‘Happy school’ - primary turns around its fortunes to get ‘good’ Ofsted

Head of school Carolyn Oldfield with executive head Emma Burgess with some of the pupils in the play

Head of school Carolyn Oldfield with executive head Emma Burgess with some of the pupils in the playground at Somersham Primary School near Ipswich. Picture: NEIL PERRY - Credit: Archant

A school which was previously rated as ‘requires improvement’ has worked hard over the last three years to reach a ‘good’ rating from Ofsted.

Head of school Carolyn Oldfield with executive head Emma Burgess with some of the pupils in the play

Head of school Carolyn Oldfield with executive head Emma Burgess with some of the pupils in the playground at Somersham Primary School near Ipswich. Picture: NEIL PERRY - Credit: Archant

During the 2017 inspection of Somersham Primary School, education regulator Ofsted found inconsistent teaching standards and a lack of feedback for pupils to improve.

In the January inspection however, every single area was rated as "good" - with particular praise of good behaviour and a desire to learn.

Emma Burgess, executive headteacher, said: "After getting the 'requires improvement' we addressed all of the points that came out.

"I have to say I am so appreciative of the community who all pulled together to make this happen.

Head of school Carolyn Oldfield with executive head Emma Burgess with some of the pupils in the play

Head of school Carolyn Oldfield with executive head Emma Burgess with some of the pupils in the playground at Somersham Primary School near Ipswich. Picture: NEIL PERRY - Credit: Archant


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"I want them to be recognised and the children - they were so amazing and put so much effort in on the day and it is all down to them."

As part of the changes, the school focused on three key priorities - health and happiness, diversity and the environment.

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Mrs Burgess added: "A lot of the staff have been here for so long they've worked so hard to get us where we are.

"It's a lovely, vibrant happy school which just needed a little pulling together, and that has translated into results.

"The report meant so much to everybody here and we're so happy we had done enough."

Ofsted noted that teachers at Somersham are passionate about what they teach and inspire pupils to learn, saying children engage in lessons with "purpose, interest and awe".

They also credited the arrival of new leadership at the school as a key change, with Mrs Burgess running an experienced and committed team of staff.

"Pupils love to learn in this happy school. Learning time is rarely disrupted by poor behaviour because pupils enjoy their lessons," the report said.

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