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Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ York primary school pays tribute to former head

Image of headteacher, deputy headteacher and students at Knavesmire Primary School celebrating their Good Ofsted result

Staff and pupils at Knavesmire Primary School are celebrating the results of a recent Ofsted inspection which sees them retain their ‘Outstanding’ grade.

Knavesmire Primary, which is part of South Bank Multi Academy Trust, has been highly praised by inspectors in its first inspection since becoming an academy in April 2016.

The Ofsted report, which follows a two-day inspection last month, states the school provides a “wonderful start” to children’s education, where pupils “have many opportunities to develop academically and emotionally.” It goes on to say “Pupils are enthusiastic, engaged and have a love for learning” and that they “would recommend the school to others as it’s safe, welcoming and there are lots of fun things to do.”

Inspectors observed that “the curriculum, assemblies, trips, and an extensive range of clubs support pupils to be creative, take risks, be resilient and be aspirational.” Pupils also told inspectors that they like “the fact that you don’t have to be brilliant at something to join in.” The report acknowledges that the school’s aims, which encourage pupils to know more, be positive, care for each other and all succeed together, are prevalent across the school and evident in the way pupils conduct themselves. Pupils are “independent and curious. They like to ask questions and are keen to find out more. They listen attentively to adults and follow instructions respectfully. Pupils chat happily as they move around school. They play beautifully together outside, enjoying the outdoor library and selection of books.”

The report also praises the school leaders and governors for their excellent leadership, the training opportunities for staff and the support given for personal development.

Knavesmire Primary first received the ‘Outstanding’ grade back in 2007 under the tenure of former Headteacher Carol Weston, who sadly died from cancer in 2011.

Headteacher, Adam Cooper said “I am really proud of my team who work so hard for the benefit of the children in our care. I am absolutely delighted with the outcome of the inspection which is not only a tribute to the staff, but also to the children and the parents, and Carol too. Working with Carol was a privilege; her memory has been a driving force for the school, and we remind ourselves regularly of her determination to be ambitious and do our very best for our pupils. I know Carol would be very proud of everyone at Knavesmire.

“We go into teaching as we want to give children a safe, happy place to learn, but we also want to ignite the spark for learning and being inquisitive in every child. Through our high-quality curriculum and numerous extra-curricular opportunities, our pupils develop and achieve not only academically but personally too, but none of this would be possible without the people in our school, the staff, the pupils, parents and governors. I want to thank my colleagues who work hard every day to make sure every child has the chance to flourish.”

Chair of Governors at Knavesmire Primary School, Edwin Thomas said “Anyone who knows Knavesmire will know that the Ofsted report captures what pupils there experience at school every day. From the exciting, purpose-led curriculum which is brought to life through the Big Idea, to the energy and expertise of our wonderful staff, the school provides an exceptional education to every pupil. I am so proud of the work that staff and students do, supported by the whole school community, and I’m delighted that Ofsted have recognised that.

“It is an absolute privilege to work with the team at this school. On behalf of the governors, I would like to extend my warmest congratulations on this outstanding result.”

Mark Hassack, CEO of South Bank Multi Academy Trust added “This is a wonderful outcome for everyone at Knavesmire Primary. There is always such a positive atmosphere of care, kindness, respect and purposeful motivation at the school, they really deserve this ‘Outstanding’ judgement. The staff go above and beyond to provide an excellent education to their pupils, but also to provide a host of enrichment activities for children throughout the school. I am incredibly proud of this fantastic outcome, a huge well done to everyone!”

South Bank Multi Academy Trust has six schools in York: York High School, Millthorpe School, Carr Junior School, Knavesmire Primary School, Scarcroft Primary School and Woodthorpe Primary School.

You can read the Ofsted report here.

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