Outstanding turnaround at South Northamptonshire primary school

Teamwork has been hailed as the reason a village primary school has undergone a remarkable turnaround in its latest Ofsted report.

Friday, 9th September 2016, 9:26 am
Updated Monday, 12th September 2016, 5:25 pm
Photos by CO Photography and Design cophotodesign.co.uk

Blakesley Primary School was graded ‘outstanding’ across the board in its recent inspection, just over two years since the school was given the second worst possible grade and told it needed to make improvements.

Ofsted inspectors praised the school’s “exceptional improvement”, saying: “Leaders, governors and staff share the same high expectations.

“They are aspirational for pupils and never complacent.”

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Photos by CO Photography and Design cophotodesign.co.uk

Headteacher Lucy Burman said: “It was really exciting to get the new Ofsted grade – it’s all down to the teamwork at the school.

“Our children are really lucky and we’re really proud for them to be able to attend an outstanding school.”

The inspectors praised the school’s pupils, saying they are “polite, caring and courteous”. They also said teachers planned good lessons which capture pupils’ interest and imagination, in turn allowing them to learn and progress.

The report states the school has “excellent links with the local pre-school and secondary school. Pupils are very well prepared for the next steps in their learning.”

Photos by CO Photography and Design cophotodesign.co.uk

And the report says parents are “extremely positive about the school and the high-quality education it provides.”

Ms Burman said: “We put a huge focus on teaching and lessons, making sure that our teachers were the best and that their teaching and assessments were rigorous.

“We had lots of training and looking at best practice and getting everybody to be leaders.

“At first we focused strongly on the lessons, now we are widening that focus to other areas like school trips, sports and other activities.

“It is really all down to the work of the staff, governors, pupils and parents – real teamwork.”

In January 2014, at the school’s last full inspection, Ofsted said the school ‘required improvements’ in all areas it considers – an outcome scored as three on a scale that only goes down to four.

This time the report judged the school to be outstanding in all the categories schools are examined on – effectiveness of leadership and management; quality of teaching, learning and assessment; personal development, behaviour and welfare; outcomes for pupils; and early years provision.

As such it was graded as overall an outstanding school – the best possible grade.