Dear Parents and Carers,
We are delighted to attach the letter detailing the outcome of our recent Ofsted Inspection. It is a detailed report so please take time to read it and see how highly regarded our school was thought of by the inspector. The inspector said that they could see the high expectations we have for every pupil in the school. These expectations are based on our stated purpose,’ to provide a quality education, where high standards are an expectation’. The inspector saw ‘our strong ethos which is underpinned by the school’s faith values, which are closely aligned to an emphasis on British values.’
Here are some of the quotes, which made us proud to be part of St Mary Magdalen’s:
‘One of the strengths of the school is pupils’ positive attitudes to learning.’
The pupils,’ Work hard to support each other, are polite, resilient and take pride in their school.’
Parents’ Recognise that the school is academically strong and that the teachers are always available to help pupils.’
Parents,’ Consider our small school to be a family.’
‘We focus strongly on academic success, as well as opportunities for pupils to participate in a broad range of learning activities.’
‘The leadership team has maintained the good quality of education in the school since the last inspection.’
‘Children in the early years make good progress, given their starting points and capabilities.’
‘By the time pupils leave at the end of Year 6, attainment and progress are above the national averages and have been, over time.’
‘Pupils and parents spoken to agree that the school is a safe place to learn.’
‘The use of specialist teaching in, for example, music, performing arts and physical education enhances learning for all pupils.’
‘School visits and visitors support the school’s curriculum well.’
The inspection that we had was a Section 8. The purpose of a Section 8 inspection is to find out whether the school continues to provide a good standard of education. In a Section 8 inspection, the inspectors are in for one day and they can only recommend whether the school should have a full two-day inspection, called a Section 5. The inspector does not have the authority to change a school’s judgement from Good to Outstanding but in a Section 5 inspection, the school has to show enough evidence of improved performance to suggest that the school may be judged Outstanding.
As you can see, our report says,
‘Based on the evidence gathered during this short inspection, I am of the opinion that the school has demonstrated strong practice and marked improvement in certain areas. This may indicate that the school is improving towards being outstanding. Therefore, I am recommending that the school’s next inspection be a section 5 inspection.’
Whilst we are delighted that the inspection saw the strengths of our school, we are now in a two-year window for a full inspection. Prior to January 2018, the Section 5 Inspection that is recommended would have happened almost immediately after the Section 8 probably within the same week. We would then have had the opportunity to be graded Outstanding.
However, a revised Ofsted framework has been in place since January 2018 and we will have to be patient and ready for the full two-day Section 5 inspection.
Thank you for your continued support and commitment to our school. We know that every member of staff, our governors and school community are continuing to working closely together to provide the very best education for your children.
Mrs Sally Saunders Mr Daniel McGrath
Headteacher Chair of Governors