Dear Parents, Friends and Children
I am delighted to inform you that the final report from OFSTED, following our inspection in July, has been released to the school. The report is very positive and identifies all the elements of our work that we are proud of, whilst also providing a clear direction for our future work.
OFSTED have given our school an overall rating of satisfactory, but please do not feel at all disappointed considering that our last report was ‘good’ – this is because the whole inspection system changed in 2009. In simple terms the reason for this satisfactory rating is the percentage of children who, historically, by the end of Year 6, reach Level 4 in Maths and English. Inspectors cannot give schools with SATs results (over a three year trend) below the national average a rating any higher than ‘satisfactory’ – it is known as a limiting judgement. It takes no account of the progress that our children have made, or the starting points of our children. It is purely based on ‘School League Table’ results – ironically this system will be changing again in January 2012.
In our honest opinion and, judging by your comments, feedback and the information you gave the inspectors, our school is much better than satisfactory. We actually feel that Holy Trinity is a good school – when you read the report and see that many aspects of our work have been rated as good, and in some cases outstanding, you too may find this confusing and feel a little aggrieved.
Personally, I am happy with the report – it is (knowing the rules of inspection) what we expected and we knew that the SATs based limiting judgement would affect our overall rating. Although we cannot change our historical results we can look forward and continue to have the highest possible expectations of our children now, and in the future. The report is helpful as it gives us a clear direction for our future plans and we will work tirelessly in order to see that we continue to move forward as a school and secure the best possible future for our children.
Great credit must go to Mrs Sibley and our staff for the way in which they pulled together, at a very difficult time, to ensure that OFSTED recognised all the great things that are happening at Holy Trinity. Above all however the inspection report really recognises our wonderful children, they are a credit to their families, their school and the local community – I am so proud of them.
In summary, the report identifies things we are doing well…
The behaviour of our children is outstanding. Children treat each other with respect, kindness and care. In a time where the behaviour of young people in our society is under huge scrutiny, our children are a shining example of how good behaviour can be sustained in school. They are an absolute credit to us all.
Safety in school…
Our children report that they feel very safe in school. They explain that poor behaviour is not tolerated at Holy Trinity and that on the few occasions when they feel frightened or upset that teachers work hard to address these concerns.
Children at Holy Trinity are kept very safe. Our procedures and systems ensure that children are kept safe from possible danger and that those children who are deemed ‘vulnerable’ are monitored very closely and supported well by all our staff. Aspects of our safeguarding practice were rated as outstanding.
Our children experience a very good start to their school lives. Aspects of our work in Early Years are outstanding and consistently improving.
Living healthy lives…
Our provision for sport, PE, after school activities and healthy living have a positive impact on our children – our children really enjoy taking part in school activities and for many of them it is a very important part of their lives.
On the basis of the inspection report our priorities for the new academic year include:
Improving test results and especially writing…
Especially encouraging our boys to read and write with a bit more enthusiasm and confidence. This is a national issue and statistics show that girls generally achieve higher standards in Primary School than boys; we want to try and redress this imbalance. Come on boys! You can do it!
In more general terms we need to focus very carefully on children who may not fulfil their potential and encourage them more directly and perhaps with greater persistence, to raise their own standards.
Change the way we mark pupils work…
We want to make our teachers marking as effective as it can possibly be. Marking is time-consuming but very important to children. We want our teachers marking to point children, very clearly, to ways in which they can improve their work. Our teachers also need to work on matching learning and questioning to match the needs of individual children.
When we observe lessons we have noticed that children tend to ‘give up’ a little too readily and look for adult help a little quicker than we would like. This could be one of the reasons why our test results (SATs in Year 6) don’t always reflect the real ability of our children. We need to encourage our children to be a little more resilient and independent in their work habits.
Finally, I would like to extend our appreciation for the hugely complimentary things you reported to the OFSTED inspectors and the way in which you have patiently stood by our school during a period of some instability – from all of us, thank you.
The report is available on the OFSTED page of the school website and, in the next few days it will be published on the OFSTED website. As always, if you have any concerns, or worries, please do not hesitate to contact me.