Praise for flexi-schooling

Youngsters at Castleton CofE Primary
Youngsters at Castleton CofE Primary
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A school in the Peak District is proving popular with children who enjoy the benefits of a three-day week.

Castleton Church of England Primary has a policy of ‘flexi-schooling’, with children attending three days a week, and being educated at home on the other days.

Inspectors from Ofsted have now given the primary their seal of approval.

Headteacher Nancy Lees said: “Flexi-schooling attracted children from as far away as Sheffield, although some of them have enjoyed the school so much that they have decided to attend full-time.”

The education watchdog visited the school in March and was impressed by what it saw, maintaining the school’s rating of ‘good’. The inspector found that the school had maintained the quality of its education and was taking effective action to bring about continued improvement. She said the quality of teaching was good and pupils were keen to do well.

The inspector also commented that pupils behaved well in lessons, because teachers planned interesting activities to engage and motivate them.

In a letter to Mrs Lees, the inspector, Deborah Mosley, wrote: “There is a strong sense of community within the school. Pupils describe themselves as ‘one big family’ and parents appreciate the close relationships they have with the school. Pupils are happy and enjoy coming to school.

“You have created a culture of collaboration and care where all pupils and staff feel valued.”

She praised the school’s sports and outdoor activities and music provision. Attendance was also found to be above average and pupils’ behaviour was described as outstanding.

Richard Luke, chair of governors, said: “Whenever governors visit school we are impressed by the special atmosphere there and the children’s enjoyment of learning, so it is very pleasing that Ofsted have recognised this too.”

The inspector suggested several areas the school should work on - teachers needed to support the most able pupils of all ages, so that they reached the higher standards of which they were capable, as well as helping children in planning their writing.