By Nafisat Ishola
HARRIS Primary Academy Mayflower is celebrating after the school received an ‘outstanding’ rating across all categories in it’s first report from Ofsted.
Opening it’s doors in September 2014 in Chafford Hundred, the new school accommodated the growing needs for primary school places in the local area. Moving to a new building in September 2016, meant the school could cater to 1110 pupils consisting of five of each year (excluding nursery).
This would make the academy the biggest primary free school in the country.
Ofsted inspectors noticed the school’s high standards and cheerful atmosphere.
The report said:
“Pupils at Mayflower are happy and feel safe. Parents spoke of how they like the fact the school provides online and face-to-face training on e-safety.
The behaviour of pupils is outstanding. Pupils are respectful and listen very attentively to each other, staff are excellent role models and pupils respond thoughtfully to each other and to all adults.
The school’s vision of ‘Excellence, Every Child, Every Day’ is evident in the unrelenting focus on the teaching of key skills. Teachers’ expectations are high of both learning and behaviour, and as a result pupils are eager to learn.
All children and pupils achieve well at Mayflower. This ensures that they are all being well prepared for the next stages of their education.
The school possesses diversity with 26 different languages being spoken throughout the school among pupils and teachers. Mayflower constantly wants to push and challenge children to be their best, with free weekly after school classes and one-to-one tuition they aim to provide the best possible provision for children.
Principal of Harris Primary Academy Mayflower, Katie Hanley spoke to YourThurrock saying:
“I’m absolutely delighted, Ofsted came and saw what we’ve been saying about our school. The core values are the most important thing for us and they are part of our foundation. We shared the news in the playground as a big announcement with the pupils, parents and guardians and everyone was dancing and singing to the Gap Band’s ‘Outstanding’ that perfectly fit the occasion.
“Our vision of ‘Excellence, Every Child, Every Day’, and everybody buying into that vision and wanting the best for the children is what makes this school an outstanding school. We have a culture around excellence and that’s everything from what they eat at lunchtime to teaching in the classroom. Everybody is buying into passionately into achieving that vision and the families are so supportive.
“In the future we’ll be looking at specialist key stage 2 subjects and getting specialist teachers for those various subjects. The children are excelling and they’ve made so much progress, they’re all consistently above the national average, which is to the delight of parents and carers. They also love coming to school and we want to see that continue.
“As a head to be able to stand back and see the children flourishing academically and personally is fantastic.”
Year 1 teacher Alice English commented on her first year at the school and the results of the Ofsted report.
“It’s my first year here and I absolutely love it, the school is amazing and the outstanding Ofsted report in all areas is very well deserved. The staff along with the children worked very hard, I’ve never worked in a school like this it’s very hard to find such a nice big community, I’m very happy to be here and be part of the team.”
Parents also praised and recognised the staffs and pupils achievements. Tarin Hendy mum of year 1 pupil Mason said, “I’m not surprised about the Ofsted report, the school has been fantastic from day one.
“A few other parents had concerns if the school would perform well because it was new, but I was confident as they had been organised and prepared from the start – they exceeded my expectations. I feel happy to bring my son into a great and safe environment where he can learn and also have fun.”
Pupils also expressed their joy in the school, Year 1 pupil Harry Lewis said, “I like my school as we always do different things and everyday is different, some kids think school is boring, but not my school! When I wake up in the morning I’m excited to see my friends and teachers.”
A visit to the school saw a big family community gather for a science fair – one of the regular events that give parents an opportunity to come in and see the children’s work, and interact with other parents and teachers.
It is clear that the school has the best interest of all pupils at its heart and their needs are being met. Rapport is built between staff and parents and carers making this one big family.
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