HOLY Rood Catholic Junior School is celebrating after being graded good in its latest Ofsted inspection – despite the statutory body raising the bar in 2012.
Inspectors last visited the school – which from September will expand to include a reception class and will be renamed as Holy Cross Primary School – in 2009, when it was also graded good.
But that was before the school became an academy in August 2011, and before changes in the way inspections are carried out by Ofsted made achieving the top grades difficult.
Tony McAteer, headteacher at Holy Rood, was delighted that the school had been rated good across all four areas, including pupil achievement, quality of teaching, children’s behaviour and leadership and management.
He said: “Ofsted can be quite a harsh regime but I think the report recognises that actually we are a good school, and to have the inspection in the summer term means we can break up knowing that we are good and that we probably won’t have another inspection like it.
“It is actually incredibly difficult for any junior school to get an outstanding rating now, just because of the way the rules changed.”
Mr McAteer put the latest grading down to the hard work of his staff and the ongoing support of the parents and the board of governors, chaired by Paul Boyles.
He said: “I think we’re a good school because of the continual hard work and talent of the staff and the good leadership and management we have here.
“The support from our parent community is also brilliant, and I think that has been instrumental in making us a good school.”
In the report, inspectors praised the teaching and the management structure, as well as the high levels of attendance, attainment and achievement at the school.
They said: “Pupils make good progress during their time in school and the standards they reach are above average.
“Attendance is higher than average because pupils enjoy coming to school.
“The behaviour of pupils is good. They understand and willingly fulfil the high expectations the school has of them.
“Teaching is good across the school and, as a result, pupils enjoy learning. Teachers explain clearly what the pupils are expected to learn and they use information and communication technology appropriately to support learning.
“The school’s vision as a caring community where pupils work hard and are happy is reflected in all that the school does.”
Ofsted suggested only a couple of improvements, which included teachers informing pupils how they can improve in comments in their books and using pupil achievement to set more challenging work. They also said that children should be given more chances to write longer pieces of work.
l To see the results of the inspection visit www.ofsted.gov.uk/inspection-reports/find-inspection-report/provider/ELS/136981