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RE Inspection July 2014
Archdiocese of Birmingham Diocesan Education Service Diocesan Education Service,

4th July 2014 Don Bosco House, Coventry Road, Coleshill, B46 3EA

Mrs P Davies St Joseph & St Theresa Catholic Primary School High Street Chasetown Staffordshire WS7 3XL

Dear Mrs Davies Section 48 Monitoring inspection: 1st July 2014

Thank you for the welcome which you, your staff and pupils gave to me when I inspected your school on 1St July and for the information you provided both before and during the inspection. I am grateful for the time given by all, including the parish priest, lay chaplain, chair of governors and two other governors in speaking with me. The inspection was a light touch monitoring inspection because your school was judged at the last section 48 inspection to be an outstanding school and because it is now five years or more since you last received a section 48 inspection.

The purpose of the inspection was to assess the quality of the school's self-evaluation and improvement planning for Catholic life and religious education. In order to make this judgement I read school documents, including a summative self-evaluation, interviewed senior leaders, governor representatives, the subject leader for RE, and pupils, visited several lessons, and looked at a sample of pupil's written work.

In addition, I gathered evidence of some of the outstanding practice in the school with regard to its life of service to those in need, and its development of pupil's self-assessment. This is part of a diocesan wide survey of good practice in Catholic life and religious education. Catholic Life In its self evaluation the school correctly judges all aspects of its Catholic life, including collective worship, to be outstanding.

This judgement is secure because it is based on regular auditing, meticulous monitoring and expert evaluation. Development is consistently and effectively driven forward by the headteacher in ensuring that the findings from incisive monitoring and evaluation are fed rapidly into detailed improvement plans. These are clear and comprehensive, and are regularly reviewed to ensure that the school remains on track to achieving the objectives.

There are systems in place to enable pupils, parents, all staff and governors to feed their views into the monitoring and evaluation of the Catholic life of the school. The judgement that pupils are proud of their school and benefit from the Christian values effectively promoted is clearly evidenced in pupil feedback and questionnaires.

Pupil's behaviour and the living out of Catholic values are rigorously monitored on a daily basis by the staff, who recognise that it is the responsibility of all to ensure that pupils live up to the high expectations made of them. Pupils choose and drive charity and fundraising events including support for traditional Catholic organisations. Their value and level of success are carefully monitored by the staff.

The parish priest, although fairly new to the school, is developing a sound working relationship with the headteacher and senior leadership team. As a result of evaluation the first Holy Communion programme has been successfully extended and linked more closely with the parish. The governors meet regularly with senior leadership to discuss and reflect upon many aspects of Catholic life including the provision of and pupil response to collective worship. The governors have sought to ensure that this aspect of school life is well supported through the appointment of a very effective lay chaplain who promotes prayer through drama, dance, singing, signing and reflection.

They are able to contribute their views on the quality of collective worship because they frequently attend Masses, liturgies Archdiocese of Birmingham Diocesan Education Service and assemblies.

Senior leadership systematically carries out audits of the Catholic life and worship environment of the school and is scrupulous in ensuring that displays and prayer areas are up to date and reflect the liturgical calendar, the latest Church initiatives and the teachings of Pope Francis. The views of parents are gained through the school website which provides first rate forums for information and comment. Frequent newsletters also enable parents to have very good access to the Catholic life of the school and to make their own input.

Staff are careful to provide excellent role models for the children in their actions, words and examples so that all children and adults can contribute to a safe and trusting environment where there is mutual respect and care for one another based on the Gospel values. Teachers recognise and reward good behaviour and manners. Self-evaluation rightly judges that the opportunity for pupil's spiritual and moral development and vocational awareness is greatly enhanced by the school's rich worship life, multi-faith curriculum, trips, links with other schools and visits to Alton Castle.

Religious Education RE is monitored and evaluated by the headteacher, currently the subject leader, and it is reliably judged in the school's self evaluation to be outstanding overall. In addition the school judges each aspect of its provision in RE, teaching, curriculum and opportunities for pupil's  spiritual, moral and vocational development also to be outstanding. Improvement planning for RE is seen to be a priority and is ranked with numeracy and literacy in the school improvement plan. Findings from the wide range of monitoring procedures are used to ensure that it is updated.

Teaching and learning are carefully monitored by lesson observations, book trawls, assessment outcomes and pupil questionnaires. They are rightly judged to be predominantly outstanding. Strategic timetabling and deployment of staff ensure that pupils receive mainly outstanding teaching in RE. The headteacher and her senior leadership are very clear about their expectations. Excellent teaching is recognised and teachers are given clear advice for improvement. Lesson planning is thoroughly scrutinised by the subject leader and all members of staff are encouraged to seek ways to enrich and enliven the curriculum.

The assessment of pupil progress and attainment is also accurate and rightly seen by the school as outstanding. Clear and wide-ranging assessment procedures have enabled the subject leader to make the reliable judgement that by the end of both Key Stage 1 and 2, standards of attainment are above average in RE. The school has established a pupil self-assessment system, which has been embedded over the last five years. Pupils are rightly judged to be enabled to reflect successfully on their own learning in end of unit pupil self-assessments. This process is subject to regular review. The recognition of the need to provide more accurate data particularly about children who are not making expected progress and those for whom there is special funding has led to the current development of a system to track pupil progress in line with that used successfully for literacy and numeracy. It has been carefully planned and prepared, and covers progress in both areas of attainment for RE.

It arose from sound evaluation of the assessment system already in place, and now with completion at the end of each academic year for all pupils, the school is able to identify the progress of individual pupils and groups. Those not making expected progress are therefore planned for accordingly. Evaluation has also led to an initiative for a more developmental approach to marking. Teachers comment on what pupils have achieved and pose a question that extends their learning. The subject leader has correctly identified the need for pupils to be given more time at the beginning of lessons to reflect upon these questions. The curriculum is carefully planned and based on the diocesan curriculum strategy ˜Learning and Growing as the People of God".

Resources are regularly reviewed and replenished. The school plans for regular and high quality INSET. Governors are informed through reports created by the headteacher on the provision and standards in RE. Senior leadership has successfully identified all necessary areas for improvement and therefore the school has the capacity to remain an outstanding Catholic school where children thrive and grow in their faith.

Yours sincerely
Brenda Beale
Diocesan Inspector