Primary school proves it can do better after good Ofsted report

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A primary school, formerly “requiring improvement”, is celebrating after now being marked good by government inspectors.

St Stephen’s CE Primary School, Woodgrove Road, was praised by Ofsted for turning its fortunes around in the year since new headteacher Mrs Sue Cornwell took over.

Inspectors said the new headteacher had galvanised senior leaders and governors to establish a highly positive culture that had transformed the school.

A proud Mrs Cornwell said: “I am delighted that the hard work of the staff, children and all stakeholders has been rewarded with a good Ofsted report.

“It was fantastic that the inspectors recognised not only the strong academic side to our school but also the nurturing and caring atmosphere that we strive for every day at St Stephen’s.”

The inspectors also found that pupils make good progress in a range of subjects, including reading, writing and mathematics.

The report stated: “In the 10 months since the new headteacher’s appointment, she has transformed the culture of the school through her determination and resilience.

“She has set a very clear direction for the school’s improvement, based on an accurate and honest self-evaluation of the school’s work.

“Children behave well in classes and around the school. They are polite and welcoming and enjoy their time at school. Pupils’ spiritual, moral and social development is a strength of the school.”

The school fell short of an outstanding rating due to a number of factors.

Inspectors noted that teachers do not move the most able pupils on to harder work quickly enough or expect them to work unsupported and parents are not yet as fully engaged as they could be in school life. The report added that “a previous legacy of weak teaching in the early years still impedes boys’ progress in writing in Year 1.”