St Thomas Cantilupe CE Primary School has been judged ‘good’ in all areas by Ofsted, following an inspection in May. Eve Morris HMI wrote that, ‘Pupils feel safe and happy at St Thomas Cantilupe Church of England Academy. A strong sense of community fills the school.’

The school was previously inspected in December 2018 and placed into special measures. This visit was the school’s first monitoring inspection since then and to advance two grades to ‘good’ is an exceptional achievement. Miss Morris went onto say, ‘Over the past two years the school has improved significantly. All staff have high expectations of pupils and expect them to work hard. Pupils are keen to learn and respond well to the challenge.’

Parents and the community speak very highly of the school and are proud that their children go to St Thomas. The inspector noted that, ‘Parents are overwhelmingly positive about the changes that have taken place.’ Behaviour at the school has also been praised with the report stating that,‘Pupils play well together at social times and concentrate during lessons.’

The inspection looked in detail at reading, writing, mathematics, geography and computing and spoke very highly of the quality of teaching and curriculum planning. As a result of knowing their pupils well ‘Staff set high expectations and develop pupils’ resilience.’ The school’s only area for development is one that they are already working on, continuing to refine assessment in the foundation subjects and this work will be completed in the next few months.

Early Years at St Thomas, which begins from age 2 at present, with plans for a baby room in the near future, is singled out for particular praise as being a ‘hive of activity.’ The schools enriched curriculum, including learning alongside Professor Helen Rogers from NMITE was given particular praise.  In addition, the provision for SEND children is highlighted with inspectors finding that, ‘Teachers support children with SEND to be successful.’

The inspection report emphasised that reading was a strength of St Thomas where, ‘Phonics teaching starts in Nursery and prepares them well for starting Reception.’ Inspectors notedthat ‘the learning environment is designed to immerse children in language’ and that ‘pupils speak with enthusiasm about the books that they are reading.’ The same praise is given to the teaching of mathematics where inspectors commented that the approach St Thomas is taking has created,‘confident pupils who relish talking to their peers and adults.’

The school, staff, children, parents and community are rightly proud to say that St Thomas Cantilupe is a good school where all children are valued, taught well and given every opportunity to shine.