The Overall Effectiveness of the School – Outstanding
St Patrick’s is an outstanding school with a strong Catholic ethos. The Catholic Life of the school has the highest possible priority. There is a tangible sense of family and community in all aspects of school life which is evident in the quality of the excellent relationships that exist between all stakeholders.
Parents speak very highly of the school and value the commitment of staff and the high standard of teaching and learning. One parent summed up, “The children really get the message to love one another according to Gospel values”. Pastoral care is outstanding and is given high priority by all members of staff.
How good outcomes are for pupils – Outstanding
Pupils make an outstanding contribution to the Catholic Life of the school and benefit greatly from it, taking their responsibilities seriously, seeing their roles as important because “Jesus helped everyone and we should try to follow Him”.
Pupils have a deep sense of belonging to their ‘school family’ and they all strive to do their best to promote the strong ethos within their school family and in the wider community. Pupils have a strong sense of personal worth. They express their own views and feelings with confidence and show they understand their responsibility as Christians to be fair, just and forgiving of others. They are also quick to congratulate others and show a keen interest in social, moral and ethical issues. The pupils are passionate about the needs of those who are less fortunate than themselves and take an active part in leading events to raise money for local and international charities. When asked what made their school different they reported that ‘here everyone follows Jesus and does what He asks of them’.
How effective the provision is for Catholic education – Outstanding
The majority of teaching seen during inspection was outstanding and never less than consistently good. Varied teaching styles, good questioning, high quality resources, the use of ICT and adult support are all highly effective in moving learning forward and ensuring high standards. Teachers have high expectations of pupils. They demonstrate excellent subject knowledge and carefully plan lessons to build on prior learning and pupils’ capabilities. Activities are differentiated and teachers check pupils’ learning throughout lessons and are able to adapt their teaching when appropriate. Teachers use praise effectively to provide encouragement and support for all pupils throughout the school.
Creative lessons, where pupils are challenged to think deeply and extend their knowledge and understanding, result in the vast majority of pupils achieving extremely well by the end of Key Stage 2. Pupils are developing as independent learners and are able to sustain their concentration extremely well. The school’s provision for prayer and worship is outstanding. . Prayer and worship underpin the Catholic life of the school so that pupils’ spiritual, moral and social development is outstanding. There are opportunities from the very moment children enter nursery for spiritual and moral development and for learning about the teachings and life of Jesus. Prayer and worship are integral in the daily life of the school. Pupils are reflective, can discuss their own faith and spirituality with confidence and are respectful of those with beliefs different to their own.
Pupils have a strong sense of social justice and concern for others beyond the school; they initiate fundraising for numerous charities and can discuss the impact of their efforts. Throughout the school the pupils are working towards linking this to Catholic social teaching. Pupils are very aware of the importance of service to others. This was evidenced through discussions with them formally and informally during the inspection. It was very evident that pupils had a very good understanding of the reasons why they do good and give to others.
How effective leaders, managers and governors are in developing the Catholic life of the school – Outstanding
The leadership and management of the school are outstanding and are a major factor in the school’s success. The leadership of the school is committed to the Church’s mission in education and demonstrates this by providing a curriculum with spiritual and moral development at its heart. The extremely strong Catholic identity is present in the school’s daily life including a good level of pastoral care and chaplaincy work.
The governing body has a strong commitment to the school’s vision of itself as a Catholic community. They use their professional skills and talents to ensure that the school thrives. Governors ensure that all policies and documentation reflect and support the school’s Catholic identity and they are rigorous and pro-active in monitoring and evaluating practice. The governing body includes members who know the community very well and have a wide range of expertise. The chair of governors is experienced, very well informed and he makes a valuable contribution to the monitoring and evaluating of the provision of the school. The parish priests also play a very valuable and key role in this school.
Relationships at all levels are very good and the school ensures that there is close communication between the home, the school and the parish. Parents are happy and are very supportive of the Catholic life of the school in so many ways.
St Patrick’s is an outstanding Catholic school with very effective leadership and a strong sense of its mission.
Achievement in Religious Education is consistently high across the school and children reach and sometimes exceed national expectations. Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is a strength of the school and this is clearly reflected in the outstanding behaviour and attitudes of the children.
The school has outstanding capacity to improve due to its excellent leadership and management and an accurate view of its strengths and areas for development, as expressed in its self-evaluation document. In addition, the school leadership team, well supported by the governing body, has ensured that effective systems are in place to ensure that high standards are maintained and that good practice is shared throughout the school.
The Headteacher demonstrates outstanding leadership of this catholic community and is ably supported by the senior leadership team and her staff. The committed Governing Body know their school well, have a wide range of expertise and carry out very effectively their role in promoting the catholic life of the school
The quality of collective worship at St Patrick’s School is outstanding. Worship and prayer are central to the life of the school community and time is allocated at the beginning of each day for all staff to come together for prayer and reflection.
The school’s provision for community cohesion is outstanding. The inclusion of all is a central goal in the school’s vision. This vision is widely shared and understood by the whole community which is welcoming and fosters a sense of belonging. Gospel values such as tolerance, respect and honesty are at the heart of the school community. Leaders promote respect for difference, value diversity and ensure equal opportunities for everyone.
Pupils contribute well to the school community through their work as members of the many groups and forums such as the school council, eco warriors, children’s forum and gardening club, as well as prefects, buddies and librarians. They show compassion for others by giving to local, national and international charities. Residential visits both nationally and internationally, links with spiritual centres and partner schools through the Comenius project provide pupils with many opportunities to experience a variety of cultures and traditions.
The quality of teaching and learning in Religious Education is outstanding. Lessons observed during inspection were always good or excellent and enabled pupils to engage in interesting and challenging tasks.