Wellingborough primary school improves from inadequate to be given a requires improvement grade after Ofsted visit

Governors are ‘very pleased’ at the progress
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Our Lady’s Catholic Primary School in Wellingborough has been told that it requires improvement following a visit from Ofsted on January 31.

The report, which was published on March 21, praises the Henshaw Road school’s early years provision, but also notes that after ‘a period of turbulence’ the full scale of the changes have not yet come to fruition.

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The school was previously visited by inspectors in March 2020 where it was handed an inadequate grade. The improvement shows that the school is trending in the right direction, and leaders are pleased with the progress that is being made.

Our Lady’s Catholic Primary School in Wellingborough was graded inadequate in 2020Our Lady’s Catholic Primary School in Wellingborough was graded inadequate in 2020
Our Lady’s Catholic Primary School in Wellingborough was graded inadequate in 2020

Elise Gribble, headteacher of Our Lady’s Catholic Primary School, said: “This result shows significant progress and improvement since the last inspection, and we believe this to be a fair outcome based on where we are on our journey of rapid improvement to an overall good grade.

"All of the staff are absolutely focused on making the whole school experience as good as it can be for your children from the moment they join our community.

"Whilst we have made great progress in many areas, we agree with the report that we must now continue to embed and further implement the new successful systems, for example, with regards to managing behaviour and attendance.”

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Joe Burns, chairman of governors added: "The governing body is very pleased to note that the significant progress the school has made under Miss Gribble's leadership since its last inspection has been recognised by

Ofsted in this report.

"In particular, the importance that the school places on valuing equally each member of our school community and the commitment of all associated with the school – parents, children, staff, governors and the trust - to making Our Lady's a happy, respectful and positive place of learning.”

The school joined the Our Lady Immaculate Catholic Academies Trust in January 2021, and there are currently 357 children on the school roll aged four to 11.

Since the inspection in 2020, Our Lady’s Catholic Primary School has undergone staffing and leadership changes, which have led to improvements in the curriculum and school’s values, yet inspectors note they are not fully embedded, with some systems like ‘supporting pupils’ behaviour’ still in the early stages of being implemented.

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It also notes that adaptations made to meet the needs of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities are not currently consistent meaning that, in some subjects, pupils find it more challenging to learn the curriculum.

Early years provision, however, has seen the sharpest turnaround in the past four years. In 2020 the report noted that children in the early years do not get off to a good start, and that the curriculum is not well designed, meaning pupils aren’t well equipped to start Key Stage One.

Now, it’s one of the school’s strengths, being graded as good in the report breakdown.

It says: “Children in the early years get off to a strong start. Staff have a clear understanding of gaps in children’s early development. They adapt the learning environment and the curriculum to ensure these early gaps are addressed.”

Read the full report here.