Staff and pupils at a Bradley Stoke school which was deemed in need of improvement two years ago are celebrating a remarkable turnaround after Ofsted rated it ‘good’ with outstanding qualities.
Inspectors who visited Bowsland Green Primary School in early October concluded that it has been “transformed” by the inspirational leadership of the new headteacher, Faye Kitchen, who was seconded to the school in November 2014 and took on the role on a permanent basis in March 2015.
The headteacher’s style of leadership is described as being “very strong and clear”. It is exemplified by aspirational statements in common use at the school such as ‘Bowsland Brilliance’, ‘Team Bowsland’ or ‘no lids on kids’.
The glowing report also praises the behaviour of pupils at the school, which along with their personal development is rated ‘outstanding’.
Inspectors noted that pupils “feel very safe at the school and like the staff very much,” while “the school’s clear approach to shared values creates a highly supportive and nurturing atmosphere”.
Disadvantaged pupils receive a good level of support and they make rapid progress in all areas of their development, add the inspectors.
Both parents and staff speak very positively about how much the school has improved in the last two years.
Inspectors say that the progress of all groups of pupils is now “at least good” in all year groups, although the oldest pupils have not yet caught up to achieve the expected standards in some subjects, due to the effects of the legacy of weaker teaching.
On the teaching front, middle managers were found to “lead their areas of work very well” and the quality of teaching, learning and assessment was found to have improved since the last inspection.
The governing body is said to fulfil its responsibilities well, providing a good level of support and challenge to senior leaders and managing finances well.
Bowsland headteacher Faye Kitchen said:
“I couldn’t be more proud of Team Bowsland and the excellence that has been achieved in such a short space of time. When I look at our young people now, listen to the things they say and see how they are independently making their way in the world, it brings a great deal of warmth to my heart.”
Chair of governors Tony Down said:
“As governors, we feel tremendous pride in the development of our school; it has been a pleasure to be part of the steering committee that has promoted the raising of standards. We’re committed to sustaining and further strengthening our school as an excellent centre of learning in Bradley Stoke.”
Photo: Pupils celebrate the ‘good’ Ofsted report with head Faye Kitchen (back row, right) and deputy head Michelle Engley. [View hi-res version on Flickr]
This article originally appeared in the December 2016 edition of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine (on page 9). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,500 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.
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