St Werburgh's and St Columba's Catholic Primary School
phone: 01244 981228
headteacher: Mrs Kathryn Oates
315 pupils capacity: 105% full
175 boys 53%
155 girls 47%
Last updated: June 19, 2014
Primary — Voluntary Aided School
- Education phase
- Religious character
- Roman Catholic
- Establishment type
- Voluntary Aided School
- Establishment #
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 341728, Northing: 366881
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 53.196, Longitude: -2.8737
- Accepting pupils
- 5—11 years old
- Census date
- Jan. 16, 2014
- Diocese of Shrewsbury
- Region › Const. › Ward
- North West › City of Chester › Hoole
- Urban > 10k - less sparse
- Free school meals %
- 0.3 miles Boughton St Paul's Nursery and Infant School CH35BA
- 0.3 miles Hoole St James's CofE Junior School CH23HB
- 0.3 miles Hoole All Saints' CofE Infant and Nursery School CH23HR
- 0.3 miles Abbey Gate School CH23HR (53 pupils)
- 0.3 miles Hoole Church of England Primary School CH23HB (367 pupils)
- 0.4 miles Robert Raikes Tutorial School CH11QQ
- 0.4 miles Egerton Street County Infant School CH13ND
- 0.4 miles St Martin's Academy Chester CH23NG (25 pupils)
- 0.5 miles Cherry Grove Primary School CH35EN (320 pupils)
- 0.6 miles Newton Primary School CH22LA (369 pupils)
- 0.8 miles Boughton Heath Primary School CH35RW (210 pupils)
- 0.8 miles Oldfield Primary School CH35LB (210 pupils)
- 0.8 miles Kingsway High School CH22LB
- 0.8 miles Oldfield County Junior School CH35LB
- 0.8 miles University Cathedral Free School CH12HT (60 pupils)
- 0.9 miles St Thomas of Canterbury Blue Coat CofE Junior School CH14HG
- 0.9 miles Queen's Park High School CH47AE (670 pupils)
- 0.9 miles The Bishops' Blue Coat Church of England High School CH35XF
- 0.9 miles Firs School CH22HJ (219 pupils)
- 0.9 miles Oldfield County Infant School CH35LP
- 0.9 miles Holly Bank School CH21AB
- 0.9 miles The Bishops' Blue Coat Church of England High School CH35XF (1018 pupils)
- 1 mile Victoria Infant School CH14BR
- 1 mile Woodfield Junior School CH22QE
St Werburgh's and St Columba's
Catholic Primary School
Lightfoot Street, Hoole, Chester, Cheshire, CH2 3AD
|Inspection dates||3–4 June 2015|
|Overall effectiveness||This inspection:||Good||2|
|Leadership and management||Good||2|
|Behaviour and safety of pupils||Outstanding||1|
|Quality of teaching||Good||2|
|Achievement of pupils||Good||2|
|Early years provision||Good||2|
Summary of key findings for parents and pupils
This is a good school.
It is not yet an outstanding school because
| Teaching is good. As a result, pupils make good |
By the end of Year 6, attainment in both
Children make good progress in the early years as
Carefully-tailored support for pupils with special
Behaviour is outstanding. Pupils have excellent
progress in lessons and achieve well over time.
mathematics and English is above average. Pupils’
progress from their various starting points is good
in both English and mathematics.
a result of good teaching.
educational needs and those deemed to be
disadvantaged enables them to make good
progress and to participate fully in activities.
attitudes towards their learning, enjoy coming to
school and have very good relationships with each
other and with adults. They feel safe in school.
| Leadership and management are good. The |
The good promotion of spiritual, moral, social and
headteacher, strongly supported by the assistant
headteacher and governors, provides clear
direction. Senior leaders, including governors have
a good understanding of what needs to be done to
improve the school further.
cultural development enables pupils to thrive in a
very supportive and inclusive learning community.
Pupils have frequent opportunities to pursue a
variety of interests through the taught curriculum
and a wide variety of opportunities to extend their
learning beyond the classroom.
| Teaching is not outstanding. Work is not always |
Pupils are not always given good guidance about
set at the right level so that some pupils,
particularly those of middle ability, do not always
achieve their full potential.
how to improve their work, particularly the
accuracy of their spelling.
| Pupils do not always have enough opportunity to |
practise and develop their mathematical and
literacy skills across the wider curriculum.
Information about this inspection
- Inspectors observed teaching and learning and made short visits to other activities led by teachers and
trained assistants. The majority of these observations were carried out jointly with either the headteacher
or the assistant headteacher.
