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“Friendly” WNAT primary continues to be ‘Good’

One of our primary schools has been praised for its “close-knit environment” in an Ofsted report which retained its ‘Good’ rating.

Walpole Cross Keys Primary was also singled out for its “strong sense of camaraderie” by the Ofsted inspectors, who said: “Older pupils and their younger peers learn well together. They demonstrate high levels of respect for each other and towards the adults.

“From Reception, pupils demonstrate positive attitudes towards their learning. If they find something tricky, they use the strategies that adults have taught them to overcome any challenges.”

The report described the school’s curriculum as “expertly designed” with “precise plans in place which support pupils in mixed-age classes to develop skills and knowledge”.

The staff at Walpole Cross Keys also received honourable mention, with the inspectors commenting on the “high-quality training that enables them to deliver the curriculum”.

“Adults ensure that pupils are given appropriate opportunities to excel in their learning,” they added. “Pupils are proud when they do well. They listen attentively while adults explain things to them. Strong learning routines are well established across all classes and low-level disruption is uncommon.

“Teachers deliver new information clearly. They plan lessons carefully and give pupils the skills and opportunities they need to complete ambitious work.”

The report highlighted the school’s wide range of extra-curricular activities, stating: “Pupils really enjoy the wide range of different clubs that they attend to keep fit and healthy, or to develop their interests. The offer regularly changes so pupils can try many interesting new activities. Football and table tennis are popular, as well as band club and choir.”

It also commented favourably on the environment in the Reception class, which it maintained was “very well-designed to engage children and support their development” enabling children to “develop important social skills and learn well together”.

“Pupils benefit from a well-planned personal development programme that prepares them for the future,” it said. “It includes regular visits, and visitors, that deepen pupils’ knowledge about important topics, such as different religions.

“Pupils can develop their leadership skills by joining the junior leadership scheme or by becoming anti-bullying ambassadors. Pupil’s learn about being safe, tolerance and respect.”

During their visit, the inspectors performed ‘deep dives’ into Early Reading, Mathematics and History at the school, discussing the curriculum, speaking to teachers and pupils, and viewing samples of children’s work.

“Staff are confident in delivering the phonics programme effectively,” they reported. “They give pupils the right support to become fluent readers. Pupils enjoy learning new words. They regularly read with adults and swiftly become confident readers.”

“Teachers allow pupils enough time to tackle difficult work independently, while helping them along the way,” they continued. “Pupils really appreciate the support they receive. It builds their confidence, and they achieve well.”

Reacting to the report, Executive head teacher Jo Borley said: “The report is a credit to the whole team and we are delighted that it highlights all the good work going on at our primary school."

WNAT Chair Roger Livesey added: "We are delighted that Walpole Cross Keys has retained its ‘Good’ Ofsted rating, and that the inspectors recognised the friendly and caring ethos of the school.

“It is testament to the hard work of the staff and children alike that the school continues to provide a safe, welcoming and nurturing environment to all, and one that successfully supports both academic learning and personal and social development.”