St Katharine’s CE (VC) Primary
Savernake, Marlborough, Wiltshire, SN8 8BG
Inspection dates 11–12 October 2012
Previous inspection: Satisfactory 3
Quality of teaching
Behaviour and safety of pupils Leadership and management
Good 2 Good 2 Good 2 Good 2
Achievement of pupils
Summary of key findings for parents and pupils
This is a good school
Since the last inspection, pupils’ progress has improved, particularly across Key Stage 2. Pupils’ achievement is now good in all year groups. Standards of attainment are above average, and rising.
Pupils demonstrate a strong desire to learn. They have good opportunities to work independently and in groups. They feel safe, enjoy coming to school, behave considerately and attend regularly. Relationships are based on trust, respect and courtesy.
Action taken by leaders to improve reading, writing, mathematics and other areas of the school’s work has been determined and effective.
Monitoring and evaluation of teaching, led skilfully by the headteacher and with the strong backing of governors, have provided staff with a great deal of support. This has helped them to improve the quality of their teaching, so that it is now good.
Talk is used well in lessons to help pupils to be involved in their learning. Teachers ask probing questionning and there is lively discussion. This helps pupils to think and reason clearly.
It is not yet an outstanding school because
Pupils are not provided with enough information about targets so that they can identify for themselves what they need to do to improve.
Pupils use information and communication technology (ICT) a lot to help them to learn. For example, pupils use computers and ‘tablets’ regularly to help with drafting stories, making e-books and researching information.
In some lessons, planning and teaching are not good enough to ensure that pupils are challenged all of the time. When this happens, their learning slows.
Inspection report: St Katharine’s CE (VC) Primary School, 11–12 October 2012
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Information about this inspection
Nine lessons were visited, of which two were joint observations with the headteacher. Meetings were held with staff, members of the governing body and groups of pupils. A local
authority representative discussed by telephone the support provided to the school.
The inspector analysed questionnaires from eight staff.
The inspector took account of the 22 responses to the online questionnaire (Parent View) and
information from the school’s recent survey of parents’ and carers’ opinions.
He observed the school’s work and looked at documents, including the school improvement plan,
monitoring documentation, records relating to attendance, the school’s information on pupils’ progress and samples of pupils’ work.
|Peter Clifton, Lead inspector||Additional Inspector|
Inspection report: St Katharine’s CE (VC) Primary School, 11–12 October 2012 3 of 9
Information about this school
- This is a smaller-than-average size primary school. The pupils are taught in four classes in the mornings and three classes in the afternoons.
- Nearly all pupils are of White British heritage.
- Pupils attend the school from a wide rural area.
- The proportion of pupils who are disabled and those with special educational needs supported by school action plus or with a statement of special educational needs is below average. The proportion supported through school action is below average.
- The proportion of pupils known to be eligible for the Pupil Premium is below the national average.
The school meets the government’s current floor standards, which set the minimum expectations
for pupils’ attainment and progress.
What does the school need to do to improve further?
Improve teaching and increase the proportion of lessons where teaching is outstanding by:
making sure that pupils have better information about learning targets and levels so that
they can be more closely involved in setting personal goals for improvement
fine-tuning planning and delivery in lessons so that pupils are learning as well as they can at all times, for example by ensuring that introductions to lessons are not too long and that work is always sufficiently challenging.
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The achievement of pupils is good
- The school’s records show, and inspection evidence confirms, that a good proportion of pupils make better than expected progress. This includes pupils who have just left the school from Year 6, to move on to their next school. Learning and achievement observed in different subjects during the inspection was good.
- Children start school with knowledge, skills and understanding that are at the expected levels for their age. Good provision makes sure that children are well prepared for Year 1. They can for example, write simple words and sentences, identify one more or one less in numbers up to 20 and are beginning to count in twos.
- Reception children enthusiastically share the different letter sounds they have learned. They identify the different sounds in words such as ‘hat’ and ‘pig’. They choose different activities confidently including, constructing marble runs, painting and counting.
- Attainment by the end of Year 2 is above average and achievement is good. Pupils use sequences of drawings to tell stories to each other based on the topic about ‘The Romans’. In mathematics, they use ‘arrays’ to identify different multiplication and division facts.
- Less able readers in Year 1 use their knowledge of the sounds of letters securely to help them to read simple words. By the start of Year 2, these skills are well established and nearly all read a range of books fluently and accurately.
- Pupils in Years 4 and 5 demonstrated critical understanding about persuasive writing when they considered a text to promote a holiday destination. They used this exceptionally well to help with their own writing. Writing tasks in Year 6 drew well on previous learning. Pupils considered, for example, ‘hooks to engage the reader’ in their descriptive writing. In a number of lessons, including guided reading, history and geography, laptops and ‘tablets’ were used well to support the pupils’ learning.
- Disabled pupils and those with special educational needs make good progress. For example, in Key Stage 2, talk was used effectively to help them to come up with a range of different ideas to write descriptive sentences, and additional support prompted the pupils to check their own work.
- Pupil premium funding has been used to boost basic number skills in mathematics for Year 2 pupils. The school’s records show that this has accelerated pupils’ progress. The quality of teaching is good
- Pupils are treated as individuals. Teachers and support staff motivate the pupils to do their best and positive approaches help the pupils to build their confidence and self-esteem. Discussion led by the teacher or in small groups or pairs is well established. There is a buzz of activity and engagement when pupils explore their different ideas together.
