4 May 2018
Dear Parents and Carers,
As you will be aware we have finally had the visit from Ofsted and even more excitingly their report. You will know from my recent correspondences that from January 2018, the Ofsted process and inspection framework changed. We knew that on this inspection that the school would remain good, as the focus of the inspection would be to see if the school remains ‘Good’.
We are therefore delighted to announce that our self-evaluation of the school was correct and that as a school we remain ‘Good’.
Once you have read the report and looked at our areas of development, I am sure you will see how well this report reads and the strong position we are now in. I am extremely proud of how far our school has come and despite not being able to get ‘Outstanding’, I think you would agree this report is a very good one!
I would like to take this opportunity to thank my staff and team for their relentless hard work; their genuine caring nature and how they always want the very best for all our children at Merryhills.
I also want to thank the children of Merryhills who are delightful; who work hard in their learning and who forever look out for others: displaying our school Values. I am very proud of each and every one of them.
I am very grateful to you, as parents, for your continuous support and your trust in our school. On the day of the inspection, I was overwhelmed with your wishes of good luck and how, as a community, it was clear that you all want the best for our school; we are all very appreciative of your support.
When I first took over this role six years ago as Headteacher, the school was in a very different place. We are now in a position where requests from new parents to tour the school are increasing all of the time. We have waiting lists in every year group including new admissions to Reception 2018. Parent’s feedback is very positive and children feel safe and secure in our school. I believe that this report highlights the school strengths and shows how outstanding we really are.
As the report says, we will always strive to improve and it is business as usual here at Merryhills. We will continue to ensure that your children receive the best education possible, giving them different opportunities to make them confident well rounded individuals who are well equipped to leave us for secondary school education and beyond.
Please take the time to read the report, if you have any further questions about his report, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Ofsted Areas of Development:-
‘Pupils are challenged in their written work in Science so that they demonstrate greater depth of knowledge and understanding when they write up their experiments.’
As you will be aware, the school has raised the profile of Science at Merryhills through our Science Week and the appointment in September of a Science Leader. Staff and teachers have been inspired in their teaching and children have been motivated to learn even more in this subject.
Ofsted were able to see challenge and differentiation in teaching, however, felt that this was not reflected and evident in all books across the school. As a result of this, staff training will ensure that differentiation that is currently used in their practical teaching will be evident in children’s books. Science will be included in our book scrutiny so that we can ensure our more able pupils are being challenged in this area. We will also be working on gaining the Science Quality Mark award in September 2018.
Highlights from the Ofsted report
- You, your leaders and governors are enthusiastic about developing the school and work together well.
- Timely changes are having a positive impact on pupils’ learning.
- Previous strengths, such as the careful monitoring of teaching and pupils’ progress,continue to be used effectively.
- Children….typically make comments such as: ‘Someone is always happy to help you’, and ‘There is something extra for children at all levels.’
- Your and your leaders’ actions ensure that the school is continuing to improve.
- You and your leaders ensure that there is a calm and orderly atmosphere in schoolthat is conducive to good learning.
- Pupils are positive about their school and are happy to follow your set of 12 values. They demonstrate these values, such as friendship and self-belief, in their daily lives.
- Leaders have strengthened the curriculum so that reading and mathematics are taught as successfully as writing.
- The leadership team has ensured that all safeguarding arrangements are fit for purpose and records are detailed and of high quality.
- Pupils feel safe and know that you and your staff will help them when necessary.
- They make comments such as ‘You know that someone is there to help if something happens’, and ‘We are like a big family.’