Outstanding school gains top marks in latest report

Headteacher Stephen Nicholson with a few of the  pupils of St. Josephs RC School celebrate their outstanding Ofsted report. (1401215AM1)
Headteacher Stephen Nicholson with a few of the pupils of St. Josephs RC School celebrate their outstanding Ofsted report. (1401215AM1)

A Wetherby school has improved its marks to reach the top.

Ofsted inspectors ranked St Joseph’s Catholic Prmary outstanding in achievement of pupils, quality of teaching, behaviour and safety of pupils, and leadership and management to give overall effectiveness as outstanding.

Headteacher of the Barley Fields Road school, Stephen Nicholson said: “The school is very proud of this achievement and especially proud that the inspectors recognised the achievement of our pupils.”

Inspectors visited in October and upgraded the school from the previous good to outstanding status.

In a summary of key findings the report stated: “Pupils’ behaviour is outstanding both in and around school and they treat each other and adults with respect.

“Pupils’ achievement is outstanding.

“From the time they enter school, pupils consitently make rapid progress in English and mathematics.

“When they leave at the end of Year 6, pupils reach standards that are significantly above average.”

The inspectors said that teaching is outstanding and contributes strongly to the progress pupils make over time.

“Lessons are exciting and well planned,” the report added.

“Teachers have an excellent understanding of pupils’ individual needs and set work which enables them to make rapid progress.”

The proportion of pupils supported through school action is below national average, as is the number supported at achool action plus or with a statement of special educational needs.

Also below national average is the number of pupils in local authority care, from armed forces families and eligible for free school.

The report added: “Pupils thoroughly enjoy school which is why attendance is above average.

“Pupils thrive in a supportive and caring environment and say they always feel safe.”

And it went on to praise the Mr Nicholson: “The headteacher provides strong leadership with a clear determination to continue to raise standards.

“He has developed a very strong team to lead teaching and the curriculum although the skills of middle leaders are not as well developed.”

Inspectors said the school needed to ensure that the skills of the middle leaders are further developed in order to make sure that they continue to make a significant contribution to achievement as well as teaching and learning.

But they added that the head manages the performance of teachers very well and ensures that there is a close match between how well teachers are paid and how well pupils learn.

“Targets set for teachers are pertinent to a school that thins ahead and links successfully with areas identified in the school improvment plan.

Ofsted last year changed its grading, making it harder to gain top marks.