Bath primary where children enjoy school life praised as inspectors deliver verdict of ‘Good’
A ‘rich and ambitious curriculum, which is underpinned by the cultural heritage of the local area’ and pupils who ‘respect diversity’ while thriving on taking responsibility – that’s the verdict of Ofsted inspectors who visited St Andrew’s Church School in Bath recently.
In delivering a verdict of ‘Good’ across all five inspection areas – quality of education, behaviour, personal development, leadership and early years provision – the inspection team said this was a school where children enjoy school life and feel safe.
The staff team, led by headteacher Jayne Rochford-Smith, have designed a ‘well laid-out’ curriculum for all pupils, from Nursery to Year 6, the inspectors said.
St Andrew’s, with nearly 220 children on the roll, is a part of the Bath and Wells Multi Academy Trust and this was the first inspection since joining the trust.
They said: “Leaders have created a committed and coherent staff team. They are determined that every pupil in the school will be well cared for and will achieve their potential.”
The inspectors also praised the culture at the school as being one where children are calm and well behaved. They added that understanding diversity is a key strength of the school.
“Staff teach pupils to respect diversity and to tolerate views that are different to theirs. Pupils learn about healthy relationships and that it is wrong to judge people because of their beliefs or appearance. They celebrate Christianity and learn about a range of religions and cultures,” the inspectors said.
There was praise for efforts to improve literacy, with ‘reading for pleasure’ noted and support for pupils with special education needs was praised.
The inspectors said: “Staff support pupils who have special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) to follow the full curriculum and to benefit from targeted interventions. Staff give specific support to pupils who speak English as an additional language and these pupils learn well.”
The Ofsted team also noted:
· Leaders provide a wide range of enrichment activities and events. These help pupils to develop their talents in sport and in music. Pupils represent the school well. For example, in the recent ‘Voices for life’ music festival at Bath Abbey. They attend sports clubs and take part in competitions.
· Pupils concentrate well in lessons and their learning is not disturbed by low-level behaviour issues. Leaders’ focus on a whole school approach to encouraging attendance has led to a reduction in pupil absence.
· Governors support and challenge school leaders effectively. They monitor the school improvement plan and are supported by the trust in evaluating its impact on learning accurately. This helps them to understand the school’s strengths and areas for development.
· Pupils enjoy taking on responsibility. This includes being members of the pupil council, the eco-council and being librarians. Pupils arrange activities to raise money to help others. For example, they baked cakes and sold them to help support the British Red Cross.
Jayne Rochford-Smith said: “We are thrilled by this inspection verdict which is a tribute to the hard work and dedication of the staff team and governors – in partnership with our families and the wider community – during the difficult times of the pandemic and as we emerged from lockdowns.
“We were especially pleased to have received such encouraging comments across all aspects of the school, including recognition of our ‘St Andrew’s Connected Curriculum’ and our collaborations with the cultural centres across the City of Bath. Our mission is to give our children the very best start, right from Nursery, and continue this work through to Year 6 and prepare our children for the next stage in their education journey.”
“As a staff team we are never complacent and we will seek even more improvement in what we do, supported by our governors and the Bath and Wells Multi Academy Trust.”