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JDeamer

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Acomb Primary School judged Outstanding by Ofsted

Acomb Primary School’s Headteacher, Lee Haynes, with pupils

Students and staff at Acomb Primary School have been celebrating the school being judged Outstanding in all areas by Ofsted following a two-day inspection in September.

Headteacher, Lee Haynes, said: “I am thrilled that Ofsted has recognised the strengths of our school. This report shows the hard work and dedication that the whole school community has invested to make Acomb Primary an exceptional place to learn and work. We are especially pleased that our work on the personal development of pupils has been recognised as a strength – it is a central part of our work to ensure that children are prepared for later life and we are proud of everything we do in this area.”

The school, which was previously judged Good, had an ungraded inspection in May 2022 in which Ofsted found enough evidence of improved performance to suggest the school could be judged outstanding at its next inspection.

Describing what it is like to attend the school, the report opens with: “Acomb Primary School has a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Pupils love their school. They demonstrate consistently positive attitudes to their education.”

The report goes on to praise the school’s ‘exceptional curriculum’ including the support for pupils with SEND to fully access the curriculum and achieve the same outcomes as their peers. The early years curriculum was also described as exemplary, with inspectors noting: “The stimulating environment enables children to be independent. Children are highly motivated and sustain concentration when participating in exciting and interesting activities.”

During their visit, inspectors met with Headteacher, subject champions, staff and pupils. They also carried out in depth reviews across a range of subjects and evaluated the effectiveness of safeguarding.

The wider personal development pupils receive was recognised as a particular strength of the school, with the report stating: “The school’s ‘Acorns’ initiative enhances pupils’ learning. These are a wide, rich set of experiences that give pupils opportunities to develop their character and to make a difference to the school, their community and the wider world. For example, pupils visit local landmarks, perform a Shakespeare play at a York theatre, contribute to the community by tidying the park and support charities.”

“The school provides an extensive extra-curricular offer. There is strong take-up by pupils to develop their talents and interests in activities like, sport, music, science, art and the environment.”

Highlighting the leadership of the school, the report noted: “The trust and local governing committee recognise the strength of the school leadership. Leadership at all levels is extraordinary.”

The school’s Chair of Governors, Jennifer Garbutt, said: “This outstanding result is incredibly well deserved. It recognises what a special place Acomb Primary is and how hard all the staff work to give our children an exceptional start in life.” 

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: “Acomb’s Ofsted success is recognition of the hard work and dedication of the entire school community. Outstanding judgements are not easy to achieve and are testament to the continued focus to deliver an excellent, all-round, education each and every day. Well done to the staff, children, governors and families on this well-deserved outcome.”

Lee Haynes added: “I would like to thank the parents and carers for their unwavering support and to recognise the children for their excellent behaviour and attitudes. Ofsted quite rightly saw this and commented that pupils are extremely polite and articulate.”

2023-12-01T15:38:54+00:0023 October 2023|

Ofsted success for Rufforth Primary School

Rufforth Primary School Headteacher, Jill Richards, with pupils

Children and staff at Rufforth Primary School have been celebrating the outcome of a recent visit by school inspectors. Ofsted carried out an ungraded inspection of the school in May to establish if it remains ‘Good’ following its previous inspection in January 2012.

The report found that Rufforth continues to be a good school, opening with the statement: “Leaders’ ambition for pupils at Rufforth Primary School is summed up in their vision, ‘excellence in a family atmosphere’. This ambition is realised through adults’ high expectations of pupils. Pupils rise to these expectations.”

Headteacher, Jill Richards, said: “I am delighted and incredibly proud that the inspectors recognised all that is wonderful about our school. The positivity of this report reflects our journey towards an outstanding judgement and is testament to the hard work and dedication of our entire ‘Rufforth Family’”.

Talking about what it is like to attend the school, the report described pupils’ behaviour as exemplary, saying: “they treat each other with the utmost respect. Bullying almost never happens, but if it does, adults make sure it stops.”

