School's Self Evaluation
Schools Self Evaluation Summary
Context of St. Augustine’s School
- St Augustine’s Catholic Primary School is much larger than the average-sized primary school.
- St Augustine’s serves an area of significant social and economic deprivation with 79% of its families living in the 10% most deprived areas of the country and 51% of families living in the 3% most deprived areas according to IMD data. There are high levels of crime in the area, issues around community cohesion and high levels of anti-social behaviour.
- Significant numbers of child protection cases are being received, and increasing reports of DV.
- Nursery comprises one group of 30 full-time children, and two groups of 15 part-time children
- Each other Year group, from Reception to Year 6 comprises two full time classes.
- The proportion of pupils from minority ethnic backgrounds is well above average.
- The proportion of pupils who speak English as an additional language is well above average.
- The proportion of disadvantaged pupils who are supported through the pupil premium is well above average.
- The proportion of disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs is above average.
- The school meets the government’s current floor standards.
- The school was subject to a short inspection by Ofsted under section 8 of the Education Act in February 2018. It was found to have maintained the good judgement of the October 2013 section 5 inspection.
- The School was inspected under section 48 of the Education Act in June 2019 and was judged to be Outstanding.
- 39% of pupils are Catholic.
- Pupils in this school have 33 different languages as their mother tongue.
- The school converted voluntarily to become an academy on 1 November 2019, when it became a member of the St Gregory the Great Multi Academy Trust, along with 6 other Leeds Catholic Primary schools.
The school judges itself to be good. Using the excellent relationships between staff and governors, the Senior Leadership Team have rigorously focused on developing the quality of teaching and learning to improve outcomes for all and diminish the difference for our most vulnerable children.
Highly effective communication ensures that all stakeholders are clear about the priorities for improvement. The high level of parental engagement reflects the fact that the overwhelming majority of Parents are extremely happy with the high quality education and care that their children receive. Our children are happy, well-motivated and enthusiastic. The children leave our school having achieved well both academically, spiritually and socially. They are well prepared for the next stage of their life journey.
QUALITY OF EDUCATION
Across all phases we are using the full range of the foundation subjects to provide pupils with a greater range of opportunities to extend their learning. We plan further to strengthen links between subjects explicitly to increase pupils’ vocabularies and understanding of English year on year, in order consistently to stretch them whatever their level of ability, both academically and personally. As noted in the last inspection report, our ‘vision to ensure that the school is fully inclusive is clear in all that you do’.
Lesson planning is strong, with implicit foci on: a) developing writing skills and b) developing ideas which systematically and logically extend previous learning, rather than on simply completing tasks.
Our Catholic ethos combines seamlessly with our British Values based PSHE. It contributes strongly to pupils’ strong personal development, including their excellent spiritual, moral social and cultural awareness.
Our MER shows that the very large majority of observed learning events are good, with a growing proportion that is better. This evaluation of teaching is based on accurate, frequent and regular monitoring by senior leaders (of pupils’ exercise books, discussions with pupils, unannounced drop-ins), validated through joint observations.
First hand observations of learning in lessons, and in our ‘detailed tracking’ (Ofsted 2018), indicates that pupils do make good progress overall, throughout the school. This is only to be expected with good teaching, and the breadth of interesting work presented through different subjects. Our ‘mastery-type’ curriculum is enabling pupils to understand more of the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of something, instead of the ‘what’ of mere recall of facts.
In 2019, 67% of our YR children reached a good level of development. We will strive to improve this again in 2020. As pupils move through the school, their rate of progress accelerates. By the time they leave school, our pupils have obviously done well. Our combined RWM of 69%, was above the national average, and showed a degree of consistency across subjects (Reading 80%; Writing 78%; Maths 88%; EGPS 86%). Given their starting points when they join Reception, overall progress is at least good.
Ensuring that our outcomes for greater depth of understanding in writing is our next challenge.
Whatever their starting points, our children are happy, and overall make good progress.
Not Better than Good Because:
Pupils Y6 outcomes at GD in writing (8.5%) do match their GD outcomes in Reading (29%) or maths (37%)
BEHAVIOUR AND ATTITUDES
The school is a calm and happy place. We know this because we can see it, and also because children parents and visitors tell us.
Pupils’ conduct is routinely exemplary in class and around the school. This is because we have high expectations of respect for all, modelled from day one in school. Pupil’s attitudes to learning are very positive, no matter their age or their abilities. They are polite and friendly to each other, and to adults. They like school, they like to learn new things and their attendance at the national average, despite the issues many of them face at home. They sustain concentration in lessons and assemblies very well.
