St Joseph's RC Infant School
phone: 020 86702385
headteacher: Mrs T Lawlor
178 pupils capacity: 124% full
100 boys 45%
120 girls 54%
Last updated: June 18, 2014
Primary — Voluntary Aided School
- Education phase
- Religious character
- Roman Catholic
- Establishment type
- Voluntary Aided School
- Establishment #
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 532253, Northing: 170945
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 51.422, Longitude: -0.099296
- Accepting pupils
- 3—7 years old
- Census date
- Jan. 16, 2014
- Ofsted last inspection
- Feb. 10, 2011
- Archdiocese of Southwark
- Region › Const. › Ward
- London › Croydon North › Upper Norwood
- Urban > 10k - less sparse
- Free school meals %
- 0.1 miles Norwood School SE193NY (804 pupils)
- 0.1 miles St Joseph's RC Junior School SE193NU (219 pupils)
- 0.2 miles Virgo Fidelis Preparatory School SE191RS (165 pupils)
- 0.2 miles Virgo Fidelis Convent School SE191RS
- 0.2 miles Priory School SE193QN (83 pupils)
- 0.2 miles Virgo Fidelis Convent Senior School SE191RS (756 pupils)
- 0.3 miles St Luke's Church of England Primary School SE270DZ (202 pupils)
- 0.4 miles Norwood Park School SE279TG
- 0.4 miles Crown Lane Primary School SW163HX (485 pupils)
- 0.4 miles Rockmount Primary School SE193ST (475 pupils)
- 0.4 miles St Joseph's College SE193HL
- 0.4 miles Park Campus SE279NP (153 pupils)
- 0.4 miles Hillcrest Norwood SE191BY
- 0.4 miles Hillcrest SE191BY
- 0.4 miles St Joseph's College SE193HL (1148 pupils)
- 0.4 miles Park Campus SE279NP
- 0.5 miles Kingswood Primary School SE279RD (811 pupils)
- 0.5 miles Downsview Primary and Nursery School SE193XE (523 pupils)
- 0.5 miles South London College SE270TX
- 0.5 miles Silburn Reid SW163JE
- 0.6 miles Westwood Girls' College for Languages and Arts SE193UG
- 0.6 miles Harris Academy Upper Norwood SE193UG (528 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Julian's School SE270JF (495 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Harris Federation SE192BH
St Joseph's RC Infant and
Crown Dale, London, SE19 3NX
|Inspection dates||11–12 December 2014|
|Overall effectiveness||This inspection:||Good||2|
|Leadership and management||Good||2|
|Behaviour and safety of pupils||Good||2|
|Quality of teaching||Good||2|
|Achievement of pupils||Good||2|
|Early years provision||Good||2|
Summary of key findings for parents and pupils
This is a good school.
It is not yet an outstanding school because
| The headteacher and leadership team have set |
The school’s work to keep pupils safe is strong.
Pupils speak very highly of their school. They feel
Teaching is good because most activities are
clear expectations for good teaching and they
support staff to improve their practice. As a result,
the quality of teaching across the school is good.
Pupils feel very well looked after and their parents
are very confident that their children are secure in
safe, behave well and treat adults and each other
with kindness and respect.
carefully planned at the right level of difficulty for
pupils and, as a result, they make good progress.
| Leaders, managers and governors have made sure |
Pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural
Children get off to a good start in the Nursery and
Over the last year, the teaching of mathematics and
that teaching has improved since the previous
inspection. They are working well to drive further
improvement across the school.
development is strong because activities to promote
it are well planned. This, together with the work of
the school council, helps to prepare pupils for life in
modern democratic Britain.
Reception classes and make good progress.
writing has been reorganised. This is helping pupils,
particularly in Key Stage 1, to learn more quickly
and make better progress towards achieving more
| Not all adults are skilled in planning |
In the past, some targets set for pupils
activities that help pupils, particularly the
more able, to deepen and widen their
were not high enough to help them to
attain the highest levels and this has had
an impact on standards by the end of Year
| Marking in subjects other than in English does not |
always identify clearly enough what pupils should
do to improve their work. Staff do not always make
sure that pupils have made the necessary
Information about this inspection
- The inspectors observed 12 lessons or parts of lessons taught by seven teachers. In addition, they
observed pupils’ activities at break and lunchtimes.
- One lesson was observed jointly with the headteacher, who also accompanied an inspector on an
additional visit to look at pupils’ activities in two classes. The deputy headteacher joined an
inspector scrutinising pupils’ workbooks.
