St Patrick's Catholic Primary School
phone: 01524 851766
headteacher: Mrs Carol Hind
210 pupils capacity: 80% full
85 boys 51%
85 girls 51%
Last updated: June 20, 2014
Primary — Voluntary Aided School
- Education phase
- Religious character
- Roman Catholic
- Establishment type
- Voluntary Aided School
- Establishment #
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 342265, Northing: 461830
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 54.049, Longitude: -2.8833
- Accepting pupils
- 5—11 years old
- Census date
- Jan. 16, 2014
- Ofsted last inspection
- March 12, 2014
- Diocese of Lancaster
- Region › Const. › Ward
- North West › Morecambe and Lunesdale › Heysham Central
- Urban > 10k - less sparse
- Investor in People
- Committed IiP Status
- Free school meals %
- 0.2 miles Mossgate Primary School LA32EE (198 pupils)
- 0.6 miles Heysham St Peter's Church of England Primary School LA32RF (242 pupils)
- 0.8 miles Morecambe and Heysham Sandylands Community Primary School LA31EJ (468 pupils)
- 0.8 miles Heysham High School Sports College LA31HS (1030 pupils)
- 1.1 mile West End Primary School LA31BW (177 pupils)
- 1.1 mile Trumacar Nursery and Community Primary School LA32ST (305 pupils)
- 1.2 mile Morecambe and Heysham Westgate Primary School LA44XF (514 pupils)
- 1.8 mile Morecambe Bay Community Primary School LA45JL (317 pupils)
- 1.9 mile Lancaster Road Primary School LA45TH (413 pupils)
- 2 miles Poulton-le-Sands Church of England Primary School LA45QA (197 pupils)
- 2.1 miles St Mary's Catholic Primary School, Morecambe LA45PS (150 pupils)
- 2.2 miles Morecambe Road School LA33AB (149 pupils)
- 2.3 miles Morecambe and Heysham Grosvenor Park Primary School LA33RY (242 pupils)
- 2.3 miles Morecambe Community High School LA45BG (1418 pupils)
- 2.5 miles Morecambe and Heysham Torrisholme Community Primary School LA46PN (421 pupils)
- 2.5 miles Great Wood Primary School LA46UB (369 pupils)
- 2.5 miles Overton St Helen's Church of England Primary School LA33EZ (175 pupils)
- 2.5 miles Lancaster and Morecambe College LA12TY
- 2.7 miles Willow Nursery School LA15QB
- 2.8 miles Willow Lane Community Primary School LA15PR (179 pupils)
- 2.8 miles The Loyne Specialist School LA12PZ (112 pupils)
- 2.8 miles Lancaster Steiner School LA15QU (39 pupils)
- 2.8 miles Appletree Nursery School LA15QB (68 pupils)
- 2.9 miles Lancaster Ryelands Primary School LA12RJ (395 pupils)
St Patrick's Catholic
Littledale Avenue, Heysham, Morecambe, LA3 2ER
|Inspection dates||12-13 March 2014|
|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
| Achievement is good. Pupils’ progress has |
The achievement of the school’s substantial
Teaching is consistently good. Teachers are
The Early Years Foundation Stage is of good
Behaviour is good. Pupils from different
accelerated across all classes in English and
mathematics. Pupils make good, and
sometimes exceptional, progress from their
groups of pupils from Gypsy Roma and Irish
Traveller heritage is very good.
successful in meeting individual pupils’ needs.
quality and helps children get off to a flying
start when they join school.
backgrounds work harmoniously together and
| The school’s work to keep pupils safe and |
The school’s leaders, teachers and support
Governors discharge their duties very
The school’s ethos underpins every aspect of
The headteacher has secured the confidence of
secure is good.
staff work effectively and consistently as a
team to support the learning of all pupils.
effectively. They have an in-depth knowledge
of the school and provide the right balance of
support and challenge to the headteacher.
its work. Pupils are taught to be tolerant,
resilient and thoughtful members of society.
the communities the school serves; she works
tirelessly with pupils and their families to
remove obstacles to achievement.
| The proportions of pupils making exceptional |
Although improving, attendance remains low
Some pupils do not form letters correctly.
progress in all areas of their learning are not
yet high enough.
for some pupils.
