DIOCESE OF LANCASTER EDUCATION SERVICE

 

 

DENOMINATIONAL INSPECTION

REPORT (Section 48)

 

 

 

 

 

St Bernard’s Catholic Primary School, Preston

 

 

 

DENOMINATIONAL INSPECTION

REPORT (Section 48)

 

on

 

THE CATHOLIC LIFE OF THE SCHOOL

AND RELIGIOUS EDUCATION

St Bernard’s Catholic Primary School

 

 

School:

 

Victoria Park Avenue,

Lea

Preston

Lancs

PR2 1RP

 

Address:

 

01772 728153

Telephone Number:

 

 

head@st-bernards.lancs.sch.uk

Email Address:

 

 

119449

School URN:

 

 

Mrs Mia Barlow

Headteacher:

 

 

Mr Frank Beetham

Chair of Governors:

 

 

Lead Inspector:

Mrs Frances Wygladala

 

 

Team Inspector:

Mrs Michelle Holden

 

 

Date of Inspection:

1st March 2018

 

 

       

 

 

 

 

 

 

INFORMATION ABOUT THE SCHOOL

St Bernard’s is a Catholic Voluntary Aided primary school in the Diocese of Lancaster. The school serves the parish of St John Paul II in Preston. It is a smaller than average sized primary school with 216 pupils currently on roll of whom approximately 56% are baptised Roman Catholic. Pupils’ attainment on entry to school is below the national average. Most pupils are from White British backgrounds and 11% are from minority ethnic groups. The proportion of pupils supported for SEN is above the national average and the school has a much higher proportion of vulnerable and disadvantaged families to support. School numbers have risen significantly in recent years and the school serves an area with significant deprivation.

 

PUPILS

EYFS

Y1

Y2

Y3

Y4

Y5

Y6

Total

Number on roll

30

30

30

30

33

32

31

216

Catholics on roll

20

13

13

19

18

17

22

122

Other Christian denomination

5

9

8

6

10

6

7

51

Other faith background

0

2

1

2

2

0

0

7

No religious affiliation

5

6

8

3

3

9

2

36

No of learners from ethnic groups

3

3

4

3

4

4

2

23

Total on SEN Register

2

8

4

9

8

6

6

43

Total with SEN/EHC plans

0

1

1

0

0

0

0

2

 

Exclusions in last academic year

Permanent

0

Fixed term

0

 

 

 

Index of multiple deprivation

 Band D

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PARISHES SERVED BY THE SCHOOL

 

 

Name of Parish

No of Pupils

 

St. John Paul II Parish

111

 

 

 

 

                           

 

TEACHING TIME FOR RE

YR

Y1

Y2

Y3

Y4

Y5

Y6

Total

Total teaching time (Hours)

2 hrs

2 hrs

2hrs

2.5hrs

2.5hrs

2.5hrs

2.5hrs

 

% of teaching time

10%

10%

10%

10%

10%

10%

10%

 

 

TEACHING TIME FOR English

YR

Y1

Y2

Y3

Y4

Y5

Y6

Total

Total teaching time (Hours)

 

6 hrs

6 hrs

7 hrs

7 hrs

7 hrs

7 hrs

 

% of teaching time

 

30%

30%

28%

28%

28%

28%

30%

 

TEACHING TIME For Maths

YR

Y1

Y2

Y3

Y4

Y5

Y6

Total

Total teaching time (Hours)

 

5 hrs

5 hrs

5 hrs

5 hrs

5 hrs

5 hrs

5 hrs

% of teaching time

 

25%

25%

20%

20%

20%

20%

 

 

STAFFING

 

ORGANISATION

 

Full-time teachers

8

 

Published admission number

30

Part-time teachers

1

 

Number of classes

7

Total full-time equivalent (FTE)

8.5

 

Average class size KS1

30

Classroom Support assistants

16

 

Average class size KS2

31

Percentage of Catholic teachers FTE

100%

 

 

 

Number of teachers teaching RE

7.5

 

 

 

Number of teachers with CCRS or equivalent

5

 

 

 

Number of teachers currently undertaking CCRS

0

 

 

 

Chaplaincy staffing

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

EXPENDITURE (£)

 

Last financial year

2016-2017

Current financial year 2017-18

Next financial year

2018-19

Total expenditure on teaching and learning resources

£48,684

£30,427

Not yet determined

RE Curriculum allowance from above

£2275

£1221

 

English Curriculum allowance from above

£2705

£582

 

Total CPD budget

£8075

£4671

 

RE allocation for CPD

£3602

£ 708 – so far

 

 

 

How the school has developed since the last inspection

All issues for improvement since the last inspection have been successfully addressed.

