“I was wrong about Orsett primary” admits mum

Dear Editor,

At the start of this academic year I had already come to the conclusion that as my daughter was in year 6, the last year of primary school, it was merely a countdown process until she was out of Orsett Church of England Primary School and that time could not come quick enough. This was due to the fact that I have been part of the school for a total of 9 years, as my older son had also attended there. In that time I had lost count of how many Headteachers and Acting Headteachers (some better than others!) who had come and gone. This was also true of class teachers. It was apparent that there was some problem with the school and this did not make it a happy place.

I first met Mrs Godfrey (Headteacher) when she joined in September and frankly was only interested in whether she would stay for the whole academic year, as obviously I was keen for my daughter to have some consistency. Incidentally my daughter also had a new class teacher along with 3 other new teachers, which in a school with a one class intake amounted to over 50% new staff. The historical pattern was being followed.

On arrival the new Headteacher ‘Mrs Godfrey’ was persistent and continually approached parents in the playground and actually chatted to us. It was a few weeks into the start of term when I started to take notice of the changes in the atmosphere. For a start my daughter was actually doing different things, like reading and bringing home books on a regular basis, she was starting to talk to me about her work. Most importantly her attitude was beginning to change, she was enthusiastic and appearing happy. As this was so unusual I decided to give this new headteacher a bit of slack!

I realised quite quickly that Mrs Godfrey was nobody’s fool and she realised that some of us oldies in the school were very challenging, myself included! In fact I would like to offer my sincerest apologies for the manner in which she was treated at such an early stage.

It soon became obvious that Mrs Godfrey was having a profound positive effect and I personally started to take more interest including attending family assemblies. The school was a happy place to visit.

My daughter’s class teacher is a great teacher and enthused the class right from day one in September. Now to the end of the year- I have just received my daughters SATs results along with her final report.

Comets such as ‘always does her best in class …I am sure she will continue to make her best progress if she maintains her positive attitude… pleasure to teach….She has worked hard this year making the most of every opportunity given to her’ are sentences I never imagined to see and of course are the ones that make a parent exceptionally proud. So much so I am happy to eat humble pie in this public manner.

Now for the facts! the levels agreed by the Local Authority in 2009 based on KS1 results for English were 70% the actual results were 83% for Level 4 and above. Level 5 and above level agreed was 30% actual results were 37%.

Maths agreed levels for level 4 and above 73% – actual results 83%
Maths agreed levels for level 5 and above 23% – actual results 45%

These figures speak for themselves and suffice to say Orsett C of E primary smashed the predicted figures!

Finally I would like to offer my heart felt Thanks to Mrs Godfrey, Mr Meleady and all the other staff for making my daughters last year in primary school such a pleasant and happy time.

I know that the school will continue to thrive and wish Mrs Godfrey and her team the very best for the future. The turn around in the school is more that I could ever have imagined and I was proved wrong – thankfully!

Yours sincerely
Sara Manley.

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