Ofsted praise for “joyful and welcoming” Garrick Green Infant School

Garrick Green Infant School head, Rebecca Dewing, with pupils celebrating their good Ofsted. Picture

Garrick Green Infant School head, Rebecca Dewing, with pupils celebrating their good Ofsted. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

A school where one pupil's only criticism was that they could not sleep there is celebrating after retaining its 'good' rating in its latest Ofsted report.

The March 1 inspection of Garrick Green Infant School, in Old Catton, saw it praised for the 'exceptionally hard' work of staff and governors to make sure it remained good.

In a letter to headteacher Rebecca Dewing, inspector Julie Winyard wrote: 'You and the staff have created a joyful and welcoming place where pupils are keen to learn and do their best. Most parents agree that 'it is a brilliant school!' They say their children love coming to school.

'Pupils feel the same way about their school, [and one said] 'The only bad thing is you can't sleep here!''

Her letter said 18 months ago Norfolk County Council judged the school had lost its good status 'because standards had remained around average for three years'.

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She said: 'After the initial shock, you and the staff responded very positively to this. You work exceptionally well as a team and in doing so you have successfully dealt with the issues that were stopping pupils from doing better.'

The letter said in 2015, standards were higher, particularly in phonics (the method used to teach children to read), mathematics, and the number of children who achieved a good level of development by the end of their reception year.

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She added that pupils are 'on track to do even better in 2016'.

Mrs Dewing said the school was 'really thrilled' to maintain its rating, and paid tribute to all members of the school community, from volunteers and the PTA, to children, staff and governors.

Asked about the work over last 18 months, Mrs Dewing said: 'We were quite outward looking. We looked at other schools. We engaged with the local authority and changed some of our practices, such as reading. We had reading rewards to encourage reading for pleasure at home.'

Asked about the school's future, she said: 'The obvious challenge is trying to get to 'outstanding' next time. The inspector indicated to me that we were very close to that, but we could not be 'outstanding' until we have some better data behind us.'

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

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