- Meetings were held with groups of pupils, representatives of the governing body, and middle
leaders. A telephone discussion took place between an inspector and a representative of the local
- The inspectors took account of 16 responses to the online questionnaire, Parent View, as well as
informal discussions with parents. The views of the staff were taken into account through meetings
and consideration of the 15 responses to staff questionnaires.
- The inspectors listened to pupils read and discussed their choices of reading books.
- The school’s own attainment records for the current year as well as previous academic years were
scrutinised in addition to published information on pupils’ achievement. Planning documents were
Records relating to pupils’ safety and welfare were examined. Behaviour logs and attendance
records were also scrutinised.
|Patricia MacLachlan, Lead inspector||Additional inspector|
|Roger Fenwick||Additional inspector|
Information about this school
- The school is smaller than the average-sized primary school.
- The proportion of pupils eligible for support from the pupil premium (extra money provided by the
government for disadvantaged pupils who are eligible for free school meals and for children who
are looked after) is above the national average. About seven in 10 pupils are supported by this
- The largest ethnic groups of pupils are those of African and White British heritage. The proportion
of pupils who speak English as an additional language is above the national average.
- The percentage of disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs is above the
national average with about one in 10 receiving additional support.
- The early years provision comprises a Nursery and two Reception classes. Thirty children currently
attend the Nursery on a part-time basis in the mornings.
- Since its previous inspection, the school has joined a federation of St Joseph’s Catholic Junior,
Infant and Nursery Schools. The headteacher leads the whole federation. A new early years co-
ordinator has been appointed since the previous inspection and the posts of mathematics and
writing leaders were created in September 2014.
What does the school need to do to improve further?
- Improve teaching so that the overall quality is outstanding by making sure that:
teachers consistently plan activities that deepen and widen pupils’ knowledge, especially for the most
making sure that marking in other subjects matches the quality, detail and time allocated for pupils’
responses as the marking system in English.
- Improve achievement by setting more ambitious targets in reading, writing and mathematics, and
checking frequently that pupils are reaching them.
|The leadership and management||are good|
- Leadership and management are good. Leaders have worked successfully to make sure that pupils are
making good progress to achieve standards in line with national expectations by the end of Key Stage 1.
Leaders have organised frequent and rigorous checking of teachers’ marking within the federation and the
local cluster of Catholic schools so that the assessment of pupils’ work is now more accurate.
- The committed and energetic headteacher, and the leadership team, have focused on making frequent
observations of pupils’ learning and detailed recording of their progress. This information is used well to
improve the quality of teaching and to drive up standards.
- In the past some pupils, particularly the most able, were not set sufficiently challenging targets to reach
the highest levels. Leaders have recognised this and are now starting to address this issue by focusing
more sharply on target setting. Newly appointed subject leaders are being enlisted in checking that able
pupils are making rapid progress.
- Middle leaders in charge of subjects also check that teachers’ assessments of pupils’ work are accurate.
However, this has started only recently and it is too early to evaluate the full impact of their work. They
are involved in training staff for new approaches to teaching mathematics and writing, and in checking
pupils’ progress, as well as helping parents to understand the new National Curriculum. Subject leaders
are linked with their counterparts in the junior school to evaluate proposals for new assessment systems
and to support faster progress for pupils as they move into Key Stage 2.
- Staff performance is managed meticulously and pay rises are only awarded if teachers help pupils to meet
their progress targets. The headteacher has not shied away from difficult conversations and tackles
- School leaders are making effective use of additional funding to improve the achievement of
disadvantaged pupils, with gaps in the current Years 1 and 2 between the disadvantaged and their peers
in the school having been eradicated.
- Very strong spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is planned in the subjects and activities
offered to pupils. Pupils are helped to understand British democratic values because the curriculum
includes this. Reflection upon the moral and social impact of actions is a routine part of lessons and all
classrooms have attractive prayer corners. In addition to Christianity, religious education includes Judaism
and Islam. There are also regular visits from a Greek Orthodox priest. All of this helps to deepen pupils’
understanding of a range of faiths.
- The school council is involved in planning the school’s donations to charity. The curriculum widens pupils’
cultural horizons with, for example, an international celebration of the different cultures represented
among the school’s families. The forest school enthrals pupils and deepens their environmental
understanding. Drama, music and dance performances involve the whole school and pupils’ self-
confidence is boosted as a result.
