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Wednesday, 17 December 2014

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School is good, happy and safe – inspectors

ST Joseph’s in Frizington is a “good, happy and safe” school that is “outstandingly caring and supportive”.

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delighted: The pupils from St Joseph's Primary School in Frizington

That’s the view of Ofsted inspectors who visited the school for two days in September.

The Catholic primary school, on Yeathouse Road, was judged to be “good” – the second highest grade possible – in almost every category, and was said to be “outstanding” in terms of child safety and the effectiveness of the care, guidance and support it offers.

The school received only two “satisfactory” grades, in how the governing body supports the school in tackling weaknesses, and the effectiveness in which it promotes cohesion. It received no “less than satisfactory” grades.

“St Joseph’s is a small school with a lovely family feeling, where our enthusiastic, dedicated staff share a huge commitment to securing the best possible outcomes for pupils, who are achieving well,” said head teacher Anne-Marie Roeber.

“We are all very proud of Ofsted saying we are an outstandingly caring and supportive school. Just what everyone expects from the highly ambitious and effective team.”

Ofsted found that: “Many parents and carers and the local authority comment positively about the school’s transformation for the better over the past two years under the inspired leadership of the head teacher.

“Morale among staff is soaring and all share an outstanding commitment to securing the best possible outcomes for pupils.

“The immaculately maintained premises have been substantially redecorated and improved to ensure that pupils work and play in a bright, stimulating environment.

“Overall, pupils make good progress from their historically below-expected starting points to reach broadly average attainment by the end of Year 6.

“With rapidly improved teaching over the last two years, pupils are now making securely good progress and achieving well, although there are occasions when higher attaining pupils could be set more challenging work.

“Pupils behave well and feel exceptionally safe. They are outstandingly well cared for, guided and supported. This includes being served healthy and wholesome food at lunchtimes.

“The good curriculum engages pupils in learning and is increasingly well enriched to open up opportunities that would otherwise not be accessible to them, such as the residential trip to London last year.

“Occasionally, opportunities are missed to promote numeracy in lessons other than mathematics and more could be done to promote multicultural awareness, in order to help pupils understand the importance of this in terms of cementing community cohesion.

“Over the past two years, concerted actions to overcome previously identified weaknesses have in most cases been effective.

“Staff share a common vision of where improvements could be made, garnered through accurate self-evaluation. They work tirelessly to bring these about.

“The full benefit of this effort is yet to be realised but children are getting off to an increasingly good start in the Early Years Foundation Stage and are subsequently being increasingly well taught and enjoying a rapidly improving curriculum. As such, the school has a good capacity for sustained improvement.”

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