School goes to top of the class

Celebrating their Ofsted report are Amble Links First School headteacher Paul Heeley and pupils Bobby Stone, Faith Bell and Kaci Ramsay. Pic byline please.
Celebrating their Ofsted report are Amble Links First School headteacher Paul Heeley and pupils Bobby Stone, Faith Bell and Kaci Ramsay. Pic byline please.

STAFF and pupils from an Amble school are celebrating after receiving praise from Ofsted inspectors, who recently rated it as good.

The result is a marked improvement for Amble Links First School, after it was graded as satisfactory last time round.

And now headteacher Paul Heeley is setting his sights on achieving an outstanding grade in the future, while delighted pupils have said they want to make it ‘the best school in the world’.

The Ofsted inspection was carried out in January this year and lead inspector David Shearsmith has described the Links Avenue school as a ‘good’ one, which provides a ‘happy and secure environment for its pupils’.

He said that attainment has risen over the last three years, attendance rates have improved and behaviour is ‘now good’.

Mr Shearsmith described the quality of teaching in the main school as ‘consistently good’ and that progress made by pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities is good.

He said that senior leaders know the school’s strengths and weaknesses well and the governing body provides good support and challenge.

In the main findings of his report, Mr Shearsmith added: “The new headteacher has a clear vision for the school, with a commitment to ensuring pupils get access to good quality learning. He is well supported by a strong team of staff and a leadership team who have a high level of commitment to the school and its community.

“The leadership team has sustained the school through a number of changes in leadership and has ensured that the school has continued to make good progress.”

The report makes good reading for those involved with the school.

Mr Heeley said: “We are all absolutely delighted with the outcome.

“The school, over the last couple of inspections, has been described as satisfactory. So we are delighted to come out (this time) with a ‘good’, which is the next level up.

“The inspection report has highlighted the many strengths of our school which is testament to the hard work and dedication of all of our stakeholders since the last inspection nearly two and a half years ago.

“We have got a really, really good team of staff here and they have worked extremely hard to secure the improvement and deserve credit.”

Mr Heeley, who has been the school’s headteacher since September, added: “I have worked with the staff to create a shared vision that combines all the work we do. The aim is to become ‘outstanding’. It is a challenging task but the Ofsted inspector said we have got a good capacity to improve and we have to work towards that.”

And it appears the students share the same dream, with Mr Heeley adding: “The vision of our pupils is that they want to be the best school in the world.”

Amble Town councillors have also praised the school’s Ofsted performance.

Coun Robert Arckless – who recently visited the school – said: “I was very encouraged by what I saw.

“I am also delighted to learn that the recent Ofsted report assessed Amble Links as a good school and identified significant progress since the last inspection.

“It is really good news. Well done to the whole team. It is good to see hard work well rewarded.”