This affects the fluency of their handwriting.
| More opportunities are needed for pupils to |
Pupils do not always respond fully to feedback
Sometimes leaders’ advice to teachers on how
develop their information and communication
on how to improve their work.
to improve is not specific enough.
|Inspection report:||St Patrick's Catholic Primary School, 12–13 March 2014||2 of 10|
Information about this inspection
- Inspectors observed 11 lessons, including one observed jointly with the headteacher and one
with the deputy headteacher. In addition, they made several brief visits to other lessons and
observed individual and small group sessions being taught by support staff. They also visited
- Inspectors visited the extra-curricular gymnastics club run by the headteacher and also watched
part of a training session on ball skills that was delivered by visiting coaches.
- Meetings were held with school leaders, the learning mentor, three governors including the Chair
of the Governing Body, two School Improvement Advisers from the local authority and a
representative from Lancashire’s Gypsy Roma and Traveller Service.
- Informal discussions were held with pupils from all classes. An inspector interviewed the school
council about its work.
- Inspectors looked at the work pupils were doing in lessons and considered the work in their
books over time. They listened to pupils read.
- Inspectors observed the work of the school and examined a number of documents. These
included the school’s records of attendance and achievement of pupils currently in school,
minutes of governing body meetings, records of the school’s monitoring of teaching and
appraisal arrangements for teachers.
- Inspectors had informal discussions with parents and grandparents in school. There were
insufficient responses to the online questionnaire (Parent View) to be considered. Inspectors
considered responses to the questionnaires completed by staff.
|Shirley Gornall, Lead inspector||Her Majesty’s Inspector|
|John Ellwood||Additional Inspector|
|Inspection report:||St Patrick's Catholic Primary School, 12–13 March 2014||3 of 10|
In accordance with section 13 (5) of the Education Act 2005, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector is of
the opinion that the school no longer requires significant improvement.
Information about this school
- The school is smaller than the average-sized primary school.
- An above average proportion of pupils are supported through the pupil premium. The pupil
premium is additional funding for those pupils who are known to be eligible for free school
meals, children from service families and those children who are looked after by the local
- Around two thirds of the pupils are from minority ethnic groups. Over half of the pupils in school
are Gypsy Roma or Travellers of Irish heritage. Many of these pupils travel out of the area for
extended periods of time during the school year. An above average proportion of pupils speak
English as an additional language; their first languages are Polish and Spanish.
- The proportion of disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs supported at
school action is much higher than the national average, at around two fifths of the school
- The proportion of pupils supported at school action plus or with a statement of special
educational needs is above average.
- A higher proportion of pupils joins or leaves the school at times other than the normal transition
points than is the case nationally.
- The school meets the government’s current floor standards, which set minimum expectations for
pupils’ attainment and progress in English and mathematics.
- When it had its last full inspection, in September 2012, the school was judged to have serious
weaknesses. It received three monitoring inspections from one of Her Majesty’s Inspectors. The
school was making reasonable progress towards the removal of serious weaknesses at each of
these inspections. The school has received appropriate and effective support from local authority
advisers and consultants.
What does the school need to do to improve further?
- Improve teaching so that more pupils make outstanding progress by:
ensuring that pupils reflect and act upon the high quality feedback that teachers provide for
taking every opportunity to improve pupils’ spelling, punctuation and grammar, including
through emphasising these skills in pupils’ writing across the curriculum
ensuring that all pupils are taught to form their letters correctly so that they can write with
greater speed and fluency
providing more opportunities for pupils to develop their skills in information and
- Improve leadership by:
refining the feedback given by leaders to teachers on the quality of their work, to include more
continuing to develop strong links with the different communities the school serves so as to
raise attendance and full participation in the life of the school still further.
|Inspection report:||St Patrick's Catholic Primary School, 12–13 March 2014||4 of 10|
|The achievement of pupils||is good|
- Achievement shows sustained improvement as a result of leaders and teachers understanding
the precise needs of individual pupils and building effective teams around children to make sure
that nothing gets in the way of them making progress.
