South Downs school's 'delight' at Ofsted rating and refurbishment

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Staff at a South Downs school are expressing ‘delight’ following an Ofsted inspection and refurbishment of its site.

Thakeham Primary School in Storrington has been rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted and is getting set to celebrate completion of an upgrade which includes a new outdoor playground, an improved library, a new mental health and wellbeing centre, an outdoor covered theatre stage, a new hall and a new classroom and admin block.

Ofsted inspectors, in a report just out, say: “Pupils and parents recognise the kind and nurturing nature of this school. Staff place great emphasis on knowing each pupil’s needs well. As a result, pupils feel included and welcome.

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"The school ethos of CARE helps pupils to understand courage, ambition, respect and enjoyment. These values underpin the school’s behaviour policy.”

Thakeham Primary School in Storrington has been rated 'Good' by OfstedThakeham Primary School in Storrington has been rated 'Good' by Ofsted
Thakeham Primary School in Storrington has been rated 'Good' by Ofsted

They added: “Since the headteacher arrived in April 2022, the school has prioritised overhauling the school’s curriculum as well as procedures for behaviour and safeguarding.”

They say school leaders and governors are outward looking and “work closely with the local authority to drive school improvement activities. The initial focus on bringing about changes to teaching and learning in English and mathematics has now progressed to other subject areas.”

And, they note: “The school is aspirational for all pupils to achieve and be prepared well for secondary school.”

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Headteacher Will McDonald said: “I am delighted that Ofsted has rated Thakeham as ‘Good’. Over the inspection, the inspectors saw the high aspirations we have for our learners as well as the well-sequenced and highly ambitious curriculum we have created. Our relentless focus on kindness and nurture was celebrated throughout the process. The team and I are thrilled that our small school has been recognised for the strengths we see daily and we are excited for its future.”

And, he said, the school was grateful for the refurbishment work taking place. “We are thrilled to be able to offer so much to our pupils and their families.

"These building projects have turned our already special school into a truly unique environment. We are a small school but have access to more facilities than most large primary schools! We are truly blessed and grateful.

"Our pupils tell us daily about how much they love our site and we could not be happier. Thakeham is a wonderful place to be."