Inspectors carried out in depth reviews of reading, mathematics and physical education through visiting lessons, looking at samples of pupils’ work and speaking to teachers and pupils about their learning.

Highlighting the strengths of the curriculum, the report said: “Leaders have created a broad, balanced and ambitious curriculum.”

“Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), learn the same ambitious curriculum as their peers. Leaders work to remove any barriers that pupils might face to their learning.”

The report also highlighted the extra-curricular and enrichment opportunities at the school saying: “Leaders provide pupils with many opportunities to develop their talents and interests. Pupils enjoy the wide range of clubs in areas such as singing, sports and arts.”

“Pupils develop a deep understanding of different faiths, relationships and diversity. Pupils talk about issues like consent and healthy relationships with considerable maturity.”

“Pupils develop their character through the many leadership roles on offer. Some take part in the school council while others work as sports leaders and friendship ambassadors. All of this work informs the deep respect with which pupils treat everyone around them.”

One pupil summed up their experience saying their school is a “unique place where you can be yourself. Everyone here has a voice.”

The arrangements for safeguarding were found to be effective with the report saying: “Pupils feel safe and learn how to keep themselves safe, including online. Leaders are tenacious in following up on concerns and work well with outside agencies when there are concerns about vulnerable pupils.”

Inspectors found that those responsible for governance know and understand their roles and their statutory responsibilities saying: “They share leaders’ ambitions for pupils. Staff workload and well-being are a priority for leaders and governors.”

Chair of Governors, Liz Raspa, said: “Having seen how much work the entire staff team at Rufforth have put into the school improvements observed during the Oftsed visit, as a Local Governing Committee, we are immensely proud of them all and the children. Reading the feedback about our children and their respect for each other was an absolute pleasure. They really do embody the school values of inspire, care and grow.”

The school is part of Pathfinder Multi Academy Trust, a partnership of 10 church and community schools serving more than 4,200 students and their families across York.

Pathfinder’s CEO, Andrew Daly, said: “Well done to the children, staff, governors and families at Rufforth. Although this is an ungraded inspection, it nevertheless highlights the excellent education children at Rufforth continue to receive. I am particularly pleased that the report highlights the many strengths of the curriculum and the wealth of enrichment opportunities available to broaden children’s learning and experiences.”

2023-07-05T12:31:30+01:005 July 2023|

School spirit soars at Clifton with Rawcliffe music festival

It was an afternoon of musical fun and festivities at Clifton with Rawcliffe Primary School’s inaugural ‘CwR Fest’ which took place earlier this term. Pupils, parents and staff were treated to guest performances from Soprano Rebecca Newman of York Proms, The CwR Stars Junior Choir, Spotlight Dance Academy and the Archbishop Holgate’s School choir.

Families brought along camping chairs and picnic rugs to watch the Last Choir Standing competition which included more than 600 children performing an eclectic mix of choral arrangements to songs with a royal connection, in honour of the King’s Coronation. Special guest judges included YO1 Radio presenters, Chris Marsden and Dave Parker, Molly Newton (Music Lead from Archbishop Holgate’s School) and Claire Bower (Children, Family and Youth Worker at Clifton Parish Church). They offered points and positive feedback on the children’s singing, choreography, participation and costumes in their performances.

Scores were close in the end, but the Year 3 children emerged victorious with their immaculate performance of ‘Dancing Queen’ by ABBA and were awarded the coveted ‘Last Choir Standing Trophy’ which they accepted after reprising their song to delighted parents and families in the glorious June sunshine.

As the Last Choir Standing competition concluded, the school opened up in true festival style to welcome their headline act to the stage; Soprano Rebecca Newman who dazzled audiences with her beautiful renditions of O Nio Babbino Caro, Over the Rainbow and her own song, Dare to Dream.

Rebecca’s performance was followed by the school’s very own CwR Stars Junior Choir conducted by Anne-Marie Cockram where the children performed incredibly well with lots of energy and enthusiasm despite the warm weather.

