St Mary's Priory RC Junior School
Headteacher: Mrs F Collins
Archdiocese of Westminster
230 pupils, Mixed
|Unique Reference Number||102145|
|Inspection dates||16–17 March 2010|
|Reporting inspector||June Woolhouse|
|Type of school||Junior|
|School category||Voluntary aided|
|Age range of pupils||7–11|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Number of pupils on the school roll||228|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Chair||Mrs Marva Hibbert|
|Headteacher||Mrs Florence Collins|
|Date of previous school inspection||21 June 2007|
|School address||Hermitage Road|
|Telephone number||020 8800 9350|
|Fax number||020 8880 1142|
|Inspection dates||16–17 March 2010|
© Crown copyright 2009
This inspection was carried out by three additional inspectors. The inspectors visited 16 lessons. All 10 teachers were observed at least twice and the majority of time was spent observing learning. Meetings were held with governors, the headteacher, senior leaders and subject leaders and groups of pupils. Inspectors observed the school's work, and looked at documents including the school development plan, policies and the tracking of pupils' progress. They also looked at documents relating to provision for pupils identified as more able, those with special educational needs and/or disabilities and those whose first language is not English. In addition, inspectors looked at minutes of governors' meetings, pupils' books and displays. Parents and carers returned 95 questionnaires, and inspectors also looked at questionnaires from staff and pupils.
The inspection team reviewed many aspects of the school's work. It looked in detail at the following:
This average-sized junior school became part of a federation with the adjacent infants' school in 2006 and shares the same headteacher. Nearly all pupils come from a wide range of different ethnic backgrounds. Three quarters of them speak English as an additional language. The proportion of pupils eligible for free school meals is above average. The proportion of pupils with special educational needs is average. These include speech, language and communication, and emotional, social and behavioural difficulties, autistic spectrum disorder and physical difficulties. Three children have a statement of special educational needs. There is a breakfast and after-school school club organised by the governing body. The school was awarded Investors in People in 2008 after the federation with the infants' school. It has gained the full International Schools award.
|Inspection grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is satisfactory, and 4 is inadequate|
|Please turn to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms|
Overall effectiveness: how good is the school?
The school's capacity for sustained improvement
St Mary's Priory Junior is a good school. The headteacher and her staff succeed in fulfilling the school's mission statement by 'inspiring our children to become confident, independent learners for life'. They understand and celebrate the multicultural diversity of their community and their work is underpinned by the school's strong Catholic ethos. The inclusion and recognition of parents' and carers' views about their children's education are exceptionally well-managed contributing very well to outstanding care, guidance and support of pupils. This includes pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities, those whose first language is not English and vulnerable pupils coming new to the school from different backgrounds and cultures. As a result, pupils show great courtesy and respect for each other, behave exceptionally well in class and around school, and work harmoniously together in lessons. The good safeguarding procedures mean they feel very safe.
Pupils learn how children live in other parts of the world and actively support an African school. The school has gained the full International Schools Award as a result. This aspect of promoting good citizenship, along with their spiritual, moral and social development, is outstanding. Parents and carers are very enthusiastic about the way their children are taught and cared for and one, reflecting the views of nearly all, said: 'My children thoroughly enjoy being at St Mary's.' These strong foundations give pupils the best possible conditions to thrive and learn. Pupils benefit from the continuity in learning established through the federation. Links with other partners to promote this continuity are outstanding. Pupils know their teachers from an early age and their progress and well-being are monitored effectively as they move through both schools.
Pupils enjoy their learning because teaching is good. The school's closer attention to each pupil's progress has resulted in more challenge for some groups, particularly the more able. The under-performance of some of these pupils last year has been arrested. Throughout the school pupils are making good progress and are on track to meet their targets, although these targets are not always sufficiently closely linked to national expectations to ensure that they are demanding enough. Attainment in English and mathematics is broadly average but dipped in science in 2009 because a number of higher attaining pupils did not quite reach their potential. Provision for science is less effective because insufficient time is assigned to the subject and lessons are too short to enable pupils to engage in enough practical investigation and exploration. Also, there are too few opportunities for pupils to develop their capability in literacy, numeracy and information and communication technology (ICT) by applying these skills across a range of subjects.