- There is variability in children’s access to educational settings before they join school. Children
enter the Reception class with skills that are below, and often well below, those that are
expected. Their skills are typically weaker in communication and language and in personal, social
and emotional development than their peers nationally. During the Early Years Foundation
Stage, children make good progress in response to high quality teaching, characterised by plenty
of adult interaction and conversation with them. Children consequently enter Key Stage 1 with
skills that are still below, but closer to, the national average.
- In Key Stage 1, most pupils make good progress. The profile of attainment has risen over the
last three years from significantly below the national average to similar to the national standard
in reading, writing and mathematics.
- Throughout Key Stage 2, pupils develop and consolidate their skills so that they leave primary
education with standards similar to those found nationally. Virtually all pupils make expected
progress and an increasing number exceed this. In 2013, the school’s performance in reading
and writing was stronger than in mathematics when considering the proportion making
outstanding progress. Inspection evidence indicates that progress in mathematics has
strengthened considerably, with some Year 6 pupils confidently tackling Level 6 work.
- In 2013, a smaller proportion of pupils than nationally achieved a higher level in the English
punctuation, spelling and grammar test.
- All groups of pupils make at least good progress overall, including those with special educational
needs who flourish in response to quality class teaching and small group or individual
interventions. Higher-attaining pupils are challenged effectively; in all classes teachers adapt
work effectively to meet the needs of different groups.
- The attainment of pupils of Gypsy Roma and Irish Traveller heritage is significantly better than
that of these groups nationally.
- Pupils eligible for support through the pupil premium achieve very well in comparison with their
peers nationally, on average performing two terms ahead of them. In 2013, pupils eligible for
the pupil premium also performed about two terms ahead of their peers in school. This success
testifies to the wisdom of the school’s spending, including the appointment of additional staff to
enable the ‘team around the child’ approach, and in the purchase of high quality resources to
boost the teaching of literacy in school and through work that pupils and their families can
access away from school.
- Pupils’ reading skills develop quickly because teachers and support staff teach phonics (the
relationship between letters and the sound they make) consistently well in a systematic way,
monitoring individual progress carefully and revisiting any concepts that have not been
mastered. Pupils develop the literacy skills they need to prepare them for the next stage in their
education, along with a love of reading.
- Pupils’ writing skills are generally developed well with regard to composition. However, there are
weaknesses in the letter formation and handwriting of some pupils, particularly where there
have been gaps in their schooling. These weaknesses impede the fluency and speed of their
- Pupils’ numeracy skills are developed sequentially, with good links to the science curriculum.
There was less evidence during the inspection of pupils’ capability in using information and
|Inspection report:||St Patrick's Catholic Primary School, 12-13 March 2014||5 of 10|
|The quality of teaching||is good|
- Teachers have worked extremely hard to develop consistently good practice across the school.
Pupils now make good progress in all classes and are absolutely clear as to what teachers expect
from them. ‘Non-negotiables’ are insisted upon in all classes and form a bedrock on which
effective teaching and learning has been built.
- Learning proceeds in a productive but relaxed way; pupils comment that they like lessons where
they have fun. A pupil in the Reception class was so excited about his phonics work that he
exclaimed, ‘I’m full of words today!’ Similarly, an older pupil commented that ‘writing is my
passion.’ Teachers are adept at capturing pupils’ interests and building on these golden
- Teaching maintains pupils’ interest. There are plenty of opportunities for pupils to learn in
different ways. Collaborative working results in good progress; pupils are able to see the
strengths and weaknesses in each other’s work and give advice. Most pupils are able to
concentrate on individual tasks, too.