Clifton with Rawcliffe’s Music and Choir Lead, Anne-Marie Cockram, said: “It was an incredible day. I am so pleased that we were able to give the children the opportunity to participate in such a special event and to celebrate all that is singing and music. I believe that music is a gift that can create such a lot of happiness and bring people together in a way that nothing else can. We have the most fabulous staff team at Clifton with Rawcliffe who have pulled together to create these wonderful memories for the children, and we would particularly like to thank our special guests and the many parent helpers for giving up their time on a Friday afternoon to be involved voluntarily at our school festival. It goes to show that there is such a lot of kindness and goodwill in our community.”

Local dance school Spotlight Dance Academy also took to the stage to showcase some of their vibrant and complex dance routines, directed by Issy Stead. The final act to perform was the fabulous Archbishop Holgate’s School Choir conducted by Molly Newton, displaying their talents for singing and harmonies and perfectly accompanied by Chris Barnard on drums and Oscar Rosen on piano.

Throughout the afternoon, entertainment was complemented by a vast assortment of treats, refreshments, stalls, activities and of course, everyone’s favourite classic school fair amusement, ‘Splat the Teacher!’ The CwR Fest was a resounding success with over £2,300 being raised for school enrichment and outdoor learning.

A parent at the school said: “We had a brilliant afternoon, thank you to all the staff, children and volunteers who made the whole thing possible.”

Year 4 pupil, Leah, said: “There were lots of things going on! It was so good performing to an audience and I liked watching all the other people performing too, they were awesome!”

2023-07-06T14:56:31+01:0023 June 2023|

Tang Hall Primary School celebrates Good Ofsted outcome

Tang Hall Primary School Headteacher, Jo Slack, with pupils

Tang Hall Primary School has been judged Good in all areas following a two-day Ofsted inspection in March.

Inspectors praised the quality of the curriculum saying: “Pupils learn well and benefit from a strong curriculum at Tang Hall Primary School. Since the previous inspection, leaders have worked with passion and determination to further improve the curriculum and the behaviour of pupils.”

Headteacher, Jo Slack, said: “I feel very privileged to be the headteacher of Tang Hall Primary School. It is a community of pupils, their families and school staff who are dedicated to ensuring the very best education and pastoral support are offered to our children through building strong relationships. I am delighted that the hard work since our previous inspection has been recognised by the inspection team.”

During their visit, inspectors met with the Headteacher, curriculum leaders, governors and pupils; carried out in-depth reviews of early reading, mathematics, science, physical education and history; and examined safeguarding records, attendance figures, curriculum plans and policies.

Highlighting what the school does well, inspectors noted:

“There are warm and supportive relationships between pupils and staff.”

“Pupils are safe at the school. Pupils have a good understanding of bullying and are confident that teachers will sort out any problems that arise.

“Leaders provide pupils with opportunities to build resilience, experience enrichment and explore the wider world through their CREW activities.”

The strengths of the school’s redesigned curriculum were recognised with the report saying: “Leaders know that speech, language and communication difficulties can be a barrier to pupils’ learning. Leaders have designed the curriculum to address this.”

“The mathematics curriculum is a strength of the school. Leaders have developed a range of materials to support teachers to implement the teaching of mathematics effectively.”

Inspectors also recognised the positive relationships the school has with parents and carers stating: “Staff build strong links with parents. Early years teachers welcome parents into the classroom at the start of each day to share in their child’s learning.”

The school has been part of Pathfinder Multi Academy Trust since May 2017 and was last inspected in February 2020.

The report acknowledged the work of the trust and the school’s governors saying: “The trust and local governing committee understand the strengths and areas that need developing in the school. The governors recognise the exceptional support the trust has given the school to support the leaders to make improvements.”

