St Joseph's RC Primary School
phone: 01989 564655
headteacher: Bernadette Davies
140 pupils capacity: 70% full
50 boys 51%
50 girls 51%
Last updated: June 19, 2014
Primary — Voluntary Aided School
- Education phase
- Religious character
- Roman Catholic
- Establishment type
- Voluntary Aided School
- Establishment #
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 359872, Northing: 223550
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 51.909, Longitude: -2.5847
- Accepting pupils
- 4—11 years old
- Census date
- Jan. 16, 2014
- Ofsted last inspection
- March 27, 2014
- Archdiocese of Cardiff
- Region › Const. › Ward
- West Midlands › Hereford and South Herefordshire › Ross-on-Wye East
- Urban > 10k - less sparse
- Free school meals %
- 0.2 miles Ashfield Park Primary School HR95AU (348 pupils)
- 1 mile Brampton Abbotts CofE Primary School HR97FX (111 pupils)
- 1.1 mile Bridstow CofE Primary School HR96PZ (89 pupils)
- 1.1 mile John Kyrle High School and Sixth Form Centre HR97ET
- 1.1 mile John Kyrle High School and Sixth Form Centre Academy HR97ET (1371 pupils)
- 1.6 mile Walford Primary School HR95SA (194 pupils)
- 2.2 miles Weston-under-Penyard CofE Primary School HR97PA (45 pupils)
- 3.1 miles Goodrich CofE Primary School HR96HY (115 pupils)
- 3.7 miles Lea CofE Primary School HR97JY (99 pupils)
- 4 miles Ruardean Church of England Primary School GL179XQ (96 pupils)
- 4 miles King's Caple Primary School HR14TZ
- 4 miles King's Caple Primary Academy HR14TZ (39 pupils)
- 4.4 miles Joys Green Primary School GL179QX
- 4.7 miles Whitchurch CofE Primary School HR96DA (136 pupils)
- 4.8 miles Drybrook Primary School GL179JF (126 pupils)
- 4.8 miles Woodside Primary School GL179XP (113 pupils)
- 4.9 miles English Bicknor Church of England Primary School GL167PG (66 pupils)
- 4.9 miles Gorsley Goffs Primary School HR97SE (197 pupils)
- 5.1 miles Lydbrook Primary School GL179PX (138 pupils)
- 5.1 miles Mitcheldean Endowed Primary School GL170BS (199 pupils)
- 5.2 miles Llangrove CofE Primary School HR96EZ
- 5.2 miles Llangrove CofE Primary School HR96EZ (45 pupils)
- 5.5 miles Dene Magna School GL170DU
- 5.5 miles Dene Magna School GL170DU (725 pupils)
St Joseph's RC Primary School
The Avenue, Walford Road, Ross-on-Wye, HR9 5AW
|Inspection dates||27–28 March 2014|
|Overall effectiveness||This inspection:||Good||2|
|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
| The headteacher and an assistant |
Pupils achieve well and reach standards that
Teaching is good and some is outstanding.
Teachers and teaching assistants work
headteacher from the federated high school
have provided firm and determined
leadership since the previous inspection. Well
supported by the governing body, the
leadership team has secured a number of
improvements, including significant
improvements in pupils’ achievement.
are above average by the time they leave the
school at the end of Year 6.
Relationships between staff and pupils are
very strong. Teachers use explanations and
questioning well to promote good learning.
together very productively to ensure that
disabled pupils and those who have special
educational needs achieve well.
| Pupils behave exceptionally well in class and |
Pupils enjoy coming to school and this is
The governing body is very supportive of the
The promotion of pupils’ spiritual, moral, social
Real-life experiences gained from trips to
around the school. They say they feel very safe
in school and are aware of how to keep safe in
a variety of situations.
reflected in their consistently high levels of
school and fully involved in ensuring that this is
an improving school.
and cultural development has a very high
priority in the school and is extremely effective.
places of interest, along with creative and
imaginative use of subject matters such as art,
music and sport, are helping pupils to learn
| Despite recent improvements, attainment in |
writing is below that of reading because
pupils do not develop and practise their
writing skills across all subjects.
| Children in the Reception year do not have |
enough opportunities, or suitable resources, to
develop their skills in the outdoor learning
Information about this inspection
- The inspector observed teaching in seven lessons, two of which were observed jointly with the
headteacher. The inspector also made a number of shorter visits to classrooms and heard a
number of pupils read.
- Meetings and discussions were held with groups of pupils, governors, members of staff and a
representative of the local authority.
