Celebrations as 'high-achieving' Wigan school is rated as 'outstanding' by Ofsted
St Marie’s Catholic Primary School in Standish has been judged as “outstanding” by Ofsted in its first inspection since 2008, when it was given the same top grade.
It was described as a “high-achieving school in every key stage”, with an “impressive culture of safeguarding” and pupils whose behaviour was “praiseworthy”.
Lead inspector Stuart Perkins wrote: “Leaders and staff enable pupils to shine at St Marie’s Catholic Primary School. Pupils love coming to school and they thrive. Their happiness is reflected in their exceptionally positive attitudes to learning.
"Leaders want pupils to achieve the very best outcomes. They are highly successful in making this happen. Pupils are remarkably well prepared for the next stage in their education.”
The Avondale Street school was said to have an “extremely ambitious curriculum”, which was “carefully tailored” to pupils’ individual needs, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).
Mr Perkins wrote: “Pupils gain an impressive depth of knowledge. They make strong connections between new knowledge and prior learning. All pupils excel as a result of a culture of academic excellence.”
Learning to read was at the “heart” of the school, with teachers delivering the phonics programme “consistently well” and “trained to be experts in early reading”.
There was an “exceptionally high quality of education” for pupils with SEND and leaders and pupils “remove any barriers” to stop them learning well.
The curriculum for pupils’ personal development was “noteworthy” and there was a “rich” programme of extra-curricular activities.
Ofsted found pupils were “excellent ambassadors” for the school, attendance rates were “excellent” and there was “absolutely no disruption to learning anywhere in the school”.
Mr Perkins wrote: “Governors and leaders embrace and relish the challenge to ensure that pupils continue to receive an outstanding education. They identify with precision what the staff need to do to sustain high levels of achievement for pupils. They evaluate their actions with a razor-sharp focus.
"Staff report high levels of consideration for their workload and well-being. They are proud to work at St Marie’s.”
The positive Ofsted report has been welcomed by staff, pupils and the wider school community.
Headteacher Mel Smith said: “I am thrilled and very proud of the whole school community achieving our outstanding Ofsted recognition. St Marie’s is
outstanding in all the five areas, with no areas for improvement recommended.
"The inspection reflects the true nature of our school; that the child is at the core of everything that goes on in our school. It was also acknowledged that there is a real thirst for learning and the knowledge displayed by the children does not happen in every school. The children connect their learning across all areas because they want to.”
Joan McCarthy, director of education for the Archdiocese of Liverpool, added: “A result such as this is testament to the hard work and commitment of the whole school community. To retain the outstanding judgement is an incredible achievement.”