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Bradford
Sunday, May 29, 2022

Ofsted Recognises “Ambition” And “Positive Improvements” at Clayton St John Church OF England Primary School

Pupils at Clayton St John Church of England Primary School Pupils were described as “polite and courteous” while the school environment was judged to be “calm and purposeful” in a recent Ofsted report.

Staff and pupils at Clayton St John C of E Primary are rightly proud of the achievements they have made so far, following a ‘Requires Improvement Judgement’ after a recent Section 5 Inspection in February 2022.

This is the school’s first inspection since it joined Bradford Diocesan Academies Trust in October 2017, following an ‘Inadequate’ Judgement in their previous inspection earlier that year.

Clayton St John Church of England Primary School

This OFSTED report is particularly significant on the back of what has been acknowledged to be a turbulent couple of years for the school following both changes in leadership and the impact of the global COVID pandemic on everyday teaching

The school leadership team and staff were praised with OFSTED opening their report by commenting that “leaders are ambitious for the pupils at this school”. The report noted that whilst there is still much to be done, there are notable “positive improvements” in areas such as reading and mathematics.

The inspection team found that leaders had an “accurate understanding of the areas that need focussing on” and were reassured that these would continue to be addressed with urgency as the school continued to move forward.

Carol Dewhurst OBE, Chief Executive Officer at BDAT, said “Like with any school having previously been judged to be in special measures, there has been a lot of hard work at Clayton St John by staff, students and parents to ensure the school has moved forward. I am pleased that Ofsted has recognised our improvements.  This report describes a school which has been validated to be making the right steps in the right direction across a number of areas.  We still have work to do, however, we remain 100% committed and driven to make sure that the school continues to improve. I would like to thank all the staff, students, parents, governors and leaders who have helped get us to this point”.

The teaching of reading is highlighted as a particular strength: “There is a determination across the school that pupils will ‘learn to read’ so that they can then ‘read to learn’. Pupils start on this journey in the early years”.

The teaching of reading is highlighted as a particular strength Image: Unsplash

Inspectors further acknowledge that pupils “Show confidence to blend sounds with growing fluency as they learn to read.” Inspectors also identified that “This focus on reading continues throughout the school. Leaders give all pupils the opportunity to read high-quality texts. They have daily lessons where they read, talk and explore the meaning of texts. This helps pupils to improve their reading skills.”

In addition to behaviour, personal development was also praised as a strength of the school. The school was described as inclusive. Safeguarding was also deemed to be effective, and it was noted that “Staff care about the pupils in this school”.

Gemma Emsley, Headteacher at Clayton St John C of E Primary School added “I am proud to have been on this journey of improvement at Clayton St John C of E Primary. I am pleased the inspection identified our strengths, such as the development of reading and maths and pupils’ polite and well-mannered behaviour. We have worked hard to make these positive changes and the inspection has given us clear ‘next steps’ to enable us to continue on our journey to ‘good’. I would like to thank the staff, governors, BDAT and our children for their continued hard work and support.”.

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