St Thomas Church of England Primary School


Name St Thomas Church of England Primary School
Website http://www.stthomascep.co.uk
Ofsted Inspection Rating Outstanding
Inspection Date 17 October 2011
Address Pimhole Road, Bury, Lancashire, BL9 7EY
Phone Number 01617647565
Type Academy
Age Range 5-11
Religious Character Church of England
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils Unknown
Number of Pupils per Teacher 19.5
Academy Sponsor Roch Valley Church Of England Multi Academy Trust
Local Authority Bury
Percentage Free School Meals 16%

Information about the school

St Thomas Church of England is a larger than average primary school. Most pupils are from a Pakistani heritage and the proportion of pupils who speak English as an additional language is high. About three quarters of children are at a very early stage of learning English when they enter the Nursery. The proportion of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities is above average. The proportion of pupils known to be eligible for free school meals is well above average. The school has gained a number of awards, including International Schools and Basic Skills. The school is popular and pupil numbers have increased since the previous inspection. Inspection grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is satisfactory and 4 is inadequate Please turn to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms

Main findings

St Thomas Church of England Primary is an outstanding school. An extremely dedicated headteacher and staff have maintained and built upon the strengths identified in the previous inspection. All pupils are highly valued in this harmonious school community and have full access to the high quality opportunities provided. Outstanding care, guidance and support and the very positive school atmosphere make a considerable contribution to pupils’ excellent personal development. Pupils are highly motivated learners who thoroughly enjoy school. Community cohesion is promoted extremely well and pupils make exceptional progress in their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. Behaviour is often exemplary in lessons and around the school. Pupils feel extremely safe and show an excellent understanding of how to lead a healthy lifestyle. They willingly take on additional responsibilities and make very valuable contributions to the school and to the wider community. Pupils achieve well because of good teaching and a very exciting curriculum. Teaching and the curriculum are imaginative and well tailored to pupils’ needs. The Early Years Foundation Stage is outstanding and children make exceptional progress in most areas of learning, especially in developing their language skills. Pupils make good progress in Key Stages 1 and 2. Those with special educational needs and/or disabilities make outstanding progress. Attainment by the end of Year 6 is average. Teaching is stimulating. Across the school there are examples of outstanding practice and these are shared with staff. There are plans to extend this strategy further. Teachers establish clear expectations and high quality relationships with pupils. Pupils benefit from skilful explanations, demonstrations and questioning. Assessment is used effectively to plan teaching and to provide challenging tasks which are well matched to pupils’ needs. Just occasionally, learning does not proceed at a quick enough pace and learning can be hindered by insufficient resources. An innovative curriculum is enriched by a wide range of additional activities that results in overall outstanding outcomes for pupils. The headteacher, senior leaders and staff are firmly focused on providing high quality provision so that all pupils can do as well as they can. There are outstanding partnerships with other agencies to promote pupils’ learning and development. Parents and carers are delighted with the care and education provided for their children. Their comments included, ‘Children are making very good progress in this school’, ‘Fantastic school’, and, ‘Teachers are wonderful, especially the headteacher’. Through accurate, systematic self-evaluation, the school knows its strengths and takes positive action to bring about improvements where needed. Since the previous inspection, the school’s effectiveness has progressed from good to outstanding. The school demonstrates an outstanding capacity to improve.