Children told how lucky they are

AN INSPECTOR was so impressed by a Huntingdonshire primary school that he wrote to the children telling them how lucky they were to attend it. Ofsted lead inspector Ian Nelson gave Barnabas Oley CE Primary School, in Great Gransden, an outstanding grade

AN INSPECTOR was so impressed by a Huntingdonshire primary school that he wrote to the children telling them how lucky they were to attend it.Ofsted lead inspector Ian Nelson gave Barnabas Oley CE Primary School, in Great Gransden, an "outstanding" grade in every one of the seven sections..He thanked the pupils for making the inspection team so welcome, and told them how impressed he was with their behaviour."You are very lucky to attend your school," he wrote. "All the staff care for you very well and want the best for each of you. The teachers make lessons interesting so that you enjoy learning. They help you with your work so that all of you make exceptionally good progress.""Your behaviour is excellent. You get on very well with each other and with the staff. The older pupils make an excellent job of looking after the younger ones."Mr Nelson praised Jacqueline Jones, who took over as head teacher in September when she moved from Cornwall, for having got the measure of the school so quickly before the snap inspection in November.But she told The Hunts Post that most of the credit should go to Peter Adams, who retired as head last summer after 22 years in charge. He still lives in the School House, in the school grounds.He has agreed to open the school's new IT suite formally, and Mrs Jones plans to name it after him.The six-class school was founded by the Rev Barnabas Oley in 1670. Its catchment area includes Great and Little Gransdens and Waresley. Pupils move on to a variety of secondary schools, particularly St Neots Community College.The teaching staff is supported by "an army of teaching assistants," Mrs Jones said. "It's the school's policy to have a high ratio of adult support."The inspectors noted that Barnabas Oley was a smaller school than average, with the proportion of pupils eligible for school meals well below average. The number of children with learning difficulties is also below average, though the number with statements of learning needs is average.Ofsted said it was "a highly effective school that gives excellent value for money and is well placed to improve even further. Parents and pupils think very highly of the school."The inspectors noted that the caring Christian ethos was a great strength that ensured pupils and adults worked harmoniously together in an atmosphere of mutual respect that valued each individual. Children always had someone to turn to for support."Teaching and learning are outstanding, with a strength being appropriate provision of good quality support. This ensures that children in reception get off to a flying start and make very good progress."Pupils who found learning difficult received excellent support, so that their progress was exceptional, they added.The inspectors urged teachers to help pupils improve use of paragraphs and punctuation so that their writing reaches "the exceptionally high levels of other areas of learning". They recommended further developing the use of technology in all subjects. They noted that standards were exceptionally high by the time pupils came to move on to secondary school. Pupils' personal development, including their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is outstanding, the inspectors found."Pupils' behaviour is exemplary. They are exceedingly polite and well-mannered with each other and with visitors, and they have great self-confidence."They knew about healthy eating and enjoyed nutritious school meals with fruit as snacks. They were heavily involved in the life of the wider community.The inspectors commented on the great value the school placed on it cultural heritage as part of the village. It concluded that leadership and management were outstanding."We plan to keep up the standards," Mrs Jones said. "We're really thrilled by the report and very proud of the children."- Barnabus Oley has 169 pupils aged four to 11.


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