- Two groups of pupils met with inspectors and inspectors also talked to a number of pupils in lessons and
around the school. Discussions were also held with staff, including senior leaders and the learning mentor.
Meetings were conducted with the vice-chair and members of the governing body and with a
representative from the local authority.
- Inspectors took account of the 62 responses to the online questionnaire (Parent View).They also took
account of the 17 responses to the staff questionnaire.
- Inspectors scrutinised pupils’ work with senior leaders and read a range of documents. These included
documents about the school’s strategies to enable leaders to gain an accurate view of its performance,
school improvement plans, data on pupils’ current progress, policies and records on safeguarding,
behaviour and attendance.
|Judith Tolley, Lead inspector||Additional Inspector|
|Diane Pye||Additional Inspector|
|Terry Bond||Additional Inspector|
Information about this school
- This is a larger than average-sized primary school.
- The proportion of disadvantaged pupils, those supported by the pupil premium, is well below average. The
pupil premium is additional government funding to support those pupils known to be eligible for free
school meals or who are looked after by the local authority.
- The proportion of disabled pupils and those with special educational needs is below average.
- The great majority of pupils are from White British backgrounds, with small proportions coming from
minority ethnic backgrounds or who speak English as an additional language.
- The school meets the government’s current floor standards, which are the minimum expectations for
pupils’ attainment and progress in English and mathematics by the end of Year 6.
- The school has several awards, including the National Sing-Up platinum award, Arts Mark and the ECO
silver award in recognition of its work in protecting the environment.
- Children attend the early years provision on a full-time basis.
What does the school need to do to improve further?
- Improve the quality of teaching and so raise standards further by:
ensuring that work is always set at the right level so that all pupils, including those of middle ability, are
making sure that pupils are always given good guidance about how to improve their work, especially
the accuracy of their spelling
ensuring all pupils have frequent opportunities to practise and develop their basic skills of writing and
mathematics across the wider curriculum, in subjects in addition to English and mathematics
making sure that the reading skills of middle and higher-ability pupils are developed to the full in Key
|The leadership and management||are good|
- The headteacher, strongly supported by the assistant headteacher, provides very clear direction and has
acted swiftly and decisively to improve the quality of teaching and learning, in response to the dip in
achievement in 2014. As a result, there has been an improvement in the standards pupils reach and the
progress they make in writing and mathematics. The school has good capacity to improve further.
- The senior leaders have regular and rigorous monitoring procedures to check on pupils’ progress, identify
any underachievement and trigger appropriate interventions. They are also effective in holding teachers to
account and identifying training needs.
- The senior leadership team has an accurate view of the school’s performance and what can be improved
further. Clear plans are in place to achieve this. The emphasis upon training for teachers and frequent
opportunities for them to plan together and share best practice have been important factors in securing
recent improvements in teaching and learning.
- Pupil premium funding is used to good effect to support disadvantaged pupils. As a result, gaps in the
performance of disadvantaged pupils have closed in reading and writing and are closing rapidly in
mathematics. Similarly, sports funding is used to good effect both to provide specialist coaching for pupils
and to improve the quality of teaching in physical education across the school. This has also led to
increased participation rates in extra-curricular and sports activities across the school.
- Subject leaders are involved in the school’s self-evaluation and school improvement planning procedures.
However, a few have not fully developed their roles, for instance, in monitoring teaching and learning in
- The curriculum is broad and balanced, meets pupils’ needs and aspirations well and prepares them well
for citizenship in modern Britain through themed days and the projects they study in geography and
history. For instance, pupils in Years 3 and 4 were discussing the main reasons tourists visit Chester and in
doing so weighed up the good transport links and the historical heritage of the city.
- Pupils benefit from specialist teaching in mathematics, physical education, music and French. They also
take part in regular trips and visits, which extend their learning outside the classroom. Pupils additionally
benefit from specialist teaching in mathematics and science through links with the high school.
- The school provides excellent support for pupils who may be vulnerable, or have disabilities or special
educational needs, through its nurture facility and through the work of the learning mentor. Significant
successes in improving the progress these pupils make are evident. The school is committed to equality of
opportunity for all and actively tackles discrimination of any kind. The work of the learning mentor and
special educational needs staff in removing barriers to learning through the nurture programme and is
valued by parents. It has proved to be very successful in helping individuals to achieve their potential.
Pupils themselves have excellent relationships and realise the value of this.
- Safeguarding procedures are robust and meet government requirements. The school is diligent in ensuring
pupils are safe. Staff and notably the learning mentor, work very effectively with outside agencies to
ensure that this is the case.
