Catholic primary improves from average to good

Efforts by staff and two consecutive head teachers have led to ‘significant improvements’ at an Exmouth school says the education watchdog.

Four inspectors, led by Brian Evans, spent two days last month at St Joseph’s RC Primary School.

They observed 19 lessons by nine separate teachers and pored over 77 questionnaires completed by parents to conclude that the school, marked ‘average’ in 2007, was now ‘good’.

The changes have been thanks to the hard work of staff and governors, said the report, and the stewardship of former head Vincent McCloskey, who left at Easter and his successor Cathie Doyle

Inspectors said that the pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development was ‘outstanding’ and children were keen and worked hard.

He said: “Some teaching is outstanding and it is consistently good across year groups.”

“St Joseph’s is a good school and has improved significantly since the last inspection, when it was deemed satisfactory.

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“In the current Year six, for example, pupils came into school with skills well below the levels expected for their age.

“However, nearly all groups of pupils have made good progress, especially in the current year.

“The acting head teacher leads the school well. Morale is high for staff and pupils.”

Cathie Doyle said: “I am really delighted by the findings of the inspectors. As well as saying so many positive things about our pupils, I am extremely pleased that both the tremendous effort being made by everyone in our community and our commitment to do our very best for all of our pupils are also recognised.”

Russell Morris the chairman of the governors said: “It is wonderful for the community to be able to celebrate the successful outcomes from the improvements we are making together.

“From the Early Years foundation stage we hold very high aspirations for the children and provide them with the best experiences we can offer.

“The result is that Ofsted have seen that starting with the youngest children our pupils are confident, independent learners and that they behave well, both when working with adults and when working independently. I thank everyone who is making all of this possible.”