Thursday, 22 April 2021

Free school is top class

Free school is top class

CHILDREN and staff at a free school in Caversham are celebrating after being awarded the highest possible rating from the education watchdog Ofsted.

The Heights Primary School, which opened in temporary premises in Gosbrook Road in 2014, was judged to be “outstanding” in every category following an inspection in May.

The categories included effectiveness of leadership and management, quality of teaching, learning and assessment, personal development, behaviour and welfare, the outcomes for pupils and early years provision.

The Ofsted report underlined the hard work and dedication of the school’s staff, saying they had demonstrated “a deep commitment to the care and wellbeing of the pupils”. Lead inspector Phil Minns said the teaching was “outstanding” and that pupils quickly became “confident, successful learners with a thirst for knowledge”.

He continued: “Every aspect of the early development of the school has been carefully planned and successfully carried out. This has resulted in a school to be proud of.

“The school believes that pupils’ personal development is as important as their academic success. Pupils demonstrate the school’s values every day and leaders encourage them to think of new ways to make the school even better.

“The headteacher is inspirational and tireless in her commitment to deliver the highest quality of care and education.

“Governors are extremely knowledgeable about the performance of the school. They have very high expectations and rigorously hold leaders to account.”

Headteacher Karen Edwards, former head of Sacred Heart Primary School in Henley, said: “I am delighted. Being rated ‘outstanding’ in every area is a fantastic achievement and is a result of the enormous efforts and commitment of everyone in our school community working together.

“I am extremely thankful to all the staff for their dedication and professionalism at the highest level, the governors, members of the trust, parents and, of course, the children.

“We are so proud to have created a wonderful, inclusive school with the care of every child rooted at the heart of it. Our school is built on these strong foundations and we are looking to the future with confidence.”

Nick Walden, chairman of governors, said: “I am humbled by the report, but so proud of what we have achieved in our first three years.

“Ofsted rightly foremost praises our inspirational headteacher and staff but we should also recognise the small group of local people who founded the school, whose vision has inspired us, and who, crucially, made some excellent decisions before we opened that set us in the right direction.

“We are also very grateful for the wonderful support we have had from our parents and I would give a special mention to our founder parents who put their trust in us to educate their children long before there was any school to visit.”

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