Newington Community Primary School in Ramsgate is celebrating after receiving a glowing Ofsted report.
The school has been graded ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted inspectors who said it was “exceptional,” “inspirational” and noted that: “The school’s work to promote pupils’ welfare is remarkable. No stone is left unturned in the quest to ensure that pupils and families receive the help they need. Safeguarding procedures are effective.”
During the inspection in March inspectors visited classrooms and spoke to staff, parents, pupils and the chair of the governors.
In her report lead inspector Hilary Macdonald said: “Newington Community Primary is an exceptional school. Every member of the community, regardless of age or role, articulates the vision for themselves and the school to do and be the best they can possibly be. ”
The report notes: “The headteacher, leaders and managers have created an overwhelmingly positive and ambitious culture where pupils and staff alike are known, respected and cared for. All are challenged and supported to do their very best.”
Zest and grit
Inspectors said the school was underpinned by “zest and grit” and that staff morale was high.
Teaching was described as done with ‘enthusiasm’ by teachers with ‘superb knowledge,’ and the exceptional progress made by disadvantaged pupils and youngsters with special educational needs and/or disabilities was also highlighted.
Inspectors said early years children got a good start to education and those leaving Newington were well prepared for the transition to secondary school.
The report also recognises where the school goes above and beyond, from noting: “There is nothing staff will not do to ensure that pupils are kept safe and receive the support they require,” to mention of the school using counselling services or through working with the voluntary ‘dogs as therapy’ service. ‘Pepper’ the poodle currently visits vulnerable pupils on a weekly basis, helping them to feel calm and more able to express their anxieties.
The outstanding grading was given across the board and reflects the work done since the last inspection in 2012 when the school was graded as good.
‘The whole community pulling together’
Head teacher Cliff Stokes said: “This is a credit to the whole community pulling together over the last ten years.
“Our last Ofsted resulted in a good grading, with outstanding for leadership. Ofsted saw there was potential to make the school outstanding across the board and that is what we have done.
“It is 100% team work. There is a clear vision of what is wanted for the community and everyone having that drive and passion to achieve that by the children, the staff and the parents who work hard to help achieve the best outcomes for the children.”
Mr Stokes also paid tribute to former deputy head teacher Jo Kettle, who died in November last year after a short battle with cancer. He said she would have been “extremely proud” at the Ofsted outcome.
He added: “Being officially recognised as an outstanding school in every aspect is a fitting tribute to our dear friend and colleague Jo who will always be part of this school.”