A Crosby primary school has been warmly praised in a new report by Liverpool’s Catholic authorities.
Christian Education Department inspectors from the Archdiocese of Liverpool visited St Mary’s College Preparatory School recently and gave it an ‘outstanding’ grade for the Catholic education it provides.
There are four ratings a school can achieve in the Archdiocese’s Catholic school education report: Outstanding, Good, Requires Improvement, and Inadequate.
According to the report, the outstanding features include staff who offer ‘a culture of welcome to all’ and provide ‘a loving, caring environment where every pupil has the chance to thrive and develop their own unique talents’.
The inspectors also said ‘the behaviour of pupils is outstanding – they are articulate, religiously literate and supportive of each other’.
This is reinforced by the fact that ‘all stakeholders speak highly of the family atmosphere that exists within the school’.
Other factors singled out for praise include leadership at the school, with the headmaster, Jonathan Webster, and subject leader for religious education, Paula Walton, who were described as ‘aspirational in their vision’, and ‘leading by example supported by the governing body and wider school community’.
The inspectors were also impressed with pupils’ links with charities and the local community, and the fact that parents ‘are overwhelmingly positive in their comments about the ethos of the school’.
They said that the overall quality of teaching, learning and assessment is ‘outstanding’ while in lessons ‘pupils are highly engaged, reflective and speak with confidence about their understanding’.
Commenting on the findings, St Mary’s Prep headmaster, Jonathan Webster, said: “Everyone at the school is delighted to have received such a positive report from the Archdiocese inspectors.
“It reinforces the success of our approach which is to recognise that each child has their own excellence, and it is our responsibility to find this and nurture it throughout their time with us.
“Developing the moral and spiritual life of pupils is a fundamental element in this approach and we are very pleased that the inspectors recognised that this is at the heart of everything we do as a school.”
Mr Webster added that while most pupils at St Mary’s Preparatory School are Catholics, the school also welcomes children of other faiths or none, and their contribution to the school’s spiritual and moral life is equally valued.