Diocesan Inspection Report - May 2018
On behalf of the governing body, Mr Grove, and school staff
At the beginning of May, our school was inspected by the Catholic Archdiocese of Birmingham. This was a two-day inspection by two inspectors, one a retired Head Teacher, the other a current Head of a Catholic primary in Stoke-on-Trent.
Their visit was under a new and more rigorous format than had previously been required.
The inspectors met with staff, parents, governors and, most importantly of all, our children.
Their inspection concluded that Our Lady & St Werburgh’s is an outstanding Catholic primary school.
In choosing a Catholic education for our children, we expect something distinct from other primary schools: pastoral care; ethos; charity; prayer; collective worship; a culture of vocation; and belonging to a community. On the following page, you can read some of the conclusions that the inspectors came to.
As a Catholic school, two authorities inspect us: Ofsted and our Archdiocese. Our Lady & St Werburgh’s sits on church land and so how the Archdiocese judges our performance is as important to us as what Ofsted says. These inspections are required under the law of the church (Canon Law) and recognised by the Department for Education.
Staff and governors will now go through the inspection to report to digest its conclusions and recommendations. The full report is on the school website and over the page is a selection of its comments.
James O’Hara, Chair of Governors, June 2018
School Inspection: May 2018. OVERALL EFFECTIVENESS: Outstanding
- Through the inspirational leadership of the head teacher and the dedicated support of the governing body, the school has successfully developed a comprehensive infrastructure of Catholic community with Christ at the centre.
- All staff are excellent role models. They know the pupils well and exercise a high level of pastoral care. This is a happy, welcoming and inclusive school.
- Pupils are immensely proud of their school. This is reflected in their positive attitudes, exemplary behaviour and the way they express their Catholic identity. They are excellent ambassadors for the school's values.
- Pupils are active participants in the Catholic Life and mission of the school. They are eager to engage in a variety of responsibilities around the school such as leading worship, presenting assemblies and organising initiatives for charitable fundraising activities.
- The staff are a dedicated and effective team. They are excellent role models for pupils and they demonstrate a strong commitment to the Catholic ethos of the school.
- Leaders and governors share a strong commitment to the Church's mission in education and are very successful in developing the Catholic Life of the school.
- The head teacher sets high standards for all members of the school community and inspires a staff team who confidently contribute to continuing school improvements.
- Following the re-organisation of the governing body, due to the academisation process, governors would benefit from diocesan training to support their strategic planning in this new role.
- More opportunities for pupils to use extended writing skills should be used. This will enable them to further express their reflective thoughts and response to lesson themes and objectives.
- Pupils response to Collective Worship is exemplary. They are attentive in prayer and understand the importance it has in our daily lives.
- During Mass, the pupils were attentive to the parish priest, who engaged them fully by his interactive, child centred homily.
- Governors are frequent visitors to school, they regularly share celebrations and Catholic Worship with pupils and staff.
- The school and parish held a very successful mission week, which embraced a series of whole school assemblies, class workshops and a variety of worship.
- Catholic Life and Religious Education is firmly centred on the school mission and significantly shapes pupils’ morality and spirituality.
- The parish priest visits school regularly and has established a very effective partnership with the staff and pupils. He knows the school well and provides valuable support and guidance.
As you will see the school has been judged as good with outstanding features. This is a testament to the hard work and dedication of all the Staff, teaching and support and our Governors who have worked tirelessly to achieve this realistic outcome under the New Framework.
The inspection team enjoyed visiting the school and were very impressed by the children who are specifically mentioned in the report “Pupils display impeccable manners without any adult prompting…” and whilst they were in lessons their attitude to learning was also praised, “Pupils want to learn new things and relish the opportunities that teachers provide for them to learn in a variety of ways.”
The inspection team acknowledged the huge amount of work done by the senior leaders of the school and the outstanding governance which supports them.
“Governance is outstanding. Governors provide outstanding support and challenge to school leaders because they are extremely knowledgeable about the strengths and weaknesses of the school.” Such essential support and challenge allows the school to evaluate itself accurately allowing further improvements to be made. “The headteacher, senior leaders and governors have a clear vision for the school based on an accurate view of its strengths and weaknesses.” The Governors were particularly pleased with the feedback of our Headteacher, “The New Headteacher has successfully maintained the strengths of the school” and “He is leading the school with dedication and enthusiasm. “the inspectors felt excited about the future potential of the school.
The inspection also identified the “good subject knowledge” of all the teachers and that the quality of teaching is consistently good and in many cases better “The overall quality of teaching is good and there are some aspects that are outstanding” with an exciting curriculum designed to make to bring the learning alive, “The curriculum provides pupils with a variety of interesting and exciting experiences in a range of subjects”.
In speaking to senior leaders and governors at the end of the inspection, although the Ofsted team described the school as a strong “good” judgement, they have identified a few areas in which the school can make further progress. The Headteacher and Governing body will continue to strive to improve the school still further, to provide our children with an outstanding and exciting education.
We are very proud of all the children for their hard work, excellent behaviour and willingness to do the very best they can and extremely grateful to you, the parents who have always provided that essential support to this very good school.
Below are our most recent Ofsted and Diocesan inspection reports. Please click on the links to open the documents.
If you would like to find out further information about the school, please click on the link below for the Department of Education School Performance Tables