Gatehouse Primary Academy celebrates ‘Good’ Ofsted rating
School moves two grades from ‘Inadequate’ to ‘Good’ in latest inspection
A Devon primary school is celebrating the results of its latest school inspection by Ofsted. Gatehouse Primary Academy in Dawlish has been judged ‘Good’ in all areas. The latest report praised the leadership and teaching, the curriculum, and noted how proud pupils are of their school.
Leila Naldrett, Head of School at Gatehouse said “This report is an excellent and hugely well-deserved outcome for our school. The team at Gatehouse has worked tirelessly since our last full inspection. We are passionate about raising standards in education and are dedicated to creating a school environment that is positive and stimulating for both the children and staff. Each step of the school improvement journey has been meticulously considered to ensure the maximum impact for the children, whilst ensuring that the wellbeing of children and staff is supported. It’s wonderful to see Ofsted recognise this hard work and commitment.”
Paul Walker, Chief Executive of First Federation Trust said “Achieving ‘good’ is a tremendous outcome. And amid a pandemic - it’s a truly brilliant achievement. The staff and pupils have worked so hard for this and deserve such a super report. As a member of the First Federation Trust family of schools, Gatehouse Primary Academy has benefited from tailored improvement support from our Trust in key focus areas, as well as staff training and development, in areas such as subject knowledge and teaching practice. Our Trust has developed a tried and tested approach to school improvement. Each school is supported to improve, whatever their starting point. Working together with Leila and her team and sharing expertise from across our Trust has had a huge impact on the turnaround at Gatehouse.”
Leila Naldrett, Head of School added “I could not be prouder of this achievement and would like to thank the team at Gatehouse, the school community and First Federation Trust for their support.”
A small selection of comments from the Ofsted inspectors included:
‘Gatehouse is a thoroughly inclusive school. Pupils are happy and love coming to school to see their friends and staff. Pupils talk with pride about how their school has improved. They enjoy learning and value the wide range of subjects they study.’
‘Children get off to a flying start. Effective teaching in the early years ensures children develop their phonics knowledge well. Staff build precisely on what pupils already know'.
‘Pupils are respectful, caring and keen to learn. Pupils are prepared for life in modern Britain. Leaders ensure that pupils develop the skills required to be a positive member of society.'
'Leaders are determined for every pupil to be successful'
Athletic youngsters make victory over cancer a racing certainty
On Monday May 24, all of the children and staff at Brixington Primary Academy took part in a Race for Life in aid of Cancer Research UK.
The Year 4 children, as part of the school's commitment to contributing to the community, planned an event that would test out their athletic skills they had been working on in PE.
A track was set out around the school's large playing fields and the whole school were challenged to run as far as they could in a given time. Before the event, the school invited families to use this as an opportunity to celebrate and remember loved ones, and to make donations to support the crucial work of Cancer Research UK.
Brixington parents are always extremely generous, having previously raised huge amounts for such charities as the Devon Air Ambulance and Children in Need, but the response from the community for the Race for Life event was overwhelming! Donations began flying in over the weekend and the total amount raced up towards £1,000 by Monday lunchtime. The money kept rolling in as the children battled monsoon conditions and splashed through the mud for as many laps as they could. By the time the event had finished, the total had neared £2,000, and this soon became £3,000 as children shared their stories with relatives over the next few days. It was a very emotional day, with many children and staff running with a particular friend or family member in mind.
Head of teaching and learning Stuart Dyer said: “We're very proud that we were able to learn about the powerful themes of grief, loss, hope and adversity, in a way that celebrated life and brought the community together.
“Many children ran with the names of friends and family-members on their backs, and shared stories of how Cancer had touched their lives. It was a brilliant sporting event, too, with some fierce competition on show despite the horrendous weather! We're so grateful for the support and generosity of our families.”
Pupils make a step change with 'park and stride' initiative
Pupils at Colyton Primary Academy joined thousands of children across the UK to celebrate the benefits of walking during Walk to School Week last week. Walk to School Week is organised by Living Streets, the UK charity for everyday walking as part of their National Walking Month campaign each May.
Families were encouraged to walk, cycle, scoot or ‘park and stride’ for the whole week to see the big differences that come from small steps, from healthier and happier children to fewer cars outside the school gates. To conclude the week they were inspired by one of their own students, Lucy Voysey, to do something a little different. During the lockdown Lucy took advantage of quieter streets and rode her horse to school. This sparked a discussion of other exciting ways to come to school and so the challenge was set!
On Friday the children arrived in style... on a tractor, skip lorry, horses, go-carts, hover boards, tied together with three legs, on broomsticks, rollerskates, skipping and even on a unicorn!
“This was such a great way to bring our school community together, have fun and raise awareness of walking to school too,” said Aerfen Mills, the head of school. “We have missed our whole school events this year and this really brought a smile to everyone’s faces.”
Two children also took the opportunity to walk from their home to raise awareness for an orphanage in Africa where children walk 10 miles a day to attend a school. Ebi and Neri walked five and a half miles from their home one morning – a super achievement.
Mrs Mills said: “This was such a fantastic achievement for Ebi and Neri, we were very proud of them. Especially as they completed a whole day of school afterwards too!”
The school would like to thank the parents for helping the children arrive safely as well as the people of the town for supporting such a fun but crazy morning.
