Passionate head teacher has a bright vision for her school

Happy pupils at St Wilfrid's Primary School
Happy pupils at St Wilfrid's Primary School

THE head teacher of an Angmering school has outlined her vision for a bright future.

A recent Ofsted inspection of St Wilfrid’s Catholic Primary School highlighted new head Sharon Reynolds’ strong leadership, adding she, together with assistant head teacher Gemma Irvine, had ‘secured improvements in teaching and pupils’ achievement’.

Some shortcomings were highlighted by the report, though Mrs Reynolds said measures had already been put in place to address them.

“The Ofsted inspector had acknowledged that we have already started work to improve upon the points they raised and the inspector was very confident in the new leadership team and the governing body that we have the capacity to improve the school in a very short space of time,” she said. “All the hard work that we have done, including improvements to our learning environment, the new teachers that we have appointed, the new way that we are teaching and learning, means it won’t take us long to get there.

“We have put in a brand new library, redecorated all of the classrooms, we’ve got new furniture in and developed the whole of the outside area so that the children come into a clean and clear environment so that they are ready to learn.

“We have changed our whole curriculum, the topics, the way our teachers teach – we still have work to do on that but we are a new teaching team.

“Our parents are confident with us that this school will be a good school in a very short period of time.”

The report rated the school as ‘requires improvement’ – a rating defined by Ofsted as ‘not yet a good school, but it is not inadequate – and will be revisited by inspectors within two years.

And by that time, Mrs Reynolds said she was confident the school would have improved further.

She added: “Everybody has put 150 per cent into the school. We have all worked weekends, evenings, we have given so much of our time to make the school look better and to clear it out.

“We’re a very strong team and we are all here to work for the good of the children and for their future.”

In her report, Ofsted inspector Jacqueline White praised Mrs Reynolds for her leadership and organisation, as well as her – and other senior staff members and governors’ – commitment and determination to improve the school.

The inspector added: “A culture of higher expectations is taking root. Staff are excited by the improvements that have been achieved. They welcome their increased accountability for pupils’ progress and appreciate the training they have received.

“A new and robust system for checking the quality of teaching has been introduced. However, there has not been sufficient time to see its full impact.

“The new head teacher gives clear direction to the work of the school.”

Mrs Reynolds added the children are very involved in how their school is set to improve.

They are part of a number of new and exciting initiatives at the primary to help engage them with their learning.

“They have been working on a new mission statement because we are trying to start from scratch with a whole new way of operating,” Mrs Reynolds said. “They are working on how to improve our school uniform, they’re working on how to make their lessons better, ways that they like to learn and topics that they have been involved in and we have been centring our topics very much around themes that the children enjoy.”

She added: “For us, teaching is not just a way of earning money. We do it because we are passionate about making this school a better place.”

• Further to the report in the Littlehampton Gazette dated Thursday, June 19, the Gazette would like to clarify that while shortcomings were identified at the school, they are being addressed – it is not a failing institution.