Ofsted: Children get a great education at CCJ

Published on: 28 Feb 2016

STAFF, children, parents and governors at Christ Church Junior School in Downend are celebrating after regaining a rating of Good from the education watchdog Ofsted.
Inspectors said children at the school in Pendennis Road received an impressive all-round education and made excellent progress.
“Strong leadership from the head teacher, supported by a talented deputy head teacher and a reinvigorated governing body, is continuing the rapid improvement seen since the last inspection,” said their report.
Head teacher Alex Wilkinson, who is leaving in the summer after 16 years in charge, said Ofsted’s positive comments about the school were the result of  a lot of hard work from staff  and very effective support from the school governors.
In January 2014, inspectors found the school to be in need of improvement. But the team of three inspectors who visited two years later rated it as good in all areas.
They reported: “Pupils gain great enjoyment from their learning and from the extremely positive relationships they have with adults in the school.
“Teachers are relentless in their drive to help pupils to succeed as writers, readers and mathematicians through the successful teaching of basic skills.
“Almost all pupils make rapid and sustained progress across all subjects, including English and mathematics, and learn exceptionally well in all years. The proportion that makes more than the expected level of progress is high.”
Teaching assistants were said to make a valuable contribution to the learning of the 292 pupils, who are aged seven to 11.
The inspectors highlighted the wide range of exciting and motivating opportunities in the school’s well-balanced, broad  and rich curriculum, praising  ‘forest school’ activities, science, music, art, sport and history provision.
Sporting opportunities were also singled out, including fencing, cricket,  tag rugby, street dance, Zumba, inter-school swimming galas and cricket tournaments.
The report also noted that the school was harmonious and inclusive.
“The vast majority of Christ Church pupils have a strongly developed moral culture. They have a keen sense of right and wrong and were very clear in their belief that people should be honest, kind and helpful as well as courageous in standing up against injustice. They understand that school rules are made for their safety and, as a result, they feel valued.”
To improve further, Ofsted said, the school should offer more challenge for the highest attainers, more opportunities for maths reasoning and should  ensure high expectations and consistency in dealing with minor incidents of misbehaviour around school and in the presentation and tidiness of pupils’ work.
Mr Wilkinson said: “The school needed to ensure that all children consistently over time make good progress in the core skills of English and maths but this has not been achieved by exclusively focusing on these. In fact the opposite!
“As the report makes clear, it is by widening the range of learning experiences for children and focusing on core values that the school has been able to make such clear improvements.
“In March the governors will be appointing a new head teacher. This report provides such a positive basis for the  new school leadership to make the school even better.”

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