Ditchling pupils ‘are thoughtful and highly committed’

Members of the School Council with head teacher Susan Thompson
Members of the School Council with head teacher Susan Thompson

Partnership working, robust safeguarding and considerate pupils all contributed to Ofsted’s ‘Good’ rating for Ditchling St Margaret’s CEP School following an inspection on December 6.

Head teacher Susan Thompson said: “There is much to celebrate. Pupils, staff and governors are proud that their work and performance over recent years have been confirmed through this inspection. Indeed the inspectors noted the significant change and improvements that have taken place.”

She believes this results from partnership working between governors, staff, pupils, parents and carers.

The inspectors noted the school is “at the heart of its local community”.

Among areas to celebrate, it was noted pupils are kept safe in school and have a mature understanding of challenges faced by modern society. They also said pupils are considerate, thoughtful and highly committed to learning with respect for others underpinning experiences.

The inspectors described how the staff team, “under the resolute and inspired leadership of their head teacher’ have rigorously rebuilt an engaging and rewarding curriculum, fully recognised by the inspector. Staff are proud of the school and use their subject expertise to engage pupils who ‘are excited about coming to school and speak positively about their experiences”.

There is an extensive range of curricular and extra curricular opportunities and parents agree pupils develop into well rounded young people.

The inspectors were impressed with teaching they saw in the classrooms, saying “good teaching enables pupils to achieve well. Teachers’ effective questioning and guidance deepens pupils’ understanding”.

Their report stated: “Leaders create an environment that promotes a sense of trust, responsibility and commitment from pupils. The continual drive to improve has resulted in increased progress over the past few years resulting in outcomes of reading, writing and maths combined which exceed national figures.”

Mrs Thompson feels the inspection fully validated the school’s self evaluation. She said: “It shows what a fantastic school this is. It has grown in popularity over recent years and parents are unswerving in their support. The report underpins high aspirations and ambitions of the school community.”