A school once rated second worst in the country is celebrating a dramatic turnaround after being given a glowing Ofsted report by Government inspectors.
In 2014 the future looked bleak for Greenfields Primary School, in Winsford. The school had been in special measures for two years, pupil numbers were in decline, they were without a permanent headteacher and primary school league tables ranked it the second worst performing primary in the country.
That same year the one-form entry primary school began a remarkable transformation when it joined North West Academies Trust (NWAT) and was relaunched as Oak View Academy.
Now the hard work of staff and pupils has been rewarded after the school was rated as ‘good’ by a recent Ofsted inspection.
Headteacher Fiona Rimmer said: “I’m really proud of what we’ve achieved. It’s great we are recognised as good, but we are on the road to outstanding and our drive to further improve the school continues.
“Improving the school has been a huge team effort and we have had a lot of support from the governors, the trust and the Timpson Foundation.”
Oak View draws its 194 pupils, aged between three and 11, from an area of significant social deprivation.
With the support of NWAT, it reopened with new management and staff in September 2014.
Progress since has been swift, with the school last year announcing it now ranks in the top 5% in the country for progress in reading, according to the Government’s primary league tables.
Financial backing from the Timpson Foundation has helped provide a rich and varied curriculum, with pupils benefiting from a wide range of extra-curricular experiences and opportunities.
Children now enjoy residential trips; a free breakfast club; interactive educational workshops and inspirational visitors; Spanish lessons; swimming sessions; cross-school sports competitions and much more.
Other highlights have included visits from Winsford-born comedian John Bishop and TV and radio appearances to promote a Christmas single the school choir released to raise funds for a speech and language therapist.
Winsford Over and Verdin councillor Mike Baynham said: “This is wonderful news. Many congratulations to everyone. This is truly a great news story for the school and Winsford.”
The Ofsted report said Oak View has created a ‘caring school community where pupils can learn’ and praised the ‘good’ teaching, ‘well-prepared’ lessons and ‘good’ progress in writing and mathematics.
It continued: “In a courteous, respectful environment, children work well together and activities encourage their independence and social skills ”
It added: “Disadvantaged pupils make good progress. Effective strategies have enabled them to make progress in line with, or better than, other pupils.”
Steve Docking, CEO of NWAT, is delighted with the report. He said: “This report is testament to the hard work of many people who have really opened everyone’s eyes to a world of possibility. Oak View is a great place for children to learn and is a positive example of what can be achieved when you never accept second best.”
As part of NWAT, Oak View Academy shares resources and experience with several other schools including Delamere Academy, near Northwich, and St Martin’s Academy in Chester.