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Inspectors praise 'happy and caring' school

Woodthorne Primary School has been praised by Ofsted, with inspectors saying it continues to be a Good-rated school.

They visited the Woodthorne Road South school in January and found that pupils fulfil the 'high expectations' leaders and staff have for their pupils' learning and personal development.

The school's values of courage, ambition, respect and excellence 'thread through school life', with pupils recognising that they need to show these values in their lives and their learning.

Pupils enjoy Woodthorne's 'happy and caring' environment, 'concentrate well in lessons and are well prepared for the next steps in their education'.

Inspectors report that leaders have created an ambitious and challenging curriculum from early years to Year 6, identifying the key knowledge they want pupils to build and which 'has raised expectations for staff and pupils'.

Reading is a top priority at the school, part of the Perry Hall Multi Academy Trust, with staff 'expert teachers of early reading and phonics'. The 'well-structured phonics programme is taught systematically', and assessment is precise and used effectively. Teachers quickly spot pupils at risk of falling behind and support them to keep up.

Children 'get off to a flying start in early years', learning and playing together happily, with 'magical' storytime sessions, rhymes and songs 'fostering a love of learning', while the early years' mathematics curriculum 'is equally successful', leaving children well prepared for Year 1.

Leaders identify the needs of pupils with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) quickly and accurately, and children with SEND access the full curriculum, delivered effectively to meet their needs, meaning pupils 'achieve well'.

Pupils enjoy a wide range of experiences including trips, visits from local artists and clubs such as fencing, archery and orienteering, experiences which 'raise pupils’ awareness of their community and the wider world'. Pupils especially love the school's fields and woodlands where they learn and explore environmental issues.

The school's curriculum also enables pupils to work with organisations such as Islamic Relief and Christian Aid, and take on leadership responsibilities such as being school council or sports leaders. Leaders provide visits 'that deepen pupils cultural understanding', for example to different places of worship.

Parents and carers 'hold the school in high regard', while staff are proud to work at Woodthorne and 'feel part of the school's ambitious vision and improvement journey'.

Headteacher Tom Hinkley said: "I am so proud of the children and staff at Woodthorne and the positive comments in the report are testament to their hard work, passion and the care they show. “I am particularly pleased that the report recognises that we are a happy and caring school, the high expectations that leaders and staff have of the children, the school’s values, the ethos and that children feel safe and cared for."

Councillor Chris Burden, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Work, said: "This is a very pleasing report which emphasises the high-quality education which Woodthorne Primary School provides for all of its pupils. I would like to congratulate the headteacher, his leadership team and staff, pupils, parents and governors on their continuing success."

Pupils from Woodthorne Primary School celebrate their Good Ofsted rating with Anum Arshad, Geography Lead, Sophie Jones, Deputy Headteacher, Councillor Chris Burden, Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Work, Tom Hinkley, Headteacher and Tom Johnston, Maths and Curriculum Lead.


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