St Thomas More Catholic Primary School
phone: 0121 7433289
headteacher: Sister Susan Collins
315 pupils capacity: 106% full
170 boys 51%
160 girls 48%
Last updated: July 30, 2014
Primary — Voluntary Aided School
- Education phase
- Religious character
- Roman Catholic
- Establishment type
- Voluntary Aided School
- Establishment #
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 414854, Northing: 284288
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 52.456, Longitude: -1.7828
- Accepting pupils
- 5—11 years old
- Census date
- Jan. 16, 2014
- Ofsted last inspection
- June 27, 2013
- Archdiocese of Birmingham
- Region › Const. › Ward
- West Midlands › Birmingham, Yardley › Sheldon
- Urban > 10k - less sparse
- Free school meals %
- 0.4 miles Stanville Primary School B263YN (226 pupils)
- 0.5 miles Brays School B261NS (103 pupils)
- 0.6 miles Lyndon Green Junior School B261LU (373 pupils)
- 0.6 miles Lyndon Green Infant School B261LZ (281 pupils)
- 0.6 miles Culey Green School B263XA
- 0.7 miles Mapledene Junior School B263XE
- 0.7 miles Mapledene Infant School (NC) B263XE
- 0.7 miles Elms Farm Community Primary School B330PJ (391 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Daylesford Infant School B927QW (275 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Hatchford Brook Junior and Infant School B928LW (389 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Lyndon School B928EJ (1323 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Mapledene Primary School B263XE (343 pupils)
- 0.8 miles Garretts Green Nursery School B262JL (96 pupils)
- 0.8 miles Sheldon Heath Community Arts College B262RZ
- 0.8 miles Valley Primary B929HQ (224 pupils)
- 0.8 miles King Edward VI Sheldon Heath Academy B262RZ (1170 pupils)
- 0.9 miles St Andrew's Catholic Primary School B928QL (234 pupils)
- 0.9 miles Oaklands School B261QS
- 1 mile Cockshut Hill Technology College B262HX (1369 pupils)
- 1 mile Chapel Fields Junior School B927QF (254 pupils)
- 1 mile East Birmingham College B330TS
- 1.1 mile Gilbertstone Primary School B261EH (471 pupils)
- 1.1 mile Summerfield Education Centre B928QE (20 pupils)
- 1.2 mile Blakenhale Junior School B330XG
St Thomas More Catholic Primary
Horse Shoes Lane, Sheldon, Birmingham, B26 3HU
|Inspection dates||27–28 June 2013|
|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
| Children enter the Early Years Foundation |
Progress is consistent throughout the school.
Teaching is consistently good with some
Pupils’ different abilities are catered for in all
Teachers use questioning well to help pupils
Stage at Reception with levels of skill below
those normally expected for their age and
leave Year 6 with above-average standards.
Disabled pupils and those who have special
educational needs make as much progress as
classes and pupils work at the right levels.
‘Challenge’ activities are also provided for all
levels of difficulty.
deepen their understanding of their work.
| Behaviour is exemplary. Pupils are very |
Relationships between staff and pupils are
The school is well led. The headteacher knows
Leaders have improved teaching so that any
Leaders have specifically made a difference to
sensible in lessons, in corridors and in the
playground. Pupils say they feel very safe in
her school well and all senior leaders and
governors play a full part in making
improvements. They pursue excellence.
teaching that previously required improvement
is now good or better.
pupils’ progress in mathematics at Key Stage 2
| More-able pupils are not always challenged |
Pupils do not have enough chance to learn by
right from the start of lessons.
themselves or have exciting practical tasks in
| Pupils do not have enough opportunity to |
Pupils do not often use computer technology in
develop their own interests, creativity or self-
Information about this inspection
- Inspectors observed teaching in all classes. A total of 14 lessons were observed, including one
seen together with the headteacher and one with the deputy headteacher. Two extra teaching
groups were also seen being taught. In addition, short classroom visits were made to observe
pupils at work.
- Inspectors had discussions with the Chair of the Governing Body and four other governors
including the Roman Catholic parish priest. A representative from the local authority, the
headteacher, the deputy headteacher and other members of the school leadership team,
teachers and two groups of pupils were also interviewed.
- Inspectors looked at a range of documents including the school’s tracking of pupils’ progress,
documents relating to safeguarding and special educational needs, case studies of individual
pupils, and also the school’s self-evaluation document and its improvement priorities.
- A wide range of pupils’ work was reviewed across different subjects, and inspectors heard pupils
of different ages reading.