Senior leaders accurately evaluate teaching and learning. Middle leaders' increasing skill in using performance data enables extra support to be targeted effectively on pupils who are not achieving as well as they should. Individual pupils' progress is now tracked in all classes and this is a key improvement since the last inspection. The school's capacity to make further improvements is therefore good. Governors are actively involved in school life and contribute well to promoting an inclusive community which is free of discrimination. Community cohesion within the local area is outstanding but the impact of the school's work further afield has yet to be evaluated. The financial benefits of federation have been used well to improve provision.
Outcomes for individuals and groups of pupils
Attainment in national tests at the end of Year 6 in 2009 was affected by pupils joining and leaving at various times and the more able pupils achieving less well than predicted, especially in science. Pupils' progress has improved and they are now achieving well. Pupils get down to learning straight away because introductions are brisk and learning objectives clear, unfussy and shared. They are actively involved in oral/mental starters because interactive whiteboards are used effectively and the display of one pupil's problem-solving methods is visible to everyone, with opportunities for contributions when errors happen or the pupil gets stuck. Levels of collaboration like this are excellent.
Pupils enjoy learning because they succeed in solving problems and know that they are making good progress because of the regular interventions and discussions with teachers and well-trained teaching assistants. In an excellent numeracy lesson, pupils systematically built up their understanding of percentages by articulating their calculating methods with the teacher, practising them in some examples before considering how to apply them to real-life situations, for example shopping in a sale. The more able were suitably challenged by more difficult problems in this lesson. In a very effective literacy lesson, pupils enjoyed talking to each other and these opportunities for speaking and listening, modelled by the teacher, contribute effectively to good progress in other aspects of literacy. This is especially the case for pupils whose first language is not English or who have individual learning needs.
Pupils' skills to prepare them for the next stage of schooling are broadly average but improving. Their personal skills and attitudes are outstanding. They are proud to represent their school and contribute well through the student council and peer mediation activities. They have a good understanding of how to be healthy by participating in sport and eating healthily. Attendance is average and, although the school has stringent procedures to ensure good attendance, some parents persist in taking their children out of school for prolonged periods. This affects progress and disrupts school routines because pupils are behind in their learning when they return.
These are the grades for pupils' outcomes
|Pupils' achievement and the extent to which they enjoy their learning|
Taking into account:
The quality of pupils' learning and their progress
The quality of learning for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities and their progress
|The extent to which pupils feel safe||1|
|The extent to which pupils adopt healthy lifestyles||2|
|The extent to which pupils contribute to the school and wider community||1|
|The extent to which pupils develop workplace and other skills that will contribute to their future economic well-being|
Taking into account:
|The extent of pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development||1|
1 The grades for attainment and attendance are: 1 is high; 2 is above average; 3 is broadly average; and 4 is low
Teaching is good and there are examples of outstanding practice. Dedicated fortnightly sessions for more able pupils have arrested their previous underachievement. Lesson plans are clear and take account of the range of abilities in each class, although comparisons with national expectations in all year groups are not well-embedded. Teaching assistants are well deployed and this means that pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities and those whose first language is not English make good progress. These pupils receive excellent support and teaching. Teachers have very good subject knowledge and the deployment of lead teachers to other classes results in good progress in English and mathematics. Effective implementation of assessment for learning strategies has increased pupils' participation in lessons, although this is less well-developed in science. At present, insufficient teaching time is provided for science. Pupils do not have enough opportunities to set up experiments and investigate problems for themselves, and this has led to slower progress and lower attainment recently.
The school has trialled a more integrated approach to teaching and learning through the Creative Curriculum. Through this approach, pupils have more opportunites to apply their key literacy, numeracy and ICT skills to interesting topics, for example The Ancient Greeks. This has increased their enjoyment and learning across a range of subjects. Extended provision before school, through a breakfast club, and after-school activities contribute well to pupils' well-being and personal development. The popular residential visit to North Wales is equally effective and gives pupils the chance to put into practice the values that define its Catholic ethos.
