While Ofsted reports usually note pupils’ progress and the curriculum, it is not often they include a school dog!
Yellow Labrador Bramble was given a special mention in a letter sent to Hindley All Saints CE Primary School’s headteacher Kevin Ward after a short inspection.
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Education inspector Judith Straw wrote: “In response to a request from the school ambassadors, you now have a school dog called Bramble.
“She is well trained and well behaved and each class in turn has responsibility for Bramble’s care and welfare. Pupils told me how much they enjoy this responsibility.”
She also noted that some pupils enjoyed reading to Bramble in the “superb new library” at the school.
Bramble has been a popular addition to the Chapel Fields Lane school since she joined in September 2015 as a puppy.
She spends most of her time in Mr Ward’s office, but also visits classrooms to meet pupils and work with them on different projects.
She joins worship sessions, barking along to songs, and has even been on school trips.
All Saints was the first school in Wigan to have a four-legged friend and is much loved by pupils, staff and visitors.
The Ofsted inspection found the school retained the “good” rating it had been given in July 2014.
The letter to Mr Ward said he had “dealt effectively” with most of the areas previously identified for improvement.
Ms Straw wrote: “You are determined to ensure that all pupils have an equal opportunity to be successful.
“Pupils behave in an orderly way and you have successfully created a positive culture in which children learn.
“The effective learner strategy that you and your staff have developed is successful in encouraging pupils to be well organised, highly motivated, resilient, curious, creative and keen to become good citizens.”
Pupils were given a greater challenge in maths and the attainment and progress of the most able pupils in maths had increased in all age groups.
The school environment was praised as “bright and welcoming” and “significant changes” had been made to the curriculum to make it “more inspiring, practical and interesting”.
“Effective action” had been taken to ensure the quality of teaching and learning remained good and staff had “responded quickly” to a recent dip in the performance of pupils’ reading.
Attendance had improved overall and the percentage of pupils who were persistently absent had dropped, but they both still compared “unfavourably to historic national averages”.
Ofsted said the school should continue to develop positive relationships with parents so they knew the importance of regular attendance and ensure that changes to reading were embedded so progress continues to improve.