Vale Academy Trust directors, governors, staff, children and parents at St Nicholas CE Primary School, East Challow, are celebrating the outcome of their recent Ofsted Inspection which took place on 12th and 13th September which was “Good in all areas”.
Her Majesty’s Inspector, Sue Cox, praised school leaders for creating a supportive culture where all pupils are valued and feel part of the school community. Ms Cox observed that “Teaching is good at St Nicholas because teachers use their good subject knowledge to explain things clearly and help pupils learn new concepts. Teachers are warm and supportive and have good relationships with pupils, encouraging them through praising their work and valuing their achievements.”
Ms. Cox identified that overall, pupils’ progress has improved and current pupils are now making good progress across the Key Stages. Phonics teaching is identified as a strength of the school, with 100% of Year 1 pupils passing the national phonics screening check last year. Senior Teacher Elise Keymer said: “We are very proud of our phonics results at St Nicholas; we have a strong team of teachers and support staff who teach phonics well and achieve excellent results.”
Elise, who also teaches the Reception Class, said she was pleased with Ofsted’s judgement of “Good” for Early Years Provision at the school. Ms. Cox wrote that children get off to a happy, successful start and that behaviour is exemplary. Positive, warm relationships enable children to settle quickly, feel secure and be successful learners.
Parents are overwhelmingly positive about the early years setting; one parent quoted in the report said: “I am very happy; my child loves it.”
Andrew Browne, Headteacher, said he was ‘thrilled with the result’. ‘St Nicholas being judged as a good school is great news for East Challow and the children and families who live here. At the core of the Vale Academy Trust are the values of Excellent Outcomes for all Young People, Outstanding Opportunities for Staff, At the Heart of our Community. With the support of the parents and families of the St Nicholas community in East Challow, we have achieved this good inspection result and I am very grateful for everything that they do to help us to be a successful school in the village.’
Ofsted praised the Vale Academy Trust for the support provided; the Trust’s Central Team regularly check on the quality of teaching and learning, providing clear feedback to teachers, enabling them to develop their practice. The school’s governors are also described as a driving force for improvement in the school, acting quickly and decisively to bring about significant improvement.
Simon Spiers, the Vale Academy Trust’s Chief Executive, commented: “We are delighted with this Ofsted outcome for St Nicholas – the Trust’s central team provides unstinting support across all our schools and we take pride in this success – we know how much this good result will mean to everyone involved, particular on the back of their excellent SIAMS report”.
Joe Pillman, Chair of the Vale Academy Trust’s Board, added: “We are delighted that the hard work of all concerned with St.Nicholas – the Head, staff, Governors, the Trust’s central team and leadership – has been recognised, along with the Trust’s commitment to the local community.
The report offered St Nicholas clear guidance on how to improve further and it will focus on developing its recently appointed middle leaders and improving outcomes in mathematics. The school will also continue to build confidence and trust around the issue of bullying.
Andrew Browne added, ‘We have a fantastic staff at St Nicholas who work very hard and are committed to achieving the very best for children and families in East Challow. With the support we receive from the Vale Academy Trust, the Diocese and our parents and families, we are in a strong position to take our school to the highest standards and outcomes for our pupils.’
Overall effectiveness Good
Effectiveness of leadership and management Good
Quality of teaching, learning and assessment Good
Personal development, behaviour and welfare Good
Outcomes for pupils Good
Early years provision Good