School etc

St Joseph's Catholic Primary School

St Joseph's Catholic Primary School
North Road

phone: 01992 583148

headteacher: Mr Ian Kendal Bed

reveal email: adm…


school holidays: via Hertfordshire council

239 pupils aged 3—10y mixed gender
210 pupils capacity: 113% full

125 boys 52%


115 girls 48%


Last updated: June 19, 2014

Primary — Voluntary Aided School

Education phase
Religious character
Roman Catholic
Establishment type
Voluntary Aided School
Establishment #
OSGB coordinates
Easting: 531450, Northing: 213225
GPS coordinates
Latitude: 51.802, Longitude: -0.094997
Accepting pupils
3—11 years old
Census date
Jan. 16, 2014
Ofsted last inspection
July 2, 2013
Archdiocese of Westminster
Region › Const. › Ward
East of England › Hertford and Stortford › Hertford Sele
Urban > 10k - less sparse
Free school meals %

rooms to rent in Hertford

Schools nearby

  1. 0.3 miles Hollybush Primary School SG142DF (211 pupils)
  2. 0.4 miles Hertford St Andrew CofE Primary School SG142EP (128 pupils)
  3. 0.4 miles The Sele School SG142DG
  4. 0.4 miles The Sele School SG142DG (425 pupils)
  5. 0.5 miles Mill Mead Primary School SG143AA (239 pupils)
  6. 0.6 miles Duncombe School SG143JA (334 pupils)
  7. 0.7 miles Bengeo Primary School SG143DX (494 pupils)
  8. 0.7 miles Bengeo Junior School SG143HL
  9. 0.7 miles Bengeo Infant School SG143DX
  10. 0.9 miles St Joseph's in the Park SG142LX (150 pupils)
  11. 1 mile Abel Smith School SG138AE (234 pupils)
  12. 1 mile Richard Hale School SG138EN
  13. 1 mile Hertford, Ware and Bishop's Stortford Area Pupil Referral Unit SG138AE
  14. 1 mile Richard Hale School SG138EN (1126 pupils)
  15. 1.2 mile Morgans Primary School & Nursery SG138DR (412 pupils)
  16. 1.2 mile Morgans Walk Junior Mixed School SG138DR
  17. 1.2 mile Chalk Dell Infant School SG138JR
  18. 1.3 mile Simon Balle School SG138AJ
  19. 1.3 mile Simon Balle School SG138AJ (1053 pupils)
  20. 1.7 mile Wheatcroft Primary School SG137HQ (348 pupils)
  21. 1.7 mile Hertingfordbury Cowper Primary School SG142LR (210 pupils)
  22. 1.9 mile The Pines Junior Mixed and Infant School SG137SP
  23. 2.3 miles Stapleford Primary School SG143NB (95 pupils)
  24. 2.3 miles The Chauncy School SG120DP

List of schools in Hertford

School report

St Joseph’s Catholic Primary


North Road, Hertford, SG14 2BY

Inspection dates 2–3 July 2013
Overall effectiveness This inspection: Good 2
Previous inspection: Outstanding 1
Achievement of pupils Good 2
Quality of teaching Good 2
Behaviour and safety of pupils Outstanding 1
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 make good progress because they are
Children in the Early Years Foundation Stage
Behaviour and safety are outstanding. Pupils
Pupils feel secure and valued within the
Pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural
taught well throughout the school. Teaching
is typically good, and some is outstanding.
make increasingly good progress in all areas
of their learning and development in a
stimulating environment.
show excellent attitudes to learning. They are
welcoming, courteous and well mannered.
school community.
development is excellent. They are a credit to
the school and to their families.
The headteacher, staff and governors share
Their ambition and a strong sense of
The governors are regular visitors to the school
Parents are very positive about the school and
high expectations for all pupils to achieve well.
commitment and teamwork among staff have
helped to ensure that teaching and learning
have improved markedly this year.
and know it well. They have a clear
understanding of what the school needs to do
next in order to improve further.
praise the leadership, teaching and quality of
care that the school takes for their children.
Not enough teaching is outstanding.
Teachers do not always allow pupils enough
The skilled, expert questions they ask pupils
time to talk together about their learning.
to extend their learning in some lessons are
not yet a routine feature across the school.
Standards in mathematics were not as high as
in English last year. Teaching of mathematics
has improved this year, but pupils are not yet
making consistently rapid progress in the

Information about this inspection

  • The inspectors observed 17 lessons, four of which were seen together with the headteacher or
    the assistant headteacher. Nine teachers and their teaching assistants were seen working with
    their pupils.
  • Inspectors looked at the work in pupils’ books. They listened to some pupils from Years 2 and 6
    reading, and attended daily registration time.
  • Inspectors met with pupils from Years 5 and 6, including the house captains, and talked with
    pupils during lessons, in the playground and as they moved around the school.
  • Meetings were held with the headteacher, the assistant headteacher, team leaders, subject
    leaders and governors. Inspectors also gathered views from a representative of the local
  • Inspectors took account of the 50 responses to the online questionnaire (Parent View) and
    spoke informally with parents and carers at the start of the school day. They also considered
    letters received from individual parents.
  • Questionnaires completed by 14 members of staff were taken into account.
  • A wide range of school documents were reviewed. These included development plans, policies,
    the school’s own judgements on its strengths and weaknesses, various monitoring, safeguarding
    and planning records, information provided for families and governing body documents.

