Glowing report for a happy junior school

The school's happy atmosphere and exciting ways to learn have been praised by Ofsted 'D15021450a
The school's happy atmosphere and exciting ways to learn have been praised by Ofsted 'D15021450a

A JUNIOR school which required improvement less than two years ago has now been judged ‘good’ by inspectors.

Ofsted has given a glowing review of East Preston Junior School, in Lashmar Road, following its latest inspection of the site.

The education watchdog highlighted the relentless focus and drive of teachers, saying the overall teaching was good with some outstanding elements to it.

It also noted that since the last judgement in May 2013, there had been a ‘rapid rise in standards’ with pupils’ most recent results in literacy being above the national average.

Head teacher Kathy Lockyear said she was delighted by the judgement although stressed that the staff would not rest on their laurels.

Mrs Lockyear, who took over the school just weeks before its previous Ofsted inspection, described that time as a ‘bit of a baptism of fire’, and said: “We’re thrilled with the inspection.

“I was relieved because we had been waiting for it for a long time.

“We just felt that we were ready for another inspection and I was keen to show how we had improved.”

Ofsted praised the relationship between pupils and staff and remarked on the friendly and respectful nature shown by many pupils.

It also highlighted East Preston’s motto of ‘enjoyment and excellence in all that we are and all that we do’ which inspectors said ‘underpinned the exciting curriculum’.

Mrs Lockyear added: “The children are absolutely the centre of the school regardless of what the Government put in place or the new curriculum.

“We make sure we do what’s right for the children. Obviously we listen to advice on what to do, but we want children to enjoy coming to school and to enjoy learning.

“There’s so much we do to try and making learning fun; we’ve done Shakespeare, we’ve had our Gary Barlow campaign, we go fossil hunting.

“If we can make sure the children are having fun then I think that’s where the best form of learning really comes from.”

Overall leadership at the school was praised by the inspectors.

“A relentless focus on ensuring that pupils are learning well in lessons is maintained by regular observations of the quality of teaching by all leaders,” the inspection noted.

“Robust procedures regarding teachers’ performance ensure that teachers fully understand the expectations of the national standards for teaching and links to pay and progression.”

Monitors described the school as a ‘very inclusive’ one, with disabled pupils and those with special needs being able to make ‘the best possible progress they can because they are especially well treated’.

Ofsted also said pupils felt positive about the school and demonstrated this with their high attendance levels.

The inspectors hailed the school for taking ‘positive action’ to ensure pupils understood Britain’s diverse cultures. Teachers did this with their varied curriculums which focused on other world faiths, along with democracy and patriotism, the report said.

The full findings by Ofsted are available online by searching its website at www.reports.ofsted.gov.uk