Northiam school receives high praise from Ofsted inspector

Northiam CE Primary School pupils SUS-190608-155433001
Northiam CE Primary School pupils SUS-190608-155433001

Northiam Church of England Primary School is celebrating after being rated ‘good’ following a recent Ofsted inspection.

The inspector, who visited the school on June 12 and 13, praised the effectiveness of the school’s leadership, quality of teaching, outcomes of pupils and behaviour.

Executive headteachers, Kevin Tomasetti and Keith Cheetham, said: “This was the second really positive report received for our federation, proving that our ethos for creating and sustaining a good standard of education is working effectively.

“The hard work and commitment of all pupils, staff, parents and governors has been rewarded. Particularly pleasing were the comments made by the inspector about how the pupils thrive on the wider curriculum opportunities that Northiam have been working on.”

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In his report, the inspector said: “Pupils benefit from a wide range of extra-curriculum learning opportunities. Initiatives such as the farm school and forest school enthuse and excite pupils. They talk energetically about these opportunities and enjoy them greatly. They value these highly.

“Pupils feel very safe and happy in school. Pupils have many opportunities to develop their spiritual, moral, social and cultural understanding of the world around them. They are confident individuals, well prepared for life in a modern society.”

The teachers and support staff in the school also came in for praise. The report stated: “Teachers know the individual needs of pupils very well. They plan interesting and challenging activities to engage pupils. Pupils are passionate about their learning. Pupils’ writing and reading outcomes are very good. Pupils make good progress in mathematics.”

The start the children receive in their education was highlighted by the inspector as a strength. He said: “Children in early years receive a good education. Teaching in early years is planned thoughtfully so that children learn well together and independently. Children achieve good outcomes in early years.”

The school’s leadership was also praised, with the inspector stating that ‘leaders have led with a passionate determination through some challenging times over recent years’.

He added: “They have responded to issues, often not within their control, very efficiently and ensured that pupils’ education has not been adversely affected. They have securely maintained the good standards of education across the school. More so, they have significantly developed strong and helpful links with parents and carers and the community. Parents are very supportive of leaders.”

Head of school Julia Bray said it was ‘fantastic to have the hard work and all the great things happening in the school recognised’.

She said: “It was lovely for the school community we are building to be celebrated and it is also a brilliant recognition of the children’s hard work and enjoyment in their learning. Our ethos as a community centred church school has been rightfully recognised by Ofsted.”

The report reinforced this view, highlighting a recent summer fayre that ‘helped revitalise community engagement in school life’.

Mrs Bray said she was ‘incredibly proud’ of the children, their behaviour and enthusiasm in their learning – another view reflected in the inspector’s report, which said: “Pupils are confident and self-assured. They are proud of their school and the opportunities that are given to them. The behaviour of pupils is good. Pupils’ conduct in lessons and around the school is good. They are polite to each other, to adults in the school and to any school visitors.”