- Safeguarding systems meet statutory requirements and policies are reviewed regularly. Leaders promote
equality and tackle any potential discrimination effectively.
- The additional government sports funding has been used to train teachers to improve physical education
lessons and to give pupils additional extra-curricular opportunities in dance, tennis and gymnastics. The
school is now entering more sports competitions across the borough and local cluster of Catholic schools.
- The local authority assists the school by working across the federation. Particular support as been given to
the Infant and Nursery school by checking the school’s assessments at the end of the early years phase;
by reviewing provision for pupils with disabilities and special educational needs; and supporting training of
staff who work with those who speak English as an additional language. The local authority provides
training for governors and subject consultants led work to revise the mathematics curriculum last year.
- The governance of the school:
– Members of the governing body know the standards of achievement and teaching in the school. This is
because governors ask detailed and probing questions about pupils’ performance when leaders
report to them. The governing body augments this questioning with a schedule of focused visits to
check that reported improvements are taking place. Governors have an accurate understanding of
how pupils are performing compared with national standards because they use the published data
to compare pupils’ performance. They have received training from the local authority to use
published data effectively. Governors understand the link between teachers’ pay increases and
pupils’ progress.They are aware of what support has been provided to improve teaching and if
there has been any underperformance. Checks are made that the pupil premium funds are spent
on the intended groups and governors hold school leaders to account for the impact of the
expenditure on pupils’ performance. British values of democracy and tolerance are actively
promoted because governors meet the pupil council to discuss their concerns and proposals for
expenditure. The governing body welcomes the celebration of families’ diverse cultures and works
on the principle that ‘tolerance underpins our Catholic faith’ by inviting parents who follow other
faiths to explain their festivals and practices to the whole-school community. Governors are
assiduous in ensuring that safeguarding arrangements meet requirements. The budget is carefully
managed to support the school improvement plan.
|The behaviour and safety of pupils||are good|
- The behaviour of pupils is good. Their attitudes to learning are positive because teachers and other adults
encourage them and apply the behaviour policy consistently. Pupils respond well to, and value, the ‘golden
time’ gained through behaving well, when they are allowed to choose their own activities.
- Pupils cooperate well with each other in lessons. Behaviour is good, rather than outstanding, because it is
not exemplary across the school. Pupils’ attention can wander occasionally if adults have not set high
enough expectations for activities.
- Pupils behave very responsibly outside classrooms. Pupils, some given daily duties, take responsibility
around the school and keep watch, for example, for anyone at the ‘friendship stop’ to include them in their
- Typically, pupils conduct themselves well around the school. This is because all staff set high expectations.
Positive values are emphasised through the moral value of the school. Pupils showed enthusiasm about
their advent promises to be kind to others.
- The absence rates for those pupils who find it difficult to attend school regularly have declined over recent
years. This is because of more effective checking and following up of absences with parents and carers.
Attendance over the past three years has been in line with the national average. Exclusions have not been
used because the management of behaviour is effective.
- The school’s work to keep pupils safe and secure is good. Pupils speak appreciatively of the way that they
are looked after.
- Pupils have a good awareness of personal safety, including using the internet, because it is explained well
in lessons and assemblies. Road safety is well understood and practised because it is well taught.
- Pupils understand what bullying means and their student council has been instrumental in drawing up an
anti-bullying charter. They say that any incidents are rare and that staff can be relied upon to help them
to overcome any problems quickly.
- The overwhelming majority of the parents who responded to Parent View or who spoke to inspectors
believe that the school provides a safe and caring environment.
|The quality of teaching||is good|
- Teaching is good because it promotes good progress across all subjects.
The school’s own evaluation of the quality of teaching shows that some staff, in the past, did not set high
enough expectations in mathematics to help pupils make good progress. However, mathematics teaching
has now improved as a result of focused subject leadership and the introduction of new policies and
methods. Pupils are now making sustained progress, particularly in Year 2.
- Marking is regular and many teachers make helpful comments on pupils’ work, particularly in their English
books. However, comments by teachers about what pupils should do next to improve their work are not
always so detailed, nor are pupils’ corrections so thorough in other subjects.
- Teachers set high expectations for pupils’ extended writing work because a new system for teaching
writing has been adopted across the school. This is also seen in writing in subjects such as religious
education and, as a result, progress in developing vocabulary, and using grammar and punctuation, is
consistent across subjects.
