Headteacher, Helen Coles, with pupils at St Lawrence’s CE Primary School

St Lawrence’s CE Primary School, once put into special measures and judged as Requires Improvement in January 2020, has been celebrating being graded Good with Outstanding features following its latest inspection.

The school, which is part of Pathfinder Multi Academy Trust, has been judged Good for its overall effectiveness following a two-day inspection in November. Out of the five key areas primary schools are assessed on, the early years provision, behaviour and attitudes of pupils and their personal development were all deemed to be Outstanding.

Headteacher, Helen Coles, said: “We could not be prouder of our school and community. St Lawrence’s has been a very special place for some time and to have the work and the commitment that everyone puts into the school recognised is wonderful.”

The latest Ofsted report praised the inclusivity of the school and behaviour of pupils saying: “St Lawrence’s Church of England Primary is an extremely welcoming and inclusive school. It is characterised by warm relationships between staff and pupils. This is evident in the excellent behaviour and conduct of the pupils. Pupils are unfailingly polite and well-mannered. They are highly considerate of others.”

Highlighting what the school does well, inspectors said that children in early years make an excellent start to their education and are exceptionally well-prepared for learning in Year 1. Children with SEND were also found to achieve particularly well.

The strength of Pupils’ personal development was recognised with the report stating: “The school’s curriculum for personal development is thoroughly planned to teach pupils how to engage with society and understand their place within it. Pupils speak with great clarity about how the school develops their self-esteem and confidence.”

Commenting on the role of the school’s governors and multi academy trust, inspectors said governors and trustees have an in-depth understanding of the school and work effectively with school leaders. The report also mentioned the significant impact of the trust in ensuring staff are supported to access high-quality training and further professional development.

Chair of Governors, Ruth Greaney, said: “I am delighted with the report which reflects years of hard work and commitment by Mrs Coles and the whole school team. St Lawrence’s is a fantastic school with strong community ties and children who are highly considerate of others, unfailingly polite and well-mannered.”

Inspectors sought the views of staff and parents during their visit with the report noting: “Staff are highly complementary about how their workload is considered and the support for their well-being. Parents are extremely positive about all aspects of the school’s work. In particular, parents comment upon the excellent pastoral care and support provided by the school.”

Pathfinder Multi Academy Trust’s CEO, Andrew Daly, said: “This is a much deserved and long-awaited outcome for the school. Within the Trust, we have recognised the significant and ongoing improvements Mrs Coles and her team have made for some time and I am delighted this has now been highlighted by Ofsted. Well done to the staff, children, governors and families at St Lawrence’s for their hard work and determination to secure this excellent and well-deserved judgement.”