Worthing Catholic school continues to improve

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ST Mary’s Catholic Primary School was one of the first schools in Worthing to be assessed by Ofsted under its new criteria.

Although the school was rated as satisfactory, it was acknowledged the school, in Codben Road, continues to drive forward improvements.

Inspectors said since the last inspection, attainment had risen steadily from low to being broadly average across the school. In reception, children made good progress in all aspects of their learning, and “especially good progress” in their personal, social and emotional development.

The report added: “Teaching is typically satisfactory, often good and improving. The best teaching is challenging, fast-paced and meets the needs of all pupils. Occasionally, work does not meet the wide range of learning needs, too much time is spent on consolidating previous learning, and opportunities are missed to enhance key skills across subjects.

“Leaders have a very good grasp of the school’s strengths and weaknesses and their decisive actions have been instrumental in raising levels of attainment and improving teaching.”

By July, the school is required to raise levels of attainment further and, in particular, improve the accuracy of spelling and quality of writing through strategies that encourage pupils to use a wide vocabulary in their writing.

Recommendations for quality of teaching are to ensure work is always matched to pupils’ learning needs and opportunities are taken to develop pupils’ literacy and numeracy skills in all subjects.

Inspectors said the head teacher, Cecilia Lewis, provided “very clear” direction for improvement and all leaders and managers had an accurate view of the school’s strengths and weaknesses.

The report also said the governing body is successfully involved in working with the school to drive improvements, and provides a high level of challenge and support for the head teacher.

Chair of governors, Sarina Wickens, said: “I am very pleased that the Ofsted inspectors acknowledged the hard work of staff, governors and pupils in improving the school and am delighted the inspectors concluded that the good leadership and management of the school convincingly demonstrates a strong capacity to continue improving.”

Under Ofsted’s new criteria, a satisfactory rating means the school is providing adequately for its pupils, but needs improvement. Schools whose overall effectiveness is judged satisfactory may receive a monitoring visit by an inspector before its next inspection.