Primary school in Northampton vows not to ‘rest on its laurels’ after getting top praise from Ofsted

Whitehills Primary School, Northampton
Whitehills Primary School, Northampton

A primary school in Northampton is celebrating after being judged an ‘outstanding’ school by Ofsted inspectors.

The report, released this month, said Whitehills Primary School provides high-quality teaching and learning.

The two-day inspection took place in April and the school was said to give children an exceptional start to their learning. Children were described as courteous and respectful, articulate learners with a thirst for knowledge and a love of learning, enthusiastic to contribute in lessons and supportive of each other.

The school was seen to give excellent personal support and guidance to pupils, particularly in matters of safety.

Teaching across the whole school was described as outstanding with pupils being taught in a vibrant and stimulating learning environment.

Achievement of the most able pupils and those who have special educational needs, together with the associated additional learning support, was also recognised as outstanding.

Ofsted’s report indicated that the school’s “skilful” governors contributed effectively to the direction of the school, providing strong support and challenge and that the headteacher and school leaders provided “inspirational leadership”.

Ofsted also praised the school for working hard to develop close relationships with parents, ensuring that they are comfortable raising any concerns.

Robert Hardcastle, described in the report as an “exceptionally skilled headteacher”, said: “We are delighted that Ofsted has acknowledged how much teaching and learning has improved at our school.

“Focussing on improving the pedagogy of all adults who work in our setting has been the first priority for the last four years. We are really pleased that the Ofsted team could see and report on how hard our children work, how supportive our parents are and the excellence in the quality of teaching and learning at Whitehills.

“While we are pleased to receive this grading and have such an effusive report, we are not complacent and will continue to focus on putting children first and teaching them to the very highest standard.”

The school’s chair of governors, Harvie Hughes, added: “This is a great result for our school. I am absolutely delighted that the effort and achievement since the last inspection has now been recognised by Ofsted.

“However, though we are ‘outstanding’, we will not rest on our laurels. We will continue to focus on the children and ensure our teaching reflects this very high standard.”