St Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Primary School
phone: 01744 621380
headteacher: Mr Rory Orlandi Bed
262 pupils capacity: 82% full
105 boys 49%
110 girls 51%
Last updated: Oct. 4, 2014
Primary — Voluntary Aided School
- Education phase
- Religious character
- Roman Catholic
- Establishment type
- Voluntary Aided School
- Establishment #
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 349559, Northing: 396821
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 53.466, Longitude: -2.7613
- Accepting pupils
- 4—11 years old
- Census date
- Jan. 16, 2014
- Ofsted last inspection
- May 8, 2009
- Archdiocese of Liverpool
- Region › Const. › Ward
- North West › St. Helens North › Windle
- Urban > 10k - less sparse
- Free school meals %
- 0.1 miles Hamblett School WA106BX
- 0.4 miles Bleak Hill Primary School WA106HG (434 pupils)
- 0.4 miles Hurst School WA106PN
- 0.5 miles Rivington Primary School WA106LF (262 pupils)
- 0.5 miles Windlehurst Community Primary School WA106ND
- 0.5 miles Cowley International College WA106PN (1506 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Rivington High School WA104ND
- 0.7 miles Queen's Park CofE URC Primary School WA104NQ (359 pupils)
- 0.8 miles St Teresa's Catholic Primary School, Devon Street WA104HX (198 pupils)
- 0.8 miles De La Salle School WA104QH (1209 pupils)
- 0.9 miles St Luke's CofE Primary School WA104PT
- 1 mile Knowsley Road Primary School WA104PN
- 1 mile St Mary's and St Thomas' CofE Primary School WA102HS (252 pupils)
- 1 mile Lowe House RC Junior School WA102DJ
- 1 mile Lowe House RC Infant School WA102DJ
- 1.1 mile St Julie's Catholic Primary School WA105HG (242 pupils)
- 1.2 mile St Helens College WA101PP
- 1.2 mile Launchpad Centre WA101UH (72 pupils)
- 1.3 mile Eccleston Mere Primary School WA105NX (321 pupils)
- 1.4 mile Carr Mill Infant and Nursery School WA117PT
- 1.4 mile Parish CofE Primary School WA101LW (202 pupils)
- 1.4 mile Holy Cross Catholic Primary School WA101LN (213 pupils)
- 1.5 mile St Peter and St Paul Catholic Primary School WA119AT (207 pupils)
- 1.6 mile Carmel College WA103AG
St Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Primary
104809Unique Reference Number
St HelensLocal Authority
8 May 2009Inspection date
Janette CorlettReporting inspector
This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.
The registered childcare, managed by the governing body, was inspected under section 49 of the Childcare Act
PrimaryType of school
Voluntary aidedSchool category
4–11Age range of pupils
MixedGender of pupils
Number on roll
0Government funded early education
provision for children aged 3 to the end
of the EYFS
0Childcare provision for children aged 0
to 3 years
The governing bodyAppropriate authority
Mr R HoultonChair
Mr Rory OrlandiHeadteacher
27 February 2006Date of previous school inspection
Not previously inspectedDate of previous funded early education inspection
Not previously inspectedDate of previous childcare inspection
Rainford RoadSchool address
8 May 2009Inspection date
01744 621380Telephone number
01744 621381Fax number
8 May 2009Inspection date
© Crown copyright 2009
This document may be reproduced in whole or in part for non-commercial educational purposes, provided that
the information quoted is reproduced without adaptation and the source and date of publication are stated.
Further copies of this report are obtainable from the school. Under the Education Act 2005, the school must
provide a copy of this report free of charge to certain categories of people. A charge not exceeding the full cost
of reproduction may be made for any other copies supplied.
3 of 10Inspection Report: St Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Primary School, 8 May 2009
The inspection was carried out by two additional inspectors.
The inspectors evaluated the overall effectiveness of the school and investigated the following
issues: pupils' achievement, particularly in the Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1;
the personal development and well-being of pupils; the quality of teaching and learning; the
curriculum; and the extent to which school leaders at all levels are effective in ensuring school
improvement. Evidence was collected from observation of lessons; pupils' work; discussions
with staff, governors and pupils; and a scrutiny of school documents and questionnaires. Other
aspects of the school's work were not investigated in detail, but the inspectors found no
evidence to suggest that the school's own assessments, as given in its self-evaluation, were
not justified, and these have been included where appropriate in this report.
Description of the school
This is an average-sized primary school serving a diverse and widespread community. There
are few pupils from minority ethnic heritages and few pupils leave or enter the school other
than at the normal times. The percentage of pupils with learning difficulties and/or disabilities
is below average. The school provides education for the Early Years Foundation Stage in the
Reception class and operates before and after-school care provision. The school holds a variety
of awards including Sports Activemark, Investors in People, Cabinet Office Chartermark and
the International School Intermediate Award.
