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School celebrates Good rating after ‘considerable improvements’

Staff and pupils at a school which has made 'considerable improvements' are celebrating after it was rated Good by Ofsted.

Corpus Christi Catholic Primary Academy was previously placed in Special Measures, before new leadership from St Francis and St Clare Catholic Multi Academy Company and Principal Julie Wardle led the school to be graded as Good by inspectors following their visit in late October.

They found the Ashmore Park school had gone through a period of significant change and that staff had 'worked hard to make improvements to the quality of education it provides'.

Leaders at all levels 'are determined to make the school the best it can be' and have 'worked effectively together to improve the quality of education pupils receive', with the partnership between the school and the St Francis and St Clare Multi Academy Company supporting 'the considerable improvements’ seen.

Pupils 'know that they are well cared for' and that staff 'will always be there to help them when they experience difficulties'. Staff promote a culture of ‘don’t walk on by’ when thinking about helping their pupils and families, and children 'feel safe and happy because of this'.

Children in the early years get off to a strong start, while the school works well with specialist outside agencies to quickly provide pupils with special educational needs or disabilities with effective support. Pupils with SEND 'feel looked after and included in all aspects of school life and do well when taking part in the same learning as their peers’.

There has been ongoing work to develop the school’s curriculum, with ‘well-designed learning sequences’ in English, maths and science making it clear that pupils need to know, and changes have also been made in many other subjects to improve what pupils learn. Meanwhile, the school has trained staff well, with leaders coaching them as they teach, while at the same time making sure that their workload is manageable.

Pupils 'show positive attitudes to their learning' and know the importance of the school's values, saying that qualities like communication and perseverance help them when carrying out important leadership roles such as house captains, eco warriors and school council representatives.

The school 'knows the importance of supporting their pupils’ wider development by providing rich opportunities for them to visit new places and try new things' – indeed, children are given a passport which requires them to record 40 different experiences before they leave the school, and which children are excited to complete.

Inspectors rated the overall effectiveness of Corpus Christi Catholic Primary Academy Good, with the five inspection areas – quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, personal development, leadership and management, and early years provision – rated Good.

Headteacher Julie Wardle said: "We are absolutely delighted with the outcome of the recent Ofsted inspection and it is a testament to the determination and commitment of the entire school community.

"We have been on a rapid journey of improvement since 2018, overcoming considerable challenges to be the great school we are today. We are extremely proud of our wonderful children who make Corpus Christi a very special place to work."

St Francis and St Clare Catholic Multi Academy Company Toni Ellis said: “Corpus Christi is now the flourishing school our children, families and staff should be proud of. This is thanks to the collaboration of the entire school and wider community.”

Councillor Jacqui Coogan, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Work, said: "This is a very positive report which shows the great progress that the team at Corpus Christi have made in recent times. I would like to say a big well done to Julie, her staff and governors, and of course the children and parents, for their continuing success."

Latest figures show 90% 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.

Celebrating Corpus Christi's Good rating are children from reception to Year 6 with, back row, left to right, Toni Ellis, CEO of St Francis and St Clare Multi Academy Company, Principal Julie Wardle and Vice Principal Julie Wardle.


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