Saturday, 22 July 2017

Celebrations at St Mabyn as it moves up in the Ofsted ratings

The community of St Mabyn CofE Primary School is celebrating following a ringing endorsement by Ofsted.

The school was ranked Good by lead inspector Paul Hodson. As well as saying teaching across the school was now “consistently good”, he also singled out many areas of the school for further praise.  He said the school’s work to promote pupils’ development and welfare was outstanding.

The positive report is a shot in the arm for the school, which had previously been judged as requiring improvement.

It has even prompted a letter to the school from Regional Schools Commissioner for the South West, Rebecca Clarke, who wrote: “I was struck in particular by inspectors’ comments about the improvement in teaching quality that you have been able to bring about since Ofsted last visited, and the impact this has had on pupil outcomes.”

Mr Hodson also highlighted the strong leadership of the executive headteacher, Karen Holmes, based on her depth of understanding and ability to accurately assess the quality of teaching and learning. Head of school Alison McDonald was also singled out for praise. “Both share a commitment to providing high quality care and education for pupils and families,” said the inspector.

The inspection report also praises the school’s early years’ provision, saying: “As a result of the good teaching they receive, children get off to a positive start in the early years and make good progress.

“The proportion of pupils who attain a good level of development have fluctuated over time but are now above the national average.”

 “The school skilfully tailors the curriculum to meet the needs of each year group and the challenges presented by the wide range of abilities in mixed-age classes.”

The inspector also noted that the school has recently admitted nursery children on specific days. “The children that joined at the start of the school year are making excellent progress in communication and language and in personal development, ” said the report.

As well as singling out the school’s staff, the report also says that the governors provide strong, supportive and challenging leadership. The principal of The Saints’ Way Multi-Academy Trust and the Diocese of Truro’s director for schools are also named as individuals who contribute significant levels of support.

Head of school Alison McDonald said: “The report talks a lot about the personalised learning we offer children, and I think that is very important. All children have their own talents and their own ways of learning, and we tailor our teaching to meet their needs. We are very focused in making sure that each child fulfils their potential and makes progress in all areas. Of course, there is a strong emphasis on academic progress, but we are also keen to see them develop in terms of sport, the arts and their spiritual, moral, and social development.

Executive head teacher Karen Holmes said: “It is great to have some recognition for all the hard work that everybody has put in over the past few years. Thanks must go to all our staff and governors for ably answering questions during the two-day inspection as well as delivering excellent lessons, as always. We’re also grateful to those parents who spoke to the inspector on the day and took the time to complete the Parent View section on the Ofsted website.”

Principal of the Saints’ Way Multi-Academy trust, Stuart Renshaw, said: “St Mabyn is a success story and proves what a balanced and nurturing learning environment can be provided in a relatively small village school. The staff and school community should rightly be proud of what they have achieved. They’re delivering an outstanding education for the children of that community.”

The report quotes several comments made by pupils to Mr Hodson, as he went about his inspection:

·      “I only started learning how to tell the time like this yesterday and now I can find twenty-five past nine!’
·      “Thinking about what I had done made me realise how it feels to be in their shoes.”
·      “Democracy is putting everyone’s opinion in mind so you can decide which one might be best.”
·      “Before I came to this school I had no idea there were so many religions.”
·      “We make up the rules. Sensible rules. It’s like a contract and we sign it.”
·      “I am a persevering parrot because I kept going!”

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