Atherton CE Primary, including Little Dragons’ Nursery, is a good school, says watchdog

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Pupils and staff at Atherton St George’s CE Primary School and Little Dragons’ Nursery are celebrating after receiving a “good” rating from Ofsted, demonstrating that they are an exceptional school that the local community deserves.

They were inspected by Ofsted in June 2023. During the visit, inspectors judged all areas to be good, leading to an overall effectiveness judgement of good.

Inspectors met leaders, staff, parents, trustees and governors. They also talked to pupils about their work, dropped in on lessons and spoke to curriculum leaders and teachers.

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The report begins by recognising how it feels to be a pupil in school:

Al fresco lessons for St George's pupilsAl fresco lessons for St George's pupils
Al fresco lessons for St George's pupils
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· Pupils said that they feel happy and safe in school. Leaders have designed an ambitious, exciting curriculum for pupils, including for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).

· Pupils respond well to leaders’ high expectations for their achievement. Pupils work hard in their lessons and they are encouraged by staff to do their best. In line with one of the school’s values, pupils strive to shine.

· Pupils said that they always have someone to go to if they feel worried, sad or overwhelmed. They appreciate the support that they receive to look after their own mental health.

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Atherton St George's CE Primary SchoolAtherton St George's CE Primary School
Atherton St George's CE Primary School

· Leaders expect the best of pupils’ behaviour. Pupils show respect and care for each other and for adults in school. When incidents of bullying occur, staff act quickly and appropriately to make it stop. The atmosphere in school is calm and welcoming.

· Older pupils have many opportunities to take on responsibilities in school. For example, they are keen to act as “knights’”who carry out a wide range of roles. Pupils appreciate the experiences that staff provide through the ‘top-ten passport’, such as residential trips and visits to the theatre.

The inspectors also noted the highly effective support that pupils are given to develop their reading:

“Leaders have prioritised a love of reading throughout the school. For example, pupils benefit from reading a wide range of texts together in class. Pupils are keen to talk about literary characters that they come across in these texts. Leaders have made sure that staff are equipped well to deliver the phonics programme. This ensures that there is a consistent approach to the teaching of early reading across the school. Staff ensure that pupils practise reading by choosing books for them that are matched closely to the sounds that they have learned. As a result, pupils’ confidence in their own reading ability improves over time.”

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In the classroom of Atherton St George's CE PrimaryIn the classroom of Atherton St George's CE Primary
In the classroom of Atherton St George's CE Primary

Atherton St George’s CE Primary School and Little Dragons' Nursery is part of The Wings’ CE Trust, where Rachael Coulthard is the CEO.

She said: “The Wings’ CE Trust is committed to creating a better future for all pupils and I am delighted that Ofsted have recognised the high standards here at St George’s and that our school has been rated as ‘GOOD’. Our fantastic team of staff value our children and their families and are providing a quality of education that this community so richly deserves.”

Plans to make further strategic improvements in response to the points for action are already in hand to secure the school’s further development and future success in the next inspection to come.

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