Cookham primary school maintains 'outstanding' Ofsted rating

A primary school in Cookham has maintained its overall ‘outstanding’ Ofsted rating following a recent inspection.

Inspectors began a two-day inspection at Holy Trinity CofE Primary School in School Lane on Wednesday, March 2.

The school previously received an ‘outstanding’ rating following an inspection in 2015.

The report said pupils ‘enjoy attending this nurturing school’, and that leaders aspire for all pupils to achieve highly.

It added that leaders have ‘high expectation for behaviour and conduct’, pupils are ‘fully engaged’ in learning, older students take care of their younger counterparts, and incidents of bullying ‘are rare’.

The report said a broad curriculum has been designed by school leaders.

Teachers ‘prioritise reading’ and read to pupils daily and the school’s provision for pupils’ wider development is a strength.

This provision includes pupils being offered a variety of extra-curricular clubs and the experience of a range of trips and workshops.

Staff teach pupils to ‘care for others’, including raising money to build a playground at a school in Ethiopia.

The report adds ‘parents are also positive about the school’.

On the topic of safeguarding, arrangements are ‘effective’ and leaders have ‘established a strong culture of vigilance’, with ‘clear processes’ to record incidents and identify students who are at risk of harm.

It added that pupils are taught how to keep themselves safe, both when out in the community and online, and pupils are ‘confident’ they have ‘trusted adults’ at school to talk to if they are upset or worried.

Highlighting areas of improvement, the report said the school’s curriculum ‘is not yet effectively sequenced in some subjects’, meaning that students ‘do not learn deep knowledge across the whole curriculum’.

However, the report added that it is clear from the actions of leaders that they are in the process of doing this.

It added that leaders need to continue to ‘deepen teachers’ subject knowledge to ensure capacity and expertise in all subjects’, so teachers can ‘lead their subjects well’ and effectively implement the curriculum.

Discussing the ‘outstanding’ rating, headteacher Anna Smith, said: “We are thrilled because it’s recognition of all the work that the staff here have done.

“They are a hugely committed team who worked tirelessly during what has been a very difficult period of we’ve all gone through the pandemic, and yet they have maintained their commitment, their determination and their enthusiasm to ensuring the very best for our children.”

She added: “We recognise our development points. We are on a journey out of the pandemic and we are on a journey of re-creating our curriculum.

“I am mindful of the fact that we as a school are continually evolving.

“We have not reached the end of our journey and in a sense we never will because school’s don’t stand still and there’s always new initiative in improvements that we can make and we continue on our journey to provide the very very best for the children who are at our school.”

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