- Inspectors took account of the views of 23 parents recorded on the online questionnaire (Parent
View). Inspectors also took into account 188 responses to the school’s own survey of parents
undertaken this year. Inspectors met informally with a number of parents at the start of the
school day and two phone calls were also received.
|Kathryn Skan, Lead inspector||Additional Inspector|
|Jennifer Taylor||Additional Inspector|
|Edgar Hastings||Additional Inspector|
Information about this school
- The school is larger than the average-sized primary school.
- Most pupils are White British. The proportion of pupils who come from various minority ethnic
backgrounds is average.
- The proportion of pupils who speak English as an additional language is below average.
- The proportion of pupils known to be eligible for the pupil premium is average. In this school it
currently applies to pupils who are known to be eligible for free school meals.
- The proportion of disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs supported
through school action is below average. The proportion supported at school action plus or with a
statement of special educational needs is average.
- The school meets the government’s current floor standards, which set the minimum expectations
for pupils’ attainment and progress.
What does the school need to do to improve further?
- Move good teaching to outstanding by making sure that:
more-able pupils are challenged right from the start of every lesson
pupils have regular well-planned opportunities in all subjects to work on their own and with
others without relying on the teacher’s direct guidance, so they can develop their independent
teachers provide exciting practical tasks in all subjects
pupils have the chance to develop their interests, creativity and self-expression.
- Develop pupils’ use of computer technology in classrooms as well as in the computer suite.
|The achievement of pupils||is good|
- Pupils’ progress is consistently good across the school. Disabled pupils and those who have
special educational needs make equally good progress.
- Children enter Reception with levels of skills that are mostly below those expected for their age.
They make good progress and leave the early Years Foundation Stage at broadly average levels.
- Pupils move through Key Stage 1 also making good progress. The results of the Year 1 national
reading check on pupils’ phonics knowledge (their understanding of letters and the sounds they
make) were average last year and have increased this year.
- Pupils leave Key Stage 1 with levels of attainment that are above average in reading, writing and
mathematics. The small gap that existed between those pupils who are eligible for the pupil
premium and those who are not in Key Stage 1 has closed this year, particularly in reading and
- Pupils also make good progress in Key Stage 2. They typically reach above-average standards in
English and mathematics by the end of Year 6. The reasons for a dip in the school’s
mathematics results due to a small number of more-able girls narrowly missing the higher grade
at Key Stage 2 last year were identified and have been addressed. Standards in mathematics
have returned to above average this year and are on an upward trajectory.
- The proportion of pupils exceeding expected progress at Key Stage 2 has risen sharply this year
to considerably above the national average, particularly in reading and mathematics. Some
pupils have again reached the new high Level 6 in mathematics this year and some have also
reached Level 6 in reading.
- Pupils from different ethnic minority groups including those who speak English as an additional
language make good progress in line with other pupils.
- In 2012, the Year 6 pupils known to be eligible for the pupil premium made good progress and
reached standards that were one term behind their classmates in English and similar progress in
mathematics. Funding is used to provide one-to-one learning support for these pupils and social
skills support is made available where necessary. Attendance projects have also been funded for
pupils causing concern. These measures have helped pupils to make good progress.
Expectations are that pupils for whom the school receives the pupil premium will achieve
similarly to other pupils this year. There is no pattern of underachievement.
|The quality of teaching||is good|
- Teaching is consistently good. There are some examples of outstanding teaching within the
school, most particularly in extra teaching groups and the Early Years Foundation Stage.
- Communication skills are strong. Teachers make good use of ’talk-partners’ in all key stages so
that pupils can discuss their learning together.
- Pupils are effectively developing and applying a range of skills in reading, writing,
communication and mathematics. A focus on boys’ reading, on stories at bedtime and on home
reading has borne fruit since the previous inspection along with a focus on reading within
- Teachers consistently hold high expectations of the pupils. Pupils are cooperative and try to fulfil
those expectations. Pupils are clear on the learning intentions for every lesson and pupils know
what they need to do to succeed. Pupils are good at deciding whether they have or have not
learned what was expected, often using other pupils to check their work to see if they agree.
- Teachers cater well for the pupils’ different abilities throughout the key stages. Work is planned
at the right level for the different ability groups, including extra challenge activities. Disabled
pupils and those who have special educational needs are well catered for. However, more-able
pupils are not always consistently challenged right from the very start of every lesson.
