Dear Families,

Please find the link to our latest Ofsted report following our inspection on 22nd and 23rd October 2019, . The report will be published on the website by the end of next week (Friday 15th November 2019). This report highlights the strengths of our school as well as areas for development.

Since the last full 2-day inspection in October 2014 and the 1- day short inspection in September 2018 where priorities for improvement were identified, this is an entirely different school. The Ofsted criteria, under which we have recently been assessed, has changed considerably during that time.

Since becoming Head here in January 2019, our school has seen vast changes, all of which have been entirely necessary to improve outcomes for our pupils.  We have experienced changes in teaching staff and have, since August 2019, formed a Senior Leadership Team who are driven in our pursuit to provide a high quality education for all. This inevitably brings challenges in evidencing the implementation and impact of our extensive changes to the curriculum, expectations and vision in a short period of time.  Together we are determined to drive change with all staff continuing to strive for excellence in all that they do, with this being identified by Ofsted in the report and feedback discussions.

We are proud that our inspection report and feedback highlights the following strengths:

  • Parents and carers commented on the improved relationships between home and school and also said that the ‘feel’ of the school has improved- thank you!

  • The Headteacher and governors have a good understanding of the quality of education and what needs to improve.

  • The teaching of mathematics has improved over the past year. The leadership team identified that planning needed to change. Teachers know what pupils need to learn. Teachers plan lessons that build on what pupils have learned in mathematics before.

  • Children learn quickly in the Reception class. Teachers provide activities that interest the children and build on what they already know. Children are happy and confident and enjoy celebrating success.

  • Our school improvement planning is accurate and effective.

  • Staff provide extra support when it is required for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). As a result, these pupils do well. They are included in lessons and other school activities alongside their classmates.

  • Pupils know how to behave well and most do. Most pupils listen to their teachers and follow instructions. Pupils are respectful of those whose beliefs and family lives may be different from their own.

The Inspectors, the Local Authority and our Diocese Leaders, all continue to have full confidence in our Senior Leadership Team and Governors.  They fully recognise that we know what we are doing, how to further drive change and how to consolidate the best practice we already have underway in school.

Of course, the most important people in all of this inspection are the children.  I am immensely proud of the way that our children behaved throughout this inspection, which was exactly the same as always.  They were so welcoming and articulate in their meeting with the Inspectors who commented on their politeness and extremely warm way in which they described how we all support all of them and how they support one another, particularly those children who may experience difficulties from time to time.

Unfortunately for us, change in schools takes time and this was always of short supply within the time frame leading up to this full 2-day inspection.  Our overall judgement of ‘Requires Improvement’ feels disappointing at the moment especially after the huge amount of dedication and sheer hard work this team puts into our school.  The Ofsted Inspection handbook states that ‘a school that is judged as requires improvement is a school that is not good but overall provides an acceptable standard of education. The judgement of requires improvement is not a formal category of concern.’   In our opinion the report reads as a school in the middle of a long and extremely focused journey routed in a commitment to promote sustained progress, a quality curriculum and success for all of our pupils, no matter what their needs.  

The Governors and I would like to invite you all to a Parents Evening in the Community room here at school on Wednesday 13th November from 5pm – 6pm where we can share our next steps and answer any questions you may have.  

The Senior Leadership Team and I would like to thank you all for your continued support and collaboration and hope to see you next Wednesday evening.

Warmest wishes,

Jenny Hawkins