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.”