High standards at Winterbourne primary school praised by Ofsted

A WINTERBOURNE school has been praised for its highly-engaged, hard working children and ambitious curriculum.

St Michael’s Church of England Primary School, in Linden Close, has kept the ‘good’ rating it has held for 20 years after a visit from Ofsted in March.

The regulator’s report, published in late May, also said the school was welcoming, with warm relationships between children and adults, and a “wide and rich range of clubs and experiences”.

Inspector Simon Woodbridge said: “Staff know children well and put them at the heart of everything they do.

“Leaders have high standards for all.”

He said parents were “overwhelmingly positive” about the school and its place at the heart of the community.

The inspector said: “Pupils are kind and respectful to each other. They feel safe and happy in school. Pupils say that bullying does not happen.

“Leaders have high expectations of pupils and what they can achieve. As a result, the curriculum is ambitious and pupils love learning.

“There is a high level of engagement in lessons. Pupils listen and work well when completing activities. Pupils work hard.”

He said pupils loved to read, starting with a well-structured phonics programme as soon as they started in Reception class, with books matched to each stage and support quickly given to children who need additional help. 

The inspector said the school, which has 194 pupils aged from four to 11, had a wide-range of “purposeful and creative” play activities at lunchtime, and also helped children understand how to keep healthy through diet and exercise.

The report said: “Leaders have created an inclusive school, where pupils embrace difference and know it is okay to have different beliefs, values and opinions from their own.”

Pupils with special educational needs or disabilities are identified quickly and supported effectively, while leaders have responded quickly to pupils’ needs by introducing hubs for nurture and support, said the inspector. 

Support and training for staff was also highlighted, creating a “strong sense of community”.

The inspector recommended that the school ensure recent changes to the “design and coherence” of the curriculum are extended to all subjects, including history.

Head teacher Kirsty Robson said: “I was thrilled that the report recognised the strength of the curriculum that we have worked so hard to create for our children.  

“Relationships are at the core of our work at St Michael’s and the inspector was impressed during his visit by the warmth that was clearly evident between adults and children.”