High praise for ‘new’ borough school

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A school with a “nurturing and inclusive culture” has been praised by the education watchdog.

Leigh St Mary’s CE Primary School was rated as “good” by Ofsted in its first inspection since converting from an infant to primary school.

And it was honoured with the top mark of “outstanding” for personal development, behaviour and welfare of its pupils.

Lead inspector Simon Hunter wrote: “The headteacher has successfully led the evolution of the school from an infant to a primary school.

“She has established a culture of ambition for all.

“Staff and governors share the school’s aim to give pupils the best start possible.

“Staff speak positively about the leadership in the school and are proud to work at Leigh St Mary’s.”

Leaders had “strong subject knowledge”, the curriculum was “well planned” and pupils were “well prepared” for life in Britain.

The provision for pupils with special educational needs or disabilities was hailed as a “strength of the school”.

A “nurture” room was used effectively to provide activities supporting children’s social and emotional development.

Pupils were said to be “proud of their school” and their behaviour was “outstanding”.

The report said that pupils were making the strongest progress in reading and maths.

Meanwhile, the proportion of children meeting the expected standard in phonics at the end of year one had been above the national figures for two years running now.

However, the inspector did find that the changes in the school had led to a decline in some areas, such as standards in writing.

In some classes, teachers did not challenge pupils, particularly the most able, to write sufficiently, the report said.