A school has not one but three reasons to celebrate.
Longhoughton Church of England First School has been rated as good by both Ofsted and the Church of England Anglican and Methodist Schools inspectorate (SIAMS) in the run-up to celebrating 50 years on its current site next month.
The Ofsted report is particularly complimentary about the progress made by the children, highlighting that ‘pupils attain standards which are above national expectations in all subjects because of the good progress they make. Effective support for pupils with special educational needs ensures they also make good progress’.
Inspectors also made reference to the fact that the school often receives new students during the year due to it being the nearest first school to RAF Boulmer.
‘Pupils are very welcoming to the many new arrivals that come to the school during the course of the year,’ the report says.
The headteacher and governors ‘have created a strong team who work very closely together and are committed to providing the very best they can for each pupil’, while teachers ‘know pupils very well and make learning interesting’. The school was rated good, and not outstanding, because marking in books includes comments that tell pupils how to improve, but these are not always acted upon; sometimes tasks are not hard enough to fully extend pupils’ learning; and in mathematics, pupils are not always clear about the next steps they need to take to improve’.
The SIAMS report described the distinctiveness and effectiveness of Longhoughton as a Church of England school as ‘good, with some outstanding features, particularly in the area of collective worship’.
As in the Ofsted report, the inspector highlighted the crucial role of the headteacher and governors in shaping the Christian character of the school.
Headteacher Tracey Critchlow said: “We felt the school was a good school, but it is fantastic to have our judgement backed by these two inspection reports. It is a wonderful encouragement.
“The fact that we’ve been able to maintain and improve standards even when we’re facing budget cuts is something we’re obviously very proud of.”
Chairman of governors, Audrey Jamieson, added: “We’re officially a good school, which is brilliant news.
“It reflects the hard work and determination of the headteacher, staff and governors to provide the very best they can for every single child in the school.
“The reports have made a great start to our celebrations of the first 50 years of the school’s life on its present site next month.”