“ Learn, Live, Believe’ clearly reflects the aims of St Bernadette's R.C. Primary School” says Estyn

Estyn inspectors have found that pupils from St Bernadette's R.C. Primary School thoroughly enjoy coming to school and are very proud to be members of their school community.

During a recent inspection of the Roman Catholic primary School in Pentwyn, the team from Wales’s education inspectorate, commended the headteacher and staff for creating a very happy environment that welcomes all pupils who feel safe, respected and valued.

Inspectors found that most pupils develop their knowledge and skills well and make strong progress in developing their literacy, numeracy and digital skills and the oracy skills of pupils in English from the Nursery class to Year 6 are exceptional.

The report goes on to say that pupils’ collaboration in class activities and around the school is a strength, they are kind and considerate to each other and their behaviour is exceptional at all times. They contribute well to a variety of groups and committees, and enthusiastically share examples of where their influence has had a positive impact on school life.

It also added, that across the school, teachers provide purposeful learning experiences which successfully stimulate and engage all pupils and ensure that provision for ALN pupils is robust.

Estyn also highlighted that the headteacher, ably supported by the senior leadership team, ensures that the well-being of pupils and the wider school community is at the heart of the school. Communication between staff and parents is good and governors know the school very well, fulfilling their role as critical friend and support the headteacher in moving the school forward.

At the time of the inspection, the school had 234 pupils on roll, 16.3% of whom were eligible for free school meals with 16.1% of pupils identified as having additional learning needs (ALN).

Overall a very positive report, highlighting the nurturing aspect of St Bernadette’s. Estyn provided three recommendations to the school: Ensuring that the curriculum is meaningful for all pupils and builds systematically and coherently across the school; Developing pupils’ independent skills and ensuring pupils have regular opportunities to improve their own work.

St Bernadette’s Headteacher, Suzanne Williams said: “We are delighted that Estyn have recognised, that due to the hard work and commitment of the whole staff team, our main priority at St Bernadette’s is well-being; and that our welcoming and inclusive ethos, promotes the moral and spiritual development of all our pupils’.”

Paul Newbury the Chair of Governors at St Bernadette’s commented: “The governing body was extremely pleased that Estyn recognised the excellent standards of both teaching and wellbeing for our pupils at St. Bernadette’s. We are grateful for the ongoing efforts and standards set by all involved in the school and are confident that our school will continue to strive to provide the best education for every child.”

Cabinet Member for Education, Employment and Skills, Cllr Sarah Merry said: “During its recent visit, Estyn highlighted some of the very positive aspects of school life at St Bernadettes, in particular the strong relationship between pupils and staff.

“Wellbeing clearly plays an important role and I was pleased to hear that pupils have a secure understanding of their rights and contribute maturely to discussions about fairness and equality.

“This has been achieved through the extensive work the school has carried out on pupil’s rights and school values and through the UN Rights Respecting Schools programme, supporting Cardiff’s commitment to becoming a UNICEF UK Child Friendly City, where the rights of the child are paramount.”

Estyn has adopted a new approach to inspection in schools and Pupil Referral Units across Wales. Inspection reports will no longer include summative gradings (e.g. ‘Excellent', ‘Good' or ‘Adequate') and now focus on how well providers are helping a child to learn.

The new approach aligns with the personalisation of the new curriculum for Wales with inspections involving more in-person discussions, placing less emphasis on achievement data.

Estyn believe that the new inspection approach will make it easier for providers to gain meaningful insights that help them to improve without the spotlight on a judgement.