JUBILANT children and teachers are celebrating after their Sheffield school became the first primary in the city to receive an ‘outstanding’ Ofsted rating under tough new rules.
Love really was in the air at Oughtibridge Primary School when the surprise Valentine’s Day inspection resulted in Ofsted’s highest possible grade in the newly-published report.
The rating makes Oughtibridge one of only 7 per cent of schools nationally to receive the accolade.
Patricia Munt, headteacher, said she was overjoyed by the glowing report – which comes following the introduction of a new tougher inspection regime at the start of the school year in September, providing more focus on teaching standards and pupils’ achievement.
Mrs Munt, who is herself praised in the report for her ‘clear and sustained leadership’, said: “It makes such a wonderful read – there isn’t a negative phrase or comment, I’ve never seen a report like it.
“The inspectors comment on the staff’s tenacious drive, the pupil’s exemplary behaviour and what they said were ‘outstanding lessons by the bucket-load’. I’m unbelievably proud.”
The report praises Oughtibridge’s quality of teaching, including that of teaching assistants who ‘make a strong contribution to pupils’ progress’.
The inspection team found pupils were making exceptional progress with a ‘curriculum that is innovative and exemplary’ and with ‘teachers that inspire their pupils through highly imaginative and engaging activities’.
But Mrs Munt, who has been headteacher at the school for eight years, revealed the inspection was not without trauma.
She said: “We had masses of snow on the morning of the inspection. Many teachers had to walk in early and then we had a power cut, so we had inspectors on their way and no heating or lighting.
“We were all a bit frantic, but luckily everything came back on at 8am and our wonderful building supervisor was out there shovelling the paths and digging out cars.
“It really was a superb team effort and, after that initial panic, we found the whole experience very enjoyable and rewarding.”
Mrs Munt said the report was the result of a lot of hard work by her entire staff.
“We’ve been extremely focused on improving all aspects of the school in recent years, and we’ve seen levels of progression and attainment rise to a very high level in that time,” she said.
And Mrs Munt still has big plans for the school’s future.
She said: “I’d like to see us in a position to start introducing 21st century equipment, such as iPads and other modern technologies, into our classrooms.”