- The inspection took into account the 18 responses to the online questionnaire, Parent View, and
the outcomes from the school’s recent consultations with parents.
- The inspector observed the school’s work and looked at a number of documents, including: the
school’s own information on pupils’ current progress, planning and monitoring documentation,
records relating to behaviour and attendance, and documents relating to safeguarding.
|Clive Lewis, Lead inspector||Additional Inspector|
Information about this school
- The school is smaller than the average-sized primary school.
- Most pupils are White British. The proportion of pupils from minority ethnic groups is well below
average and only a few pupils speak English as an additional language.
- Pupils are taught in mixed-age classes.
- The proportion of disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs who are
supported through school action is broadly average. The proportion supported through school
action plus or with a statement of special educational needs is above average.
- The proportion of pupils known to be eligible for the pupil premium (additional government
funding for pupils eligible for free school meals and other specific groups) is broadly average.
- The school is part of a ‘hard federation’ with St. Mary’s RC High School, Lugwardine. The
headteacher and an assistant headteacher from St. Mary’s have led and managed the school in
the roles of headteacher and deputy headteacher since the federation was formalised under one
governing body in April 2012.
What does the school need to do to improve further?
- Improve planning and resources for the outdoor curriculum in the Early Years Foundation Stage
so that children have the opportunities to choose activities for themselves and to fully develop
their skills in the outdoor learning environment.
- Improve achievement in writing to the high standard of reading by ensuring that all pupils are
provided with more opportunities to produce extended pieces of writing in other subjects.
|The achievement of pupils||is good|
- Children start school with skills that are typically below what would be expected for their age,
although this fluctuates greatly from year to year due to the small year groups. In 2013 the Year
1 phonics check (letters and the sounds they make) showed that pupils’ skills were similar to
those in other schools. At the end of Key Stage 1 pupils’ standards are similar to the national
average. By the time pupils reach the end of Year 6 they have made good progress, particularly
in reading and mathematics, and reached above average standards.
- The number of pupils who join or leave the school part way through their education is
particularly high in some year groups – less than half of the current Year 6 cohort of 16 pupils
joined the school in Reception, for example. Attainment in 2012 was significantly above the
national average. The number of pupils leaving Year 6 in 2013 was very small, so the results of
individual pupils had a particularly significant impact on overall standards. Though overall
achievement was good in mathematics and reading, achievement in writing was not so strong.
- In the Reception class children work well together and quickly become confident in their learning
and in the classroom routines. Systematic teaching of phonics, and good work across the school
when pupils read with a teacher in a group and discuss what they are reading (guided reading),
ensure that children acquire secure basic reading skills and develop an enjoyment of books. Year
2 pupils, for example, read accurately and with good expression. They know the difference
between fiction and non-fiction writing and can work out what is likely to happen next in a story.
- Pupil premium funding has been spent well to support the learning of the small number of pupils
for whom it is intended. Too few pupils are known to be eligible for the pupil premium to allow
comment on their attainment without potentially identifying them. However, their progress is
similar to that of their classmates because the funding has been used effectively to provide the
support they need.
- Disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs make at least good progress.
Their needs are well known and good support from teachers and teaching assistants helps them
to achieve their challenging individual learning targets.
|The quality of teaching||is good|
- Pupils, parents and carers say that teaching is good and inspection findings endorse this view. A
significant proportion is outstanding. The school uses every opportunity to encourage teachers
to continue to develop and improve their practice and, unusually for a small primary school,
teachers move around classrooms teaching to their strengths and expertise.
- Pupils’ books confirm that teaching is good over time. They show that pupils learn well and make
consistently good progress because teaching activities make them think deeply about their work.
Teachers make good links between different subjects and to previous learning. This helps to
promote pupils’ confidence and enjoyment, as well as their spiritual and cultural development.
- All staff are determined to become even better in their roles and are beginning to share good
practice with each other.
- Teachers manage the behaviour of pupils very effectively with the result that lessons are calm
and purposeful and all pupils learn successfully. Pupils work hard and remain on task without the
need for constant adult prompting.
- Pupils’ progress in reading, writing and mathematics is checked rigorously and tracked as they
move through the school. Termly meetings about pupils’ progress are held to discuss the
information gained. This new whole-school system provides secure information on pupils'
progress as they move through the school. Teachers now have a better understanding of how
well pupils in their charge are achieving and the action they need to take to support and help
them to reach their challenging targets.
- Teachers and teaching assistants work with pupils who join the school during the year to
establish their skills and ensure that they quickly start to make good progress.