Key for inspection grades
4 of 10Inspection Report: St Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Primary School, 8 May 2009
Overall effectiveness of the school
This is an outstanding school which takes exceptionally good care of its pupils and promotes
their excellent personal development and well-being. Pupils quickly settle into the school's
warm and vibrant environment and become confident, independent and happy learners. By the
time they leave the school, pupils are very well equipped to begin the next phase in their
education. Parents really appreciate this and speak highly of the friendly and approachable
staff, good levels of communication and the way in which any concerns they may have are dealt
with courteously and sensitively. The school actively promotes the inclusion of all pupils,
particularly those with complex physical and learning difficulties. As a result, learners treat one
another with great respect and their behaviour is exemplary in all aspects of school life.
Attendance is above average because pupils love coming to school, where they feel safe and
know that staff are always willing to listen and offer help when it is needed.
Standards in English, mathematics and science are exceptionally high and pupils make very
good progress across the school. Children generally begin Reception with skills that are typical
for their age.. A good start in the Reception class is followed by the development of good skills
in reading, writing and mathematics throughout Key Stage 1. This leads to pupils' outstanding
achievement by the end of Key Stage 2.
These very high standards are reached because the quality of teaching and learning is excellent.
Teachers use a wide variety of approaches to support learning most effectively, recognising
that children learn in many different ways. Lessons are stimulating and constantly challenge
pupils to develop their thinking. Pupils have ample opportunities to develop their skills in
speaking and listening and use information and communication technology competently to
support their learning. The school effectively deploys well-qualified teaching assistants to
support individuals and groups of pupils. As a result, pupils who may need a little extra help,
and those who have more complex learning needs, make excellent progress from their individual
Teachers' marking of pupils' written work is thorough and always gives them clear guidance
on the next steps in their learning. This means that pupils are aware of their progress towards
challenging targets for improvement, particularly in writing, and can confidently move on to
the next stage.
The school offers a good curriculum which meets the needs of all groups of pupils. Recent
improvements to the way the curriculum is planned have led to teachers in Key Stage 1 making
more opportunities for linking learning across different subject areas. Plans are in place to
extend this creative approach into Key Stage 2. The curriculum is enriched through a broad
range of outside visits and visitors to the school and pupils enjoy the variety of after-school
clubs. Pupils take part in many physical and sporting activities. This, together with the school's
promotion of the importance of eating a well-balanced diet, supports them in developing a
healthy lifestyle. Displays around the school show the high quality of pupils' artwork. Pupils
learn Spanish with the support of a teacher who has used the school's strong international links
to develop this subject throughout the school. Many pupils learn to play musical instruments
and take part in the school choir which recently performed in Liverpool Cathedral.
Community cohesion is promoted well through the school's strong links with the Parish and
local community, including the emergency services. Pupils support a range of local and national
charities through the regular fundraising events they help to organise. Similarly, pupils learn
5 of 10Inspection Report: St Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Primary School, 8 May 2009
to value cultural diversity and to respect those with beliefs and values which may differ from
their own. The school day provides many opportunities for quiet spiritual reflection which help
pupils to develop their understanding of moral values and of their responsibilities as future
citizens in the world-wide community.
Leadership and management are outstanding. With strong direction from the headteacher and
assistant headteacher, school leaders at all levels have developed a school-wide culture of high
expectations for every pupil. They have embedded robust systems to ensure that pupils who
may not be making quite as much progress as they should are swiftly supported and can move
on in their learning. Teamwork is strong and this leads to a shared vision for continuous
improvement – only the best will do. Challenging targets are set and achieved or exceeded and
this is demonstrated in the improvements to pupils' writing and the learning environment for
boys since the previous inspection. Current statutory safeguarding procedures are fully in place.
Parents know this and thus have every confidence that their children's welfare is in very secure
hands. Equality of opportunity shines through every aspect of the school's work; pupils know
that they are each special and valued for the unique contributions they make to the school
community. School governors are well-informed and involved in the life of the school. They
have supported school leaders in providing excellent value for money and developing the
school's outstanding capacity to improve further.
Effectiveness of the Early Years Foundation Stage
Children enter the Early Years Foundation Stage with skills that are typical of youngsters of
this age. Staff provide very good quality teaching and care which result in children making
good progress. There is much emphasis on communication and cooperation and this is shown
in the support that children give to each other. Children's improvement in the use of spoken
language is particularly impressive and this is because adults work exceptionally hard to
encourage them to develop good skills in speaking and listening. The outdoor learning
environment is not quite as good as that found in the classroom and this sometimes limits
children's opportunities to continue their learning outdoors. Procedures for assessment, including
regular observations of children's learning, are beginning to be established in the daily routines.
The Early Years Foundation Stage is well led and managed. Adults respond sensitively to
children's contributions, linking the areas of learning in an interesting and stimulating way.