- Teachers ask thoughtful questions that encourage pupils to think for themselves. They modify
their questioning if one approach is not working and never lose patience.
- Teaching assistants and volunteers, including governors who regularly support classes, make a
significant contribution to pupils’ learning. They are very skilled, use the strategies modelled by
the class teachers and help pupils who have gaps in their learning and those who need to be
- Teachers have a secure knowledge of each pupil’s skills and talents. They are adept at planning
lessons that build on these, including for those pupils who leave and return to school during the
course of the year, or start their formal education at a different time from their peers. Planning
shows that teachers help pupils build their skills sequentially through varied activities. Creative
approaches are used to make learning enjoyable. For instance, in an English lesson, Year 5
pupils relished building complex sentences by rolling dice that led to random selections of
connectives and subjects that they then linked together ingeniously.
- Teachers make pupils’ learning relevant by building on topics of interest. Year 1 pupils enjoyed
talking about the ‘pirate books’ that they had made and proudly displayed on the corridor, and
explained how the flaps and rods worked to make their books exciting.
- In many lessons, and in individual support sessions, the school’s values are meaningfully
reinforced. Teachers and support staff find ways of engaging pupils in conversations that
emphasise the importance of empathy, tolerance and perseverance.
- The quality of teachers’ marking is consistently excellent in pupils’ literacy and numeracy books.
Teachers provide detailed and insightful feedback to pupils, with clear prompts as to what
should be done to move on to the next stage in learning. Frequently, feedback includes a
question to an individual pupil. Not all pupils respond fully to these and so opportunities for
fruitful individual dialogue are sometimes missed. On some occasions, the marking of other work
is less effective because teachers overlook spelling errors of key subject vocabulary.
|The behaviour and safety of pupils||are good|
- Pupils from different backgrounds work and play harmoniously together and respect each other’s
feelings. They are friendly, sociable and good-humoured. Their behaviour in lessons and at
social times is good and most pupils have impeccable manners when speaking to adults.
- The school helps pupils who have particular behavioural, emotional or social difficulties to
manage themselves well. Staff discuss problems fully with pupils and help them to build self-
esteem that underpins positive relationships in school. The school’s learning mentor has created
good opportunities for older pupils to support younger ones as positive role models.
- Most pupils are enthusiastic learners. They show perseverance in their work and are keen to
answer, and ask, thought-provoking questions. This was the case among Year 2 pupils who were
keen to find out how nocturnal animals’ lives were affected by predators. They held speculative
conversations about this among themselves without teacher direction. Year 6 pupils showed
considerable resilience in working out which strategies helped them to solve division problems.
|Inspection report:||St Patrick's Catholic Primary School, 12-13 March 2014||6 of 10|
- Pupils take pride in their work as evident in the many vibrant displays around the school and in
their work books. They willingly talk about their work and explain which pieces give them
- Attendance is low overall; however, there is an improving picture due to the school’s close
working with families and assiduous monitoring of the whereabouts of children of Gypsy Roma
and Irish Traveller heritage when they are travelling away from Heysham. The attendance of
both these groups is above the national level for their groups. When they are resident in
Heysham, the pupils’ attendance levels compare well with those of their peers in school and are
in line with national figures. The school encourages families to register their children for formal
education in the locations to which they travel and is proactive in providing homework packs and
online learning programs to reduce the impact of extended absences on pupils’ learning. Parents
appreciate this provision.
- The school’s rewards for good attendance motivate pupils. They wear their gold stars with pride
and are punctual to school and to lessons.
- The school’s work to keep pupils safe and secure is good. This is demonstrated through
improvements to the building, including the remodelling of the reception area. Pupils are taught
how to keep themselves safe, including when they are online. They discuss various forms of
bullying through their personal, social and health education lessons and are confident about how
to respond should bullying occur; pupils say that the only bullying in school is occasional name-
calling, which is not tolerated by themselves or the staff.
