Popular Banbury area school is awarded a 'good' rating in all areas by Ofsted

Popular Bodicote primary school, Bishop Loveday, has been upgraded from requiring improvement to a 'good' rating in all areas by Ofsted inspectors.

Monday, 29th November 2021, 1:23 pm
Updated Monday, 29th November 2021, 1:24 pm
Bishop Loveday head teacher Dee Loader is pictured with some of her pupils

The rating comes after an Ofsted team visited the school last month. Bishop Loveday had previously been rated as Requires Improvement since when staff have been working tirelessly to ensure children are happy and supported.

The areas for inspection were quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, personal development, leadership and management, and early years provision.

Inspectors described pupils as 'happy, polite and kind' and said leaders have developed 'a culture in which everyone looks out for one another'.

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Children made it very clear to the inspectors how much they enjoy their learning because 'teachers make it interesting and relevant to their local area'. They also said 'adults help us understand that it is never too late to change'.

Inspectors found that school leaders have introduced a new curriculum.

"Leaders have thought about the most important knowledge and skills pupils should learn and the order in which these should be learned," they said. "Owing to the disruption caused by the pandemic, the plans for some subjects, such as history, science and geography, are more developed than others.

"Pupils and staff have embraced the recent changes to the way in which reading is taught in school. All pupils take part in two daily reading sessions. Some pupils’ reading skills are developing at a slower pace. Adults spend extra time teaching them so that they can join in with the class text with everyone else.

"Children in Reception are fast developing their independence. They concentrate when learning new things and enjoy learning."

The inspectors' report said that In subjects other than English or mathematics, learning at Bishop Loveday has been organised into themes. Pupils remember the key facts and information in each theme they learn. However, they have not yet learned the deeper knowledge of each subject area. For instance, they do not know about how to look at things scientifically or how historians develop their knowledge of the past. This is because leaders have not yet helped teachers to develop their own knowledge of this.

Pupils attend school regularly. Leaders know the pupils well. For some families, leaders have put support in place to help pupils attend school regularly. Pupils behave sensibly and move around school in an orderly way. They are proud of their school and each other.

Leaders are proud of the additional experiences they offer. Pupils, including disadvantaged pupils and those with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), take part in a range of activities that support the school’s curriculum.

Pupils can apply for positions of responsibility, including becoming a school councillor, play leader or house captain. Pupils have recently taken on these roles and are looking forward to getting started. Staff trust and support one another. Leaders have worked hard to develop a culture where it is okay to ask for help. The new head of school has worked with staff to look at ways to reduce workload.

The inspectors felt that In non-core subjects, teachers’ knowledge of subject-specific concepts is underdeveloped. School leaders need to develop teachers’ subject knowledge through a structured professional development programme, they said.

The Ofsted team said pupils’ understanding of how knowledge is established is 'shallow'. To deepen pupils’ understanding, subject-specific knowledge for each non-core subject needs to be better mapped from Reception to Year 6.

Until the end of last year, the school had been led by Jane Ridley who is now the executive headteacher.

‘’It has been a pleasure and privilege to lead such an incredible team of staff and pupils. I am thrilled that Ofsted have recognised how much our children enjoy their learning and how committed we are to creating a community within which everyone looks out for each other and in which everyone knows that they are truly valued,” she said.

Dee Loader took over the reins in September and managed the inspection soon after she started.

“I have loved every minute of my time so far at Bishop Loveday and am enjoying the challenge of headship," she said. "The staff here truly want the best for every child and this is apparent in everything that they do. Mrs Ridley and I are looking forward to working together to embed our new curriculum, ensuring that all children develop a deeper understanding of their learning.”

Bishop Loveday is a member of the Warriner Multi Academy Trust whose CEO, Dr Annabel Kay, said, “When Bishop Loveday joined the trust in 2016 it was rated RI. I am delighted that this is yet another school that, since joining the trust, has been rated as Good by Ofsted. I am so proud of all of the staff and commitment that they make to every child in our school.”