Ofsted has heaped praise on a headteacher and her team for “substantially” improving the quality of teaching and learning at their school.
Staff at St Thomas A Becket Catholic Infant School, in Tutts Barn Lane, were delighted when inspectors gave them a ‘good’ rating following a two-day inspection.
The school had been told to improve following an inspection in October 2014 and this latest report recognised the work carried out to bring things up to scratch.
In her report, published on December 5, inspector Julie Sackett said: “The headteacher, senior leaders and governors have improved the quality of teaching, learning and assessment substantially since the previous inspection.”
She added: “Pupils make better progress than at the time of the previous inspection. They make good progress in writing, mathematics and science. They make particularly good progress in reading.”
The school was described as a friendly, welcoming and outward-looking community where its work was supported by its religious values.
There was praise for its strongly inclusive atmosphere, which Ms Sackett said ensured all pupils and families were equally valued, regardless of background or belief.
One parent told her: “There is no feeling here that anyone is different.”
The teaching of phonics came in for particular praise, with changes made since the last inspection leading to “substantial improvements” in the children’s early reading skills. In addition, pupils were seen to be making better progress when it came to maths.
The 2016 SATs results showed that, at the end of Key Stage 1, standards in reading, writing, maths and science were above the national average.
Headteacher Rachel Turner said: “We are happy with our report and I am pleased that the team approach of our hard-working staff and governors has been recognised.
“It is good to see that Ofsted too has noticed that our mission statement drives all that we do as a church school community.”
The report highlighted only two areas for further improvement – ensuring the most able pupils were consistently challenged, and making sure leaders knew the priorities for developing the curriculum.
Mrs Turner confirmed both points were already in the school development plan and said she was “confident in our ability to address them”.
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