THE FUTURE is looking brighter for a primary school in Angmering following a promising monitoring inspection.
Earlier this year, Ofsted said St Wilfrid’s Catholic Primary School, in Arundel Road, ‘required improvement’ – a rating defined by the education watchdog as ‘not yet a good school, but it is not inadequate’.
However, following its first monitoring inspection since the report, St Wilfrid’s has proven it is well on the road to becoming a good school.
Inspector Amanda Gard gave a glowing verdict of the school’s numerous improvements since the previous inspection.
In a letter to head teacher Sharon Reynolds, Mrs Gard praised staff and governors for having an ‘ambitious’ vision of St Wilfrid’s future.
“Since the school’s inspection in May, 2014, you have worked relentlessly to make the necessary improvements,” she said. “You are setting high standards and making sure all staff are working together towards shared goals.
“Teachers say they feel empowered by the open and supportive ethos which you have created in the school.
“The staff team is right behind you.
“Your action plan focuses on exactly the right areas for improvement.
“Your helpful programmes for monitoring and staff meetings show precisely what you will do in order to reach your targets.”
The inspector also highlighted a ‘stronger focus on raising pupil achievement’, praising senior leaders at the school for setting challenging targets for pupils.
She also noted the important role that the primary’s ‘Working with Others’ scheme had on developing pupils’ independence and teamwork skills.
Further praise was given for the positive role St Wilfrid’s governors had played in the school’s direction, although the inspector did highlight areas for refinement.
She also gave advice on how to sharpen the school’s overall action plan.
“Governors are very committed to supporting the school’s improvement,” she wrote. “A few core governors are starting to challenge senior leaders through increasingly robust questioning, seen in the minutes of meetings, but this is not common practice for all governors.”
Schools judged to be requiring improvements have regular monitoring inspections to ensure they are following Ofsted’s advice for improvement.
Since the original inspection in May, the school had benefited from several building projects, which have included the development of a new library and the on-going construction of a solar dome in the school grounds. There had been a change in some staff members.
Head teacher Mrs Reynolds said she was thrilled with the inspection as it proved the school was well on course for success.
“We were delighted with the letter from her majesty’s inspector,” Mrs Reynolds said. “We are working towards becoming a good school very quickly.
“We all work hard to do what’s right for the children and make the school a good one to be part of.
“Obviously we know that we’re on a journey but we’re positive about the future.”