St Philip’s is an outstanding school which makes outstanding provision for Catholic education. Governors, managers and staff have high expectations and a shared vision with regard to the Catholic mission and ethos of the school.
‘Pupils have a strong sense of belonging to the school family; they strive to promote the strong school ethos within their families and the wider community and are rightly very proud of their school’.
Pupils have an excellent grasp of how their faith impacts upon their lives and the lives of others. The school is a very inclusive and welcoming community where the Gospel message of caring and sharing is seen in action.
‘People are at the heart of this family community. Strong relationships and mutual respect between leaders, governors, staff, parents and pupils are a key feature of the school’.
Catholic values are embedded in the life of the school and adults are excellent role models. Priorities for improvement since the last inspection have been met and there is a drive for continuous improvement for the good of the whole school community. Staff set good examples and pupils work well together. Excellent relationships and communication are key strengths of the school. Parents have a high opinion of the school and are keen to express it. The school has an outstanding capacity for sustained improvement.
Collective Worship is Outstanding. The headteacher, Religious Education leader and chaplain have an excellent understanding and expert knowledge of how to plan and deliver quality acts of Collective Worship and ensure this is cascaded and shared with staff. As a result staff develop great expertise in guiding pupils and giving them the skills to prepare and lead worship.
Pupils are very enthusiastic about their school community and are happy to come to school which results in them being highly motivated, having positive attitudes to learning and achieving well. From below nationally average starting points, pupils make good progress across the school and achieve high standards by the end of key stage two (KS2). Less able pupils are well supported and the school is increasingly challenging more able pupils in Religious Education (RE) though this needs to be a continued focus, especially at key stage one (KS1). Pupils benefit greatly from the opportunities provided to contribute to the Catholic life of the school, an example of which is their exemplary behaviour towards each other.
‘The behaviour of pupils in and around the school is exemplary; the highest standards of moral and ethical behaviour are promoted through the school’s high expectations’.
They respond to worship with reverence and respect and many are developing independent skills in preparing and leading worship. The promotion of pupils’ spiritual and moral development is outstanding.
‘St Philip Neri is a prayerful community; Collective Worship engages the interest of all pupils and inspires them to reflect and respond with joy. From a young age pupils are deeply reverent and respectful during Collective Worship’.
The Quality of Religious Education is outstanding. Religious Education is at the heart of the school curriculum. Across the school pupils acquire knowledge quickly and are developing the ability to reflect upon meaning and make links to their own lives.
Teaching is consistently good with a proportion of outstanding teaching. Teachers have great passion for the subject and a high level of confidence and expertise. They have high expectations, very good subject knowledge and know their pupils well. They plan creative and imaginative lessons which build upon prior learning, and use a good range of high quality resources. A wide range of teaching styles, very effective questioning skills and the good pace of lessons engage learners.
How well leaders and managers promote, monitor and evaluate the provision for Religious Education is outstanding.
The Leaders are well informed of current developments in Religious Education. Their knowledge of best practice and implementation of diocesan advice ensures staff share their vision for continuous improvement; they provide strong and effective leadership of Religious Education. Leaders carry out a wide range of monitoring activities. Work and planning scrutiny, lesson observations and analysis of teaching and learning are regular features of the monitoring cycle. Rigorous and robust tracking systems are in place. Together these provide a firm basis for identifying strengths and areas for development. This ensures sound evidence is used to accurately identify priorities for school improvement.
‘Governors are regular visitors to the school; they hold leaders to account for performance in Religious Education and are involved in a range of monitoring and evaluation activities. They are supportive and also very confident in their ability to challenge’.
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