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Fulsome praise for city school judged ‘Outstanding’ across board

A school where pupils 'achieve very well' has been judged to be Outstanding in all areas by Ofsted.


Describing Woodfield Primary School in Penn as a 'community where everyone belongs', inspectors found that pupils do their best to live the school's values of ‘ambition, belief, challenge’, with classrooms 'industrious places where pupils are engrossed in learning'.


The school's curriculum is 'well designed and thoughtfully sequenced', giving pupils the 'knowledge and skills they need to achieve highly'. Highly skilled, dedicated and committed staff teach it 'consistently and effectively’, presenting new learning in a way 'which captures and motivates pupils to learn exceptionally well'.


Staff make rigorous checks on learning and give pupils 'carefully tailored support and guidance to help them improve'. Pupils take great care and pride in their work, which 'reflects the very high standards and expectations set out by the school'.


Children in the early years 'get off to an exceptional start', with 'highly skilled adults' supporting children's learning and development. Children 'display deep levels of concentration' and are 'very well prepared' for the next stage of their education.


Reading including phonics is taught to a 'very high standard by expert adults', while workshops and online resources help parents support pupils to read at home. Any pupil who falls behind is swiftly identified and makes strong gains in their reading. As a result, all pupils learn to read with confidence and accuracy.


The school, part of St Bartholomew’s Multi Academy Trust, 'sets very high expectations of how pupils should behave'. Pupils are polite and respectful of one another and 'highly courteous' to adults. They try hard each day, while any child who struggles to behave receives 'highly effective' support.


Children with additional needs are quickly identified and assessed so that they get the support they need to access the curriculum, including from external professionals, with pupils with special educational needs or disabilities 'very well supported to be successful'.


A wide range of activities, from trips out to visiting authors, help pupils 'deepen their learning of the school's rich curriculum', while popular after-school clubs allow them to develop new talents and interests. The school also provides an extensive personal development offer, helping pupils to understand and empathise with others and build tolerance and respect.


Leaders at every level are 'relentless in their work to ensure the high standards they set are consistently met' and the positive culture at Woodfield means 'every child is well supported to be successful in all aspects of school life'. Parents are 'overwhelmingly positive' about the school, while staff report high levels of support and said the 'listening, caring leaders' value their dedication and commitment.


Safeguarding is effective; pupils are happy and safe and know there are trusted adults in school who will listen attentively and act quickly to resolve any worries or concerns they may have.


Inspectors rated the overall effectiveness of Woodfield Primary School as Outstanding, with the five inspection areas – quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, personal development, leadership and management, and early years provision – all rated Outstanding.


It caps a remarkable turnaround for the school, which was judged to require improvement at its last inspection.


Executive Headteacher Simon Arnold said: "I am inordinately proud of Ofsted’s Outstanding judgment of our school.


“It is a commendation to everyone associated with Woodfield and a tribute to all staff who work tirelessly to ensure learning experiences and standards for the children are of the highest quality, to the relationship and support parents and carers give to the school, to governors who work with such dedication, and to the children who are polite and respectful and exemplary in every way. Being a member of the ‘Woodfield family’ is an honour.”

St Bartholomew's Multi Academy Trust CEO Katy Kent added: "I’m delighted that the inspectors recognised our outstanding and hard-working children, staff and leaders.


“I’m so proud of the significant improvements that have taken place at Woodfield, ensuring that our delightful children and highly committed staff have flourished since joining our St Bart’s family. I look forward to celebrating many continued successes under the exceptional leadership of Mr Arnold and his Deputy Headteacher Jane Cattell."


Councillor Jacqui Coogan, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Work, said: "This is an outstanding inspection report in every sense of the word, and shows that the hard work which has taken place at Woodfield Primary School over the last few years has really borne fruit.


"With nearly 640 pupils on roll, Woodfield is one of the city’s largest primary schools, and I would like to congratulate Simon, his leadership team, staff, governors and of course parents and children on this fantastic outcome.”

Latest figures show 91% of schools in Wolverhampton are now rated either Good or Outstanding, above the regional and national average. In addition, nine in 10 Wolverhampton pupils attend Good or Outstanding schools, the best in the West Midlands.



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