North East Connected

School retains good grade despite doubling in size

THE writing is on the wall for pupils of a village school which has maintained its high standards over the past four years despite doubling in size.

Leeming and Londonderry Community Primary School has again been ranked good by Ofsted after a rigorous inspection.

Inspectors visited the school, between Bedale and Northallerton, looking in depth at reading, mathematics and science. They had discussions with the executive headteacher and subject leaders, visited lessons, met with pupils to discuss their work and heard some of them read.

They also considered responses to online questionnaires completed by parents and staff, met with members of the governing body and with a representative from the local authority.

Inspectors highlighted a host of positive factors contributing to the overall good rating including:

Leaders being determined that every pupil can find something at which they shine.

Evidence that any difficulties which may jeopardise pupils from taking part are overcome.

That pupils love outdoor learning which brings science to life. They also enjoy using a flint and steel to light a fire and are enthusiastic about easting outdoors. They use knowledge about animal habitats to make suitable dens.

Pupils and adults having warm, caring relationships. Adults know all pupils very well. They know what they do well and what they need to get better at. Adults know pupils’ individual interests and use this information to engage pupils well. Pupils enjoy school and learning.

Poor behaviour being rare. When pupils fall out with each other adults help them to resolve disputes quickly. Pupils feel safe and secure in school. They are adamant that there are no bullies, but if there were they would trust adults to sort out any problems.

Leaders and governors remain ambitious for all pupils.

Leaders took decisive action to change phonics teaching adopting a more structured approach and ensuring all staff had extra training, which helped pupils catch up. As a result, all pupils, including those who have a special educational need, now learn to read well and comprehend increasingly complex books.

Inspectors noted the ethos of the school, ‘the Leeming way’, was maintained and that all pupils understood the importance of teamwork. “As a result, all pupils cooperate with each other and the school is a harmonious place,” the report said.

“Leaders want to help all pupils ‘be the best they can be’. Pupils gain many of the skills needed to succeed in life. Leaders also want pupils to know about the diversity of life in modern Britain. Children make a successful start to school, supported by sensitive, caring adults.”

Executive headteacher Rowena Sykes said: “Our pupils were absolutely brilliant with the inspectors; they were welcoming, insightful and honest.

“I’m delighted they recognised how much we value our outdoor education. It really is enriching young people’s lives, helping them be the very best they can be and gain the skills they need to flourish in the future. Our early years foundation/key stage1 outdoor area was recently redeveloped with donations made by the local Methodist Church and the Matthew Robinson Trust.”

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