Calderdale school making great strides according to education watchdog

A Calderdale school is making great strides in its progress according to an education watchdog.

Friday, 3rd December 2021, 7:30 am
Updated Friday, 3rd December 2021, 2:36 pm

Withinfields Primary School in Southowram was inspected by Ofsted in early October and has now been rated as ‘good’ in all areas, an improvement from being rated as ‘requires improvement’ in its last inspection.

This was the first routine inspection the school received since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Inspectors discussed the impact of the pandemic with the school leaders and found that they have taken, and continue to take, effective action to support pupils.

Sign up to our daily Halifax Courier Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Pupils learning at Withinfields Primary School

This included having a good understanding of the impact of the pandemic on pupils’ mental health and helping pupils to catch up with any missed learning.

The Head Teacher at Withinfields Primary School, Helen York, said: “The whole team at Withinfields are delighted with the recognition that we have received through our recent inspection. We are proud of the progress that the school has made in improving our grade whilst also concentrating on the support that we have offered to all our families during the restrictions and difficulties caused by the pandemic.

“The inspection team recognised the importance that we place on our strong relationships and personal development which is central to our school community. However, we are also delighted that they recognised our determination to ensure that all children learn to read and the strong teaching that takes place.

“Many of our families travel a distance to come to Withinfields as they feel it is the best school for their child. They have expressed to me how happy they are that Ofsted have now recognised what they have known for a long time.”

Pupils learning at Withinfields Primary School

Inspectors visited classes in the school and looked at pupils’ workbooks across the various subject areas. They also met with governors, the head teacher and other members of senior leadership at the school and spoke to pupils.

Ofsted praised the behaviour of pupils, finding them to be polite and respectful of people’s differences. They also found that pupils of all abilities were well supported by staff across all areas of the curriculum, and everyone given equal opportunities to engage with learning.

Further praise was given to the school’s reading programme and particularly the way that younger pupils were supported to learn to read. Inspectors found the efforts of staff to be ‘highly effective’ and they were impressed with the way that most pupils were reading with speed, fluency and confidence at an early stage.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People’s Services, Councillor Adam Wilkinson, said: “The past 18 months has been a difficult time for all our schools. Withinfields Primary School was one of the first schools in the borough to be visited by Ofsted as they resumed inspections following the easing of COVID restrictions..

"I’m delighted that this improved Ofsted judgement acknowledges the ongoing hard work and commitment of everyone at Withinfields and recognises the many strengths of the school.

“The glowing report for the school includes many highlights, but I was particularly impressed with the praise the school received for the way it supports pupils’ wellbeing, especially after such a disruptive period."

* Support your Halifax Courier by becoming a digital subscriber. You will see 70 per cent fewer ads on stories, meaning faster load times and an overall enhanced user experience. Click here to subscribe