses
providing a good all-round education for its
| Not enough of the teaching is outstanding. |
Marking does not consistently ensure that
Some opportunities are missed to check
pupils’ understanding in lessons.
pupils understand precisely what it is they
need to do in order to improve their work.
| Some lessons lack sufficient challenge, |
especially for the more-able pupils, and work
targeted at the highest levels of attainment in
Information about this inspection
- The inspectors observed parts of 14 lessons.
- They listened to pupils reading individually and during lessons.
- Meetings were held with senior and middle leaders, including the leader of the specially
resourced base, the special educational needs coordinator, the Early Years Foundation Stage
leader, two members of the governing body, pupils and a representative from the local
- The inspectors took account of the 29 responses to the online parent questionnaire (Parent
View). The questionnaires completed by 23 staff were also taken into account.
- The inspectors observed the work of the school and reviewed various documents including the
school’s view of its effectiveness, the tracking of pupils’ progress, pupils’ books, records of
governing body meetings and the performance management of staff. Documents relating to
safeguarding, behaviour and safety were also considered.
|Marie Cordey, Lead inspector||Additional Inspector|
|Doreen Davenport||Additional Inspector|
Information about this school
- This is a smaller than average primary school.
- The school provides specially resourced provision for up to 14 pupils, most of whom are
supported for autistic spectrum disorders.
- The proportion of pupils supported through school action is below average. The proportion of
pupils supported at school action plus or with a statement of special educational needs is above
- The proportion of pupils known to be eligible for the pupil premium is average. (The pupil
premium is additional funding for pupils known to be eligible for free school meals, children from
service families and children who are looked after by the local authority.)
- Most pupils are White British. A small number are from ethnic minority backgrounds.
- The school meets the government’s current floor standards, which set the minimum expectations
for pupils’ attainment and progress.
- The school provides morning sessions for nursery-age children.
What does the school need to do to improve further?
- Increase the proportion of teaching that is outstanding in order to raise attainment further,
especially for the most-able pupils and in mathematics, by:
providing consistently challenging lessons to match the abilities of all pupils, particularly the
consistently providing work targeted at the highest levels of attainment in mathematics
checking pupils’ understanding throughout the lesson so that pupils know exactly what is
required from them and can move forward in their work
improving the quality of marking so that pupils know precisely how to improve their work and
then checking that pupils act on this advice.
|The achievement of pupils||is good|
- Pupils make good progress from their individual starting points because the quality of teaching is
good. Some make exceptional progress over time in the Reception class, in Year 6 and in the
specially resourced base for pupils with complex educational needs.
- Children start school with skills that vary from year to year but are generally below those seen
for their age. They make good and sometimes outstanding progress in the Early Years
Foundation Stage because teaching is consistently good and better, especially the teaching of
early writing and reading skills. In a lesson observed, children were keen to link letters and
sounds into words and were gleeful about their sophistication when talking about ‘grotty
graphemes’ as seen in the word ‘square’, for example.
- Progress from Year 1 to 6 is good. Pupils’ attainment by the time they leave school has been
inconsistent over time. This year, attainment in English is well above average and in
mathematics it is above average. This is confirmed by unvalidated test results and pupils’ work in
their books. Pupils’ progress dipped last year. The school identified the reasons for this and
acted promptly to address weaknesses in teaching while acknowledging that latecomers to Key
Stage 2 affected the school’s profile on progress.
- Actions taken by the school to raise attainment have been firmly embedded across the school.
This is reflected in the Early Years Foundation Stage, where attainment rose to average in 2012
and 2013 and in Key Stage 1, where attainment rose to above average in 2012, and that has
been maintained this year.
- Over time, progress is good in mathematics and for more-able pupils. However, in some lessons
this group do not reach the high standards they are capable of because they are not challenged
enough and work in mathematics is not consistently set at the highest levels of attainment.
- Writing is a strength of the school and pupils’ skills in reading are catching up quickly. Pupils
relish writing extended stories and the presentation of their work is typically careful, easy to read
and well planned. Skills in spelling and punctuation are taught at an early age and built on
effectively so that pupils have very good literacy skills. Pupils enjoy reading and are fluent and
expressive when reading aloud. Occasionally, lower-ability pupils are not fully confident at
sounding out letters to achieve the correct pronunciation of a word.
- The achievement of pupils provided for in the specially resourced base is good and sometimes
outstanding. Pupils learn from a variety of experiences, particularly in mathematical and
scientific enquiry, that are well matched to their abilities and interests. Photographic evidence,
for example, shows a wealth of first-hand experiences in life processes and living things.
- The achievement of disabled pupils and those with special educational needs is good. Their
individual requirements are rapidly identified and acted upon through skilful support and good
- Pupils known to be eligible for the pupil premium make good progress, similar to other pupils’.
Pupils known to be eligible for free school meals reach standards that are above those of similar
groups nationally and in line with all other pupils in the school in English and mathematics. This
is because of good teaching and the school’s emphasis on treating each pupil as an individual.
|The quality of teaching||is good|
- The quality of teaching over time is good and sometimes outstanding. As a result, pupils make
good progress. Teachers are knowledgeable about their subjects and enthuse pupils with a
desire to learn.
