COMMITMENT to its pupils and an emphasis on a positive learning environment has kept a Park North school at the top of its game as it celebrates a positive Ofsted report.

Holy Family Catholic Primary School, Marlowe Avenue, has retained a Good rating in its latest inspection which took place last month.

The school was praised for its strong leadership, sustained focus towards improvement and the positive atmosphere promoted in the school.

And the news came as a delight for head teacher Karen Bathe as it is the first inspection report since she took the helm in 2011.

“When the first report came out, I’d only been in post about five weeks so this is a very special report for me,” Miss Bathe said.

“We have a fantastic leadership team, fabulous children and wonderful supportive parents.

“I'm pleased the inspector noticed that we are quite unique as a school and we are a community. We are a family here and we are dedicated to our Christian values too.”

“We also are one of the few schools left to employ a parent support advisor because I think it is so important to recognise how important parental support is to a school. What’s most important to us is that the children are happy and engaged."

The school currently has 310 pupils aged four to 11.

Goals to work on in the future included upping the quality of phonics teaching to ensure pupils achieve better results.

“There weren’t any surprises, everything that came up in the report was something we are working to improving. We fell below the national average in phonics and that was something we are working on turning around and that has been our main focus this year," said Miss Bathe.

“It shows that what we are doing is working and we are committed to providing the best education.”

Lead inspector Ken Buxton said in the report Holy Family showed dedication to motivating and engaging their students.

“There is a positive sense of purpose across the school. Staff are proud to work at the school and morale is high. Teachers and teaching assistants are motivated to ensure that pupils achieve their potential. By working as a team, they have developed a curriculum that uses a range of topics that capture pupils’ interests and stimulates their engagement with learning.

“Pupils enjoy school. They are excited by the different subjects they study. They get on well together, both in the classroom and around the school. They behave well and display good manners."

And Miss Bathe said the school was now focused on reaching outstanding levels.

“We are delighted to be doing so well especially as we are working in one of the most deprived areas in Swindon. There is so much to be proud of in this report, we are all absolutely delighted, it is fantastic. We are now working to improve certain areas and continue to grow and enhance the lives of the children.”