Inspection team

Ruth Dollner, Lead inspector Additional Inspector
Michael Miller Additional Inspector

Full report

Information about this school

  • St Joseph’s is an average-sized primary school mainly serving the local Catholic community
    within the broader Hertford area.
  • During this year the headteacher has shared his time between St Joseph’s and another local
    school he supports.
  • Nearly all of the pupils come from White British backgrounds, and speak English as their first
  • The proportion of pupils supported by the pupil premium, which in this school provides
    additional funding for pupils who are known to eligible for free school meals, is very low.
  • The proportion of pupils supported through school action, school action plus or with a statement
    of special educational need is well below average.
  • The school meets the government floor standards, which set the minimum expectations for
    pupils’ attainment and progress.

What does the school need to do to improve further?

  • Make teaching consistently at least good and more often outstanding, particularly in
    mathematics, by making sure that:
    teachers do not talk for too long
    pupils have the maximum possible time to discuss and reflect on their learning, both together
    and with their teachers
    teachers frequently ask pupils probing questions during lessons to assess how well they are
    learning, clarify any misunderstandings and challenge them to think hard
    the best practice in the teaching of mathematics is extended across the whole school.

Inspection judgements

The achievement of pupils is good
  • Children enter the nursery with levels of skills, knowledge and understanding below those
    expected for their age. They make good progress in both the Nursery and Reception Years and
    are prepared well to start their National Curriculum work in Year 1.
  • Since the previous inspection, pupils’ progress between Years 1 and 6 has been uneven and
    their attainment fell to average levels. Standards have improved again since 2011. Pupils are
    now making good progress. However, this remains uneven, particularly in mathematics and
    more generally for pupils in Year 3, where there have been four different teachers over the
    course of the year.
  • School data and the work shown in pupils’ books show that the current Year 2 pupils have
    progressed at almost twice the nationally expected rate in reading, writing and mathematics.
    They are making particularly good progress in learning about the sounds that letters make
    (phonics) and are able to apply these skills effectively in both their reading and writing work.
  • Attainment at the end of Key Stage 2 recovered to above average overall in 2012. It was above
    average in English, but it was only average in mathematics and improving achievement in this
    subject has been a major priority for the school. School data show that current Year 6 pupils
    have made good progress and their attainment is now above average. The work seen in lessons
    supported this judgement, although it has yet to be validated through the Year 6 national tests.
  • Disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs achieve well. They make good
    progress thanks to good planning to meet their specific needs and well-chosen support from
    teachers and support staff.
  • As there are so few pupils eligible for the additional government funding, the impact of this in
    national tests and assessments cannot be reported without potentially identifying individuals.
    However, these pupils generally make good progress in line with their classmates. The school
    uses the funding to provide additional support from adults, particularly in the teaching of phonics
    and number work, and to subsidise activities and trips so that no-one loses out.
  • Outstanding progress was seen in some lessons during the inspection. In a Year 6 geography
    lesson, pupils applied their extensive knowledge of coastal erosion to both their creative and
    factual writing work. They made rapid progress as they put themselves in the place of people
    whose homes and livelihoods were being destroyed by the force of the sea. This also contributed
    significantly to their spiritual and social development.
The quality of teaching is good
  • Teaching is typically good. Teachers are very clear about what they want pupils to learn.
    Teachers and teaching assistants develop positive working relationships with the pupils, which
    underpin very effectively their enthusiastic attitudes to learning.
  • Where teaching is outstanding, teachers use expert questioning skills not only to check pupils’
    understanding but also to challenge them to reflect on their ideas and thinking. This leads to
    excellent progress within lessons. However, this good practice is not applied consistently well
    across all lessons or year groups. The school recognises that developing this aspect of teaching
    is a priority in the drive to make teaching outstanding.
  • In a Reception lesson the teacher demonstrated very clearly how to craft questions about a
    range of objects brought in from home including photographs and toy cars. Children then made
    rapid progress in developing their own questioning skills. In a Year 6 lesson using number
    sequences on credit cards, the teacher constantly asked pupils questions that were skilfully
    aimed at building up their learning in small steps. This led to pupils reaching high standards.
  • Teachers often plan opportunities in lessons for pupils to work together with their ‘learning
    partners’. However, this way of working is not consistently well established across the school. In
    the few cases where teaching was less than good, pupils did not have enough time to talk in a
    sustained way about their learning, or to challenge each other’s thinking. In some lessons
    teachers simply talked for too long, thus limiting the time for pupils to develop their independent
    learning skills.
  • These weaker aspects of teaching were often seen in mathematics, and prevented pupils from
    reaching higher standards. In a Key Stage 2 lesson on time, for example, pupils were not asked
    to share their understanding of the key vocabulary needed to be successful with their learning
    with each other, or with the teacher.
  • Teachers have worked hard to improve the quality of their mathematics teaching in order to
    improve pupils’ standards, and with some success. They are focusing sharply on enabling pupils