 

Individual pupil targets for Religious Education, set by the headteacher are communicated effectively to pupils across the whole school.

 

Marking is continuing to be developed, to enable pupils in all classes to be aware of the next steps in their learning.

 

 

 

Inspection Judgements

 

 

Overall Effectiveness

1

 

Catholic Life

1

 

 

Religious Education

1

OVERALL EFFECTIVENESS

 

St Bernard’s is an outstanding Catholic school, where rigorous and accurate self-evaluation leads to continuous improvement. Excellent leadership at all levels ensures a shared, ambitious vision which fosters the highest of expectations for all members of the school community. The school is very welcoming and inclusive; pupils enjoy coming to school and they have positive attitudes to learning.

 

The quality of provision for the Catholic Life of the school is outstanding. The commitment from Parish clergy, governors and staff to support pupils and families in their prayer life and faith formation is a priority. Staff and governors set good examples, are very proud of their school and work well together. The school has met the changing needs of the community it serves. Excellent relationships and communication between home, school and parish are key strengths and despite the church being a considerable distance from school, pupils are taken to Mass on a regular basis and Mass is also celebrated in school. Parents have a high opinion of the school and are regularly encouraged to participate in school life, for example through assemblies and services of reconciliation. The spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils is outstanding.

 

The opportunities for Prayer and Liturgy are outstanding and everyone lives out the mission statement, ‘you are precious in his eyes’. Christ is at the centre of the school community and Gospel values permeate throughout the school. Pupils act with reverence and join in prayers confidently, they plan and lead prayer and worship from an early age and sing with great enthusiasm. Relationships between pupils, teachers and support staff are excellent and effective; they contribute to pupils’ obvious eagerness to learn. The learning environments are well resourced with religious artefacts and the displays around school are excellent and used well to enhance learning.

 

The quality of Religious Education (RE) is outstanding; teaching is consistently good or better, and in line with other core curriculum subjects. The curriculum effectively provides pupils with a deep insight into the life and teachings of Jesus Christ and the relationship between faith and life. Staff are well supported by senior leaders and the wealth of opportunities for professional development is a strength of the school and shared with others.

 

 

 

 

WHAT THE SCHOOL NEEDS TO DO TO IMPROVE FURTHER

 

To improve further the school needs to:

  • Develop consistency in next steps to provide pupils with further suggestions to improve or deepen their learning and understanding.

 

  • Enhance the partnership with the parish by displaying pupils’ work in church.

 

  • Monitor curriculum RE more rigorously to ensure consistency and challenge across the classes.

 

 

CAPACITY FOR SUSTAINED IMPROVEMENT

 

All priorities since the last inspection have been successfully addressed. The outstanding leadership and commitment of staff and governors illustrates a capacity to improve further. The Headteacher has recently supported another local school in need, she is a diocesan inspector and is able to share best practice. The school’s capacity for sustained improvement in all areas is outstanding because of accurate self-evaluation leading to clear, challenging targets and appropriate priorities.

 

 

 

 

Part A: Catholic Life

 

The Catholic Life of the School

1

 

  • The extent to which pupils contribute to and benefit from the Catholic Life of the school

1

  • How well leaders and managers promote, monitor and evaluate the provision for the Catholic Life of the school

1

  • The quality of provision for the Catholic Life of the school

 

1

 

The quality of provision for the Catholic Life of the school is outstanding. St Bernard’s is a welcoming, friendly and inclusive community with a strong family ethos where everyone is valued and where pupils and staff flourish. Governors, managers and staff have high expectations and a shared vision of the Catholic mission and ethos. There is a wholehearted expression of the relationship between faith and action. The Prayer and Liturgy of the Catholic Church are central to the life of the school, are of high quality and form a key part of every school celebration. This was witnessed in several classrooms as well as an assembly led by Year 6 pupils and a reconciliation service led by the local priest. The home, school and parish partnership is a strength, and this could be further enhanced with school displaying their work in church.