Pupils Scooter to Willowbank Primary School, thanks to new bike rack
Musbury Primary School celebrate Ofsted result
Pupils, parents, carers and staff at Musbury Primary School are delighted with the Ofsted Report, following the recent inspection of their school; where it was judged to be ‘Good’ in every aspect. The inspection highlighted that ‘teachers plan skillfully for the challenges of mixed age and mixed key-stage classes and this enables pupils to make strong progress across the curriculum’. ‘Teaching Assistants know the pupils well. They motivate pupils well and instil a thirst for learning’.
‘The Trust has a strong influence on the work of the school. There is a collegiate and determined approach to improvement. Leaders are ambitious and make sure that their decisions ensure the full inclusion of all pupils’. The Ofsted Report praised the behaviour of pupils saying they are ‘well- mannered and caring’.
Head of Teaching and Learning, Tim Nield, said ‘I am incredibly proud of the children and staff, who thoroughly deserve this outcome. The children are a pleasure to teach and their kind and friendly nature made the inspector feel welcomed throughout his visit. I would like to thank the staff for their dedication and professionalism and also the parents and community for their support of our school.
Martin O’Mahony, Executive Head of Teaching and Learning at Musbury Primary School stated,
‘I would like to take this opportunity to thank Tim Nield and his team of dedicated staff who have been relentless in their aspirations for the school. This report recognises their commitment to improving the progress and outcomes of all children whilst maintaining a broad and balanced curriculum. The community of Musbury has a school they should be incredibly of!’
Sidmouth Primary School celebrate recent Ofsted inspection
Sidmouth Primary School has been judged 'Good' in all aspects following its recent Ofsted Inspection.
Claire Fegan, Head of Teaching & Learning at Sidmouth Primary School said
"I am so proud of the whole school community at Sidmouth Primary because everyone's hard work and commitment - pupils, staff and parents - is reflected in this report. I am thrilled that the inspectors noted the strong team ethos at our school and recognised that the children are happy, safe and achieving well. We will continue to strive forwards, working on these areas for improvement, to make the school the very best it can be".
The Sidmouth Herald shared the good news - please follow the link to read the article.
Westcliff Primary Academy Celebrate Ofsted Result
Pupils, parents, carers and staff at Westcliff Primary Academy are delighted with the Ofsted Report, following the recent inspection of their school; where it was judged to be ‘Good’ in every aspect. The inspection highlighted that the leadership of the school have ‘drive, determination and ambition for all pupils’ and that teachers ‘plan a creative and exciting curriculum that interests pupils and ensures their full engagement in learning.’
Such has been the success of the pupils at Westcliff Primary Academy since becoming part of the First Federation Trust in February 2016, that pupils’ reading progress at Key Stage 2 was in the top 10% of schools nationally in 2018. At the same time writing attainment at Key Stage 2 has improved significantly, and in 2018 compared well with the top 20% of schools nationally. This is a tremendous achievement by children and staff. The Ofsted Report praised the behaviour of pupils, the effective contribution of Teaching Assistants and the ‘Team Feeling’ within the school and across the First Federation Trust.
Head of Teaching and Learning, Emma Lewry, said ‘On a personal level I would like to say a huge ‘Thank You’ to everyone involved with Westcliff Primary Academy. The dedicated, hard-working and professional team of teachers and support staff ensure that the best possible primary education is delivered to all our children. I cannot thank them enough. In addition; the level of support we receive from parents/carers and members of the local community is greatly valued!’
Jackie Huntington, Executive Head of Teaching and Learning at Westcliff Primary Academy stated,
‘I would like to take this opportunity to thank Emma Lewry and all her team for what they have accomplished. Emma is an exceptional leader who has worked with passion and determination to take the school from strength to strength. I am also grateful to everyone employed at the school, who all play their part. But even with such excellent leadership and dedicated staff, I know that this fantastic report would not be as complimentary without the tremendous amount of hard work over the past few years, from our children. Well done Westcliff Primary Academy!’
The DfE published its MAT performance tables for 2016-17 on 25 January 2018.
We were delighted to see that the First Federation Trust was:
- in the top 20 MAT nationally for progress in each of the three core subjects (Maths, Reading and Writing), and specifically the top three nationally for progress in Reading
- the highest performing Trust for progress in Devon and the second highest performing Trust in the South West.
The DfE MAT performance tables for 2016-17 can be found here.
A survey commissioned by a leadership development charity, Ambition School Leadership, looked at how well MATs performed in five areas: pupil progress at key stages 2 and 4, improvement in value-added over time, outcomes for disadvantaged pupils, whether schools are rated “inadequate”, and financial sustainability.
The research identified that the First Federation Trust is one of 13 trusts, out of the 402 studied, that were high performing in at least two of the the following three areas - current performance, improvement and performance of disadvantaged pupils (November 2017).
Click here for the TES article.
Click here to access the Ambition School Leadership website and a link to the full research.
The First Federation Trust is included as an example of good practice in the guidance on good practice and expectations for growth published by the DfE for Multi Academy Trusts (December 2016).
'To help ensure that the great educationalists in First Federation can focus on making sure that teaching and learning are as good as it possibly can be, the trust has:
• redefined senior leadership roles; and
• created a back office function to perform vital administrative tasks, taking these away from school leaders.'
To find out more, please click here.
Sir Michael Wilshaw, Head of Ofsted, has named the First Federation as one of the seven best performing MATs in the country (11 Oct 2016).
Click here for the TES article.
Click here for the full HMCI's monthly commentary.
A study has shown has shown that, although many academies do not perform better than maintained schools, the First Federation Trust is the second highest performing primary academy trust / local authority in the country. (July 2016)
Click here for the report from BBC news.