Head teacher celebrates Clapham and Patching inspection

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Having been in post for more than two years now, a head teacher is celebrating after leading a small community school to improve.

Ofsted inspected Clapham and Patching CofE Primary School last month, and rated it as good in all areas – a marked improvement on their last visit when it was classed as satisfactory.

Jane Jones, head teacher since January, 2010, said she was “delighted” with the report, and had high hopes the school could improve even further next time.

She said: “One of the things the report highlighted was that we need to make our good teaching outstanding.

“We also want to raise our profile in the community, as some people still don’t know we’re here.

“We’d also like to be full, and we’re almost there as we have 50 pupils now and we’re full at 56. It was 35 when I started, so it’s much better.”

The inspection was carried out by Julie Sackett on September 12 and 13. In her report, she said: “In this small school, pupils benefit from strong relationships and a close knit community so that they feel safe, secure and valued.

“The head teacher and senior leaders have successfully raised expectations and increased a whole school focus on learning. The head teacher has established a shared vision for the future of the school and a commitment and drive for further improvement.

“As a result, the quality of teaching is now good and pupils’ achievement has improved significantly since the last inspection.”

When highlighting the skilful teaching at the school, the report found good use of confident subject knowledge to plan lessons was employed.

Miss Jones said she thought one of the school’s strengths was the fact that it was small, and that all the teachers know all the pupils’ names, resulting in a “nurturing environment”

She said: “We know all the children very well, and we like to think we get to the bottom of any issues very quickly.

“We obviously have to find the balance between being too much like a family, because it’s a school, but we have tried to be as friendly as possible.

“I think the parents are pleased with the result of the report, as I’ve had emails to that effect.

“Things weren’t going as well as they could have done a couple of years ago, but the parents stuck with us and it’s great that it’s going so well now.”