Corby primary’s remarkable rise praised by government minister

A primary school that places family at its heart has been named among the top three per cent of performers for progress in England.

Friday, 15th March 2019, 5:00 am
Staff and pupils at Our Lady of Walsingham are celebrating being in the top three per cent of schools for progress between KS1 and KS2 NNL-190314-164657005

Our Lady Of Walsingham Catholic Primary has been praised by Secretary of State for Education Damian Hinds because of the headway its pupils make between key stage one and two.

Mr Hinds wrote to the school to congratulate them on the results.

Our Lady of Walsingham Catholic Primary School NNL-190314-164644005

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Mr Hinds’ letter read: “Thank you for producing such high standards through your hard work and professionalism, and congratulations again to you and your staff for all you have achieved.”

Opened in 1942, the Occupation Road school is Corby’s oldest Catholic Primary and was the only school to be built during the war.

Parishioners raised the money to build the school and many of their children and grandchildren eventually became pupils.

Headteacher Maire Hayes was a pupil at the school, and her mum was a teacher there. Her daughter also attends the school.

Key stage leader Sineaid Murphy’s grandfather helped raise funds to build the school and Sineaid was also a pupil.

And inclusion manager Luke Politano himself attended the school - as did his father.

In 2007, Ofsted judged Our Lady of Walsingham to be inadequate - with only 100 pupils on roll.

Maire Hayes arrived at the school in 2009 and took over the headship in 2010 and, at its last Ofsted inspection in 2018, the school was judged to be good. It now has 393 pupils.

Mrs Hayes said: “We knew our progress was within the top 20 per cent but then we got the letter to say we were in the top three per cent which was amazing.

“When I arrived in 2009 it had just gone into special measures and we had just over 100 children.

“Now we’ve got 393 pupils and we are going to be oversubscribed for September 2019 entry for the first time.

“We have such a happy school here and we don’t take ourselves too seriously, which is why staff turnover is so low.

“We’re close by to our church and there are so many parents who came here themselves who now send their children here.”

Year two pupil Erin, aged seven, said: “I have loved the three teachers I have had at school so far. We have lots of fun here.”