- In the Early Years Foundation Stage, adults take every opportunity to extend children’s language
and numeracy skills by regularly asking them about the things that they are doing. Children
settle quickly in the Reception setting. However, children have limited opportunities to develop
their learning by freely choosing from a range of activities in the outdoor area.
- Good organisation in the classroom, coupled with high expectations of work and behaviour,
ensures that teaching takes place in a purposeful and calm learning atmosphere. This makes a
significant contribution to pupils’ good progress.
|The behaviour and safety of pupils||are outstanding|
- The behaviour of pupils is outstanding. Throughout the school this contributes considerably to
the quality of learning. Pupils are extremely proud of their school and take great delight in
talking about their work and their achievements. Older pupils are excellent role models for the
- Pupils really enjoy coming to school and this is confirmed by their consistently high levels of
attendance. Year 6 pupils told the inspector that they will be sorry to leave at the end of the
year but, due to their regular visits to St. Mary’s High School they feel more confident and better
prepared for the move.
- The school is a calm, friendly and very orderly place in which to learn. Pupils are extremely well
behaved throughout the school, in classrooms, in the corridors, in assemblies and in the outdoor
areas. They listen attentively to teachers and respond immediately to instructions from adults.
They move around the school with care and consideration for others. Pupils arrive punctually
and well prepared for the day.
- The school works very closely with parents and carers to support pupils with emotional and
social difficulties. These pupils receive good support to enable them to work and play safely with
their peers. Poor behaviour is, consequently, very rare and there have been no recent
- The school’s work to keep pupils safe and secure is good. Pupils have a good understanding of
different types of bullying, including cyber-bullying, and feel that very little occurs. They told the
inspector that they feel very safe in school and are confident that any of the adults would help if
they need it.
- Parents strongly agree that their children are safe in the school and are very positive about the
quality of teaching and pupils’ behaviour.
- The pupils respond extremely well to the spiritual, moral and social guidance they receive. They
develop very positive attitudes to life and learning through the teaching of common values and
expectations through assemblies and personal and social education in class.
|The leadership and management||are good|
- The school has grown and developed significantly in a number of ways following the federation
with St. Mary’s RC High School under the strong leadership of the high school’s headteacher and
- Teaching is good and often outstanding. The inspector agreed with all the judgements that were
made jointly with school leaders who accurately monitor the quality of teaching.
- Leaders and middle leaders, including the governing body, know their school extremely well.
They know what needs to be done to continue to improve pupils’ performance and are
successful at developing the learning needs of individual pupils within each class and group.
- The school pays close attention to developing teachers’ skills. The setting of targets for teachers
is used effectively to reward the best teaching.
- The school has a creative and stimulating range of subjects and activities, with an appropriately
strong emphasis on improving pupils’ literacy and numeracy skills. Spiritual, moral, social and
cultural development is promoted extensively and successfully. However, in the Early Years
Foundation Stage, the use of the outside area to support children’s independent learning skills
does not match the planning, range of activities or resources found inside the classroom.
- The school is deeply committed to all pupils achieving well, discovering new interests and
developing their talents. The extra funding provided for the pupils supported through the pupil
premium funding is spent wisely and its impact is carefully and regularly checked.
- Parents express strong support for the school. Their responses to the Parent View website were
overwhelmingly positive about the school and almost all parents would recommend it to other
- The school has used the primary sports funding well to provide additional physical education
activities during and after school. These activities are led by a skilled sports coach, working with
class teachers. This motivates pupils very well and is resulting in improved teaching skills among
staff. This, in turn, is leading to improved physical skills, health and well-being. Systems are in
place for the full evaluation of the provision.
- The local authority was very supportive to both schools during the federation process and since
the hard federation has provided support only when requested.
- The governance of the school:
The governing body, which is responsible for both federated schools, knows the school very
well. It is well placed, with a range of skills, experience and knowledge to continue to
successfully support and challenge the school. Governors ask challenging questions about the
quality of teaching and supporting leaders in monitoring it. They are kept very well informed
by the headteacher, visit school regularly and canvass the views of parents. Governors
regularly attend training in order to develop their expertise. This has ensured that they have a
very good understanding of school performance information. They ensure that teachers’ pay is
linked to the progress of their pupils. They work with staff to ensure that safeguarding polices
and practices fully meet national requirements. They monitor the use of financial resources,
such as the effective use and impact of the pupil premium and the sports funding.
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||116911|
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||100|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Date of previous school inspection||15 May 2012|
|Telephone number||01989 564655|
|Fax number||01989 564655|