 

All staff members at St Bernard’s are committed to supporting the Catholic ethos and this culture is intrinsic to the life of the school. The school is a calm and prayerful community that provides a stimulating learning environment to reflect the school’s mission and its Catholic character. Staff and governors work hard to develop and enhance the school for the benefit of everyone and respond effectively to the changing needs of the community. The nurture room is an example of this, where pupils are given space and time to learn and reflect. The pastoral care is outstanding and vital to the school’s mission of working with families to bring about change and improve life chances for pupils. Pupils respond well to the many opportunities to pray for example, the parish novena, CAFOD Advent service, Harvest liturgy, Stations of the Cross, Benediction and May processions. They take part in, lead and prepare prayer and liturgies with enthusiasm and confidence from an early age. Singing is a strength, especially the school hymn ‘More than many sparrows’. The pupil’s knowledge and understanding of the Catholic Life of school is greatly enhanced by their participation in and contribution to all aspects of school life, this includes collecting and distributing harvest parcels, planning fundraising activities for chosen charities and carol singing in the local community. Pupils have a desire to support others and are very proactive, one stated that as a school ‘they like giving freely, not to receive anything back’.

 

Pupils at St Bernard’s are nurtured within a strong Catholic ethos; pupils can express their views and beliefs with confidence and are able to refer to the teaching of Jesus, as witnessed in pupil interviews. Catholic principles and values underpin behaviour and relationships, resulting in a strong shared vision for the Catholic Life of the school: this encourages best behaviour and focused learning at all times where pupils feel valued and are capable of forgiveness. Pupils are aware of the needs of others and seek justice for all within and beyond the school community. The school is a very ‘giving’ community, supporting many different charities, with each class having its own charity to focus on, for example the Foxton Shelter for the homeless in Preston, Year 6 pupils took donations and saw the work for themselves. 

 

All governors and school leaders are fully committed to fulfilling their role in ensuring outstanding provision for the Catholic Life of the school. They have high expectations and are actively working together to implement the Catholic philosophy of education. Pupils are chosen each week to sit in special chairs and wear gospel value badges with pride, as a reward for putting their faith into action to benefit others. The headteacher and subject leader provide a clear direction for the Catholic Life of the school which is given the highest priority, along with the spiritual and moral development of pupils. Pupils from Year 1 upwards are provided with a homework diary which has the gospel and weekly reflections, pupils often use these as stimuli to plan their own liturgies. Clergy, senior leaders and staff lead liturgies and as pupils move through the school they take on increasing responsibilities. Leaders and managers observe Prayer and Liturgy throughout the school and provide feedback to pupils and staff.  The governors are involved in many liturgies and the RE governor speaks to pupils to ensure that pupil’s knowledge and involvement is strong. As pupils progress through the school, they develop their religious literacy, knowledge and skills and they can plan prayer and liturgies with greater depth of meaning.  

 

Leaders and managers ensure that parents have a thorough understanding of the Catholic Life of the school through the website, weekly newsletter and termly RE newsletter, these are appreciated, as shown in the very positive responses to parent questionnaires and discussions with staff and governors.

 

St Bernard’s is an outward looking school and works effectively with many agencies and schools within the community. The parish has changed considerably in recent years with three parishes being merged together, parish links are strong and partnerships have been developed further as the parish has grown. The governors, leaders and managers are committed to the partnerships with local schools for example, a school project with other schools in the cluster. There are strong links with the other school in the parish of John Paul II, including shared sacramental preparation and liturgies with catechists and staff working together with clergy.  Year 5 pupils last year were trained as young prayer leaders by the lay chaplain at Our Lady’s Catholic High School, they now lead optional prayer at lunchtimes in school.

 

Staff are well supported by senior leaders and the wealth of professional development opportunities is a strength of the school. Foundation Governors access annual training from the diocese to increase their understanding and effectiveness to fulfil their role in working on behalf of the Bishop.  

