AN Ellesmere Port school has spoken of its pride at its progress following an Ofsted inspection.

While Woodlands Primary School in Eddisbury Road is still graded as 'Requires Improvement', leaders at the school are pleased at the highlights of the detailed report.

Dr Victoria Carr, who became headteacher of the school in September 2018, explained how the school had progressed following a "turbulent past".

She said: "It is with great pleasure and pride that our staff share highlights of our most recent inspection report with the community.

"Some may argue that as the school still has an overall grading of ‘Requires Improvement’ that there is little to celebrate, but the content of the report summarises the huge progress that the school has made since September 2018 and evidences the foundations that it will continue to build upon in the next couple of years, whilst exemplifying the positive learning environment that our school provides.

"We have been wonderfully supported by both the local authority (Cheshire West and Chester Council) and also the local Teaching School Alliance (based at St Bernard’s), Ignite, and this support will continue and therefore reinforce the work of the school and its leaders as they continue to aim for excellence."

Dr Carr also received a positive letter from Ofsted Chief Inspector Amanda Spielman, highlighting where the school has improved.

In the letter, she wrote: "Although your school was judged to require improvement overall, I was pleased to see that your leadership and management were judged to be good."

She added: "I know that you and your team will be continuing your good work. I hope this will be reflected in your next inspection outcome, probably in two years' time or so."

Dr Carr highlighted where the school has made marked improvements.

She explained: "Recent changes, driven by strong leaders and governors, are turning the school around quickly.

"Pupils are a delight to meet. They are polite, behave well and feel safe. They enjoy coming to school and their attendance is now good.

"The teaching of phonics is effective and is leading to improvements in the acquisition of early reading skills.

"The revised curriculum is good and is inspiring pupils’ learning in a wide range of subjects.

"Woodlands has suffered from a turbulent past. It has had many changes in leadership and staff which led to poor outcomes for pupils. This is a rapidly improving picture.

"Provision in the early years is good. Outcomes at the end of Reception are improving.

"Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are making good progress due to improved teaching."

One of the excerpts from the Ofsted report said: “Since the beginning of this academic year, the effectiveness of the school has improved rapidly as a result of strong leadership.

"Working together, the headteacher, ably supported by other senior leaders, have renewed the thirst for learning in staff and pupils.

"Much has been accomplished in a short space of time. Teaching is improving, pupils are enjoying their learning and their progress is rising rapidly across most of the school.

“Pupils say they feel safe and secure in school. This is because staff are friendly and always willing to listen and help with any worries or concerns.

"Leaders ensure that pupils understand how to keep themselves safe from harm, including when using the internet.

"Leaders have developed and implemented an effective programme to promote pupils’ personal, social, moral and spiritual development.”

Dr Carr explained: "The learning environment is vibrant and busy and there are several enrichment activities and clubs on offer, in addition to working closely with breakfast and afterschool club provider, S4YC to provide wraparound care!"

The Ofsted report added: “Pupils say bullying is rare; pupils are polite and courteous...pupils state that they enjoy coming to school.”

One parent recently commented on the recent Ofsted to the school: “Can I just reach out and say thank you for the hard work and improvements that each of your team are putting in to improve the standard of teaching at Woodlands.

"The report shows that there is still work to do... and I'm certain there are plans in place to close the gap.

"But the wordy and lengthy report only paints half the picture, and as a parent I have seen evidence of your commitment and hard work pay off in my child who has blossomed.”

  • To follow the school and what it does, follow the headteacher on Twitter @headofwoodlands, the school's Twitter @TEAM_Woodlands or book an appointment to visit by calling 0151 338 2260.