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Childer Thornton school declared 'outstanding' by Ofsted

School said to be first primary in the borough to go from good to outstanding under tough new Ofsted rules

Childer Thornton primary has improved from good to outstanding following a new tougher Ofsted inspection(Image: UGC TCH)

A buzzing primary school is celebrating an ‘outstanding’ report from Ofsted.

The finding was reached at Childer Thornton Primary on New School Lane in Childer Thornton.

At a previous inspection the school was said to be ‘good’ overall with outstanding prospects for continued improvement.

Lead inspector Ian Shackleton told parents: “This is an outstanding school. The headteacher and governors have created a culture where only the best will do.

“Their vision and determination have been key to improving the school since the last inspection.”

Senior and middle leaders at the school ‘have excellent knowledge of national curriculum subjects’. They ‘robustly’ monitor teaching and pupils’ progress and attainment and are instrumental in driving up standards.

The governors are ‘very knowledgeable’ about the school and hold leaders to account rigorously for the quality of education they provide.

They closely check teaching and pupils’ achievement and make decisions based on first-hand knowledge of the school.

The quality of teaching and learning is ‘exceptionally strong’ throughout the school and as a result, pupils’ ‘very high’ achievement has been sustained over a number of years.

Staff benefit from excellent professional development, especially in English and maths, which ensures their knowledge is constantly improved.

‘Inspirational leadership’, combined with highly effective teaching in the early years, ensures that children make outstanding progress in nurturing and stimulating surroundings.

Pupils who have special educational needs and/or disabilities make ‘very strong’ progress because of highly focused teaching by a specialist teacher and skilled teaching assistants.

Outcomes for children in all key stages are outstanding. They are articulate, love reading and talking about books and enjoy the challenges posed by mathematics.

Their conduct is ‘exemplary’ and they behave ‘exceptionally well’ in lessons and at playtimes.

The youngsters relish learning, engage fully in lessons and are keen to do well. They are very safe and cared for in school.

The use of specialist teachers and coaches for Spanish, art, music and PE provides high-quality teaching and a broad curriculum allowing pupils to make substantial progress from their starting points.

The school has added to this with ‘a vast range of extra-curricular activities’ which pupils and parents value. One parent told the inspectors: “This allows all pupils to excel in something.”

In their detailed comments, the inspectors say headteacher Stephanie Raynor is ‘unwavering in her determination for all pupils to succeed at Childer Thornton’.

Pupils are prepared ‘exceedingly well’ for the next stage of their education and those who are disadvantaged ‘make excellent progress from their starting points in almost all subjects and year groups’.

Staff are ‘passionate’ about the school and governors visit regularly. They are said to have the pupils’ best interests firmly at the centre of their work.

Parents value the support and care of staff and are very proud of their children’s school.

There is a ‘buzz’ of learning, suggest the inspectors. One pupil told the inspectors: “Teachers make learning fun.”

The school says it is the first primary school in Cheshire West and Chester to improve from good to outstanding under new and more challenging Ofsted inspection arrangements.

The head said: “Childer Thornton is such a happy school for pupils and staff alike. We are extremely proud of the way in which our pupils conduct themselves all the time, they strive for the very best in all they do, both personally and academically.”

Governors’ chairman Simon Grove added: “We are delighted that Ofsted have recognised the school as ‘outstanding’ in all areas.

“Our inspirational team, through their hard work, commitment and enthusiasm have made this school such a special place.”

He suggests that since the tougher inspections were introduced ‘it has become more difficult to get an ‘outstanding’ judgement which makes our achievement all the more impressive’.

“We are indebted to the whole school team of pupils, staff, parents, teachers and governors for their support.”

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