Fishponds school's pride as changes bring good rating from Ofsted inspectors

May 30 2022
Fishponds school's pride as changes bring good rating from Ofsted inspectors

THE education watchdog has praised a primary school which is "determined" that every child will succeed.

A team of three inspectors from Ofsted visited Fishponds Church of England Academy in March.

Their report, which has just been published, rates the school in Fishponds Road, which has 384 pupils aged four to 11, as 'good' in all categories, from education quality and leadership to pupil behaviour.

A previous inspection in 2018 had said the school required improvement, and the trust which runs it said the new rating was a "significant change", brought about by the hard work of children, staff and previous principal Debbie Coker.

The inspectors said: "Pupils enjoy their time at school.

"They are confident and successful in their learning. They are proud to live up to the school’s Christian values.

"Pupils are polite, collaborate well in their learning and show respect for each other’s opinions.

"Staff have high and consistent expectations of pupils’ behaviour.

"Pupils say that staff help them to restore relationships when there have been fallings-out or rare cases of bullying."

The report said children enjoyed a wide range of after-school activities and taking on responsibilities, from being school councillors to fundraising.

Inspectors praised the curriculum which saw pupils "learn well across a full range of subjects", with the "clear and structured" phonics programme, maths teaching and encouragement of a "love of reading" highlighted.

The inspectors said: "Leaders are determined that each child in the school will succeed.

"They have brought about many improvements in the curriculum and in managing pupils’ emotional and social needs.

"As a result, the quality of education that pupils receive is good."

Learning for pupils with special educational needs or disabilities and pupils' "positive attitudes to respecting people’s differences" were also praised.

The inspectors said: "They know that it is wrong to judge someone based on their gender, appearance or beliefs.

"Pupils have a good understanding of what makes a healthy relationship. They know that it is their responsibility to seek help if they are aware of anyone being harassed.

"This prepares them well to be responsible citizens."

The report made recommendations for further improvements in assessments in some subjects.

Support from governors to the school's leadership, and from leaders to staff, was praised.

The inspectors said: "Staff say they love being part of the 'Fishponds family'."

The school is run by the Diocese of Bristol Academy Trust, which said that since the previous inspection it had "redeveloped its vision and values".

Changes included designing and implementing a new curriculum tailored to the school, a new phonics scheme to develop early reading and a new library.

Mrs Coker, who left after six years as principal to take on a senior role at another education trust in April, thanked families for their support and "continued belief in my leadership to bring about the changes needed".

She said:"I wish to thank everyone who has been part of the journey of Fishponds over the last few years.

"There are so many people who have done their bit to make Fishponds the wonderful place it now is."

Trust chief executive Jez Piper said: "We are absolutely delighted with the outcomes at Fishponds CE Academy and so proud of the children and the staff.

"This judgement marks a significant change for Fishponds CE Academy and should very much be celebrated.”

Picture: Ofsted inspectors said pupils at Fishponds CE Academy 'enjoy their time at school'