The full Ofsted report for a Stevenage school has described how "pupils are extremely kind and caring".

St Margaret Clitherow RC Primary School has been rated good by Ofsted, with elements of outstanding, following the education watchdog's latest inspection.

Headteacher Carmela Puccio said: "We are incredibly proud of our children, whose confidence and love for their school shone brightly during the inspection." Read the full Ofsted report below.

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils enjoy school. They respond well to the high expectations of staff. The school runs trips that broaden pupils’ horizons in every year group, including nursery. Pupils strive to do their best and achieve well.

Pupils are extremely kind and caring. They frequently give up their free time to help each other. For example, Year 6 librarians happily spend their lunchtime helping younger pupils to read. The eco-group proudly develop the school’s grounds.

Lessons are free from disruption and lunchtimes are a buzz of happy and harmonious play.

The school is very effective in ensuring all pupils feel welcome and included. Staff go out of their way to ensure there are no barriers to any pupil participating in clubs. Most pupils attend a wide range of clubs that extend their interests. This means all pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), can fully explore and develop their talents.

Pupils learn how to help people less fortunate than themselves. They support charities, such as by packaging up food and clothing for a charity in Uganda. They make meaningful decisions about how to spend the money they raise for charities.

What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?

The school has set out clearly what knowledge pupils need and when they need to learn it. As a result, teachers know precisely what they need to teach across the curriculum. This includes key vocabulary pupils need to learn so that they can deepen their understanding. However, in a small number of subjects, the curriculum plans are still very new or still being refined. In these cases, staff are still getting used to these changes or they have yet to be implemented in full. This means for some pupils they do not have all the detailed knowledge needed for the next stage of their learning, in these few subjects. This includes children moving from Reception to Year 1.

Teachers are skilled at checking pupils’ understanding and revisiting recent learning. As a result, most pupils remember well what they have been taught across different subjects. However, some pupils struggle with understanding some wider concepts due to not fully making connections with prior learning from previous years. In the early years, staff have developed highly positive relationships with the children. This means they know the children’s particular needs so can identify and fill any gaps in knowledge effectively.

The school teaches early reading well. Staff are trained to use reading resources effectively and consistently to ensure all pupils are confident at recognising the sounds they need to know by the end of Year 1. Staff make sure that the books pupils read are closely matched to the sounds they have learned. If pupils fall Inspection report: St Margaret Clitherow Roman Catholic Primary School 14 and 15 May 2024 3 behind, staff use their expertise to helps pupils catch-up straight away. Children in Reception are particularly enthusiastic about reading, showing a sense of joy during ‘phonics time.’ Pupils become fluent and capable readers.

The school has established efficient systems for the early identification of pupils with SEND. Staff work closely with parents from early years onwards to put in timely support for pupils with SEND. Staff provide pupils with SEND with precise support. As a result, these pupils meet their specific targets successfully.

A detailed and comprehensive personal development curriculum ensures pupils are taught fundamental information, such as how to treat others and how to stay safe. Older pupils relish the opportunities they are given, such as helping younger pupils with reading and with times tables, or leading Rosary in the prayer garden. Pupils make great contributions beyond the school gates. The ‘Youth Leadership Team’, for instance, inspired a town wide litter picking competition. As a result, pupils understand about respect, empathy and being responsible citizens. They appreciate their own faith and that of others.

Leaders, governors, staff and pupils work well together. They each contribute to making this a happy, pleasant place to learn. Governors provide appropriate challenge and support and ensure the school meets it statutory obligations.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

Some aspects of the curriculum are still in the process of being updated or at the early stages of being implemented. As a result, pupils’ knowledge in these few subjects is not yet as detailed as it should be. Leaders should continue to refine these aspects of the curriculum so that pupils build an in-depth knowledge of all subject areas over time. This includes ensuring that children in the early years are fully prepared for all subjects in Year 1.