BULPHAN C of E primary and St Thomas’ of Canterbury were celebrating two “Good” inspection reports from Ofsted.
The reports continue an upward curve for Thurrock primary schools which culminated earlier this year when Dilkes in South Ockendon achieved an “Outstanding” report.
Three years ago, Bulphan was in a parlous state and had been deemed satisfactory but in a remarkable turnaround the school is now graded as “Good” with elements of “Outstanding”.
The school has improved since its last inspection and now provides a good standard of education for its pupils.
1.Pupils make good progress throughout the school and leave with above average attainment by the end of Key Stage 2.
2.Pupils behave well, are courteous to visitors and those around them, and they mostly have good attitudes to learning in lessons.
3. The quality of teaching is good, and pupils make good gains in their learning as a result.
4. The best lessons are lively, engaging, and challenge pupils to think for themselves.
5.The headteacher, staff and governors have high expectations of success and have worked hard to make the school better.
St Thomas’ of Canterbury in Grays has also been lauded by Ofsted. The school led by headteacher Chris Birtles has quietly nut effectively improved over the last few years. On Saturday night (Oct 13th), students appeared at the Royal Albert Hall.
Among the findings are:
1. This is a good and improving school. St Thomas’ is highly inclusive; this is evident in its strong ethos that places pupils at the heart of the school’s operations. It is not yet outstanding because some teaching remains satisfactory rather than better, and attainment in mathematics is not as high as in English.
2. Pupils from all backgrounds achieve well overall,and attainment is rising. Children join the school with limited skills and understanding. They make good progress, but it is more rapid in Key Stage 2, where teaching is stronger, than in reception and Key Stage 1. When pupils leave at the end of Year 6, attainment is broadly average in mathematics but above average in English.
3. Good teaching is improving pupils achievement.Teachers and support staff have strong relationships with the pupils. Staff have high expectations of the pupils and plan activities that meet the needs of most learners well.
4. The headteacher and deputy headteacher take strong and decisive actions in managing performance and improving the quality of teaching. The good curriculum includes extended opportunities for pupils to enhance their strong spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, but does not yet maximise pupils’ opportunities to develop their numeracy skills in different subjects.
Commenting on the report, Mr Birtles said: “We are delighted with this report. The staff, students, governors and parents have all played their part in taking the school to this level.
“We still have much to do but it is very pleasing to be praised in this way.”
Thurrock Council has also come in for praise in the reports.
Ofsted said: “The local authority has provided appropriately light-touch and effective support to the school.
“They have brokered an effective ‘triad’ arrangement with two other similar schools in the locality to share and disseminate good practice and assist in the moderation of teachers’ assessments throughout all year groups.”