Care, guidance and support are exemplary and all pupils are well known to the headteacher and her staff. This means that effective appropriate or extra support are put in place rapidly and have a very good impact on pupils' well-being and ability to learn in a safe and nurturing environment. The needs of the most vulnerable pupils and their parents and carers are very well understood so that these pupils are integrated very successfully into school life.
These are the grades for the quality of provision
|The quality of teaching|
Taking into account:
The use of assessment to support learning
|The extent to which the curriculum meets pupils' needs, including, where relevant, through partnerships||2|
|The effectiveness of care, guidance and support||1|
How effective are leadership and management?
The headteacher has forged a strong and committed team following federation with the infant's school. With governors and members of the diocese, she has embedded the Catholic ethos which is at the heart of both schools' work.
The school's evaluation of the quality of teaching and learning is accurate. The senior and middle leaders know what needs to be improved and this is recorded clearly in a well-focused school development plan. At present, some areas of school work, for example community cohesion and the balance of the curriculum, are not thoroughly evaluated and the conclusions carried over into teachers' planning. One less effective feature of federation is the additional administrative burden it places on the headteacher. This detracts from her core role of improving teaching and learning in a school where a significant proportion of pupils have complex emotional, social and learning needs.
Senior leaders do not always quantify and then compare their pupils' performance with the national picture in sufficient detail to guarantee that expectations for all year groups are high enough. Governors work closely with the headteacher to promote the school's mission statement and Catholic ethos. This results in some outstanding provision, especially for the large proportion of pupils with specific learning and language needs. It extends to parents, carers and the wider community and is evident in the excellent extended services for parents and carers and professionals which promote the inclusive and very cohesive school and local community. Governors understand how well the pupils are making progress and what must be improved. They constantly review how well pupils settle in and make progress at school so that everyone has an equal opportunity to learn. Safeguarding procedures and practices are regularly monitored and pupils' safety is paramount.
These are the grades for leadership and management
|The effectiveness of leadership and management in embedding ambition and driving improvement|
Taking into account:
The leadership and management of teaching and learning
|The effectiveness of the governing body in challenging and supporting the|
school so that weaknesses are tackled decisively and statutory responsibilities met
|The effectiveness of the school's engagement with parents and carers||1|
|The effectiveness of partnerships in promoting learning and well-being||1|
|The effectiveness with which the school promotes equality of opportunity and tackles discrimination||2|
|The effectiveness of safeguarding procedures||2|
|The effectiveness with which the school promotes community cohesion||2|
|The effectiveness with which the school deploys resources to achieve value for money||2|
About half of parents or carers responded to the questionnaire. Almost all were happy with their children's experiences at the school. One parent commented on 'unacceptable behaviour'. Inspectors found no evidence of any unsatisfactory behaviour and were impressed by how pupils conducted themselves in class and around the school. Parents and carers commented very favourably on the enjoyable time their children experience at school within a safe and caring environment.
Ofsted invited all the registered parents and carers of pupils registered at St Mary's Priory RC Junior School to complete a questionnaire about their views of the school.
In the questionnaire, parents and carers were asked to record how strongly they agreed with 13 statements about the school.
The inspection team received 95 completed questionnaires by the end of the on-site inspection. In total, there are 228 pupils registered at the school.
