A primary school has been congratulated for making improvements, but has been told there is still some way to go yet to be deemed ‘good’ all round.

Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Primary School, in Church, has been rated ‘requires improvements’ again by Ofsted, but the report is much more positive than the previous inspection in 2019 where the school was handed the same rating.

The improvements made in the past four years have been noticed by Jacqui Old CBE, executive director of education and children's services at Lancashire County Council who penned the headteacher a letter thanking her and her team for their hard work since the previous inspection.

Headteacher, Carolyn Mashiter, said: “Inspectors found many positive strengths within the school and were satisfied that the school is making progress towards ensuring high quality teaching and learning for the children at Sacred Heart.

“The Ofsted inspection was thorough, led diligently and was professionally undertaken. We were open and transparent around all aspects of school life and had much evidence to support the process.

“We are particularly pleased that Ofsted recognised the journey of improvements made at the school over the last few years and would like to thank the parents who have supported the school during this time. We will of course address, as we already are, any areas for improvement.

“Once again, may we thank all those involved in the inspection itself, especially the staff, governors, children and families who continue to provide a positive school life.”

In the most recent inspection the school was found to be good in behaviour and attitudes, personal development and early years provisions.

The school was told to continue improving the quality of education and leadership and management.

In the 2019 inspection, the school was told to improve in every area except the early years provision which was rated ‘good’.

In the most recent inspection, which took place in March, the report states that school leaders are ‘aspirational for pupils, including children in the early years’ and have ‘strengthened the curriculum to ensure that it is suitably ambitious’ but noted that despite the improvements, some pupils still do not do as well as they should.

The report said: “Teachers’ checks on how well pupils are learning are not effective in some subjects.

“As a result, some teachers do not routinely identify gaps or misconceptions in pupils’ knowledge.

“In the reception and nursery classes, children are getting the right support to close any gaps in learning that they have when they join the school.

“Recently, leaders have made a number of changes to the school’s phonics programme.

“While the weakest readers are now receiving more focused support, some staff are still getting to grips with how best to teach the programme.

“This means that some pupils do not learn to read as quickly or as confidently as they should.”

Systems to identify the needs of SEND pupils have been strengthened and the school protects pupils, with staff ‘prioritising pupils’ well-being and mental health’.

The school was praised for offering access to a ‘huge range of trips, visits and activities that link pupil’s learning to the wider world’.

Pupils are ‘respectful’ and classrooms are calm, with the behaviour having improved since the previous inspection.

Safeguarding is effective.