Small school standing tall

STAFF and children at a Fenland primary school were celebrating after a Government inspector offered a glowing assessment of their work. The school has a steely determination to improve and this, together with its track record of tackling weaknesses, are

STAFF and children at a Fenland primary school were celebrating after a Government inspector offered a glowing assessment of their work.

"The school has a steely determination to improve and this, together with its track record of tackling weaknesses, are a winning combination for further success," said inspector Martin Newell.

Mr Newell, who conducted last month's Ofsted inspection at Benwick Primary School, praised pupils' "good behaviour, positive attitude, politeness and good attendance".

He said: "Pupils are cared for and respected and they believe they have a genuine voice. At the core of the school's success are good leadership and management with the head teacher playing a pivotal role."


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Pupils' good achievements owe much to "the quality of teaching, challenging target setting and to the way that leadership and management of the school tackle identified areas for improvement with rigour and determination".

One note of regret, said Mr Newell, was the reaction from pupils that not enough opportunities are provided for them to take on responsibilities around the school or run fund-raising and enterprise initiatives.

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But overall, he felt the teaching was "lively, animated, highly challenging and expects pupils to take initiative and responsibility for their own learning".

Mr Newell said the school's self-evaluation is "open, frank and accurate" and this reflected the views of governors, pupils and parents.

"The strong team spirit that the head has nurtured means that all staff feel valued, and are ready to play their part in constantly moving the school forward."

Headteacher Gillian Thomas was delighted with the report which "recognised that small schools such as Benwick, with differing cohorts, cannot be judged on SATs results alone".

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