- Teachers demonstrate secure subject knowledge, particularly in English and mathematics. In Year 1, for example, early number skills, including an understanding of place value, are taught particularly well. In Year 6, pupils ‘rounded’ numbers to estimate multiplication and division sums and were expected to justify their answers by explaining their reasoning. Teachers use a range of different techniques such as exaggeration and emotive language when teaching persuasive writing. Pupil premium funding has been used to provide teaching to improve pupils’ basic number skills and has been particularly effective.
- Pupils have some good information on how to improve, for example about the features to include in their writing to make it an effective piece of work. However, their involvement in setting personal goals is underdeveloped because they do not have enough information about the next levels of learning. This means that are not able to identify clearly what they need to do to reach the next curriculum level.
- Teachers’ lesson planning and how they teach usually matches the range of needs of pupils, and teachers regularly check on the progress of different groups. This is promoting equality
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of opportunity well. However, there are times when learning slows and pupils are not challenged sufficiently well, for example when pupils stay on the carpet being taught as a single group for too long and when activities given are not explained carefully enough.
Teaching assistants provide valuable support to pupils who are disabled and those with special educational needs. In literacy, this helped pupils to discuss how to write sentences in different ways. In mathematics, the correct terms for different calculations were promoted. This additional support for disabled pupils and those with special educational needs helps them to successfully learn alongside other pupils.
The behaviour and safety of pupils are good
- Pupils really enjoy learning and work well with each other. They learned about the value of teamwork, for example, when they built shelters in the adjoining forest to keep out the wind and rain. In guided reading, Year 6 pupils worked together well to answer questions, making sure that they could justify what they had written.
- Parents, carers and staff express the view that pupils’ behaviour is a strength of the school. In lessons, pupils are quick to respond to any request made by the teacher or other staff. They are polite and well mannered. They enjoy playing together at breaktimes and older pupils take on responsibility as play leaders. Around the school, there are examples of exemplary behaviour, with older pupils showing acts of kindness towards younger ones.
- Incidents of misbehaviour are rare. Discussions with pupils and the school’s logs confirm that there is very little evidence of any bullying. Pupils are keenly aware of the possibility of misuse of the internet particularly through the school’s website and the class ‘blogs’. Pupils proudly refer to their ‘bloggers code of practice’ which they follow.
- Assemblies provide a regular opportunity for the school to reward positive attitudes and achievement.
- Attendance has risen since the previous inspection. Pupils are punctual to school.
- Leaders have identified that pupils do not always learn on their own well enough and this has been an area for improvement. This is a strongly developing feature of the school’s work but is not yet outstanding The leadership and management are good
- Teachers are rightly complimentary of the work of the headteacher whom they describe as ‘always helpful and supportive’. Collaboration is celebrated and team work is strong.
- School improvement plans are well focused and based on rigorous self-evaluation. Changes made to improve aspects of reading, writing and mathematics and to develop ICT have been implemented well. However, these have not yet been sustained over time to have their full impact to raise pupils’ achievement.
- The quality of teaching has markedly improved since the time of the previous inspection, through good quality training and regular monitoring in lessons. The school’s view of the quality of teaching matches closely the quality observed during the inspection. Teachers confirm that performance management and monitoring of teaching have helped them to improve. The headteacher is making well-informed decisions about teachers rising up the salary scale on the basis of these checks on the effectiveness of their teaching.
- The ‘numbers count’ programme for pupils who attract pupil premium funding has been carefully targeted and fully evaluated.
- The school keeps clear information about the progress made by individuals and groups of pupils. This is reviewed regularly and discussed, for example with governors so that they can carry out their responsibilities to hold leaders to account.
- The curriculum is well planned to include opportunities that encourage pupils to be creative and imaginative. Interesting topics, active learning, practical experiences in the local forest and the regular use of laptops and ‘tablets’ help to promote pupils’ tangible enjoyment of
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school. There are also strengths in music, sport and modern foreign languages. Joint
activities with other local schools are valued by pupils.
- The school promotes pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development well. There is a well-established moral code and discrimination is not tolerated. Pupils regularly lead prayer and reflection in assembly.
The support provided by the local authority is well regarded by the headteacher and
members of the governing body.
The governance of the school:
Governors have made sure that spending decisions have been carefully considered to
benefit pupils’ well-being and achievement. For example, they have supported the additional
class during the mornings. The governing body keeps a close watch on the progress being
made by the pupils in order to evaluate the effectiveness of these decisions and holds the
headteacher and staff to account for raising pupils’ achievements.
They have closely monitored the effectiveness of the pupil premium funding.
The governing body ensures that safeguarding requirements are met. Staff have been trained in child protection and the procedures required to recruit staff safely are effective. Governors communicate high expectations for the school and have demonstrated this through their determination to appoint the right staff for the school and insisting that changes introduced are fully evaluated.
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What inspection judgements mean
Grade 2 Grade 3 Grade 4
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 employment.
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.
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.
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 Ofsted inspectors.
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.
Inspection report: St Katharine’s CE (VC) Primary School, 11–12 October 2012
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Unique reference number
Inspection number 406358
This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.
Voluntary controlled 4–11
The governing body Peter Holland Sharon Cross
6–7 October 2010 01672 870492 01672 870492
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Type of school
Age range of pupils
Gender of pupils
Number of pupils on the school roll
Date of previous school inspection
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