Ramsgate Arts Primary celebrates Good rating in first Ofsted inspection

Executive Head Teacher Michael Lewis with pupils

Ramsgate Arts Primary School has received a ‘Good’ all-round rating following its first ever inspection by education watchdog Ofsted.

The school, which opened it £4million new build in Newington Road last September, has been praised for balancing innovative specialist arts teaching with the international primary curriculum.

Following the inspection last month, the Ofsted report states: “As a result of strong teaching, most pupils are making good progress in all subjects and developing as successful learners. Pupils enjoy an interesting range of topics and themes. The school’s focus on the creative arts successfully builds pupils’ confidence and creates a love of learning.”

Inspectors noted the provision of effective support for vulnerable pupils and those who have special educational needs (SEN) and/or disabilities and that pupils are kind and considerate to each other and show respect for each other’s differences.

They said pupils progress is good although some of the most able pupils needed to be challenged more, with this being suggested as an area for improvement.

The report states: “The development of most pupils’ knowledge and skills across the wider curriculum is progressing well, although a lack of challenge for some of the most able pupils is limiting what they achieve. Pupils achieve notable success in some artistic areas, for example in art and in dance.”

RAPS dancers

Michaela Lewis is Executive Head Teacher of the Viking Academy Trust that includes RAPS, Upton Junior School in Broadstairs and Chilton Primary.

She said: “This is a fantastic first Ofsted. The inspectors very clearly zeroed right in to what makes us tick, our ethos, passion and integrity and our desire to give children a vibrant and different type of learning experience, something that is unique at primary level in Kent.

“The inspection drilled down to the heart and soul of this school and they loved what they found.

“RAPS is unique with a strength in balancing an excellent education that has creativity and the arts at the core.

“Families that want their children to receive a first class arts based primary school education love the way we work and the outstanding results we have achieved in such a short time.

“The enthusiasm, dedication and energy of our staff, pupils, families, governors, and education partners in the Trust is why RAPS has done so well.”

Ofsted inspectors also reported: “All leaders, including governors, ensure there are high aspirations for every pupil. The Viking Academy Trust provides highly effective support to the school. The three schools within the multi-academy trust work closely together to share good practice. This benefits all pupils.”

Praise was given for the way the RAPS project developed, with the report stating: “Leaders and governors have shown a relentless determination to establish Ramsgate Arts Primary School. They have demonstrated admirable commitment and tenacity in their quest to develop a capable staff team and build suitable premises.”

Inspectors said Mrs Lewis and Mr Budge “provide highly effective leadership. They share great passion and ambition for the success of pupils and staff.”

They also noted: “Parents are overwhelmingly supportive of the school and very happy with the education their children are receiving.  Parents and carers appreciate the friendly and approachable staff.”

Pupil Voice is a big part of life at RAPS and Ofsted said children “relish the responsibility they have to contribute to decisions about the school’s development.”

Head of School Nick Budge said: “Ramsgate Arts Primary is a school that leads the way in its provision. Our pupils and families tell us that they love the way we offer such an inspiring and mixed curriculum.

“Our aim is to develop well-rounded educated young people who enjoy achieving and meeting challenges, while learning a broad range of skills in the Arts as well as in traditional primary education.”

Jo Brand, RAPS Chair of Governors, said: “The school’s success is due to a strong team effort. Our determined challenge now is to move onwards and upwards, further implementing our action plan as we take our children’s learning to an even higher level.”

Prior to the new school build RAPS spent two years from inception as a free school on the Chilton Primary School campus at Pegwell.