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‘Happy and welcoming’ school rated Good by Ofsted

A 'happy and welcoming' school where pupils achieve well has been judged to be Good by Ofsted.

Inspectors visited St Thomas Church of England Academy in January and, in their report published today (Thursday 9 March, 2023), describe it as a 'happy and welcoming place' where pupils 'live out the school’s vision of growing, learning and shining together with God’.

Leaders at the Mattox Road, Wednesfield school have high expectations of pupils' achievement and behaviour, including those with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND).

They have developed a 'broad and ambitious curriculum' which 'enables all pupils to achieve well'. Teachers regularly check and assess pupils learning, and make sure they 'know and remember more over time'. Leaders attend training to deepen their knowledge of different curriculum areas and then use their subject expertise to support teachers.

The teaching of reading is a high priority and, by the time pupils reach the end of Year 2, most are fluent readers, with teachers providing extra support to any children who fall behind.

Pupils 'work with determination in the classroom', are 'polite and courteous', 'behave well' and 'show respect towards one another and visitors'. Pupils with SEND receive the support that they need, meaning they 'thrive and take part fully in school life'.

Children settle in well at St Thomas' and quickly make friends, while leaders and staff deal swiftly and effectively with any concerns, so 'pupils feel safe at school'.

Pupils enjoy the many opportunities the school has on offer, such as learning to play musical instruments or going on trips which help 'bring learning to life'.

They also take their leadership responsibilities seriously, whether that is as a member of the junior leadership team, discussing improvements to the school and fundraising, or looking after the library and creating displays to promote reading in their roles as Year 6 librarians.

Governors and trustees are very involved in school life, 'understand their roles and carry them out effectively'. They are 'well informed about school improvement and provide challenge and support'.

The arrangements for safeguarding are effective, with staff receiving regular training and the Manor Multi Academy Trust and governing body closely monitoring the quality of safeguarding.

Inspectors judged the overall effectiveness of St Thomas Church of England Academy to be Good, with the school also rated Good in each of the five inspection areas: the quality of education; behaviour and attitudes; personal development; leadership and management; and Early Years provision.

Headteacher Fiona Beardsley said: "I am proud to be part of a team who have worked incredibly hard to get this outcome as well as our wonderful children and families who constantly support the life of the school.

“I would like to thank everyone in the Manor Multi Academy Trust who are always there to help us on our journey; often in ways which are not visible to all. Thank you and well done to everyone involved.”

Councillor Chris Burden, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Work, said: "This is a very good report which everyone at St Thomas Church of England Academy should be very proud of.

"It is especially pleasing to read how determined, well behaved and polite the pupils are, which I saw for myself when I was lucky enough to visit the school last week – you really are a credit to your school!"

Pupils from St Thomas’ C of E Primary School celebrate their Good Ofsted rating with Councillor Chris Burden, Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Work.


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