20/11/2015 - Permalink

Shrewsbury Cathedral Catholic Primary School celebrates ‘good’ Ofsted rating

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Shrewsbury Cathedral Catholic Primary School is celebrating after Ofsted graded the school as ‘good’ in all areas, following a two-day full inspection on 3 and 4 November 2015.

The school has been removed from ‘special measures’, where it was placed following its last full inspection in July 2014.

The Ofsted inspectors now say that ‘strong leadership and governance have turned this school around’ and that the acting headteacher, Interim Executive Board, Shropshire Council and Diocese of Shrewsbury have ‘successfully addressed the weaknesses that previously caused the school’s decline in performance and effectiveness’.

In their report they say that ‘standards are improving rapidly and securely and pupils make good progress’, and that ‘pupils enjoy learning within a broad range of subjects and activities’.

Inspectors observed lessons, held discussions with the acting head, the deputy head, pupils, teachers, parents and the Interim Executive Board. They also listened to pupils’ reading and scrutinised work.

They found that good teaching is now more established and consistent across classes, and that this has led to standards in reading, writing and mathematics rising. They say that pupils across the school are making good progress.

The report says that pupils are confident, mature and responsible, are very keen and are energised by the range of topics they study. It says that ‘a rich and broad variety of projects, visits and special themes enliven pupils and make learning interesting and enjoyable’. It adds that ‘pupils are effectively taught British values of respect and tolerance of different faiths, customs and cultures’.

Inspectors were particularly impressed by the quality of Early Years provision. Their report says that ‘the children experience stimulating indoor and outdoor activities that enable them to settle quickly, share resources and co-operate with others’. It says that ‘the teaching and support given helps develop strong foundations for learning that prepares the children well for Key Stage 1’ and adds that ‘the children’s personal development, behaviour and welfare is outstanding in the Early Years’.

Inspectors praise the acting headteacher for providing ‘strong and effective leadership’, saying that she has ‘transformed’ the school since joining in February 2015. They note that staff morale is high and that governors and leaders have ‘galvanised the staff team to work together and reverse the school’s previous decline in performance and effectiveness’.

The report also praises the Interim Executive Board (IEB) – established in March 2015 – for helping to turn the school around. It says that the IEB has been ‘extremely well led’ by the Chair of the IEB, and that it has ‘acted swiftly and incisively to put in place policies and procedures that have sharpened the way the school is monitored, challenged and supported.’

The inspectors also say that the Shropshire Council and Shrewsbury Diocese have been ‘very effective in dealing with the issues that previously resulted in the school being placed in special measures’.

Their report confirmed that the school will become ‘outstanding’ if it continues to improve pupils’ reading, ensures that the most able pupils are always challenged appropriately, and ensures action plans always set out how the actions being taken to improve teaching and learning are being checked.

Headteacher Kerrie Lewis said:

“This Ofsted report reflects the high standards which the staff, pupils, parents and IEB members have worked so hard for. Rightly, we are all very proud of our school. Our journey to ‘Outstanding’ has already begun!”

Ann Hartley, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for children’s services, said:

“I’m thrilled that Ofsted inspectors have recognised the substantial improvements that have been made at Shrewsbury Cathedral Catholic Primary School. This is the result of a lot of very hard work on the part of staff and the Interim Executive Board and I’m really pleased for the acting head and her team.

“Pupils and their parents can be confident that the school now provides a good education which prepares children well for the future, and I congratulate all those who have played a part in this success.”

The report can be read on the school website.

Further information

1. There are four Ofsted grading categories:

Grade 1: Outstanding
Grade 2: Good
Grade 3: Requires Improvement
Grade 4: Inadequate

2. The school has been rated ‘good’ overall, and ‘good’ in all areas. The areas are:

  • Effectiveness of leadership and management
  • Quality of teaching, learning and assessment
  • Personal development, behaviour and welfare
  • Outcomes for pupils
  • Early years provision

About the school

Whilst Shrewsbury Cathedral Catholic Primary School benefits from a strong Catholic ethos, it is also an inclusive community school which welcomes children from all faiths and backgrounds.

The school is currently being governed by an Interim Executive Board (IEB) and there will be a full permanent governing body in place in January 2016.