Chair of Governors, Jacqueline Walsh, said: “We are all delighted that the Ofsted inspectors were able to recognise the hard work that has been put into remodelling the curriculum and strengthening the behaviour systems at Tang Hall Primary School. We are particularly pleased that the warm and supportive relationships between staff and pupils were acknowledged. A special thanks must be expressed to Mrs Slack and her team for their dedication and tenacity, and to the Pathfinder MAT for their support, as we continue our improvement journey.”

Pathfinder Multi Academy Trust’s CEO, Andrew Daly, said: “Well done to the staff, governors, pupils and families at Tang Hall. This is a well-deserved outcome and a reflection of the continued hard work and dedication of the entire school community. I am particularly pleased that the report highlights the excellent work of Mrs Slack and her team to develop the school’s curriculum and recognises the role of governors and the trust in supporting the school’s improvement journey.”

2023-05-17T11:21:54+01:0017 May 2023|

Secretary of State for Education visits Pathfinder schools

From left, Secretary of State for Education – the Rt Hon Kit Malthouse MP, Chair of the Pathfinder MAT Board – John Hattam, CEO of Pathfinder MAT and Executive Headteacher of Archbishop Holgate’s School – Andrew Daly, Chair of Governors at Archbishop Holgate’s School – Jane Lewis.

Pathfinder Multi Academy Trust was delighted to welcome the new Secretary of State for Education, the Rt Hon Kit Malthouse MP, to visit two of its schools.

Formed in 2016, Pathfinder Multi Academy Trust is a partnership of eleven church and community schools serving more than 4,300 students and their families across York.

CEO of Pathfinder Multi Academy Trust and Executive Headteacher of Archbishop Holgate’s School, Andrew Daly, said: “It has been a pleasure to welcome the Secretary of State and to showcase the many ways we work together as a multi academy trust to ensure we provide the very best education possible for all the young people across our school communities.”

The Secretary of State began with a visit to New Earswick Primary School where he met with the Headteacher, school staff and students and had a tour of the school. New Earswick joined Pathfinder in 2017 after being placed into special measures following an inadequate Ofsted judgement. Today, the school is rated as good overall with outstanding for its leadership and management and early years provision.

New Earswick’s Headteacher, Angela Oswald, said: “It has been a privilege to meet the new Secretary of State and have the opportunity to share our school improvement journey over the past four years. Like most things in schools, our successes and achievements are the result of a team effort working together at both a local school level and as part of a wider community of schools.”

The Secretary of State also visited Archbishop Holgate’s School which recently celebrated being judged outstanding in all areas by Ofsted. In 2021, Archbishop Holgate’s was also designated as the Teaching School Hub for the Ryedale, Scarborough and York region, responsible for delivering teacher training and development across more than 150 schools.

During his visit, the Secretary of State spoke to a group of trainee teachers, toured the school, met with school and academy trust staff and talked to students about their favourite subjects and future aspirations.

Andrew Daly added: “Whilst important, schools are much more than external judgements and examination results and it has been gratifying to give the Secretary of State a snapshot of the teaching and learning which takes place at our schools each and every day. We are fortunate to have so many strong schools and multi academy trusts in York and we also enjoy a close partnership with the local authority which enables us to work together for the benefit of all schools and their students across the city.”

Pathfinder was formed initially between Archbishop Holgate’s School and Badger Hill, Hempland and Heworth primary schools. Along with New Earswick, Pathfinder has since welcomed Acomb, Clifton with Rawcliffe, Rufforth, St Lawrence’s and Tang Hall primary schools and is currently working with St Barnabas CE Primary School who are in the process of joining the trust.

Chair of the Pathfinder Multi Academy Trust Board, John Hattam, said: “We are delighted that the hard work and achievements of our schools and the wider trust have been recognised with this visit from the Secretary of State for Education. We believe the close working partnership that exists between our schools, other academy trusts, community schools and the local authority has been core to our success and development as a multi academy trust.”

2022-09-22T10:19:31+01:0022 September 2022|
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