School manages to turn around its fortunes

Southwick Primary School head teacher Trish Stoker celebrates a good Ofsted with pupils
Southwick Primary School head teacher Trish Stoker celebrates a good Ofsted with pupils
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A HUGE community effort has seen a school turn around its fortunes in just 15 months.

Southwick Community Primary School was issued with a notice to improve by Ofsted inspectors in July last year, because of pupils’ low levels of achievement.

Staff at the Shakespeare Street school vowed to address the issues and now, just over a year later, it has been showered with praise by Ofsted chiefs who say the school is good in every area with some outstanding features.

Trish Stoker, headteacher at the school, which has the highest level of disadvantaged children in the city, said: “Everyone at the school, and the community, is delighted with the outcome of the Ofsted report.

“I am really happy and so proud of everyone involved. It has been a really tough journey, but we were determined and we have proven we can do it.

“It has really been a huge team effort with myself, staff, governors, children and families.”

She said the support the school has had from parents has been fantastic, and showed the people in Southwick wanted the very best for their children.

In the latest report, inspectors said: “Determined leadership, including from the governing body and an energised staff team are tackling past weaknesses successfully. The proportion of pupils gaining expected levels in English and mathematics is improving rapidly.

“Pupils’ good behaviour and positive attitudes to learning contribute strongly to the generally good and sometimes outstanding progress they are now making from often very low starting points on entry into school.

“Leaders’ dogged focus on improving the quality of teaching has paid dividends. Most is good and some is outstanding.

“Improvements to the teaching of reading have made an impressive difference to pupils’ skills and fluency.

“The outstanding Early Years Foundation Stage makes certain children settle in quickly, enjoy their time and make good gains in their learning and development.”

Inspectors said a caring and nurturing atmosphere surrounds the school and contributes well to pupils’ safety, their positive relationships with one another and their good spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.

To continue improving inspectors say the school should increase the proportion of good and better teaching and embed the good transition arrangements from the Reception class into Year 1.

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