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Good result for Thatcham's Whitelands Park School

Primary school transforms itself to achieve its best rating

Good result for Thatcham's Whitelands Park School

WHITELANDS Park Primary School has transformed itself into a good school, Ofsted has said.

All aspects of the Sagecroft Road school were rated good following a two-day inspection in December, with the school saying the report is the best in its history.

The report, the first since the school became an academy in 2014, represents a two-grade jump after it was placed in special measures following an inadequate rating in 2013.

The school became part of the Kennet School Academies Trust and inspectors said that staff had “worked unfalteringly” to improve it.

Ofsted noted that pupils’ progress had improved due to better teaching over the past two years and that they had made strong progress.

The report said that “far-reaching and systematic improvements” had led to effective teaching, with one parent saying: “I cannot fault the teaching, it’s incredible and inspiring.”

Pupils were found to “learn well and make strong progress”, focusing intently on their work and “often answering  teachers’ probing questions in detail”.

School leaders were also praised for ensuring that pupils are “cared for and achieve well”.

Headteacher, Matthew Irving, said: “The whole report is a delight, just so full of positive findings.

“I am so proud and the report is testament to how tirelessly the children, parents and the school staff have all worked since it became an academy in January 2014. 

“I am privileged to be the headteacher of Whitelands Park Primary School, though better never stops. An outstanding primary school for Thatcham is clearly within our reach and in our sights.”

While acknowledging improvements had been made, Ofsted said that more was needed to improve pupils’ attainment in Key Stage 2, especially in mathematics.

It also noted that, although attendance had improved in the latest term, leaders’ actions have not yet shown impact over a sustained period of time.

Chair of the local governing body, Sandra Nicholls, said: “It has been exciting to see Whitelands grow into a progressive school determined to succeed.

“Those fortunate enough to attend Whitelands know that every child is important. I pass on my congratulations to a staff that deserves this Ofsted acknowledgement and encourage them, along with the children and parents, to continue to grow.”

Executive head of the Kennet School Academies Trust, Paul Dick, said: “I congratulate Matthew Irving and his colleagues for the transformational work they have secured at Whitelands Park Primary School.

“The support and direction from the trust have meant the school is performing better than it ever has done in its history.  

“I congratulate the staff, and particularly the pupils, parents and friends of Whitelands Park Primary School, for achieving this impressive report.

“The school and its community are in a powerful partnership, for good. It is a real success story.”

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