Ruardean Church of England Primary School celebrates a triumphant turn-around from requiring improvement to achieving a solid “Good” rating in all aspects of their latest Ofsted inspection.

This report is a complete turn-around from their previous report in 2019 which outlined substantial need for improvement in all areas. This comes following a two-day inspection that took place on the 28th and 29th of March 2023.

Headteacher Simon Manning told the Gazette: “Over the last few years we have been on a journey of improving many aspects of our school, despite the challenges of the pandemic. We are extremely happy with the outcome and the report reflects the incredible hardworking staff who have gone above and beyond for all our children.”

At the heart of the school, there’s a tangible sense of the Christian ethos, “love of learning, love of life, and love of one another,” with pupils actively embodying this spirit in their leadership roles and their performance of plays that reinforce these values. Staff maintain high expectations of the students, swiftly extending support when needed. The harmonious play and respectful debates on the playground bear testimony to the nurturing environment at the school.

Diving deeper into the strengths of this quaint primary school, the report shines a light on the admirable resilience and dynamism of the school leadership. Despite past struggles, the leaders have managed to address the most pressing issues, leading to a remarkable transformation in the quality of education. They’ve constructed a broad and well-sequenced curriculum, ensuring an inclusive and comprehensive learning experience, especially for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

We are extremely happy with the outcome and the report reflects the incredible hardworking staff who have gone above and beyond for all our children

Headteacher Simon Manning

The review particularly highlights the focus on developing communication and language skills, fostering a love of song and rhyme in the early years and sequentially building a strong foundation in mathematics. Even though the 2022 outcomes for mathematics were not outstanding, the pupils now demonstrate a robust understanding of mathematical concepts, pointing to a successful pivot in educational strategy.

Students also benefit from the thorough reading comprehension methodologies used by the school, learning to read fluently and appreciating the nuances of language. However, the report does note that the writing skills of pupils in subjects outside English could use further refinement.

The school’s special educational needs programme received accolades for its consistency and effectiveness. The Communication and Interaction Centre (CIC) serves as a haven for pupils with communication and language needs. It offers an ambitious curriculum in a calming and supportive environment. Still, the report suggests that individual support plans for a minority of pupils lack precision, an aspect the school can improve on to ensure every student reaches their full potential.

The school’s personal development curriculum cleverly takes advantage of its connections with the local church, providing children with opportunities to participate in local activities like gardening and a Christmas tree festival. A sense of democracy permeates the school culture, with pupils embracing voting and developing positive attitudes towards learning.

Ruardean Church of England Primary School takes the wellbeing of its staff seriously, prioritising their workload and professional development. This proactive approach has fostered a passionate teaching staff, evidently committed to their roles within the school.

As for safeguarding measures, the report underscores the effectiveness of the school’s arrangements. All adults in the school receive thorough training in identifying signs of harm and ensuring the quick delivery of support.