A school which is marking its 60th anniversary this year has celebrated by being judged Outstanding by Ofsted for the very first time.
Inspectors who visited Spring Vale Primary School in Kenilworth Crescent, Parkfields, recently found provision to be Outstanding across the board – and concluded that every pupil at the school does "exceptionally well".
Their report, published this week, found that pupils enjoy learning and life at school, and appreciate the challenge and encouragement they are given by their teachers who "want and expect" them to do their best.
Pupils remember and build on their learning thanks to the school's well-planned, well-structured and organised curriculum. This is reflected in good academic performance; this year, pupils' outcomes in reading, writing and mathematics were above the national average at both Key Stage 1 and 2. Inspectors found that pupils throughout the school are "very well prepared" for the next stages of their education, including secondary school.
Pupils "develop resilience, confidence" and independence, look forward to school and behave impeccably. They wear their uniform with pride and value Spring Vale's "strong sense of community and belonging", appreciating and accepting different cultures and the differences of others.
Children in Early Years settle quickly into the "nurturing environment" created by staff, who identify their needs through careful assessments. They develop early maths, language and communication skills effectively, with children taking part in a range of activities which help develop their understanding of the world, ensuring they are "well prepared" for Year 1 and beyond.
Teachers "know the pupils well and provide for their range of abilities". Leaders are knowledgeable and give high priority to early reading, with pupils being well supported and quickly grasping phonics, while mathematics is delivered effectively by teachers and teaching assistants who have been given high quality training. Pupils with special educational needs and disabilities are supported "very effectively", meaning they are not left behind.
Headteacher Chris Blunt and the governors have ensured Spring Vale has a good mix of skills and expertise, with staff telling inspectors that they value the fact that senior leaders consider their wellbeing and workload, particularly during the recent work to create new learning environments which will be officially opened next month.
Ofsted judged the Overall Effectiveness of Spring Vale to be Outstanding, with all five inspection areas – Quality of Education, Behaviours and Attitudes, Personal Development, Leadership and Management and Early Years Provision – all receiving the highest possible judgement.
Mr Blunt said: "This is a remarkable achievement for everyone associated with our magnificent school. Twenty years ago we were placed in special measures – and our journey to Outstanding began at that point.
“This report reflects the sense of purpose, skill and commitment of our current staff but also members of staff and Governors who are no longer at the school.
“I am proud to be head of this very special school and to be associated with people, including our wonderful staff, parents and carers, who have a determination on a daily basis that children should reach their potential despite any barriers they may face. This report marks the next step in our journey to continue to strive to be the best we can.”
Emma Bennett, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Director of Children's Services, said: "This is a wonderful report and it's good to see that yet another council-maintained school is delivering great outcomes for its pupils.
"Spring Vale Primary is one of the first schools nationally to be inspected under the new, tougher, 2019 Ofsted inspection framework – and only the fifth school in the country to receive the top grade.
“I would like to congratulate Chris Blunt and everyone at Spring Vale – as well as members of our School Improvement Team who have worked closely with them – on this fantastic achievement."
Latest figures show that over 12,000 more pupils attend Good or Outstanding-rated schools in Wolverhampton today compared to five years ago, with 90% of all primary schools with current Ofsted judgements rated either Good or Outstanding.
To find out more about education in Wolverhampton, please visit www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/education.