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‘Period of transformation’ pays off with improved Ofsted rating for Weston Hills Primary School

An ‘ambitious and inclusive school’ has received an improved Ofsted rating after going through a ‘period of transformation’.

Weston Hills Primary School has been rated good by inspectors, who also deemed the behaviour and attitudes and leadership and management to be outstanding.

It was previously in the requires improvement category following its previous inspection in 2019.

Weston Hills Primary School pupils are celebrating their recent Ofsted
Weston Hills Primary School pupils are celebrating their recent Ofsted

Executive headteacher Sonya Ely called the news a ‘wonderful way’ to start the year.

“The school has gone through a period of transformation,” the report, published on Monday (January 22) read.

“This has included the introduction of a completely new curriculum design.

“The new revised curriculum is ambitious for all pupils, including pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) and those who are disadvantaged.

“There are high expectations of all pupils and, as a result, pupils achieve well.”

The report, which described the school as ‘ambitious and inclusive’ also praised the commitment of its youngsters.

“Pupils’ attitudes to their learning are exceptional,” it added.

“Pupils show high levels of engagement in lessons. They talk and interact with excitement about their learning.

“Pupils show high levels of independence and take great pride in their achievements. Relationships between pupils and staff are nurturing and strong.”

As well as the overall rating, the inspection, which took place on November 22, rated five sub-sections.

Behaviour and attitudes and leadership and management were found to be outstanding, while the quality of education, personal development and early years provision were deemed good.

The report added that ‘staff feel they are also genuinely cared about as people, not just as employees’.

“Leadership of the school is aspirational and highly effective,” it added.

“In a relatively short amount of time, leaders have completely redesigned the curriculum.

“Decisions have been strategically ambitious and have led to improved outcomes for pupils.

“Governance of the school is a real strength.”

The report also highlighted areas where West Hills – which has 129 pupils aged 4-11 – can improve.

It noted: “In a small number of foundation subjects, there are inconsistencies in what pupils can recall about their learning.

“Pupils do not yet reliably remember what they have been taught in these subjects.

“Leaders should ensure that the curriculum enables all pupils, including pupils with SEND, to know more and remember more in all subject areas.”

Executive headteacher Sonya Ely said: ““I am delighted to officially confirm that the school has moved out of the previous requires improvement category and is now regarded as a good school with many oustanding features identified- a wonderful way to start 2024.

“The Ofsted report opens with the sentence, ‘Weston Hills is an ambitious and inclusive school’ and in the words of one pupil - recorded by the inspector - ‘I don’t think any other primary school could beat this school. We are like one big, happy family- a family that learns but also has fun.’

“The children in particular are recognised for their exceptional behaviour and attitudes to learning. Early years, reading, maths, governance and provision for pupils with SEND are also highlighted as areas of significant strength.

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“This report really is a celebration of the ‘period of transformation’ the school has been through and I would like to thank all involved for the contribution they have made to secure this judgement.

“I am incredibly proud of all our school family. To have made such significant progress in under four years - with two school closures due to the pandemic thrown into the mix - is an amazing achievement.”

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