- The school is working closely with parents and actively encourages them to be involved in the school’s
work and their children’s learning through, for instance, open afternoons across the school.
- The school works closely with families whose children do not attend regularly enough. As a result,
persistent absence has decreased and attendance and punctuality have improved.
- The local authority provides light touch support for this good school. The school buys in support to review
its performance. This has had a positive impact upon the quality of teaching and learning.
- The governance of the school:
The governing body is effective and has a very good understanding of the school’s strengths and areas
which need to be improved. Governors regularly check the school’s performance, including data that
show pupils’ attainment and progress. They have recruited members with a good range of experience
Governors talk confidently about how the school is narrowing gaps in the performance of different
groups of pupils through successful interventions. They have a clear understanding of the quality of
teaching and the performance of staff, including how good performance is rewarded and any
underperformance is tackled. The efficiency of spending is scrutinised, including the effectiveness of the
use of the primary sports and pupil premium funding.
Governors are actively involved in the life of the school and have strong, positive relationships with
senior leaders built on mutual respect and trust. As a result, through open and honest challenge and
support, the governing body holds leaders very effectively to account.
|The behaviour and safety of pupils||are outstanding|
- The behaviour of pupils is outstanding. They arrive at lessons promptly and get on with their work
willingly and demonstrate a thirst for learning.
- Expectations of pupils’ behaviour are high. Pupils show consistently excellent attitudes to learning which
create in them a very strong desire to do outstandingly well and produce their best.
- Low-level disruption is extremely rare. Pupils behave extremely sensibly during the changeover of lessons
and during lunch and break times. They are very considerate of each other and adults and establish
highly-positive relationships. They are very polite and respectful and clearly enjoy their time in school.
- Pupils play a full part in decision making in the school and take their responsibilities, for instance, as
school councillors, very seriously.
- Staff, pupils and parents have a very high opinion of behaviour and how positively this contributes to
pupils’ learning and enjoyment. Bullying or any form of discrimination is very rare and vigorously
discouraged. On the rare occasions when it does happen, pupils are confident that it is dealt with swiftly
and effectively. Pupils themselves say that poor behaviour is very rare and is usually because pupils
occasionally get ‘over-excited’.
- Pupils with special educational needs or who are vulnerable receive excellent care and support from staff
within the school to make good or better progress.
- Attendance is average. The attendance of disadvantaged pupils has improved over the last year, as a
result of the school’s working closely with parents and through the support of the learning mentor.
- The school’s work to keep pupils safe and secure is outstanding.
- The school is meticulous in its efforts to keep pupils safe, identifies any risks and, as a result, prevents any
harm. The school has highly successful systems in place to ensure that all aspects of safety are rigorously
maintained. All leaders are diligent about safeguarding procedures and keeping pupils safe.
- The school works closely with other agencies to ensure that pupils are safe and supported very well.
- The pupils have a very good understanding of how to stay safe and of potential risks. They know how to
protect themselves against these, including when using the internet.
|The quality of teaching||is good|
- Teaching over time is typically good across the school and leads to good progress. There are examples of
outstanding teaching, but this is not consistent across the school.
- Teachers and teaching assistants work well together and ask pupils searching questions, to see how much
they have understood and to extend their learning.
- Teachers use effective strategies to engage pupils’ interest and pupils usually respond with enthusiasm.
For example, Years 5 and 6 were very keen to write a speech prophesying a year-long drought and its
consequences and to write diary entries to explain how they might feel. They wrote with enthusiasm and
imagination, as a result of the imaginative use of drama which enabled them to empathise with people
from the Mayan culture being faced with this predicament.
- Year 1 pupils were rapidly able to apply alternative sounds for themselves to decode words with similar
spellings, as a result of clear demonstrations and a series of well-sequenced activities. Similarly, Year 4
pupils made rapid progress in calculating area, as a result of very effective questioning and the
opportunity to work together to find solutions to challenging problems.
- However, the progress of pupils of middle ability sometimes slows because, on occasions, they find the
tasks they are set too easy and do not always have the opportunity to attempt more challenging work.
- Pupils’ work is marked regularly and there are examples of outstanding practice. Where this is the case
information about pupils’ progress determines the next steps for individual pupils and this is taken into
account in lesson planning. Pupils maintain a dialogue with teachers about what they need to do next and
are given extra challenges to complete. However, marking and advice are not always to this high
standard. Pupils do not always receive the specific guidance they need to help them improve their work,
particularly the accuracy of their spelling. This is particularly evident in subjects other than English.
- The teaching of reading is effective and children enjoy their reading. Most read fluently and with
understanding and are able to explain in detail what they have read and make inferences. However,
opportunities are missed to develop their reading skills to the full in guided reading lessons in Key Stage 2.
