Here’s a letter we sent out to our families this week. We’re thrilled to be able to share the lovely news that we’re a GOOD school, as inspected by the Ofsted Inspector’s very rigorous inspection last month.
Please have a read below… and click the link at the bottom to the actual report.
Dear parent / guardian,
As you will be aware, we were visited and assessed a few weeks ago by the Department of Education’s Ofsted inspection team and, now that the report is live and online, we are really pleased to be able to share it with you.
The Ofsted inspection team have judged us a Good school under the new, more stringent framework; one that is vastly different and tougher than the last time we were inspected. That previous visit was (astonishingly) twelve years ago, back in the mists of time when someone called Tony Blair was Prime Minister and Donald Trump was just a harmless reality TV show host. The school staff and governors are pleased and proud of this Ofsted rating. We feel it is a fair reflection of our achievements, ambitions and challenges.
The new framework places much greater emphasis nowadays on inspectors spending more time with staff and with pupils, rather than with senior teachers as in the past. Truly, there is nowhere to hide with an Ofsted inspection, and we would like to thank all our pupils, staff and parents for engaging so positively in the inspection process.
The inspectors met and spoke with almost every child in our school during their two days here, as well as almost every staff member and also governors. The parent survey plays a huge part and the inspector told us the fact that 47 families completed the survey was almost unheard of.
If you have a moment, the report is well worth a read and it’s available on our website at www.georgeham-primary.devon.sch.uk/ofsted. There is plenty to be proud of in it. The governors highlighted the following sections:
“Pupils arrive at school with a cheerful smile. They are excited to see their friends and eager for lessons to begin. A warm and caring atmosphere permeates the school.”
“The values of being kind, confident, curious, adventurous, ambitious and one community thread through the curriculum plan. Pupils live and breathe the school’s values.”
“Children get off to a flying start in Nursery. High expectations of behaviour, reading and number are a high priority. This prepares children well for their Reception Year.”
“The Nursery and Reception classes are places of ‘awe and wonder’.”
The report also points out the areas where we need to improve, and we will not be resting on our laurels in tackling them. In fact the inspectors noted that these areas correspond closely with the areas we had already highlighted in our School Improvement Plan for 2019/20, and the inspectors were impressed that progress was already being made in many of them.
One of these issues, and one which you should be aware of (as we have highlighted it already this year), is persistent absence by (in the words of the report) “a small proportion of pupils” and this is an issue we’ll be returning to in the new year with renewed purpose.
Finally we would like to thank our inspectors. Whilst Ofsted visits often get a bad press, our staff and school leaders found being given an external view of the school’s practice and procedures a hugely positive and useful process (albeit an exhausting one).
There is a lot that an Ofsted report won’t – and can’t – tell you about a school, in the same way that a league table of results can’t tell you whether your child will leave school at the end of the day feeling that little bit better about themselves. But we feel that this one paints a picture of a small, kind, adventurous, ambitious, curious, confident community school that we hope you will recognise too.
Julian Thomas, Ali Smith and the Governing Body