ONE of York’s largest primary schools is celebrating after an inspection.

Robert Wilkinson Primary Academy in Strensall has been declared ‘good’ by Ofsted, with ‘outstanding’ features in behaviour and attitudes and personal development.

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School inspectors visited the school, which is run by Ebor Academy Trust and has 537 pupils on roll, in December. Their visit included close looks into five subject areas, lesson visits, discussions with staff and pupils, meetings with school leaders and members of the Ebor team. They also scrutinised children’s work.

The report, now published on the Ofsted website, said: “Leaders, staff and pupils share the same high expectations of each other. The calm and purposeful environment within school exemplifies these high expectations.

"The school’s ambition for achievement is equally high. Pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), achieve well. Pupils’ behaviour and attitudes are exceptional.

“The school places a high priority on pupils learning the fundamentals of early reading. In early years, staff expose children to a range of books, rhymes and songs. From these initial experiences, high-quality phonics teaching enables children to achieve well. They become confident and fluent readers. This high achievement extends to disadvantaged pupils, including those with SEND. Where pupils need extra support, well-trained staff deliver targeted interventions with clear impact.

“Leaders have high ambitions for the curriculum within school. The majority of subjects have curriculums that meticulously identify the specific knowledge and skills pupils should develop over time. Teaching is precise and targets any gaps in learning to ensure that pupils make demonstrable progress. Pupils can recall what they have learned. New learning then builds on pupils’ prior learning.”

School governors were also praised: “Governance at the school is effective,” the report states. “A knowledgeable and committed governing body is well informed by regular visits to the school and through detailed reports from the head teacher. Governors use this information to hold leaders to account.”

When it came to what the school needs to improve inspectors said the curriculums in a small number of subjects are not as well sequenced as they are in others and the essential knowledge has not been identified precisely enough in these subjects. 

Head Donna Bedford, said: “We are incredibly proud of what the Ofsted school inspection report represents – the culmination of our commitment, hard work and a strong, focused, ongoing approach to school development. The inspectors witnessed what happens every day at Robert Wilkinson and we are pleased that everything we have worked towards was clear to see.”

Gail Brown, chief executive of Ebor Academy Trust which operates schools in York, Selby, Hull and the East Riding and on the Yorkshire Coast, said: “Many congratulations to Donna and her team for the brilliant comments in this inspection report. Robert Wilkinson Primary Academy is a wonderful school with a vibrant and supportive school community.”