A SCHOOL with a heart - that is how Ofsted inspectors saw West Street Community Primary School, Colne, during a recent inspection.
The team spent time looking at all aspects of the school from nursery to Year 6 and talked to pupils, parents, staff, governors and volunteers. They saw marked improvements since the last inspection. They described the head teacher as “inspirational”, the senior team as “talented”, teaching assistants as “skilled” and saw a “shared vision” held by all at the school as to how to move the school on to further successes.
There are increasing amounts of good and outstanding teaching with accelerating progress. Attainment by the end of Year 6 has “improved significantly” with 2011 results being the “best in the school’s history.” Inspectors praised outstanding lessons in reception class where pupils worked with “high levels of independence”.
Behaviour and safety was seen as a major strength with pupils and parents having “understandably positive views” about it. Pupils feel safe, enjoy learning, are eager for a challenge and treat each other and adults with “dignity and respect.” Inspectors commented on good behaviour seen in lessons and around school and how pupils supported younger ones. They also picked up on parents’ comments that “staff do everything possible to ensure our children receive the support they need and keep them safe”.
Headteacher Sarah Burtoft said: “The report is extremely encouraging and reflects the high standards we always seek to attain. The next steps given by the inspectors are things we are already working on and it was good to have agreement that our self evaluation is accurate.
“West Street is a brilliant school that is going from strength to strength. We have an amazing team including pupils, parents, staff, governors, volunteers and external agencies who all work extremely hard. West Street is like a big family that really does have ‘a heart’ and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else!”
The report confirms the overall effectiveness, achievement of pupils and quality of teaching are “satisfactory” while behaviour and safety of pupils and leadership and management are “good”.
It says: “This is a satisfactory school which is improving apace. Areas for improvement from the previous inspection have been tackled successfully and, as a result, pupils’ attendance is higher and their progress is beginning to accelerate. It is not a good school as both achievement and teaching, although improving, are satisfactory over time.
“Although still below average by the end of Year 6, attainment has improved year-on-year since 2009.”
It also says: “The quality of teaching is satisfactory but strong leadership of teaching and management of performance by senior leaders continue to have a positive impact: there is now no inadequate practice and an increasing proportion of good and outstanding teaching.”
And it adds: “The inspirational headteacher and talented senior team lead by example and there is a clear, shared vision among all staff for how the school is to develop. Self-evaluation is both honest and accurate and the school has a good capacity to sustain its improvement.
It says the school needs to “continue to improve boys’ attainment in writing “ and “continue to improve teaching so that so that all is good and outstanding”.