Celebrations as Ofsted says St William’s Primary is “good” in all areas

Head teacher Sarah Shirras and pupils at St William's Primary celebrate being judged "good" in all a

Head teacher Sarah Shirras and pupils at St William's Primary celebrate being judged "good" in all areas.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

Inspectors have praised the 'exceptional leadership' of a headteacher whose primary school has received a glowing Ofsted report after more than a decade being labelled satisfactory or requiring improvement.

St William's Primary, on Williams Loke, was judged 'good' in all areas in the report, due to be published this week, which said 'the pace of improvement has been rapid'.

The report followed an inspection on April 20-21, and said: 'The headteacher provides exceptional leadership for the school. Together with her leadership team, she has transformed the school's culture, ensuring that all staff and governors share her ambition for every pupil to achieve well.'

The inspectors said staff who responded to a questionnaire were 'unanimously positive about the support they receive from leaders'.

They added: 'Parents are highly positive about the school and the impact of leaders in improving the quality of teaching and learning in the school. One parent spoken to during the inspection told inspectors the school had been 'turned around' by the headteacher and this view was echoed by many others.'

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The report said teaching had improved since the last inspection, because leaders had 'provided training and support to improve teachers' practice', and added that, by their final year in school, pupils 'make progress which is as good as, or better than, the progress of pupils nationally'.

Headteacher Sarah Shirras said: 'I think the greatest thing that has happened in the last few years has been children and staff beginning to believe in themselves.

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'They had such a long period of being told that things were not good enough. I said from day one that everyone here should be flying, and that is exactly what I taught them to believe in.'

She stressed the 'St William's Way', which she said all pupils talk about, and the report said promoted 'highly inclusive ethos and strong values'.

She said reasons for improved teaching included support from within the school, as well as sending staff to learn lessons from other parts of the country.

The report gave three reasons why the school was not yet 'outstanding', including 'teaching and learning in some subjects, such as art and history, are not of the same high standard as in English and mathematics'.

Do you have an education story? Email martin.george@archant.co.uk

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