Wiltshire Publications

Westbury Junior School’s 10-year climb to become ‘good’

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WESTBURYJunior School has had its first successful Ofsted inspection result in over a decade, having received a ‘Good’ seal of approval last month.

The school in Oldfield Park had not received a rating higher than three (Requires Improvement) since the scoring system was introduced, and inspections in 2006, 2007, 2010, and 2013 noted that the school was falling below standards.

Last month, however, a report was published which gave the school a rating of two and said, “The governors and headteacher have been successful in raising pupils’ achievement since the previous inspection. More is now expected from teachers and pupils.

“Pupils are proud of their school and their good attitudes and behaviour reflect this. Attendance has improved because pupils enjoy school and work hard in lessons.”

Staff and governors are delighted with the achievement. Headteacher Richard Hatt said, “This report means a huge amount to the school because it is a validation  of the hard work all the staff, children, and parents have been doing for the past 10 years. It’s especially great because we always knew deep down we were a good school, and to have an inspector tell us that is fantastic.

“I hope this will help to put Westbury Junior School on the map; we are very proud of what we have achieved.”

Chair of governors, Westbury town councillor Ian Cunningham said, “The report makes very impressive reading and is a huge credit to headteacher Richard Hatt, his hardworking dedicated staff, and the pupils and their families who have worked so hard.

“None of this was easy but it has been done all the same.  One of the best aspects is that the inspectors could see that not only is the school already good, but that there is still a huge momentum to move forward.”

As well as praising the school’s improved teaching, Ofsted also noted that pupils felt safe, happy, and have improving attendance.

The report said, “Expectations of what pupils can achieve are much higher now than at the time of the previous inspection. This important change has been bought about through the commitment of the headteacher, who is well supported by the assistant headteacher. This has led to significant improvements in teaching and pupils’ achievement.

“The quality of teaching has improved and is good because teachers’ performance targets are sharp. Staff training is well suited to meeting the needs of individual teachers. All teachers are held to account for the performance of the pupils in their care.

“Pupils feel safe and know how to keep safe online, on the roads and out of school. They are aware of how to deal with strangers politely and safely.

“Inspectors were told that bullying was rare. If it happens then ‘teachers sort it out straight away’. Pupils know about the different types of bullying and why it is wrong.

“Pupils show respect for and interest in different faiths and cultures. One pupil in Year 3 said, ‘It is important because we all live together.’”

The school has 360 pupils, roughly two-fifths of whom have special educational needs, and over half are supported by additional funding – double the proportion seen in most schools.