Holy Cross Primary requires improvment says Ofsted inspection team

By Ben Fitzgerald - 4 November 2019


Inspectors have said that Holy Cross Catholic Primary School needs to improve.

Following a visit by Ofsted on 2-3 October, inspectors rated the Queen’s Drive school as requiring improvement in four out of five key areas: the quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, personal development and leadership and management. The team praised Early Years provision at the school which they rated as good.

Inspectors said: “The early years curriculum is well thought out. This helps children to develop their language. It also helps children who are new to learning English. There is a focus on developing early reading skills right from the start.”

The school was previously inspected in May 2017 when it was also found to be requiring improvement.

According to the report, which was published today, pupils ‘feel safe and well cared for’ and told inspectors that bullying was rare.

Adults have high expectations for how pupils conduct themselves in and around school but there are not always high expectations for what pupils can achieve in their lessons. 

Inspectors found that as pupils move through the school, lessons are not planned as well as they should be. ‘This means that pupils do not learn the knowledge and skills they need in many subjects, including reading.’

School leadership was criticised by the Ofsted team who said: “Leaders have not thought enough about what pupils learn in key stage 1 and key stage 2. Teachers have little guidance about what to teach, how to teach it and when to teach it.”

And they added that more work was needed to embed reading at the school: “Leaders are keen to develop reading for pleasure at Holy Cross. Some teachers read books to the pupils, but this is not embedded across the school. Pupils have limited knowledge of books and different authors. There is still much work to do.”

Teaching in mathematics and science was stronger, inspectors found.

Across different subjects, the team concluded that teachers at the school ‘do not plan learning that is ambitious for all pupils,’ meaning that some pupils do not have the chance to build on what they can already do which limits what they can achieve in different subjects. 

  • The inspectors identified a series of improvements that the school needs to make:

  • Leaders must ensure that there is clear guidance for what teachers teach, when they teach it and how they teach it in each subject.

  • Learning should be planned sufficiently well to meet the needs of all learners, particularly those that struggle. 

  • Leaders must check the implementation of the curriculum along with how teachers use their assessments to inform teaching.

  • Leaders must ensure that teachers are helping pupils achieve their targets as detailed in pupils’ individual plans. 

  • While the school has made some improvements since the last inspection, these have not been sufficiently implemented. Governors must assure themselves that leadership systems are suitably robust and that improvement plans are suitably precise to ensure that the school offers a good quality of education.


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