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School praised by Ofsted for making ‘rapid improvements’

Headteacher Clare Robinson with deputy head Margaret Stewart and pupils. 'Picture Mark Westley ANL-161207-122303009
Headteacher Clare Robinson with deputy head Margaret Stewart and pupils. 'Picture Mark Westley ANL-161207-122303009

A Haverhill school has been praised by Ofsted for making ‘rapid improvements’ - and has been rated ‘outstanding’ by its Catholic Diocese.

Ofsted inspectors hailed St Felix Catholic Primary, in School Lane, as ‘good’ after being deemed to ‘require improvement’ two years ago.

Following an inspection last month, they said the school has ‘improved rapidly’ after the headteacher, leaders, staff and governors created a ‘culture of high expectations and a commitment to providing the best possible education for all pupils’.

Meanwhile, the Catholic Diocese, which visited the school nearly two weeeks after Ofsted, noted that ‘pupils make excellent progress and are motivated and inspired to make further achievements’.

Head Clare Robinson said: “We’re so pleased, The relationships within the school are really strong and it really has been a team effort.

“Everyone has worked together and they’ve been totally committed to what’s best for the children.”

Ofsted found that the leadership’s ‘relentless drive to improve the quality of teaching since the last inspection has ensured that most teaching is good, with some that is exceptional’.

Evidence from pupils’ books, the school’s information about progress, and learning observed in lessons, shows that teaching of reading, writing and mathematics is ‘good or better throughout the school’.

Meanwhile, interesting tasks in the ‘well-planned curriculum motivate and engage the pupils well - enabling them to make good progress in their learning’.

Pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development ‘is a strength of the school’.

This was emphasised by the Diocese which noted that the ‘strong, collaborative and empathetic senior leadership team, together with the parish priest and governors, is instrumental in effectively promoting the Catholic identity of the school’.

On what the school needs to do to improve further, Ofsted said it should boost the quality of teaching to outstanding by continuing to share the ‘exceptional practice already evident in the school so that others can improve their own skills’.

It can give pupils a ‘greater choice of reading material to develop their reading skills further’. The school can also ensure that the different challenges seen in the delivery of English and mathematics ‘occur consistently in other subjects to deepen pupils’ learning further’.

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