Outstanding behaviour and better teaching keeps school on track for the top

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The outstanding behaviour of children and “considerably” improved teaching has helped a primary school’s Ofsted rating rise.

Our Lady Queen of Heaven, in Langley Green, underwent a two-day inspection earlier this month and has been rated ‘good’ over all.

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The school had been told to improve after its last inspection in January 2014 – and an Ofsted team led by Julie Sackett agreed headteacher Tobias Melia had been “instrumental in raising expectations” since then.

In her report, Ms Sackett said: “Leaders have secured significant improvements in the quality of teaching since the previous inspection. Consistently effective teaching ensures that pupils make good progress in reading, writing and mathematics.”

Regarding the children’s behaviour, she added: “Their exceptional behaviour makes a strong contribution to the school’s positive and inclusive atmosphere and to the quality of pupils’ learning.”

The youngsters were seen to play and learn together well, and one child summed up the respect shown by everyone at Our Lady by saying: “Nobody hates here.”

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That tolerance and respect was seen to sit closely with the need to teach the children about British values. One school governor told the inspection team: “The school’s religious values and British values go together like a hand in a glove.”

Father Chris Dobson, chairman of governors, said the school was very pleased with the report’s findings.

He added: “This validates and celebrates the hard work the whole school community has put into raising standards and outcomes for all our pupils.”

One subject area which came in for particular praise was maths, which Ms Sackett said had “accelerated rapidly” over the past two years due to improved teaching.

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When it came to the areas which needed addressing before Our Lady could secure the top ‘outstanding’ rating, Ms Sackett said leaders should ensure teaching consistently challenged the most-able pupils, and provide more opportunities for pupils to practise and develop their literacy skills.

Ofsted aside, last week was a busy one for some of the children from Our Lady.

Year 6 received a visit from Angie, from Southern Rail, who held a morning workshop teaching them to read from timetables and maps.

The children also learned how to stay safe at a railway station and how to be responsible train passengers.

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A school spokesman said: “Children thoroughly enjoyed the visit which was followed up by a leaflet making competition where children have been given the chance to win train tickets for their families.”

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