Western Primary School on Cold Bath Road in Harrogate is celebrating after achieving the highest rating of Outstanding in every category of its recent Ofsted report.
During a thorough inspection process conducted in June 2018, examining school leaders, staff and pupils, the school was deemed to be ‘Outstanding’ in the key areas of: Effectiveness of Leadership and Management; Quality of Teaching, Learning and Assessment; Personal Development, Behaviour and Welfare; Outcomes for Pupils and Early Years Provision.
The report summary opened with a special acknowledgment to long-standing Headteacher, Cheryl Smith, stating: “The headteacher’s resolve to ensure that pupils become lifelong learners forever shines through all aspects of school life. She has harvested a culture of success which permeates all areas of the school’s work.”
All aspects of school life were applauded stating that children get off to a flying start in the early years.
The report went on to outline that the curriculum is outstanding. It is broad and balanced, inclusive and enriched due to the extensive range of activities that the school offers.
Staff were praised and the report said: “Leaders’ relentless focus on raising standards is balanced by their absolute commitment to the welfare of, and respect for, all.”
Headteacher, Cheryl Smith, said: “We are absolutely thrilled that the hard work undertaken daily by all members of our dedicated team, and of course our wonderful pupils, has been acknowledged in this way.
“We continually strive to create an environment of well-being, inclusion and enjoyable learning with the welfare of the pupils at the forefront of our agenda, so to see all these areas so strongly applauded within the Ofsted report is fantastic.
“We are incredibly proud of all our pupils and it is wonderful to see that the inspectors were able to witness them shine as we do.”
Pupils were praised for being thoughtful, respectful and motivated.
“The wealth of opportunities for them to take on responsibilities and enjoy the numerous trips, visits and clubs results in individuals who are mature and confident beyond their years,” added the report.
Parents were also a key part of the Ofsted process with feedback to a text service and online questionnaire concluding that ‘Parents are overwhelmingly positive about the school.
“Almost all parents who responded to Ofsted’s online survey, Parent View, would recommend the school to another parent. Parents are particularly complimentary about the school’s commitment to their children’s well-being and the progress that they make.”
The Head added: “Since our last inspection, we have had a rigorous commitment to raising standards while at the same time maintaining a rich and diverse curriculum which excites and engages pupils.
“While this result recognises the enormous achievement the school has made in recent years, we are determined to find ways to continually improve and our latest initiative is a school-wide technology project to seek ways in which iPads can further support teaching and learning.
“Additionally, our exciting playground project is gathering momentum as a result of numerous fundraising initiatives spearheaded by our excellent parent network and Family and Friends Association. We are hoping to start work this summer to create an inspiring outdoor environment for the children.”
Chairman of Governors, Jayne Sorrell added: “As a Governing Body, we are absolutely delighted that our school has been recognised for the truly exceptional place it is.
“To receive Outstanding across all areas, especially when we consider the challenging demands of Ofsted, is very rare, with only one per cent of schools in England achieving this jump in grades in the first year of the new inspection framework.
“We are rightly proud of our children and all of the staff who work extremely hard to make sure our children are challenged educationally and are also cared for so well.”
She added: “The report highlights that our school is “inclusive, nurturing and high achieving” which is an unusual balance for a school, showing that the leadership in our school value every child for their unique abilities, while also stating that our school is “exceptionally happy”.
“We want to thank our children and our teachers, all of whom have helped make our school the amazing place it is now, and particular praise should go to Mrs Cheryl Smith, for leading the team the way she does.”
Western Primary School became an academy in August 2015. The school is a founder member of The Red Kite Learning Trust, which is a multi-academy trust currently comprised of six schools.
The CEO of the Red Kite Learning Trust (RKLT), Richard Sheriff, commented: “As a Trust we are so proud of all the team at Western Primary School who have worked together to create this truly ‘outstanding’ school.
“Our job, as a Trust, is to nurture and support our schools to achieve excellence for all, Western are a shining example of this working well.
“It has been an absolute pleasure to work with Cheryl and her team and they deserve all the praise that they are receiving.”