Head delighted that progress recognised

Brambleside Primary School Year 6 pupils with teacher Andrew Wood, headteacher Danielle Warren, teaching assistant Sheena Haig and teacher Lilias Boyd
Brambleside Primary School Year 6 pupils with teacher Andrew Wood, headteacher Danielle Warren, teaching assistant Sheena Haig and teacher Lilias Boyd

Staff and pupils at a primary school are celebrating after being rated as good by inspectors, just 18 months after it was given notice to improve.

Brambleside Primary School, in Kettering, received its new improved rating from Ofsted inspectors last month.

It is a major improvement fo the school, which had been told to improve standards following a similar inspection which took place in November 2011.

Inspectors had identified the areas of improving writing, increasing the proportion of good and outstanding lessons and ensuring leaders implement the necessary changes as the key areas for development.

Last month’s inspection said pupils are now making good progress, with standards in reading, writing and mathematics all above the national average at Year 6.

They also said pupils’ progress in developing writing skills at Key Stage 2 is much stronger than at the time of the previous inspection.

Headteacher Danielle Warren said she was pleased the efforts by pupils, teachers and governors at the Cleveland Avenue school had been formally recognised.

It is unusual for a school to move up two levels in the Ofsted grading system.

She said: “The whole school has been through a period of change, a culture change that has focused on high expectations of both staff and pupils.

“Brambleside is lucky to have wonderful children, committed staff and supportive parents.”

The school developed partnerships with two other primary schools, including Hall Meadow in Kettering, which provided opportunities for staff to visit and for outstanding practice to be shared.

Mrs Warren added: “I think parents have noticed the change and the focus on learning.”

She said the Ofsted inspectors had been particularly impressed with the way the school had sorted out writing, and it is now going to be an example of best practice.

Pupils have also become involved with the Philosophy for Children scheme, which encourages youngsters’ reasoning and debating skills.

Mrs Warren said: “We really made sure we embraced the use of it, getting children to think outside the box and challenging them.”

She said it was one of a number of measures the school has put in place in order to encourage learning.

The school has also introduced Drama for Writing, where children spend up to a week on a particular book and different activities based around that book, to help them understand the text, characters and plot.

Mrs Warren said: “We knew we had improved but it was good to see Ofsted recognised that.”

And she added: “We are delighted to have made such an improvement, in a short period of time, and we are looking forward to building on our strengths in our desire to become an outstanding school.”