A PRIMARY school in Amesbury which has been 'Inadequate' since 2018 has climbed out of this category, now rated by inspectors as 'Requires Improvement'.

Christ the King Catholic Primary School must now address its curriculum and attendance levels, in order to achieve a better rating in the next Ofsted inspection.

Special measures school

The school has faced six 'special measures' monitoring inspections since October 2018, before the most recent assessment took place on October 6.

The latest report, published on November 19, revealed the jump in the school's progress, highlighting that pupils "feel safe and are confident".

Inspectors also praised Christ the King for being "a welcoming and friendly school".

According to the Ofsted report however, Christ the King staff know that "the quality of education provided in the wider curriculum is not yet good enough", and "pupils have gaps in their knowledge and understanding".

Improving the curriculum

Responding to curriculum concerns, Richard Sanderson, executive headteacher of Christ the King, and St Osmund’s Catholic Primary School in Salisbury, said addressing this was already a priority for the school, since he took on the role in September of last year.

"Ofsted's comments show we are looking at the right things, everything [inspectors reported] is equally on our radar. The next steps are curriculum improvements," he said.

"The school's reading, writing, maths and spirituality are strengths in the school, now we need to focus on other areas of the curriculum like humanities, the sciences and arts."

Richard added that once pupils are fluent in reading, an area the school heavily focuses on, "they have the ability to access the rest".

'A significant journey of improvement'

Talking about the overall rating, Richard praised the staff for "working unbelievably hard" to remove the 'Inadequate' status.

He told the Journal: "Over 12 months there has been a significant journey of improvement, to have that amount of progress is just an amazing achievement.

"This is just a label, what you're looking for is a school that is on the up.

"Although to get that verification from Ofsted, it gives people that boost and energy. Marking our progress is great and we need to keep it going over the next two years. We want to be rated as 'Good' next time."

The headteacher added that changes in staff, with a new head of school appointed, helped lift the school from its 'Inadequate' rating.

Despite this, the watchdog commented that "significant" staffing changes "slowed pace of improvement".

Future objectives

Looking forward, Ofsted says the school must ensure "pupils access books that match their phonics knowledge, so that they develop fluency and confidence".

Additionally, pupils need to be more knowledgeable with regards to safeguarding outside of school, in particular online safety.

Finally the watchdog says the school needs to work with families to ensure pupil attendance improves.

'Just a label'

"Dealing with school improvements, alongside Covid-19, it has been a challenging few months," Richard added.

"The school was in special measures so now we are on an upward trajectory, and we have the right people to support us.

"I hope parents see that it's just a label, and instead note our significant improvement and the positive journey we're on, verified by Ofsted."

'Turning the school round in twelve short months'

Dr Mike Thompson, chair of governors, said the school's governors are "heartened" by the Ofsted result.

He said: "This is attributable to the impact of the collaboration recently formed with our sister school, St Osmund’s Catholic Primary School, an Ofsted 'Good' school, the stability engendered by sharing an experienced executive head teacher and senior leadership team across the two schools, and the hard work of our current staff who have shown real commitment in turning the school round in twelve short months.

"We now look forward to becoming a good school dedicated to serving our pupils, parents and carers of the Catholic faith, all faiths and none in a caring Christian environment where our children can continue to achieve all they are capable of."

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