Tuesday 26 July 2011

Chalkhill is on the way up

Anyone involved with schools knows that it takes years to build up a good reputation in a community but that this can be destroyed by a single event. Unhappily a bad reputation can hang around for years becoming an unquestioned assumption locally despite any evidence to the contrary. Unfortunately a single event cannot change this overnight. Things are worse if the community around the school has a historically determined 'bad' reputation even though that community may have been transformed.  Restoring a school's reputation is a long hard slog that requires dedication from staff and governors and a group of parents who believe in the school - and a local authority that will back it.

That enormous effort  is paying off at Chalkhill Primary where I am one of the governors. Ofsted visited at the end of the summer term and deemed it a good and improving school with some outstanding features. A few years ago it had been a  'failing school'  and in special measures.

The extract from the Ofsted Report below indicates the substantial gains that have been made:
Chalkhill Primary is a good and improving school. Pupils achieve well and thoroughly enjoy learning. It is very popular with pupils, parents and carers. There is a strong commitment from all staff to provide each pupil with the best possible education. Parents, carers and pupils appreciate the excellent quality care provided by the school and good quality learning opportunities. One parental comment summed up the views of the majority saying, ‘Chalkhill has improved a lot in recent years. The school is welcoming and children are supported in their learning very effectively. There is good after-school provision. Teachers are very committed and my child really enjoys his learning.’ Pupils confirmed an equally positive view: ‘We like the way the school takes care of us and makes learning fun.’
The headteacher, governors and senior management team provide strong leadership and clear educational direction which is ensuring good outcomes.
These are the key strengths of the school.
Pupils achieve well and make good progress throughout the school in all aspects of their learning because teaching and learning are good.
Care, guidance and support are outstanding; pupils and their families feel extremely well supported by the school.
Relationships are strong and the school ethos is warm and welcoming and consequently pupils make good gains in their personal development.
Pupils gain excellent knowledge and awareness of how to stay fit and healthy and lead an active lifestyle. ‘Wake up-shake up’ is enjoyed by pupils, staff, parents and carers.
Children get off to a confident start in the Early Years Foundation Stage because provision is good.
The quality of singing is good throughout the school. The school has gained the Gold Sing Up award.
Good links with parents, carers and the local community contribute effectively to the provision.
Community cohesion is good at school, local, national and international levels.
Good partnership links with other external agencies enrich the provision and enable pupils to benefit from additional academic and cultural activities.
The Report illustrates the fact that a school is much more than its SAT results and shows that Chalkhill is providing a well-rounded education for its children. Furthermore it is becoming a positive focus for the local community and helping to raise its aspirations. Chalkhill is on the way up!

Congratulations to staff, pupils and parents.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I worked at Chalkhill for 7 years, it was always a good school, with dedicated and caring staff and wonderful children. I am so proud that the school is finally getting the recognition it deserves. Well done everyone.