Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Birchgrove Primary Estyn report

The efforts of Birchgrove Primary's 370-plus young people and the whole school got high marks in the Estyn report.

Inspector David Evans says: "Birchgrove Primary is a good, happy school where staff and pupils work together well."

Headteacher Eleanor Treen said: "We're proud of this report and are especially pleased that the inspection team recognised that this is a truly caring environment in which to learn and teach."

The Assembly-funded inspection team judged that the care for, guidance and support for learners was "good with outstanding features."

There were good features with no important shortcomings in areas such as learners' achievements, teaching effectiveness and how the school met the needs of learners and the wider community. Also praised was the school's leadership, management, evaluation processes and use of resources.

Inspector Dr Evans said: "All pupils are particularly well cared for, guided and supported by dedicated staff and an extensive range of outside agencies.

"This is a very significant feature of the school. Regardless of ability, race, gender or home background, the school provides a very happy, welcoming, friendly environment for pupils to learn and play."

There was warm praise for the head, deputy head, teachers and support staff. The inspector reported that 90% of the teaching had been judged at Grade 2 or above.

He said: "A positive team spirit is very apparent and the school is a happy environment for staff and pupils alike.

"Members of staff share a common sense of purpose and are increasingly contributing to the achievement of shared goals."

Mrs Treen said: "The positive report reflects of the commitment, enthusiasm and ability of the whole staff team.

"Our motto is Eich gorau glas bob amser - Always be the best that you can be - and this exemplifies our aim to put the learning process at the heart of the school, enabling children to become creative, independent learners with the skills and attitudes needed to meet the challenges of adult life.

"Our Estyn success won't bring complacency because our priorities include the further development of data analysis in order to raise standards, and the further refinement of assessment processes."

Cllr Mike Day, Swansea Council Cabinet Member for Education, said: "I congratulate all connected with Birchgrove Primary School on this positive, encouraging report. The inspection team's findings reflect all the hard work and skill that are features of this school."

Birchgrove Primary School has the Basic Skills Quality Mark 3, the Silver Recycling Award and also won the Swansea Schools' Self-Evaluation Bronze Award in 2007.

The school was formed four years ago following the amalgamation of Birchgrove infant and junior schools. This is its first Estyn inspection.

The school caters for pupils aged three to 11. There are 13 classes, catering for pupils from reception to year six, and nursery sessions. There are 17 full-time teachers and 21 part-time teaching assistants.

The school is about to benefit from new building projects to create four new junior classrooms and a new nursery/reception unit.


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