Acomb Primary School Headteacher, Lee Haynes

Students and staff at Acomb Primary School have been celebrating the outcome of the school’s latest inspection.

Ofsted rated the school as good following a two-day inspection in May and also found enough evidence of improved performance to suggest the school could be judged outstanding at its next inspection.

Headteacher, Lee Haynes, said: “I am delighted that the Ofsted report highlights the successes of the school. Our hard work over a number of years to build a strong curriculum offer has been recognised by this inspection. Being close to an outstanding judgement is something of which we are all very proud. I would especially like to commend the children for not only their exemplary behaviour but also their enthusiasm for learning and how passionate they are about our school.”

This is the first inspection the school has had since becoming an academy and was last inspected in July 2014 when it was also rated good.

Describing what it is like to attend the school, the report opens with: “The school motto, ‘Putting Children First – Always Aiming High’ permeates Acomb Primary School. Pupils work hard and meet the high expectations that staff have for them. This helps pupils to achieve well in a variety of subjects.”

The inspector met with staff, students and governors, observed lessons, looked at samples of pupils’ work and examined a range of documents and policies.

Assessing what the school does well, the inspection found: “Leaders have planned an ambitious curriculum for all pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). Subject champions lead their areas of responsibility with passion and expertise.”

“Pupils’ behaviour is exemplary. Staff model high expectations. Pupils’ expectations of each other are equally high. In lessons, pupils display strong attitudes to learning.”

“Provision for pupils’ wider development is a real strength of the school. Leaders are passionate about providing pupils with a rich programme of developmental experiences.”

Highlighting the leadership of the school, the report also noted: “The school is well led. Leaders have pupils’ best interests at the heart of every decision they make. Leaders and governors keep a careful eye on the workload of staff. Staff are proud to work at the school and hold leaders in very high regard.”

The school’s acting Chair of Governors, Juliet Burton, said: “It is wonderful to see the hard work of the staff, pupils, parents and the local community endorsed in this Ofsted report. Congratulations to all of them. We are all looking forward to building on this very positive outcome going forward, to have a school which is recognised as outstanding in every way.”

Acomb Primary is a popular and oversubscribed school with 320 students from Early Years to Year 6. The school has been educating children from Acomb and surrounding areas for almost 130 years, opening in August 1894 as Acomb Board School in Front Street. In 1995 the school moved to its present site in West Bank and has been part of Pathfinder Multi Academy Trust since January 2018.

Pathfinder Multi Academy Trust’s CEO, Andrew Daly, said: “Congratulations and well done to the children, staff, governors and families at Acomb. This is an excellent achievement given the disruption to education over the past two years and the more rigorous Ofsted framework schools are assessed on. We look forward to securing the outstanding judgement for Acomb when inspectors return.”

Pathfinder has been celebrating recent Ofsted successes at four of its other schools. Clifton with Rawcliffe Primary School and Hempland Primary School have both been rated good; New Earswick Primary School was also judged good with outstanding features and Archbishop Holgate’s School achieved Ofsted’s highest rating being judged outstanding in all areas.