A highly effective induction process for new children, parents and staff ensures that everybody feels safe and well looked after. From their first day in school, children are helped to feel secure by encouraging them to work and play together calmly, to share, to understand each others’ point of view, and to learn from each other. Their interpersonal relationships rapidly become very good, and help to make the school the welcoming and friendly place of learning it is. Staff are always available to give support of whatever type to any child should that become necessary.
Pupils’ attitudes to learning very quickly become very good. The words ‘thirst for learning’ really do apply to many pupils here. We make it abundantly clear to pupils and their families what we are trying to accomplish, we show that we will go the extra mile and that we really do care for them, and they in their turn buy into this fully because they have ambitions to succeed, and they can see a way to do it.
Our pupils are caring, courteous and have respect for members of our school community and beyond. A strong ethos of respect and tolerance runs throughout the school. Every teacher is encouraged to make the most of opportunities to speak with parents. Parents are kept fully informed of both good and (very rare) unacceptable behaviour. There is very little need for explicit ‘behaviour management’, though when needed, it is applied.
We celebrate acts of kindness, as well as achievement. This underlines the values we espouse.
Behaviour is managed largely by pupils taking responsibility for their own actions.
Not Better than Good because:
Persistent absenteeism prevents our attendance from being higher than the national average.
We believe that building the ‘character’ of our pupils is essential. This was explicitly confirmed in the 2018 Ofsted Inspection Report: ‘You place equal weighting on supporting pupils personal development...’.
To do this we apply the key aspects of SMSC (reflection, respect, consideration, reason, working together, valuing differences etc) throughout our daily work. We do this from Nursery to Year 6. It fits in well with our Catholic ethos that we should love and forgive one another.
As a result, our pupils really do know the difference between right and wrong. They take responsibility for their own actions, and they have a clear understanding of how to keep themselves safe. They accept other people at face value, and they fully respect different cultural backgrounds. They conduct themselves with dignity, honesty and measured pride, in class, around the school and outside the school.
Pupils become generous and sharing with their time, efforts, and support for each other. Groups raise funds for community initiatives, and carry out a significant amount of charity work in the community. In particular during Lent each year, pupils throughout the school work for CAFOD and The Good Shepherd Fund. The children are keen to demonstrate their ability to organise, provide and educate others about those less fortunate than themselves. They do so admirably by, for example, working actively for the school council, being a class monitor, or through the Mini-Vinnies. In practical ways, not least because they are strongly opposed to all forms of discrimination and intolerance, they do in reality become good active citizens.
Not Better than Good because:
LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT
Because our values, encompassed in our motto ‘Walk in the light of the Lord’, are clear and well understood, and our policies meaningful, relevant, and focussed on learning, the school receives the full support of teachers, staff, parents and governors.
Our recent record is strong, and acknowledged by inspectors.
From this position, we now intend to take our school to the next level. Because we are objectively self evaluative, and committed further to building leadership expertise, we have already begun to ask ourselves questions about how we can be personally more effective, in order to ensure that this happens. We know the areas that need to improve and how to address them whilst at the same planning to step up in our effectiveness.
Our objective is to sustain consistent improvement. We do not want to stand still. Through enthusiastic and knowledgeable teaching, and relentless driving, we will consistently present to all pupils opportunities to go beyond the completion of their age related programme of study. We offer an increasingly exciting curriculum context that stretches them to meet their potential both within and beyond the classroom.
As leaders and managers, we will therefore compile a crisp development plan which ensures that whilst we maintain good progress for our pupils in those areas where we are strong, we will ensure that those areas of our work which need to be changed, will be! There is no complacency here.
Staff know that good teaching is the absolute minimum requirement, and that it should be observable on any given day. This ethos is applied consistently and evenly across all phases of the school from EY to Y6. Our current ambition is to accelerate the pace of learning not by doing something extra, but by working still more smartly, raising expectations once again of staff and pupils, to maximise still further learning opportunities, ensuring no time is lost.
Governors know the school well, because they are active in their roles as monitors and guides. They know where teaching is strongest. They hold the headteacher rigorously to account for the performance of the school. Governors are kept up to date with the outcomes of the schools monitoring through reports, both internal and external, and presentations.
Not Better than Good because:
The overall performance of the school is not as consistent as it might and could be, largely because outstanding practice is not embedded securely across school.