Horsted Keynes primary school improves its Ofsted rating

Staff and pupils at St Giles Church of England Primary School in Horsted Keynes. Photograph: Steve Robards / SR1912183
Staff and pupils at St Giles Church of England Primary School in Horsted Keynes. Photograph: Steve Robards / SR1912183

The headteacher of a village primary school says she and her team are ‘delighted’ after receiving an improved Ofsted rating.

St Giles Church of England Primary School in Horsted Keynes has been ranked as ‘good’ in all areas following a two-day inspection in April.

The news comes after Ofsted said the Church Lane facility, which has more than 100 pupils aged from four to 11, ‘required improvement’ overall in January 2017.

In the latest report, published on May 17, inspector Joy Considine said ‘significant improvements’ had been made to the quality of teaching.

She stated: “Teachers know their pupils well and plan work that helps all pupils to make good progress. Pupils’ outcomes in reading, writing and mathematics have been improving year on year.”

Headteacher Hilary Douch, who joined the school shortly before the last inspection, was praised as having ‘worked tirelessly with her staff and governors to improve the quality of teaching and improve outcomes for all pupils’.

Leaders and governors were said to have ‘an accurate view of the school’s strengths’ and ‘know where further improvements may be made’.

In a statement, Ms Douch, who was also described in the report as ‘ambitious’ with ‘high aspirations’ for the school, said: “At St Giles, we aim to give every single child the best education possible.

“We’re delighted that the inspection report recognises the work that has gone in to improving teaching and learning and outcomes across the board.

“Our pupils take pride in their school and the report praises the respect they show to each other – something acknowledged warmly by our whole school community.”

As well as being proud of their school and respectful to each other and to adults, pupils were described in the report as having ‘very positive attitudes towards learning’ and that they felt safe.

The report also highlighted that one of the school’s strengths was the ‘lengths that staff go to to ensure that every child is included’ and that provision for students with special educational needs and/ or disabilities (SEND) had also improved.

Ms Considine highlighted a few points for further improvement in the report, including the need to provide ‘a high level of challenge for the most able pupils’ and to ensure the curriculum, though ‘broad and balanced’, is taught ‘consistently well across the school’, as some subjects, including history, geography and science, were said to be covered ‘superficially’ in some classes.

Co-chair of governors Lynne Mulcare added: “We’re always especially proud of our nurturing and inclusive environment at St Giles, so we were particularly pleased that the inspection report acknowledged how our school values are part of our everyday life. We believe it’s one of the biggest benefits of a school in a community like ours.

“All of the children know each other and look out for one another, no matter what year they are in.”