28 May 2024

Primary school in Porton has ‘thriving pupils’

Pupils are thriving at St Nicholas’ CE Primary School, Porton, says Ofsted.

Parents also say it is a place where staff provide love and care alongside a stimulating curriculum.

Ofsted, whose inspectors visited the 141-pupil primary in May, concluded that it continued to be a good school.

The inspection report said:  “Pupils thrive at this friendly and welcoming school. They are well cared for by staff, who take the time to develop respectful and positive relationships with pupils.”

Ofsted commented on the strength of the new leadership team and the way that they had prioritised staff and pupil well-being. “The new headteacher has brought about positive change. She is ambitious and has high expectations of staff and pupils.”

The inspectors were impressed by St Nicholas’s global explorer curriculum, which they said was well-constructed, rich and engaging, and loved by pupils.

“Leaders carefully weave big ideas such as being ‘creative’ and ‘worldly’ throughout subjects to make learning memorable,” they said.

“Leaders place reading at the centre of the curriculum. Teachers use a range of carefully chosen texts, including Shakespeare and poetry, to motivate pupils to read and write. As a result, many pupils become avid readers,” they reported.

Teaching of maths and phonics was commended, as was support for children with special educational needs and disabilities. The inspectors also liked the ‘wizard warm-ups’, which help knowledge stick in pupils’ memories.

Leaders were praised for bringing the curriculum to life by organising trips, events and experiences. Pupils at the school broaden their cultural awareness, sing in the cathedral, perform in plays and learn musical instruments. Various sports clubs, from mini marathon to rugby, keep pupils active. “The ‘big ideas’ curriculum days are a highlight for many,” the Ofsted report said.

Inspectors also noted the emphasis on children’s personal development, highlighting how the school’s Christian values were used to guide pupils in their behaviour, conduct, and respect for others.

“Pupils discuss and debate important themes such as disability and tolerance with compassion,” Ofsted reported.

Headteacher Lucy Hill, who took up her post in April, said: “I am delighted that the inspectors recognised the hard work that has gone into developing our curriculum and our inclusive classroom practice. We aim to provide memorable experiences that ignite curiosity, inspire ambition and build confidence.

This report is a testament to the hard work of our whole school community and provides a strong foundation from which we can move forward.

We are looking forward to joining the Diocese of Salisbury Academy Trust in the autumn, where we can learn from others as well as sharing our successes.”

Written by
Andy Munns
View all articles
Written by Andy Munns