- Tasks in mathematics are designed to challenge the pupils’ thinking and to stimulate discussion about how
to solve problems. For example, in a Year 2 activity, children were challenged to find out the answer to a
key question about whether or not taller children have bigger feet. Pupils’ enthusiasm was stimulated
because they worked in groups to measure height and sizes of shoes. The teacher’s insistence on using
full sentences enabled further discussion of a pupil’s comment that ‘you have to stand still as a statue’ to
identify that this was an example of a simile. There were lively discussions among pupils about their
proposed answers and how this could prove their ability to count in tens.
- Pupils who find the work difficult benefit from helpful support in class that enables them to make
progress. The pupils who are capable of attaining higher levels are sometimes set extension challenges
but these are not always hard enough to stretch their capabilities. Not all teachers consistently plan
activities that deepen and widen pupils’ knowledge, especially for the most able.
- Reading for enjoyment is encouraged across all year groups. Leaders have provided well-equipped
and cosy reading areas and help pupils select books for sessions in school and at home. Pupils’ reading is
checked frequently by adults in detailed record books. Lessons linking sounds to letters (phonics) are well
organised, sometimes enthralling pupils with stimulating activities to improve standards.
|The achievement of pupils||is good|
- Pupils’ achievement is good. While in recent years attainment by the end of Year 2, especially in
mathematics, was below that at the time of the previous inspection, this still represents good
progress. Many pupils were entering school with skills that were below, and recently, well below,
those typical of three- and four-year-olds.
- The school’s own records show that rates of progress in mathematics, reading and writing are now
good and improving, particularly in Year 2.
- Progress information on all pupils is checked regularly by leaders. Class teachers are held to account
for any pupils who have failed to make expected progress and for whom they are expected to
arrange additional help. Subject leaders are increasingly involved in checking whether or not this
support is effective.
- More-able pupils now make good progress from the Reception classes to Key Stage 1. In the current
Year 2, more-able pupils are now making better progress than in previous years, given their starting
points, especially in reading and mathematics. However, school leaders recognise that there is not
yet enough emphasis on setting demanding work in a range of subjects to help these attain the
highest levels by the end of Year 2.
- School records show that disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs are making
the same, or even better, progress as their classmates. This is because staff work well together to
make sure that these pupils are given the help that they need.
- Boys’ performance in literacy has improved, closing the gap with that of girls. Pupils from different
ethnic groups make equally good progress as those who speak English as an additional language.
This is because well-focused training has been given to staff who support small groups.
- Additional government funding is used to run small-group activities for disadvantaged pupils in
reading, writing and mathematics. In 2014, the funds were used to ensure that, in reading, the gap
between disadvantaged pupils and their peers narrowed. However, in the current Years 1 and 2, the
disadvantaged pupils have outperformed their classmates in reading, writing and mathematics,
showing that the money is being spent increasingly effectively.
|The early years provision||is good|
- Children join the Nursery and Reception classes with skills that are below, and in recent years, well
below, the levels typical of three- and four-year-olds. About half the pupils every year join Reception
from settings other than the school’s Nursery. As a result of good teaching, increasing numbers in
recent years have achieved a good level of development by the end of the Reception Year, preparing
them well for Year 1. This represents good progress.
- Parents and carers are visited before their children enrol and encouraged to help their children to
learn by joining well-attended workshops that focus on phonics. A ‘wow moments’ project
encourages parents to share landmark experiences in the home environment with the school for
further celebration. Helpful information about children’s progress is shared frequently with parents so
that they are aware of their child’s targets.
- Children behave well and respond positively to the routines established by sympathetic staff who
help to defuse any minor disagreements.
- Staff help children to experience a range of interesting activities that engage their attention drawing
skilfully upon classroom, outdoor and forest-school environments. Phonics is taught particularly
effectively in Nursery and enables children to make a good start in reading.
- Leadership and management of the early years provision are good because teaching and support for
children are effective. Adults’ questions are systematically checked by leaders to make sure that all
adults are helping children to develop their reasoning and powers of self-expression. Senior leaders
are aware of the need to provide training in the Reception classes to assess and track children’s
progress more frequently to achieve even higher attainment by the end of the Reception Year.
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
|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
|Unique reference number||101803|
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||3-7|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Number of pupils on the school roll||210|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Date of previous school inspection||10–11 February 2011|
|Telephone number||020 8670 2385|
|Fax number||020 8670 0420|