Primary school gets first ‘outstanding’ Ofsted under new guidelines
PUBLISHED: 07:30 17 February 2020
A primary school has become the first in Suffolk to receive an ‘outstanding’ Ofsted rating under new inspection guidelines.
Exning Primary School in Newmarket achieved the top rating after an inspection in January under the new framework, which focuses on the curriculum rather than exam results.
The school had previously been rated good in 2015 but have improved over the past five years.
Headteacher, James Clark, said: "We are thrilled with the judgement and are delighted that Ofsted recognised the many strengths within our school.
"We are particularly pleased with the inspection team's impression of our outstanding curriculum offer, from Reception to Year 6, and look forward to continuing to improve and develop this in the future.
"I would like to thank every member of staff, our governors and all the children at Exning Primary School, who have worked so hard to get to where we are.
"Everybody is extremely proud of what we have achieved, especially in light of the recent changes to the Ofsted framework."
The primary school is the first in Suffolk to achieve an outstanding Ofsted under new guidelines which came into practise in September 2019.
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The framework now sees inspectors shifting their focus from test results to what is taught, and how it is taught.
Inspectors will look at how a school contributes to pupils' broader development, including development of their character, good citizenship skills and resilience as well as behaviour, disruption and bullying.
The Ofsted inspectors said the school "has got the balance right" between academic excellence and pupil development.
The inspector added that the school is a "calm and orderly place", where pupils can concentrate and are able to learn.
It also praises Exning's anti-bullying policy stating that "staff are alert to it and deal with incidents promptly" adding that pupils feel safe at the school.
It concluded: "Standards in reading, writing and mathematics are some of the best in the country.
"This is not because Year 6 pupils are 'hot-housed' for the national tests.
"It is because they have seven excellent years of education and are ready by the time these assessments come about."