School etc

St Thomas More Catholic Primary School

St Thomas More Catholic Primary School
Horse Shoes Lane
West Midlands

phone: 0121 7433289

headteacher: Sister Susan Collins

school holidays: via Birmingham council

334 pupils aged 4—10y mixed gender
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 %

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Schools nearby

  1. 0.4 miles Stanville Primary School B263YN (226 pupils)
  2. 0.5 miles Brays School B261NS (103 pupils)
  3. 0.6 miles Lyndon Green Junior School B261LU (373 pupils)
  4. 0.6 miles Lyndon Green Infant School B261LZ (281 pupils)
  5. 0.6 miles Culey Green School B263XA
  6. 0.7 miles Mapledene Junior School B263XE
  7. 0.7 miles Mapledene Infant School (NC) B263XE
  8. 0.7 miles Elms Farm Community Primary School B330PJ (391 pupils)
  9. 0.7 miles Daylesford Infant School B927QW (275 pupils)
  10. 0.7 miles Hatchford Brook Junior and Infant School B928LW (389 pupils)
  11. 0.7 miles Lyndon School B928EJ (1323 pupils)
  12. 0.7 miles Mapledene Primary School B263XE (343 pupils)
  13. 0.8 miles Garretts Green Nursery School B262JL (96 pupils)
  14. 0.8 miles Sheldon Heath Community Arts College B262RZ
  15. 0.8 miles Valley Primary B929HQ (224 pupils)
  16. 0.8 miles King Edward VI Sheldon Heath Academy B262RZ (1170 pupils)
  17. 0.9 miles St Andrew's Catholic Primary School B928QL (234 pupils)
  18. 0.9 miles Oaklands School B261QS
  19. 1 mile Cockshut Hill Technology College B262HX (1369 pupils)
  20. 1 mile Chapel Fields Junior School B927QF (254 pupils)
  21. 1 mile East Birmingham College B330TS
  22. 1.1 mile Gilbertstone Primary School B261EH (471 pupils)
  23. 1.1 mile Summerfield Education Centre B928QE (20 pupils)
  24. 1.2 mile Blakenhale Junior School B330XG

List of schools in Birmingham

School report

St Thomas More Catholic Primary


Horse Shoes Lane, Sheldon, Birmingham, B26 3HU

Inspection dates 27–28 June 2013
Overall effectiveness This inspection: Good 2
Previous 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
other pupils.
outstanding teaching.
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
all subjects.
Pupils do not have enough opportunity to
Pupils do not often use computer technology in
develop their own interests, creativity or self-
their classrooms.

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.

Inspection team

Kathryn Skan, Lead inspector Additional Inspector
Jennifer Taylor Additional Inspector
Edgar Hastings Additional Inspector

Full report

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
    learning skills
    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.

Inspection judgements

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 Judgement Description
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.

School details

Unique reference number 103441
Local authority Birmingham
Inspection number 412221

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
Chair Stephen Henry
Headteacher Sister Susan Collins
Date of previous school inspection 13 July 2010
Telephone number 0121 7433289
Fax number 0121 7433289
Email address reveal email: enqu…


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