'Exceptional' Wigan school where pupils become 'highly articulate learners' praised by Ofsted inspectors

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A Wigan school has been described as “exceptional” in a glowing report from inspectors.

Ofsted found pupils loved going to Nicol Mere Primary School in Ashton and staff, leaders and governors were focused on ensuring the school was “the best it can be”.

It was given the top rating of “outstanding” in all areas in its first inspection since 2010, when it was given the same mark.

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Pupils at Nicol Mere Primary School celebrate an "outstanding" Ofsted reportPupils at Nicol Mere Primary School celebrate an "outstanding" Ofsted report
Pupils at Nicol Mere Primary School celebrate an "outstanding" Ofsted report

Lead inspector Louise McArdle wrote: “Pupils are immensely proud and happy to attend this exceptional school. They positively bask in the care and guidance that the school provides. Pupils relish the vast array of events, trips and activities on offer. Classrooms are a hive of activity, and pupils love to come to school each day.

"The school’s aspirations for pupils are exceptionally high, and nothing but the best will do. Pupils live up to these expectations and become confident and highly articulate learners. Across the school, including in the early years, pupils make exceptional progress through the curriculum. They are extremely well prepared for the next stage of their education.”

Ofsted said pupils’ behaviour was “exemplary”, their manners were “impeccable” and they made an “outstanding contribution” to the school and community.

Relationships between pupils and staff were "exceptionally strong” and youngsters approached their work with “great diligence and pride”.

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Staff delivered the curriculum with “expertise and enthusiasm” and their passion for learning was “infectious”, with pupils developing “detailed knowledge” across all areas.

The report said: “The school has meticulously crafted a vibrant and extremely ambitious learning journey, which broadens pupils’ horizons and expands their minds. The key knowledge that pupils will learn from the beginning of early years to the end of year six is identified with absolute precision and clarity.”

Ofsted highlighted the school’s efforts to promote reading, with staff introducing reception children to new vocabulary and older pupils having an “impressive knowledge” of books and authors.

The phonics programme was delivered “with absolute fidelity” and “highly effective and timely support” was provided to youngsters who struggled with new sounds.

Staff quickly identified the needs of SEND pupils and they achieved “exceptionally well”, the report said.

There was also an “abundance” of opportunities for children to learn outside the curriculum and they learned “in detail” how to look after their physical health and emotional well-being.