Takeley Primary goes from special measures to “Good” rating in a year
- Credit: Archant
In just one academic year, Takeley Primary School has gone from being in special measures to achieving a Good rating from official inspectors.
Ofsted put the school into special measures in June 2014 but after a re-inspection just before Christmas, Takeley has leapt up two grades to the Good rating.
The inspectors gave the school outstanding for the “pupils’ excellent behaviour.” New headteacher Gill Doyle, who took over in September 2014, was described as having a relentless drive for improvement. She said: “We are delighted.”
Her strategy has been constant training and monitoring for all staff, teachers and learning assistants – as well as meticulous attention to the progress of the pupils.
The inspectors report said: “Positive attitudes to learning mean they work hard and as a result make good progress.” It added: “Pupils thrive in an environment where they feel safe and happy and are confident that peers and adults will help them.”
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Mrs Doyle said: “The deputy headteacher and I are on the gate every morning to greet the children and we are there at the end of the day to say farewell and at every lunchtime and playground duty. It’s very important that we know our families and we understand the children’s learning journey.”
“We have a code of conduct,” Mrs Doyle said. “It’s very simple: be kind, be safe and be responsible.
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“The children have taken this to heart. When they named the school houses, they chose the school values: Resilience, Perseverance, Leadership and Aspiration.”
Takeley has a head boy and girl, a deputy head boy and girl and a school council with representatives right through the years.
Mrs Doyle says: “[The pupils] have their voices heard. Their view is just as vital as mine. They are the ones living it, so why would we not listen to them?”
The Ofsted inspectors noted that bullying is rare but children said if they were worried they would talk to the play leaders in Year 6 or the Year 5 Friendship Squad.
The report said: “Pupils move around the school showing respect for their peers and their learning. No learning time is wasted and there is no disruption to the orderliness of the school day.”
When Mrs Doyle, now in her 25th year of teaching, started at the school, she created a display to introduce herself to the pupils.
“I had a pile of books and my Kindle, my running shoes, a bicycle helmet, a bag of popcorn and a DVD because I love the cinema, and my gown and mortar board.”
She has no children of her own and laughed: “I have 350 of them!”