 

 

 

 

Part B: Religious Education

 

The quality of Religious Education

1

 

  • How well pupils achieve and enjoy their learning in Religious Education

1

  • How well leaders and managers monitor and evaluate the provision for Religious Education

2

  • The quality of provision in Religious Education

1

 

 

The RE curriculum meets all the requirements of the Bishops’ Conference and is informed by the Curriculum Directory and the Diocesan document ‘Fit for Mission? Schools’. Staff have developed the curriculum to meet the needs of each year group and created termly objectives. RE is at the centre of the school’s curriculum and is given priority in the school’s improvement planning. A culture has been created in which staff are committed to a shared vision and high standards.

 

Pupils love RE and can articulate their love of learning about God. Lessons observed on the day of the inspection were engaging and pupils were enthusiastic. Pupils show excellent knowledge of the Catholic faith and live this out in all that they do at St Bernard’s. They understand that Christ is at the centre of their school and are aware of the demands of religious commitment in everyday life. The vast majority of pupils make sustained and rapid progress whilst at St Bernard’s. This increases by the end of Year 2 to being broadly in line, and continues to rise to above expectations by the end of Year 6. They develop and apply a range of skills and knowledge throughout the younger age ranges, which is built upon in Key Stage 2 when pupils develop the ability to ask deeper questions and engage with religious ideas.

 

Teachers’ planning is based on various resources to enrich the RE curriculum. Lessons observed during the inspection showed a variety of strategies used to engage pupils in their learning. For example, a Year 2 class were using Leonardo Da Vinci’s ‘The Last Supper’ painting to question what was happening in this scene, with the teacher’s skilful questioning extracting deeper awe and wonder thinking from the pupils. In a Year 4 lesson, pupils were observed freeze framing scenes from Holy week, with pupils challenged to wonder what heaven was really like. Lessons were differentiated, with activities meeting all the needs of the pupils. Clear plans showed challenge and links to other areas of the curriculum. There is excellent use of religious terminology, with pupils able to articulate the meaning of difficult words, like transubstantiation and incarnation.

 

Every class has an area for Prayer and Liturgy, with pupils able to share its purpose and meaning with inspectors. RE work is displayed in every classroom, showing pupils writing at length using transferrable writing skills.

 

All children have a target in each Attainment Strand, displayed in their RE books and these are set by the headteacher. Marking is in line with the whole school marking policy and next steps marking is evident with pupils responding to questions to take their learning forward.

 

The standard of teaching and learning is monitored through lesson observations, planning, work scrutiny and discussions with pupils. This is evident in the monitoring file held by the headteacher and subject leader and this is shared with school leaders.

 

Governors, leaders and managers conduct a range of systematic monitoring activities relating to provision and outcomes, and this is shared at staff and governor meetings. To improve further RE should be monitored more rigorously to ensure consistency across the classes.

 

CPD is effective and all staff meet regularly to share ideas and plan together. Moderation takes place termly in school and with the other local Catholic primary school in the parish to ensure assessments are consistent across all classes. Scrutiny of the school assessment portfolio showed all pupils are tracked rigorously with trends identified and evaluated. Vulnerable and specific groups are tracked and support has been put in place for any pupils not making progress.

 

The enriched RE curriculum ensures the pupils learn about other world faiths, with Upper Key Stage 2 children completing a faith trail every year, well supported by governors. Pupils visit three different places of worship each year, using their knowledge of these visits in their subsequent learning. This has developed pupils understanding and respect for other religions and cultures and were able to talk openly about the importance of tolerance and difference.

 

Resources, including IT, are used effectively as witnessed in the lessons observed, together with the support provided by other adults in class to optimise learning.

 

Parents appreciate the work of the school, as shown in the parents’ questionnaires returned to the diocese for the inspection. They state that their children are happy in school and they are very happy with the provision of RE in the school.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summary of Inspection Judgements

Overall Effectiveness

1

Capacity for sustained improvement

1

Catholic Life

1

  • The extent to which pupils contribute to and benefit from the Catholic Life of the school.

1

  • How well leaders and managers promote and ensure provision for the Catholic Life of the school through monitoring and evaluation.

1

  • The quality of provision for the Catholic Life of the school.

1

Religious Education

1

  • How well pupils achieve and enjoy their learning in Religious Education.

1

  • How well leaders and managers monitor and evaluate the provision for Religious Education.

2

  • The quality of provision in Religious Education.

1

 

 

 

Pupil Outcomes

Leadership & Management

Provision

Overall

Catholic Life

1

1

1

1

Religious Education

1

2

1

1

 

 

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