Ofsted's big praise for small school.
1st August 2010
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Ofsted’s big praise for small school

July 29, 2010

One of the smallest primary schools in the Tewkesbury area has just received a glowing report from Ofsted – with some aspects of its work judged as ‘outstanding.’

Ofsted Lead Inspector Peter Kerr, said the 45-pupil Longdon St Mary’s Church of England (Voluntary Aided) Primary School near Upton-upon-Severn, provided ‘outstanding care, guidance and support ‘to its pupils and also awarded them top marks for their healthy and active lifestyles. 

The majority of other areas inspected also received ‘good’ ratings with pupils from the ‘much smaller than average school’ reaching above average standards in English and Maths by the end of Year 6.

The report praised Longdon St Mary’s ‘creative approach’ to its curriculum by giving pupils a say in what topics they learnt. This led to them putting in extra effort and also enjoying their lessons – even doing work voluntarily at home. He said: “This excellent self-initiated, independent research has had a marked impact on achievement in English.”

 Pupils feel very safe at the school, relate well to one another and staff, and have an excellent understanding of how to stay fit and healthy and participate enthusiastically in a wide range of sports and exercise. The school has already been awarded Healthy Schools Status and an Activemark.

Longdon St Mary’s was also praised for being ‘particularly effective’ in securing outside help for any pupils who needed it, with good progress made by children with special educational needs and/or disabilities.

“The school provides outstanding care, guidance and support. All pupils are treated as individuals and given appropriate help to surmount whatever barriers they face. Some parents whose children have been helped, expressed their great appreciation of the school’s efforts during the inspection,” said Mr Kerr.

Attendance at the school is also above average, reflecting the pupils’ enthusiasm for school life with behaviour generally good and often excellent. Staff teamwork is good, teachers enthusiastic, skilled and successful in launching a creative curriculum which has led to a vibrant school atmosphere.

Headteacher Sue Bennett, said: “We are delighted with this latest Ofsted report, much of which reflects the high level of dedication, team work and enthusiasm shown by both the staff, governors and pupils themselves.

“Our development of a creative curriculum, based on building pupil’s wider skills base has proved a huge success both in educational standards and pupil behaviour.

“Being a small, rural establishment we do need to increase our numbers and as a Voluntary Aided School with no set catchment area we welcome pupils irrespective of where they live. We would love to hear from parents who may like to find out how their children could benefit from our personal approach and the good educational standards we are achieving here.”

Parents can contact St Mary’s School on 01684 833291 and its Ofsted report can be viewed at www.ofsted.gov.uk

Issued by Ruth McDonagh, The Vivid Consultancy, on behalf of St Mary’s Church of England (VA) Primary School, Longdon, Tewkesbury. For more information call: 01684 854420.

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