- In the best quality lessons, pupils persevere until they grasp the work set for them. They are
taught to develop their independence, using the knowledge and skills they have acquired. In a
Year 6 mathematics lesson, pupils worked industriously to identify patterns and sequences by
testing and re-testing their hypotheses with only minimal guidance from their teacher when
required. They learnt to meet the challenge, have confidence in their abilities and become self-
- This is not evident in all lessons and consequently the needs of more-able pupils, particularly in
mathematics, are not fully met.
- Teachers and learning assistants know their pupils well so pupils feel valued and are able to
learn effectively because their needs and abilities are recognised.
- Pupils enjoy learning and have positive attitudes to their lessons. Occasionally opportunities are
missed during the lesson to check whether any pupils do not fully understand what is required
from them. This slows progress and causes some restlessness.
- Reading, writing and number skills are taught well and are reflected in pupils’ attainment. This is
not always as apparent in some of their work in other subjects, when those skills are not as
- Careful planning to provide the most memorable experiences are reflected in the activities, both
indoors and out, in the Early Years Foundation Stage. Children relish opportunities to write, read
and count, whether it is in the ‘Forest School’ or in the classrooms. They also learn, for instance,
while role playing, playing with water and sand and recording observations with cameras.
- The quality of marking is good overall but there is some variability. Generally, marking helps
pupils to improve their work and teachers check to ensure that this happens. At times, however,
misunderstandings and gaps in learning are not checked quickly enough to secure consistently
- Pupils in the specially resourced base, those who are disabled and those with special educational
needs are taught well and sensitively. They are effectively supported by skilled staff.
|The behaviour and safety of pupils||are good|
- Pupils say they feel safe and older pupils are proud to help look after younger pupils. Pupils say
that ‘bullying just doesn’t happen here’ and they know whom to turn to if they have any
concerns. School ‘buddies’ are pleased and proud of their responsibilities in organising sports,
activities at playtimes and in recommending school improvements.
- Pupils appreciate their numerous sporting successes and proudly point out the trophies and
awards in the sports cabinet. They enjoy drama, singing and the many contributions they make
to improve their community. As a part of actions to improve the environment in Denton and
make it a landmark town, they have worked alongside a local business to develop designs to
enhance an untidy concrete underpass.
- Pupils are very conscious of what are right and wrong actions and have a highly developed
sense of justice and equality. This is enhanced by the school’s religious character and the many
opportunities available for them to pause, reflect and pray.
- Pupils’ positive attitudes to learning help them to make progress. Some pupils said that there
was some inattention in lessons when others did not understand what to do next, and help was
too slow coming so they could not get on with their work; inspectors agreed with this view.
- Children in the Early Years Foundation Stage play and learn happily because they are made to
feel welcome and activities stimulate their curiosity for learning. For the most part, they are
willing to share and take turns.
- Pupils in the specially resourced base learn to manage their own behaviour as well as cooperate
with others because of skilful management of behaviour by staff.
- Attendance has improved to above average because of rigorous school actions, the cooperation
of parents and pupils’ enjoyment of school life.
|The leadership and management||are good|
- The effective leadership of the headteacher and deputy headteacher leaves no one in any doubt
about how important it is to prepare pupils well for their future lives. As a result, all staff share
in a strong ambition for school improvement.
- The governing body has been subject to many role changes in recent months but has managed
these effectively. Leaders and governors have a good understanding of how well their school is
doing and precisely identify what needs to be done to improve it to the next level.
- Tackling weaknesses in teaching, improving pupils’ standards and their attendance all reflect the
school’s commitment to equality of opportunity and its capacity to improve further. Teaching is
rigorously monitored, challenged and supported. Performance management arrangements are
sharply focused on pupils’ achievement and the quality of teaching. They are clearly linked to
teachers’ pay and to professional training.
- The rich curriculum is at the heart of the school. A comprehensive re-modelling of the science
curriculum is already beginning to capture pupils’ enthusiasm and raise their standards. A strong
focus on spelling, punctuation and grammar, as well as a promotion of lengthier writing, results
in above-average standards that are continuing to rise. Other subjects are studied and pupils
particularly enjoy humanities, sport, drama and music.
- Pupils’ personal development and their academic skills are closely linked by leaders and help to
support pupils’ strong spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
- The local authority provides effective support and challenge.
- Parents’ views are largely very positive. The vast majority are happy with their child’s education
and would recommend it to others. A very small number of parents have some concerns, for
example, about behaviour, progress and the school’s response to concerns. Leaders are working
with governors to improve some parents’ perceptions about the school.
- The governance of the school:
Governors provide good support. They manage finances well and spend funds carefully and
astutely on improving pupils’ academic and personal development. The pupil premium funding
is allocated sensibly and effectively to improve pupils’ outcomes. The acting Chair and vice-
chair of the Governing Body have quickly got themselves up to speed in their roles and are
diligent in challenging school leaders. The governing body ensures that arrangements for
safeguarding meet statutory requirements.
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||106255|
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||227|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Date of previous school inspection||11 June 2008|
|Telephone number||0161 3365308|
|Fax number||0161 3367939|
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