St Joseph's Catholic Primary School, Preston
School context:We currently have 345 children on roll, including 52 in our nursery. We are situated close to the city centre, in an area of high social deprivation and our school serves the whole community. Approximately 30% of our children are from Pakistani, Indian and other ethnic minority heritages.
We were nominated for the ISP programme because standards were very low: in 2003 only 51% of the children achieved level 4 in English and 44% in Maths.
We entered the programme at the beginning of the academic year 2004-2005 and stayed on it for two years.
Pupils attainment when they start school is well below average and has declined over recent years. They now make good progress and do well to reach broadly average standards by the end of Year 6.
Since 2003 our overall school CVA score has risen from 97.9 to 99.5. Figures show that this is the case for all groups within school, with our ethnic minority children demonstrating particularly good CVA.
Best bits: our successes
We entered the programme at a critical stage for our school, which had been in serious weaknesses from 1999-2001, and where standards were still low. The whole staff are committed to school improvement and ensuring the best possible provision for our children, and were open to taking on this new initiative. We had just started a pupil tracking process and ISP gave us the resources to build on this. Setting curricular targets was a big challenge initially, but is now embedded in school practice.
All staff, and particularly the Literacy and Numeracy Subject Leaders, received high quality CPD through ISP. Our Numeracy SL was newly appointed when ISP began, and is now a Leading Numeracy SL. Support staff were given training on delivering intervention programmes.
Subject Leaders continue to monitor Literacy and Numeracy plans and work on a termly basis, and co-ordinate curricular target setting and assessment.
We have maintained the good practice which ISP kick starts: pupil tracking on a termly basis and monitoring of identified groups; setting and assessing of curricular targets; maintaining working walls; ensuring the elements of the RAP are included in our School Improvement Plan.
We were delighted to be named by the DfES in the top 50 most improved schools 2003-2006 when the attainment and assessment tables were published in December last year.