Doncaster church school classed as good five years after being told to improve

Five years ago they were told they needed to improve – but now a Doncaster school is celebrating after Ofsted confirmed they are a good school.

Tuesday, 5th February 2019, 07:39 am
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 16:34 pm

Staff at St Francis Xavier Primary Catholic Primary School in Balby have worked to ring the changes since they were told by Ofsted it needed to make improvements back in February 2014.

And now inspectors have rewarded their hard work – by confirming the school is good, after Ofsted visted the school in December.

Bernadette Nesbit, Executive Headteacher, Joe O'Connor, School Manager, Stacey Hudd, Assistant Head, Director of teaching and Learning, pictured with school council members Finley, Weronika, Gabriela and Ashley, as the school celebrates a good Ofsted report. Picture: NDFP-29-01-19-FancisXavierOfsted-2

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Head of school Joseph O’Connor said everyone at the school was delighted to have been told it is rated as good again. He said Mrs Nesbit has been in charge for two years. and that she had transformed the school over that period.

Reception children Oskar, Kian, Tamalyn and Maria, pictured. Picture: NDFP-29-01-19-FancisXavierOfsted-1

He said: “I feel it was a result that was very well deserved. The school has travelled on an amazing journey under the leadership of its executive headteacher, Bernadette Nesbit, and the commitment to the school has been nothing short of exceptional.

“We are a very close-knit team and I think that comes across in the Ofsted report.

“Parents have been more than supportive.

“The next step is to go from strength to strength. We’re very proud and now we’re planning an open day for the community to show that we’re on the up.”

Stacey Hudd, Assistant Head, Director of teaching and Learning, Bernadette Nesbit, Executive Headteacher and Joe O'Connor, School Manager, pictured with school council members Weronika, Finley, Gabriela and Ashley, as the school celebrates a good Ofsted report. Picture: NDFP-29-01-19-FancisXavierOfsted-3

Work to improve the school has included a £180,000 building programme in the summer of 2017, which saw new classrooms and offices created.

Pupils are now wearing uniforms with collars and ties rather than the sweatshirts they wore before.

In the latest report, Ofsted said Mrs Nesbit and her team provided effective leadership and their strong actions have revitalised the school ethos, leading to rapid improvement.

Leaders and teachers have higher expectations of what pupils can achieve and morale is high.

Teaching is now good and has resulted in improved outcomes for pupils.

Standards by the end of year six have risen and pupils are better prepared for secondary school, although too few pupils, especially the most able, reach the higher standards.

Work is now underway to improve pupils’ achievement in subjects beyond English and mathematics.

Pupils behave well and show good attitudes to learning and partnerships between home and school has been strengthened. The school  has worked with families to improve pupils’ attendance and with some success, but attendance still remains below average.

Ofsted now wants the school to further improve the quality of teaching, learning and assessment, and to continue to strengthen the effectiveness of leadership and management by working even more closely with families to improve attendance so that it is at least in line with national average.