Celebrations for staff and pupils as Wigan school is rated as 'outstanding'

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A proud headteacher was “absolutely thrilled” as his school was given top marks by education inspectors.

St Wilfrid’s CE Primary Academy in Standish has been rated as “outstanding” by Ofsted in its first visit since converting to an academy in 2013.

Inspectors found pupils “thrive” at the school, worked “incredibly hard” and were inspired by leaders who had the “highest expectations” for their learning and behaviour.

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Staff and pupils at St Wilfrid's CE Primary School celebrate being rated "outstanding" by OfstedStaff and pupils at St Wilfrid's CE Primary School celebrate being rated "outstanding" by Ofsted
Staff and pupils at St Wilfrid's CE Primary School celebrate being rated "outstanding" by Ofsted

The report, which has recently been published following the two-day inspection in January, delighted the school community.

Executive headteacher Stuart Colothan said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be judged as ‘outstanding in all areas, with no areas for improvement’, following our recent Ofsted inspection in January. This is a significant achievement, especially due to the demands of new Ofsted inspection framework and the many challenges that all schools have faced during the Covid-19 pandemic.

"I am immensely proud of our church school community and Christian distinctiveness. Our children are truly wonderful and are an absolute credit to their families. We have a very special partnership with our parents and carers. Our whole school staff work incredibly hard to ensure that our pupils receive an education of the highest quality. Finally, our governors and directors support staff and school leaders well and share our drive and ambition for our children.

"As a school, we have created a culture of excellence. We never stand still and have the highest aspirations to be the very best. We will enjoy this moment and celebrate together as a church school family.”

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The inspectors found pupils were "very proud" of St Wilfrid's and "very keen" to contribute to the school community, with staff listening and acting upon their ideas to improve it further.

They enjoyed "excellent" relationships with staff and peers, and talked "enthusiastically" about the enrichment opportunities on offer.

Lead inspector John Tomlinson wrote: "Pupils thrive in this happy, nurturing school. Everybody is made to feel welcome. Leaders are never complacent. Despite the many notable strengths of the school, leaders continually look to further improve on their already exceptional offer to pupils.

"Leaders have the highest expectations of pupils’ behaviour and learning. This inspires pupils to be the very best that they can be. Pupils work incredibly hard in their lessons and behave in an exemplary manner."

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Ofsted found "much thought" had gone into the "excellent" curriculum, meaning pupils continually built on their learning and achieved well.

Reading was said to be at the "heart" of the curriculum, with pupils having a "stunning" knowledge of books and authors because teachers encouraged them to read widely.

Teachers were "extremely well trained" and had an "in-depth knowledge" of the subjects they taught.

Leaders worked closely with staff to quickly identify pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities and were "united in their view that additional needs should not be a barrier to learning".

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Pupils' behaviour was described as "exceptional" and they were encouraged to be "aspirational" about their futures.

Ofsted's report said: "Alongside fostering excellent academic achievement, leaders ensure that pupils develop as well-rounded youngsters. Leaders’ work to promote pupils’ personal development truly stands out."

Staff were "incredibly proud" to work at the school and safeguarding arrangements were "effective".

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