|My child enjoys school||95||65||32||34||0||0||0||0|
|The school keeps my child safe||95||63||35||37||0||0||0||0|
|My school informs me about my child's progress||95||57||40||42||1||1||0||0|
|My child is making enough progress at this school||95||42||51||54||3||3||0||0|
|The teaching is good at this school||95||53||44||46||1||1||0||0|
|The school helps me to support my child's learning||95||47||45||47||3||3||0||0|
|The school helps my child to have a healthy lifestyle||95||47||47||49||2||2||0||0|
|The school makes sure that my child is well prepared for the future (for example changing year group, changing school, and for children who are finishing school, entering further or higher education, or entering employment)||95||37||53||56||3||3||0||0|
|The school meets my child's particular needs||95||44||48||51||2||2||0||0|
|The school deals effectively with unacceptable behaviour||95||52||43||45||2||2||0||0|
|The school takes account of my suggestions and concerns||95||39||53||56||4||4||0||0|
|The school is led and managed effectively||95||55||40||42||2||2||0||0|
|Overall, I am happy with my child's experience at this school||95||43||32||34||3||3||0||0|
The table above summarises the responses that parents and carers made to each statement. The percentages indicate the proportion of parents and carers giving that response out of the total number of completed questionnaires. Where one or more parents and carers chose not to answer a particular question, the percentages will not add up to 100%.
|Grade 1||Outstanding||These features are highly effective. An oustanding school provides exceptionally well for all its pupils' needs.|
|Grade 2||Good||These are very positive features of a school. A school that is good is serving its pupils well.|
|Grade 3||Satisfactory||These features are of reasonable quality. A satisfactory school is providing adequately for its pupils.|
|Grade 4||Inadequate||These features are not of an acceptable standard. An inadequate school needs to make significant improvement in order to meet the needs of its pupils. Ofsted inspectors will make further visits until it improves.|
|Overall effectiveness judgement (percentage of schools)|
|Type of school||Outstanding||Good||Satisfactory||Inadequate|
|Pupil referral |
the progress and success of a pupil in their learning, development or training.
the standard of the pupils' work shown by test and examination results and in lessons.
|Capacity to improve:|
the proven ability of the school to continue improving. Inspectors base this judgement on what the school has accomplished so far and on the quality of its systems to maintain improvement.
|Leadership and management:|
the contribution of all the staff with responsibilities, not just the headteacher, to identifying priorities, directing and motivating staff and running the school.
how well pupils acquire knowledge, develop their understanding, learn and practise skills and are developing their competence as learners.
inspectors form a judgement on a school's overall effectiveness based on the findings from their inspection of the school. The following judgements, in particular, influence what the overall effectiveness judgement will be.
the rate at which pupils are learning in lessons and over longer periods of time. It is often measured by comparing the pupils' attainment at the end of a key stage with their attainment when they started.
18 March 2010
Inspection of St Mary's Priory RC Junior School, London N15 5RE
I am writing to tell you how much my team and I enjoyed being with you in school recently. We would like to thank you for helping us to complete the inspection and giving up your time to talk to us. We were very impressed by your courtesy and excellent behaviour in class and around school. When you behave well and help each other in class as well as you do, everyone can get on with their work and have a good time at school. You are making good progress because your teachers plan the right kind of work for you. You listen carefully and discuss your ideas with your friends and this helps you to complete your work. Some of you manage to solve really hard problems in mathematics and I enjoyed working through them too when I was in a Year 6 classroom. I talked to some pupils about how they got their answers and was impressed by how clearly they could explain themselves. This is a really important part of learning that you need to practise over and over again.
I have asked your headteacher to maintain this good progress so that you will do even better in English, mathematics and science. This means your teachers will be expecting a really big effort from you both in school and doing work at home, maybe by using a computer to research something you don't know much about. I have also asked that you can do more of your learning through topics like the one you did on the Ancient Greeks. I enjoyed looking at the good work that resulted from it. I would also like the teachers to give you more opportunities to become scientists by setting up your own experiments and collecting evidence on what you find.
I must end by asking everyone to understand how important it is to come to school every single day (unless you are very ill, of course). If you miss school, you get behind and that makes things difficult for your teachers as they have to help you catch-up again. I do hope you continue to enjoy school for the rest of the year. The time will pass all too quickly and then Year 6 will be off to senior schools. Your teachers have taught you to work so well in groups and teams that moving on will be much easier for you. Good wishes to everyone.
|Any complaints about the inspection or the report should be made following the procedures set out in the guidance 'Complaining about inspections', which is available from Ofsted's website: ofsted.gov.uk. If you would like Ofsted to send you a copy of the guidance, please telephone 08456 404045, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.|