Parents very much appreciate the time taken by staff in helping their children, who come from
a wide range of pre-school experiences, to make a smooth and enjoyable transition into the
Reception class. From their earliest days in school, children are supported in making informed
decisions and choosing resources with which to work. Adults are always there to help but allow
children to decide the direction of their learning. As a result, children learn to be confident and
independent learners. They are able to take risks without being unnecessarily fearful and just
love playing and learning together in this very warm, secure and happy environment.
What the school should do to improve further
Improve the quality of the outdoor environment in the Early Years Foundation Stage.
6 of 10Inspection Report: St Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Primary School, 8 May 2009
Any complaints about the inspection or the report should be made following the procedures set out
in the guidance 'Complaints about school inspection', which is available from Ofsted’s website:
7 of 10Inspection Report: St Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Primary School, 8 May 2009
Key to judgements: grade 1 is outstanding, grade 2 good, grade 3 satisfactory, and
grade 4 inadequate
How effective,efficient and inclusive is the provision of
education,integrated care and any extended services in meeting the
needs of learners?
Effective steps have been taken to promote improvement since the last
How well does the school work in partnership with others to promote learners'
1The capacity to make any necessary improvements
Effectiveness of the Early Years Foundation Stage
How effective is the provision in meeting the needs of children in the
2How well do children in the EYFS achieve?
How good are the overall personal development and well-being of the children
in the EYFS?
2How effectively are children in the EYFS helped to learn and develop?
1How effectively is the welfare of children in the EYFS promoted?
2How effectively is provision in the EYFS led and managed?
Achievement and standards
1How well do learners achieve?
reached by learners
How well learners make progress, taking account of any significant variations
between groups of learners
1How well learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities make progress
Grade 1 - Exceptionally and consistently high; Grade 2 - Generally above average with none
significantly below average; Grade 3 - Broadly average to below average; Grade 4 - Exceptionally
8 of 10Inspection Report: St Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Primary School, 8 May 2009
Personal development and well-being
How good are the overall personal development and well-being of the
1The extent of learners' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development
1The extent to which learners adopt healthy lifestyles
2The extent to which learners adopt safe practices
1The extent to which learners enjoy their education
2The attendance of learners
1The behaviour of learners
2The extent to which learners make a positive contribution to the community
How well learners develop workplace and other skills that will contribute to
their future economic well-being
The quality of provision
How effective are teaching and learning in meeting the full range of
How well do the curriculum and other activities meet the range of needs and
interests of learners?
1How well are learners cared for, guided and supported?
Leadership and management
How effective are leadership and management in raising achievement
and supporting all learners?
How effectively leaders and managers at all levels set clear direction leading
to improvement and promote high quality of care and education
1How effectively leaders and managers use challenging targets to raise standards
1The effectiveness of the school's self-evaluation
1How well equality of opportunity is promoted and discrimination eliminated
2How well does the school contribute to community cohesion?
How effectively and efficiently resources, including staff, are deployed to
achieve value for money
The extent to which governors and other supervisory boards discharge their
Do procedures for safeguarding learners meet current government
NoDoes this school require special measures?
NoDoes this school require a notice to improve?
9 of 10Inspection Report: St Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Primary School, 8 May 2009
Text from letter to pupils explaining the findings of the inspection
Thank you all for giving us such a warm welcome to your school when we came to inspect it.
You were all exceptionally polite and helpful and we really enjoyed talking to you and finding
out about all the fun you have in school. A special thank you to the members of the school
council and group of older pupils who gave up your lunch break to talk to us.
Your school is outstanding. That means that it is one of the best in the country and you are
right to be so proud of it. You make very good progress in your lessons and behave exceptionally
well. This means that you are very well prepared to move on to secondary school by the time
you leave at the end of Year 6. Your teachers work very hard to make learning exciting and
fun. You told us how much you enjoy the visits and clubs they arrange, and that they are all
friendly and kind. You also said that they are always willing to give you extra support if you
find things difficult, and that no-one ever feels bad about having to ask for help.
One of the jobs inspectors have to do is to try and find things which might make your school
even better. St Thomas of Canterbury is already a wonderful school and it was difficult to find
anything more which your teachers might do for you. However, we feel that the outdoor learning
space for youngsters in the Reception class is not quite as good as the indoor classroom and
have asked the school to improve this.
All the adults in your school put you at the very centre of everything they do and make it a
wonderful place for you to learn and play. Each one of you is very special to them and I am
sure that you will all do very well in the future. Please continue to help them by listening to
their suggestions and paying careful attention to their comments on your written work. Each
one of you has a very important contribution to make in the future. Your headteacher and all
the adults in the school recognise this and will help you to be the very best that you can be.
We wish you all the very best of luck.
10 of 10Inspection Report: St Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Primary School, 8 May 2009