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‘Happy and welcoming school' rated Good by Ofsted

A 'happy and welcoming school' where pupils 'respect and care for others' and ‘treat everyone equally' has been rated Good by Ofsted.

Inspectors visited Stowlawn Primary School earlier this year and say that pupils live up to the school's expectations for them to be ‘Ready, Respectful and Safe', and 'kind, ambitious, honest, independent, resilient and creative.'

Leaders set out what pupils should learn and when. Children begin building the essential knowledge and skills they need in the early years, standing them 'in good stead for their later learning in different subjects'.

Teachers have 'good subject knowledge and present information clearly', making sure 'pupils understand and use the appropriate subject vocabulary in lessons' and tracking achievement closely.

Leaders ensure 'reading is a high priority', with teachers incorporating reading and phonic skills into all lessons, providing a well-stocked library, daily story times and a home reading challenge to motivate pupils to read widely and often.

The school’s phonics programme is 'well planned and organised', with staff introducing children to rhymes and sounds as soon as they join nursery and providing extra support for pupils who begin to fall behind.

Pupils particularly enjoy art, PE and mathematics and 'thrive on the wide range of experiences and activities that the school provides'.

Leaders are 'wholly committed to developing pupils’ personal development to a high level', with this described by inspectors as 'a strength of the school’s work'. Staff 'encourage pupils to flourish and to develop a wide range of interests and talents', offering opportunities to build character in lessons and through enrichment activities, with the school recently receiving the prestigious Excellence in Pupil Development award in recognition of the range of high-quality enrichment opportunities afforded to children.

Senior leaders have strong systems in place to identify pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). They are 'fully included in all lessons and school activities' because teachers skilfully adapt curriculum activities to enable them to take part, while leaders ensure that those with more complex needs receive specialist support from external agencies.

Parents 'have only positive things to say about the school', and 'appreciate the approachability of leaders and the support and care all staff show to pupils'. Staff are also 'incredibly proud' to work at Stowlawn.

Leaders, including governors, are considerate of staff members’ well-being, and ensure they receive quality training opportunities, not only to maintain their knowledge and skills, but to develop them professionally.

Pupils 'behave well and feel safe', and have no concerns about poor behaviour or bullying 'because staff and leaders manage behaviour well', while safeguarding 'underpins everything at Stowlawn', with 'no stone left unturned' to ensure pupils are safe.

Headteacher Kate Charles said: "We are very proud of our recent Ofsted recognition. The school has undergone many changes over the past few years, from a new leadership team to doubling in size and welcoming families from an increasingly diverse community.

"We are a real community school and we put the children at the heart of all we do."

Councillor Chris Burden, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Education, said: "This is a very positive report and I would like to congratulate Kate Charles, her team, the hardworking children and indeed the whole Stowlawn school community on this very good outcome."

Latest figures show 89% of schools in Wolverhampton are now rated either Good or Outstanding in Wolverhampton, above the regional and national average. In addition, nine in 10 Wolverhampton pupils attend Good or Outstanding schools, the best in the West Midlands.

Pupils join Councillor Chris Burden, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Education, Headteacher Kate Charles and Deputy Headteacher James O'Connor to celebrate Stowlawn Primary School's Good Ofsted rating.


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