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St Albans school celebrates "good" Ofsted report
Teachers and pupils from a St Albans school are celebrating a “good” Ofsted report following the appointment of a new head teacher.
Windermere Primary School in Windermere Avenue, has maintained its good rating after inspectors found that pupils make “good progress and achieve well” following its inspection last month.
Davina Raftery, who was appointed as the head teacher in September last year soon after the last inspection, lauded the efforts of her teachers and pupils.
She said: “I am really pleased because this is a whole school achievement. It is because of the effort of the children, the support of their parents and the hard work of our teachers that we have done well.
“I came in with ideas to move the school forward. I have recognised that demands have increased from the Government to provide an outstanding education and we have done a lot of work to make this a great environment for our children.”
The inspection judgement said the achievement of pupils, quality of teaching, behaviour and safety of pupils, and leadership and management at the school were all rated "good".
The report said that the school was not yet "outstanding" because “pupils do not make enough progress in their phonics skills” and “most able pupils do not always do as well as they could, because teachers do not always explain clearly enough what pupils of different abilities should be able to do by the end of the lesson.”
Since Mrs Raftery’s appointment the school, which teaches 185 four to 11-year-olds, have opened a new outdoor theatre, as well as upgrading its IT provisions, an outdoor playground and new play equipment.
Inspectors, who visited the school on January 15 and 16, praised Mrs Raftery for “rigorous systems” to improve the quality of education and raise standards. They said that this vision was shared by staff “who do everything they can to ensure that Windermere is a successful school that makes the most of its pupils’ strengths.”
Pupils were described as “polite and courteous”, who have “impeccable behaviour”.
Mrs Raftery said: “Although some of our children don’t necessarily come in at national expectations, by the end of their time at the school they have made good progress to go on to secondary school. Our children achieve very well and progress better than the national average.
“We are really pleased that the children’s behaviour was described as impeccable because if parents are looking for a school they will see this and see that the children enjoy their time here.”
The report also showed evidence that parents had praised the school’s care systems strongly, and several took the trouble to write to inspectors, detailing the support given to their children when difficulties arose.
Mrs Raftery added: “We are now working towards outstanding. This is our aim and for our children that is what they need.”