- The impact of teaching on pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is good. Pupils have
frequent opportunities to reflect, to empathise with others and to increase their understanding of cultures
and faiths other than their own.
|The achievement of pupils||is good|
- The proportion of pupils making and exceeding the progress expected of them from their starting points
compares favourably with national figures. Most children enter Year 1 with skills and knowledge above
those typical for their age and are confident learners, well prepared for the Key Stage 1 curriculum.
- Overall, pupils make good progress from their individual starting points. By the end of Year 6, standards
over time in mathematics, reading and writing have been above average. After a slight dip in 2014,
standards in mathematics and writing have improved rapidly and are now, once again, above average.
- Work seen during the inspection indicates that standards in reading, writing and mathematics have risen
over the last year and the rate of pupils’ progress has also increased, so that the proportion of pupils
making more than the progress expected of them has also increased. A higher proportion of pupils are
now on track to make good progress in relation to their starting points than was the case in 2014.
- The most able pupils usually make good progress from their starting points in mathematics, reading and
writing, with some reaching the highest levels by the end of Year 6. However, pupils of middle ability are
not always sufficiently challenged. Too often they do not have the opportunity to attempt the higher level
of challenge provided for the most able.
- Pupils write effectively for a variety of purposes and audiences and use a good range of vocabulary and
structures. Pupils in Years 5 and 6 for instance, write with flair and panache and clearly enjoy using the
wide range of vocabulary they possess. However, inaccuracies in spelling sometimes mar their work.
- Progress in reading is good. Pupils are taught phonics (letters and the sounds they make) effectively and
apply their knowledge in reading and writing. Guided reading sessions in Key Stage 2, led by teachers and
teaching assistants, are effective in developing pupils’ reading skills but the progress of middle and higher-
ability pupils, when working independently of the teacher, is slowed because tasks set for them are
sometimes not clear enough.
- Disabled pupils and those with special educational needs make the same good progress as their peers, as
a result of the extra help they are given, according to need, both in class and in groups. Teaching
assistants usually provide sensitive and effective support, enabling these pupils to participate successfully
in whole-class activities.
- The extra support the school provides, such as extra help in the classroom, support from teaching
assistants and from the learning mentor enables disadvantaged pupils to reach their targets and to make
the same good progress as their peers. Gaps between the attainment of these pupils in English and their
classmates have closed and in mathematics, they are closing rapidly. They reach the same standards as
other pupils in the school and higher standards by approximately two terms than non-disadvantaged
pupils nationally. Disadvantaged pupils make at least as good progress as non-disadvantaged pupils
|The early years provision||is good|
- Children make good progress and achieve well in the Reception classes as a result of consistently good
teaching. Most children start in the early years with skills and knowledge broadly typical for their age, but
some begin with skills that are low, especially in their communication and language. Most achieve good
levels of development in all areas of learning during their time in the early years. They begin Year 1 as
confident learners, well prepared for the Key Stage 1 curriculum.
- As a result of very well established routines, children settle in quickly and behave exceptionally well. They
clearly enjoy the activities planned for them, take turns and learn and play well together. They know how
to stay safe and listen carefully and help one another. When playing together they display high levels of
interest and concentration and talk to each other about their activities.
- Children make particularly good progress in developing their speaking, reading, writing, mathematical
skills as well as their personal and social skills. They are keen to talk about their learning. Children are
confident using numbers and simple reading and writing skills in their play, for example, in sorting objects
into sets according to colour and size and working out simple addition and subtraction. They write notes
and labels and short sentences and take pride in their writing.
- The provision is very well led and managed. Good teaching and learning and a high level of consistency,
together with good safety procedures, are all promoted successfully. Adults work together very effectively
to ensure all children are able to make good progress. They monitor individual progress on a daily basis
and use this information effectively to plan next steps for children’s learning.
- Activities led by teachers and teaching assistants are well planned and designed to excite and interest
children. Adults take every opportunity to engage children in conversation to extend their learning and to
consolidate their mathematical, reading and writing skills and children respond enthusiastically. As a
result, they make rapid progress in developing their language and communication skills. The outside area
is used effectively with well-planned activities, which ignite children’s interest and enable them to make
the next steps in their learning. However, because there is no covered area, outside activities are
restricted during poor weather.
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
|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
|Unique reference number||111384|
|Local authority||Cheshire West and Chester|
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||5–11|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Number of pupils on the school roll||317|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Date of previous school inspection||24 April 2012|
|Telephone number||01244 981228|
|Fax number||No longer in use|