Close-knit school community learns and achieves well

Posted on: 10 May 2017

A Dartmouth primary with a close-knit community of children who receive unwavering support from staff has again been rated good by school inspectors.

They say that St John the Baptist RC Primary School is maintaining a good quality of education.

Inspectors from the school standards agency, Ofsted, last rated St John as good in 2010.  Now, following an inspection in March, they have confirmed that judgement.

In a letter to headteacher, Liz Hamilton, the lead inspector Stephen Lee says: “The leadership team has maintained the good quality of education in the school since the last inspection.

“Your hard work, and that of your staff, has ensured that the school continues to improve under your determined leadership.

“Securing high quality teaching is at the heart of your drive for continuous improvement. You are not satisfied with anything less than the best for your pupils.”

Mr Lee says that parents are very pleased with the quality of education the school provides and the vast majority would recommend St John to other families.

He said typical comments from parents were of the ‘close-knit community of children’, the ‘approachable’ teachers and the ‘unwavering support’ that staff gave to pupils and their families.

One parent said the school developed ‘well-rounded, polite, caring and positive’ individuals.

Mr Lee said that in last year’s tests, pupils in Key Stage 2 made very strong progress in their reading and writing and were in line with national averages in maths.

“The work of the most able pupils across all year groups is very strong and indicates they are making good progress,” he says.

“High-quality teaching in the classroom, together with additional targeted support, ensures that disadvantaged pupils are making good progress.”

He says that Mrs Hamilton has established a strong culture of safeguarding in the school.

“Pupils feel very safe and can describe how teachers and other staff keep them from harm. Parents concur,” says Mr Lee.

Staff are well supported by the school’s governors and the new chairman is bringing enthusiasm and drive to her role.

Mr Lee says, to get even better, the school should embed recent improvements in the teaching of maths to ensure that Key Stage 2 pupils make the same strong progress that they do in reading and writing.

Mrs Hamilton said: “We are thrilled with the outcomes from the inspection and such an amazing report.

“They were just rewards for the hard work and dedication of the St John’s family including pupils, staff, parents and governors.

“We were especially pleased that the inspection recognised the strengths and recent initiatives in the school including the very strong writing, high levels of challenge in mathematics and stretching the more able.”

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Posted in: Education