St Paul’s Primary School in Spalding gets its record tally of Ofsted “goods”

Head teacher Kira Nicholls and pupils celebrate the schools positive strides. SG180417-104TW
Head teacher Kira Nicholls and pupils celebrate the schools positive strides. SG180417-104TW
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St Paul’s Community Primary and Nursery School in Spalding is celebrating its best Ofsted report in a decade or more.

The school received its record tally of three ‘good’ ratings out of five categories measured, but its overall effectiveness remains one of “requires improvement”.

The school is in the strongest position it has ever been in, certainly within the last ten years, and received more ‘good’ judgements than it ever has before.

St Paul’s head Kira Nicholls

Head teacher Kira Nicholls said: “We are confident that the school can reach the Government’s overall judgement of ‘good’ in the very near future as we are committed to providing the very best for our pupils.

“Although the school remains within the overall judgement of ‘requires improvement, the school received judgements of ‘good’ for effectiveness of leadership and management, early years provision and personal development, behaviour and welfare.

“The inspectors were very confident that the head teacher, leaders and governors of the school know the school’s areas for development and how to address these appropriately.

“The school is in the strongest position it has ever been in, certainly within the last ten years, and received more ‘good’ judgements than it ever has before.

“It has taken a huge amount of effort, passion and determination and the school is rightly proud of what we have achieved so far.”

Categories listed as requiring improvement were the quality of teaching, learning and assessment and outcomes for pupils.

But there were still positives to be found under those headings.

Under outcomes for pupils, the inspectors say: “Current pupils in Year 6 are making better gains than previous pupils in that year group, especially in reading where standards are now close to average. As a result, they are more suitably prepared for their learning in secondary school than previous pupils in Year 6.”

Among weaknesses highlighted by the inspectors are that some teachers do not have sufficiently high expectations of what pupils can achieve and do not match tasks to the range of abilities in their class.

Inspectors say the development of pupils’ language and communication skills is not always promoted strongly enough, teachers provide too few opportunities for pupils to write creatively and, although the school is improving, leaders and governors have not yet ensured there is consistently good teaching in all year groups.

Inspectors highlighted six key strengths at the school:

• The head teacher, senior leaders and governors know how well the school is doing and what it needs to do to move forward.

• Effective training and guidance provided for staff is helping teaching to improve strongly.

• Standards in phonics are rising through a consistent approach to teaching and a good match of tasks to pupils abilities.

• Pupils say they feel safe. They behave well and have positive attitudes to their learning.

• Strong pastoral care promotes pupils’ welfare effectively.

• Children in the early years get off to a good start. Good teaching means they achieve well in the Reception year and are well prepared for Year 1.

Inspectors say in the report: “The behaviour of pupils is good. The school is a calm and orderly place.”

They also say children know about the “different forms of bullying” and recognise potential risks of using the Internet and social media “because this is well covered in the curriculum”. School records show pupils’ and parents’ concerns on bullying are “followed up promptly”.