Good school lives up to ‘Aim High’ motto

CELEBRATION TIME -- head teacher Peter Stonier celebrating the report with youngsters at the school
CELEBRATION TIME -- head teacher Peter Stonier celebrating the report with youngsters at the school

CHILDREN and staff at Newstead Primary School, where the motto is ‘Aim High’, are celebrating after a government watchdog found big improvements during an inspection.

Pupils are making good academic progress, attendance is better than average and hard work from staff and youngsters has helped boost the school’s overall rating from ‘satisfactory’ to ‘good’ after the appraisal by the Office for Standards in Education (OFSTED).

Peter Stonier, head teacher for the Hucknall Road school, said: “We are absolutely delighted with the outcome of the OFSTED report.

“The school was judged to be ‘satisfactory’ three years ago and so now to be judged as ‘good’ is obviously very pleasing. The staff are so dedicated, hard-working and enthusiastic.

“I would like to thank them as well as the children, parents and governors for all their efforts. Well done to all.”

Inspectors noted pupils’ good behaviour and said the children’s work had reached average levels, even though their starting abilities were below the national average.

The inspectors’ report reads: “The school takes the words from its logo to heart and is effective in raising pupils’ aspirations.

“From starting points which are below national expectations, pupils progress well so that by the time they leave, their standards are in line with those found nationally in English and mathematics.”

OFSTED found the school had improved in areas inspectors picked up on during their last visit.

“Pupils, from the early-years foundation stage (nursery) onwards are exposed to a wide variety of vocabulary and given regular opportunities to practise their reading and writing skills.

“Standards in mathematics are now higher, and pupils develop problem-solving skills well.

“Teachers make use of everything they know about pupils to help them match work to their needs and challenge them. The school is seen as having good capacity to improve further.”

In a letter to children, lead inspector Richard Marsden said: “Your behaviour is good. You get on well with one another and with adults in your school. This helps you to learn effectively.”

Areas the inspectors noted for improvement include:

PUPILS should be challenged to reach higher attainment in English and maths;

THERE should be more opportunities for pupils to find out about how people live in places other than their village;

AND links with other schools should be stronger.