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Newbury's The Willows Primary School is rated as Good in all areas by Ofsted

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A Newbury school has been rated Good by Ofsted – a huge leap since it was judged as ‘requires improvement’ at its last visit by inspectors in March 2018.

The Willows Primary School in Newbury achieved the rating in all five categories - the quality of education; behaviour and attitudes; personal development; leadership and management; and early years provision - in its first inspection following the pandemic.

The report credits the headteacher and staff for getting the school back on course and bringing about rapid improvement to achieve the improved rating.

The Willows Primary School. Ref: 42-1421A
The Willows Primary School. Ref: 42-1421A

The report highlighted the “united passion and ambition” that has helped achieve it and the school was credited with planning an interesting curriculum that sets out a learning journey and helps pupils make connections and remember important knowledge.

Headteacher Joanna MacArthur said: “We are delighted with this report. We are indeed united in not only bringing rapid, but continuous improvement.

"Everyone has worked really hard, and this is reflected in the report and subsequent rating.

“This recognition will spur us on as we keep working to make the school even better.”

Dominic Boeck (Con, Aldermaston), West Berkshire’s executive member for children, young people and education added: “This report is an overwhelming success. It only remains to thank and congratulate everyone at the school for their hard work and brilliant achievement.”

Reading was found to be “centre stage” at The Willows, and the report noted that "books are everywhere" and there is a strong focus on communication and language.

There’s still some work to be done to adapt the early year’s curriculum and assessment processes to reflect the new EYFS statutory framework which was introduced nationally in September 2021 and also some catching up for those pupils who may have lost ground in phonics during the pandemic.

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