- The school is rigorous in monitoring the whereabouts of any pupils who are absent; this includes
pupils who are travelling. Appropriate processes are followed for children deemed to be missing
|The leadership and management||are good|
- The headteacher, according to parents, staff and pupils, always ‘puts children first.’ She has
developed a team which has the same philosophy: no step is too much trouble in making a
difference to a child or their family; every child is an individual and every child is highly valued.
The deputy headteacher, Early Years Foundation Stage leader and subject leaders work
effectively with the headteacher to ensure that pupils benefit from an interesting curriculum that
helps develop pupils’ basic skills in a sequential way. As a result of the determined and principled
leadership of the senior leaders, teaching has improved and achievement has risen solidly across
- Through their positive relationships with the local private nursery, children’s centre and high
schools, leaders ensure that pupils are well supported at transition points as they join and leave
the school. A measure of the school’s success is that in 2013, the full cohort of Year 6 pupils
continued into secondary education. Cross-phase projects such as older students from a local
high school mentoring St Patrick’s pupils are helping to raise aspirations and encourage
continuity in formal education.
- Subject leaders for literacy and numeracy have been instrumental in driving up standards
through setting a framework of expectations for teachers , monitoring their work, auditing
resources and contributing to good spending decisions, for instance in purchasing online
programs and reading comprehension packs that enable pupils, including those who are
travelling, to continue their education.
- Clear direction, tenacious leadership and manageable policies have resulted in consistently good
teaching. The senior leaders have a consultative approach that has resulted in staff
understanding and fully supporting the school’s improvement drive. Teachers have benefited
from training, coaching and opportunities to observe colleagues and to receive constructive
feedback on their own practice. As one put it, ‘we work hard and it’s worth it because we can
see the benefits in children’s enjoyment and progress.’
|Inspection report:||St Patrick's Catholic Primary School, 12-13 March 2014||7 of 10|
- Pupil premium funding is spent prudently, including through paying for learning mentor and
teaching assistant support for individual and small group interventions. Pupils supported by the
pupil premium make good progress because their individual needs are skilfully met.
- Primary sports funding is being used to buy in coaching support and purchase equipment so that
pupils can enjoy a range of activities. They relish the gymnastics club that is run by the
headteacher and also the opportunities provided by staff from Morecambe Football Club.
- The school serves and celebrates a diverse community. Pupils subscribe to the school values
which are explicit in all classrooms and on the website. During the inspection, pupils focused on
‘thoughtfulness’ and made sensitive links between religious teachings and their own behaviour.
Pupils understand the difference between right and wrong, reflect on their own choices of
behaviour and willingly take on leadership roles, including as school councillors. Links with the
parish are strong. The school is twinned with a school in Africa and this helps pupils to develop a
broader cultural awareness.
- The governance of the school:
Governors bring a variety of skills and shared dedication to the school. They have a detailed
understanding of the quality of teaching and its impact on pupil performance, including the
performance of those eligible for the pupil premium. Through the standards and effectiveness
committee, they keep the school’s improvement plan under careful review.
Governors understand the school’s strengths and development priorities and make a valuable
contribution to its life, including through regularly visiting classes. A governor with science
teaching expertise is supporting the review of the science curriculum. Governors are both
knowledgeable and approachable; they have good links with a range of local services.
Governors ensure that the appraisal of staff follows a clear policy and that decisions about
staff pay are linked to pupils’ progress. Governors receive regular training to keep abreast of
developments. They fulfil their statutory responsibilities, including with regard to safeguarding
and ensure that equal opportunities are promoted and that no discrimination or harassment is
|Inspection report:||St Patrick's Catholic Primary School, 12–13 March 2014||8 of 10|
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.
|Inspection report:||St Patrick's Catholic Primary School, 12–13 March 2014||9 of 10|
|Unique reference number||119583|
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||172|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Date of previous school inspection||25 September 2012|
|Telephone number||01524 851766|
|Fax number||01524 855091|