Highly motivated head is running ‘Good’ school at Sutton St James

Sutton St James Primary School
Sutton St James Primary School

Staff, pupils and governors at Sutton St James Primary School are celebrating after being ranked ‘Good’ in all 
departments by Ofsted.

The education inspectorate visited the Bell’s Drove school on September 20 and 21 and judged it good at ‘effectiveness of leadership and management’, ‘quality of teaching, learning and assessment’, ‘personal development, behaviour and welfare’, ‘outcomes for pupils’ and ‘early years provision’.

The school had been rated ‘requires improvement’ after Ofsted’s last visit in January 2015.

The new report says ‘highly-motivated headteacher’ Claire Willows has relentlessly recruited high-quality teaching staff. Her commitment to their professional development has improved the quality of teaching in the school.

Teaching, learning and 
assessment is now good and having a positive impact on pupils’ achievements in all classes.

The report says achievement is now good too and 
pupils’ progress accelerates as they move through each key stage, leading to a higher proportion of Year 6 pupils achieving above age-related expectations.

Children in the Reception year make consistently good progress and good teaching raises the proportion reaching a good level of development to above the national average.

Phonics is very well taught, the report goes on to say, and, as a result, Year 1 pupils are ahead of others nationally. This 
underpins their rapid progress in reading through the school.

Pupils’ personal development and welfare is outstanding and the exceptional care and support for those with special educational needs and/or disabilities is highly effective.

The school’s coordinator ensures that every individual receives finely tailored help and facilitates their rapid progress.

The report says pupils are keen learners and frequently show their positive attitudes and good behaviour, quickly responding to teachers’ comments.

Governors keep a sharp eye on school improvement and the use of additional funding is closely monitored to check the impact on raising achievement.

Safeguarding is highly 
effective, with leaders ensuring training is up to date and safeguarding retains a high priority.

The newly appointed leaders of English and mathematics have had limited time to fully impact on raising pupils’ achievement.