The 'friendly' Stoke-on-Trent school where everyone is 'welcomed and celebrated'

-Credit: (Image: Pete Stonier / Stoke Sentinel)
-Credit: (Image: Pete Stonier / Stoke Sentinel)

A Stoke-on-Trent school has spoken of its pride after being rated 'good' by Ofsted inspectors. The education watchdog recently carried out a two-day inspection of Saint Nathaniel's Academy in Burslem.

The Westport Road school was previously rated 'good' at its last full inspection in 2017. However, a monitoring visit carried out in November 2022 raised some concerns over pupils' learning.

It was ruled that the next inspection would therefore be graded. Despite those concerns, Ofsted inspectors were left impressed during their two-day visit in May, meaning the school once again achieves a rating of 'good'.

The report, published in June, states: "Pupils enjoy attending this friendly school. It has a diverse community, and every member of the Saint Nathaniel’s family is warmly welcomed and celebrated. The pastoral support the school provides to help the pupils feel secure and settled is effective. Pupils feel safe in school because of this and due to the strong team with responsibility for providing it.

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"The school has high ambitions for each of the pupils, including those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). They understand the needs and individual circumstances of each pupil. This means that for many, this ambition is now realised. The ambition the school has for its pupils is central to the school’s values where pupils are encouraged to show the same level of ‘ambition, resilience and courage’.

"Pupils understand the school’s six golden rules. They follow them well, leading to a school that is calm during lessons and playtimes. Pupils recognise the need for everyone to be included and happy. The ‘buddy bench’ enables them to spot pupils who need a friend. This helps them to live out one of the important rules of being ‘kind and helpful’."

-Credit:Pete Stonier / Stoke Sentinel
-Credit:Pete Stonier / Stoke Sentinel

It adds: "While published data at the end of key stage 2 is below national expectations, the school does provide an effective education for pupils. Many pupils leave and join the school at different times throughout key stage 1 and key stage 2 and throughout the school year.

"There is also a very high proportion of pupils who speak English as an additional language. This presents the school with many challenges in terms of ensuring all pupils receive an education that is closely matched to their starting points. Current teaching is now helping pupils to make stronger progress from their varying starting points.

"The school, and the trust, want all pupils to achieve their best. They have a clear vision for how to drive the school on its continued road of improvement. The trust provides a high level of support in order to achieve these aims. However, the school do not always rigorously check that carefully planned actions are being implemented in precisely the way they aspire for them to be, leading to the outcomes they are striving towards."

Principal Rosemarie Patrick said: "We are delighted with our recent Ofsted report which gives us even more reasons to be extremely proud of our pupils. We would like to thank all our staff team, our fabulous pupils, families and the wider school community for their hard work and support in continuing to make Saint Nathaniel's Academy an amazing place for children to start their educational journey."

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