We are delighted to publish our official OFSTED letter. I would like you to all understand that, although addressed to me directly, the success was because of our incredibly talented team, and whole community approach. I would like to personally thank you all for the incredible and humbling comments made by parents to Mr. Vaughan on the day of inspection.
If this had been a longer inspection, teaching and learning would have been spoken about in depth and some of the comments Mr. Vaughan made about individual year groups would have been featured and celebrated. Due to changes in the inspection process, the majority of time was spent in my office discussing school improvement plans, data, budget, development plans, safeguarding, child protection and the future of the school. The inspector was investigating safeguarding and effectiveness of the school through dialogue and challenge of leadership.
During the inspection, the inspector noticed how ‘vibrant’ and ‘exciting’ the whole school environment is. He could see that we take great pride in our school by the care and detail given to displays. He spoke about how motivated and happy the children all are because of the excellent teaching and learning opportunities. He loved the art work on display and praised the relationships and strong subject knowledge that all teachers and teaching assistants have. He was pleased (and in awe) of the range of clubs we offer and of the various music and sporting opportunities given to children. Mr. Vaughan had spent a great amount of time looking at the school website. Here, he said that the excellent teaching and learning opportunities provided in all classes were captured and celebrated. This can only come from the solid and wonderful lessons provided by our staff.
The wonderful learning environment in Pendle Class was described as ‘inspiring and motivating’ and the ‘Wow Work’ books of a very high standard. The children were described as engaged and working to a very high standard.
Outstanding behaviour and ‘excellent quality reads’ being used in Parlick was noted. The enhanced reading bookmark system introduced by Mr. Gilmour was highly commended and the excitement the children demonstrated towards their learning was infectious. Mr. Vaughan was impressed by the Roald Dahl author study as the children were clearly enthusiastic about creative learning based on Fantastic Mr.Fox.
Mr. Vaughan was impressed by the high standard of topic work in Fairsnape, where he drew our attention to the quality of the work on display and also spoke of the great art skills the children had. Time was spent observing in Fairsnape, where the high quality questioning was highlighted and quality of comprehension tasks celebrated and enhanced through cross- curricular learning.
Beacon children were exemplary role models for the rest of the school and their work in books was of an excellent standard. The website demonstrated how a cross-curricular approach worked well to enhance learning and independent thinking was promoted. Mr. Vaughan was again impressed with the use of class reads to inspire writing and comprehension skills. He noted the varied and rich curriculum the children are offered.
The Pre-School was a success and both inspectors could not believe that we had only been open since September. Knowledge of the individual children and families was celebrated and the child protection knowledge held by staff was excellent. The development of a bigger and grand scale area for children to have access to has been on our school development plan for the past two years and this was discussed. Mr. Vaughan agreed that this would be a great step forward for us.
There are only two points for improvement. One of which is to improve the EYFS outdoor provision, as stated on our school development plan. Exciting plans are already in place to extend different areas of the school.
The other point has already been rectified and put back onto our website. I would like to explain this. I updated our Child Protection Policy at the beginning of September. Two days before our inspection, LCC updated this again to include ‘peer to peer bullying.’ LCC noted that this was not our fault as the new policy had not yet been released to schools but would be on its way. I received it the next day and made the amendments to our policy.
I would like to thank you all for your constant commitment to St. Francis’ and for actively supporting our school. I can’t thank you enough for the positive comments and promotion of our school within the wider community and for bringing St. Francis’ further into the public eye. Our children, staff, parish, parents and friends of St. Francis’ are all wonderful and it is through working together that we succeed.
With thanks for being the very special people you are,
Miss S. Deakin