    to apply their mathematical skills in more practical ways across a wide range of subjects to
    improve pupils’ achievement. Some outstanding progress in mathematics was clear in pupils’
    books, particularly in Year 2, but this is not typical and the standard of teaching is not yet
    consistently high.
  • Many lessons help to promote pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. In Year 1,
    pupils talked about how to become ‘the best friend they could be’. In a Year 2 mathematics
    lesson pupils worked collaboratively to place shapes on a Venn diagram made from hoops. They
    respected each other’s decisions but challenged each other maturely.
The behaviour and safety of pupils are outstanding
  • Behaviour is outstanding, and not simply because staff manage behaviour consistently and
    effectively. Pupils’ attitudes to learning are almost always impeccable and contribute
    exceptionally well to the good progress they are making. Attendance and punctuality to school
    are above average. This reflects the pupils’ commitment to the school and to their learning.
  • Pupils are actively involved in school life and its development. They have, for example, played an
    important role, alongside staff, governors and parents, in developing the school mission
    statement. They are proud of this and keen to talk about it.
  • An important strength of the school is its welcoming and supportive environment. Parents told
    inspectors how much they appreciated the ways the school balanced the academic and personal
    development of their children. Pupils’ specific individual needs are identified quickly, and support
    is swiftly and effectively tailored to meet their needs.
  • Pupils are developing into mature young citizens at St Joseph’s. They welcome visitors to the
    school whole-heartedly. They are polite, helpful, friendly, reflective and respectful. Pupils of all
    ages when reading or talking with inspectors frequently greeted them with, ‘How are you today?’
    or ‘Are you having a good day? They all showed genuine interest in the answers. Such
    approaches indicate the strength of the pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development,
    and their understanding of peoples’ differences and similarities.
  • Parents’ views of the school are very positive. They feel that their children are happy, safe and
    well cared for, and that any issues they raise are dealt with quickly and highly effectively. There
    is a strong sense of community in and around the school. Parents point to the warm and
    nurturing ethos underpinning the life of the school. This was seen very clearly at the annual
    swimming gala at the school’s own swimming pool, when pupils waited patiently for their turn
    and cheered each other on enthusiastically.
  • Incidents of inappropriate behaviour are extremely rare. Pupils understand very well how to
    keep each other safe. They are aware of the different types of bullying and believe that ‘bullying
    week’ helps to raise awareness and their understanding that prevention is better than cure.
The leadership and management are good
  • The headteacher provides strong, dynamic leadership and is ably supported by the assistant
    headteacher and the governing body. Team and subject leaders share the senior leaders’
    determination to improve. The staff’s openness of mind and willingness to act decisively on
    constructive feedback support the school’s good capacity for further improvement. Such
    attitudes make an important contribution to the school’s positive approach to ensuring that all
    pupils have an equal opportunity to succeed.
  • Staff who completed questionnaires were unanimous in their strong support for the leadership
    team and are proud to work at St Joseph’s.
  • Strong and effective leadership at all levels means that the school has made good progress on
    improving teaching and mathematics this year. The school’s evaluation of how well it is doing is
    clear and accurate, and the results have led to effective and detailed improvement planning with
    clear success criteria so that the school can be held to account by the community it serves.
  • The monitoring of teaching is rigorous, and feedback by senior leaders is focused sharply on
    improving pupils’ learning and achievement. Subject and team leaders provide good-quality
    support and advice for other staff through their regular monitoring of lessons and the training
    they provide. They seek external help to confirm their judgements, and do not hesitate to
    evaluate their own effectiveness in improving outcomes for pupils.
  • The school has identified the right priorities to improve teaching further. The sharing of good
    practice by subject leaders has helped teachers to explore ways of making mathematics more
    practical, and to developing additional ways to help pupils solve mathematical problems. Most
    teachers are planning to ensure lessons are engaging and involve collaboration between pupils.
  • The local authority adviser has provided a good level of challenge to the school while supporting
    it well, particularly by helping staff to improve their skills in analysing data on pupils’ progress.
  • The governance of the school:
    The governing body is well informed about the school’s performance in relation to other
    schools nationally. Governors provide good support to the school and hold it to account well.
    They visit the school regularly and take an active part in its life and work. New procedures
    introduced at governing body meetings this year have ensured that governors regularly ask
    leaders challenging questions about the school’s performance.
    Governors actively seek training to keep their skills up to date and enhance their work.

The governing body systematically checks on the effectiveness of teaching, and monitors how

well staff are meeting the targets set for their performance.

It also ensures that all national safeguarding requirements are met.

What inspection judgements mean


Grade Judgement Description
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.

School details

Unique reference number 117436
Local authority Hertfordshire
Inspection number 412331

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 240
Appropriate authority The governing body
Chair Steve Zsibrta
Headteacher Ian Kendal
Date of previous school inspection 19 June 2009
Telephone number 01992 583148
Fax number 01992 550503
Email address


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