West Rise Junior School is celebrating this week after receiving a glowing report from Ofsted, which rated it ‘good’ with aspects of ‘outstanding’.
The school achieved ‘good’ in three of the four assessment categories – achievement of pupils, quality of teaching and leadership and management – and the highest possible rating of ‘outstanding’ for the behaviour and safety of pupils.
The report makes much reference to the children at the school, who are ‘exceptionally keen to learn and listen avidly to what their teachers and their classmates have to say in a mature and self-disciplined way’.
Although one of the reasons the school overall was not rated as outstanding is because not enough pupils reach the highest levels in English and mathematics, the inspectors acknowledged the fact that ‘pupils achieve well throughout the school and in a wide variety of subjects. The standards pupils reach by the time they leave have risen substantially in recent years and are now above average’.
The school was commended on its unique provisions that includes water buffalo, countryside sports and arts projects.
The report adds, “Pupils say that they enjoy school a great deal and are extremely proud of it. They are very keen to tell visitors about its special features and how much they benefit from them.”
The report also had much praise for head teacher Mike Fairclough and his staff, saying, “The dynamic and highly enthusiastic head teacher works effectively and harmoniously with his senior team and has succeeded in sharing his passion for improving pupils’ achievement and their well-being with all the staff.”
Mr Fairclough said, “Under the latest Ofsted framework, West Rise Junior School currently has the highest Ofsted rating in Eastbourne, Hastings, Rye and Seaford!
“The report is full of praise for the school and has given us the green light for many of our innovative and unusual projects. The staff, parents and Governors feel extremely proud of this very positive outcome and look forward to building on all of our strengths in the New Year.”
The school was given two areas of suggested improvement to try and achieve an overall status of ‘outstanding’. Firstly, ‘to raise achievement by ensuring that teachers always give pupils sufficiently detailed comments on their work so that pupils understand exactly what they have done well and the next steps they need to take to make their work even better’.
Secondly, to ‘improve the effectiveness of the ways in which the school communicates with parents and carers so that they have every confidence the school listens to their concerns.