- Teaching assistants are very effective. They are well trained and play a full and important part in
the pupils’ education, including those who are disabled, those who have special educational
needs and the more-able pupils. Teachers consistently deploy teaching assistants in lessons well
for maximum impact on pupils’ learning.
- A clear strength across the school is teachers’ use of questioning to help pupils deepen their
understanding and increase their knowledge. Most teachers then mark pupils’ work to support
them to improve by telling them what to do next. However, sometimes teachers dominate
lessons too much. Pupils are then unable to develop their skills in learning independently, follow
their own interests, express their ideas creatively, or enjoy fun, practical activities in a range of
- Teachers’ use of interactive technology to deliver lessons is very good and teachers also use
technology well to share pupils’ work. Pupils have the opportunity to use computers when they
are timetabled for the computer suite. However, pupils’ use of technology within their classes is
not yet a feature of the school and pupils themselves are keen to see this improve. Wireless and
up-to-date technology for pupils’ use in classrooms is currently being reviewed.
|The behaviour and safety of pupils||are outstanding|
- Pupils’ attitudes to learning are outstanding. Pupils enjoy coming to school because it is a happy
place where teachers care about them. Relationships between pupils and staff are excellent.
- Behaviour around school is exceptional. Children are respectful and move about the building
- Most parents who responded to Parent View and the school’s questionnaire say that the school
makes sure its pupils are well behaved. They all also say that pupils are kept safe. Pupils
regulate their own behaviour and do not need to be overseen by adults to make the right
- Incidents of bullying are very rare. Pupils understand about different types of bullying and say
they know what they should do if ever they have a concern. Pupils of all ages play very well
together in the playground and care for each other very well.
- Pupils show enthusiasm, respect and good manners towards each other and adults. They say
‘please’ and ‘thank you’. Pupils are mature and socially advanced due to the exceptional
promotion of moral attitudes and social values within the spiritual context of the school.
- Attendance is broadly average. Persistent absence has improved over the last three years and is
now average due to the school’s hard work. A core group of families still do not always arrive on
time and the school continues to work with them.
|The leadership and management||are good|
- The school is well led by the headteacher who knows her school well. Leaders have improved
teaching so that it is now at least good across the whole of the school. All senior leaders are fully
involved in making improvements.
- Monitoring of teaching and pupils’ progress is well planned and robust. Leaders know what they
need to improve and how to do it. They have made good use of educational consultants to help
them with their work.
- Pupils’ progress in mathematics at Key Stage 2, which has risen sharply in the last twelve
months, is due mainly to effective leadership by the newly appointed subject leader who has
been well supported by the other leaders in his role.
- Performance management is effective. Experienced teachers support other teachers who are in
turn well supported by senior leaders. Teachers are helped to improve their practice.
- Pupils’ learning of subjects are well organised to build up their skills systematically, particularly in
reading, writing, communication and mathematics. A well-planned programme of visitors and
visits away from the school enriches learning and helps to make it interesting and enjoyable.
Pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is very well provided for.
- Parent partnerships are mostly very good. Workshops are provided after school and the new
home-school reading diaries are making a difference to the amount of reading pupils do at
home. Pupils coming into school in their pyjamas and reading bedtime stories with their parents
helped trigger an interest in reading a few years ago. This is bearing fruit now.
- The school takes equal opportunities very seriously and is effective in giving pupils from all
backgrounds an equal opportunity to succeed. It does not tolerate discrimination of any kind.
- The local authority regards the school as ‘light-touch’. It carries out data monitoring from a
distance and undertakes assessments on the school’s performance. It supports the school’s
partnerships with other schools in the consortium and the moderation of teacher assessments
that take place to ensure consistency across the group of schools.
- The governance of the school:
Governors are fully involved in school life including the many church-based community
functions. They provide effective support and challenge to the leadership team and use
information about the school’s performance to challenge leaders. They have a clear
understanding of the quality of teaching and pupils’ achievement compared with schools
nationally. They know what the school is doing to improve pupils’ learning. They make sure
finances are used in a way that supports pupils’ progress and know how the pupil premium is
being spent and how it is has raised standards for eligible pupils. They use their knowledge to
make decisions about staffing and are clear about linking pay to performance and know what
the school is doing to tackle any underperformance. They make sure health and safety are
given a high priority and that procedures are clearly established. The arrangements for
safeguarding pupils meet current national requirements.
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||103441|
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||329|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Headteacher||Sister Susan Collins|
|Date of previous school inspection||13 July 2010|
|Telephone number||0121 7433289|
|Fax number||0121 7433289|