Gateway Primary Free School gets a glowing report from Ofsted

Gateway Primary Free School gets a glowing report from Ofsted

OFSTED inspectors have heaped praise on the Head of School, Dan George and his team for the transformation that has taken place at the Gateway Primary Free School [Tilbury]. In an overwhelmingly positive report, inspectors judged: leadership; teaching and learning; behaviour; welfare; pupils’ outcomes; safeguarding and overall effectiveness, in fact every category, to be ‘good’.

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This report comes only weeks after inspectors judged the Gateway Academy to be a good. The Gateway Learning Community’s [GLC] CEO Kevin Sadler said ‘this is yet more great news for the Tilbury community and some much needed good news for Thurrock education as a whole’. Deputy CEO Viki Reid commented that ‘staff and governors have worked incredibly hard to ensure all pupils have access the best curriculum and teaching. This has resulted in significant improvements in pupils’ engagement and progress. The good news at Gateway Primary Free School is being replicated across all 5 academies of the GLC.

The report praises the Gateway Primary Free School’s ‘ambitious leaders’ all of whom have been ‘determined, focussed and effective in raising standards’. It says that ‘leaders have secured better standards for pupils since the last inspection’ and that they ‘make sure that pupils overcome barriers to learning they might face’. Ofsted was particularly pleased that leaders have ‘changed the way early reading is taught having a marked impact on standards which are now above the National Average. Inspectors heard pupils read with great enthusiasm and listened as pupils recited poetry from memory’.

Inspectors were very impressed with the quality of teaching across the school. The report comments that ‘teachers involve pupils in lessons regularly and effectively. They encourage pupils to speak to, and in front of, others. They praise them for doing well and develop positive relationships with pupils. This means that pupils are happy to share their ideas and that they speak with confidence’.

Inspectors saw that positive relationships are at the heart of the GLC’s philosophy of education and were impressed by the pupils’ ‘polite and welcoming attitudes. The report goes on to share a moment that an inspector shared with a child who said, Mr George [the head of school], ‘makes us feel like this is our house’.

Early years provision continues to be a strength of the school, inspectors said that ‘children in the early years benefit from well-equipped indoor and outdoor areas. Adults carefully assess children’s progress in different areas of learning and target any gaps. As a result, children make good progress through Reception and are ready for Year 1’.

There was praise for the GLC trust saying ‘it sets the high standard against which success in the school is measured. It represents the trust’s commitment to support pupils in this school’s community to do as well as they can. Following the previous inspection, the trust fundamentally changed the way in which the school is led. The trust board took direct responsibility for monitoring standards. They appointed a new head of school [Dan George] and restructured the school’s leadership team. Inspectors praised the goal of the trust to ensure that pupils are equipped with the education they need to make choices and lifestyles when they complete their journey through education.

In response to the report Dan George, said ‘the good judgement across the board is testament to the relentless hard work and commitment of the staff, excellent attitudes to learning from pupils and support received from parents, governors and the community, I am pleased our achievements have been recognised by Ofsted. We look forward to building upon our strong foundations, making further improvements where needed, as we embark on our journey to outstanding.

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