The community at St Michael’s Church of England Primary in Bodenham, near Leominster, is celebrating after a recent Ofsted inspection resulted in their school being awarded a ‘Good’ rating.

Ofsted inspectors visited the school – which is part of the Diocese of Hereford Multi-Academy Trust (DHMAT) – on Wednesday 12 June and found that ‘growing and learning together’ is at the heart of St Michael’s and that pupils and staff show their togetherness ‘from the moment they enter the building’.

The culture of well-being across the school is clear and Ofsted noted that pupils spoke positively about the support they receive from staff and that they feel safe and happy as part of the school’s ‘family’. These views were echoed by parents and carers and the inspectors were also impressed by the focus the pupils had on ‘learning well, working hard and wanting to learn’.

The school’s strong emphasis on the personal development of the pupils was also praised – including the opportunities for them to develop leadership roles – and the wide range of music and sports clubs was highlighted as a huge positive.

Academically, Ofsted complimented St Michael’s on ‘significant and highly effective staffing changes’ that had been made and that expectations had been successfully raised. The identification of key learning in reading, phonics and mathematics was highlighted as a strength and all pupils – including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) – were noted to follow the ambitious curriculum.

In the early years, children were found to get out off to a ‘positive start’, with teachers providing activities that are well-matched to children’s needs. The effective communication between staff and the children result in high-quality interactions and the children were found to be ‘happy and thriving’ in an ‘engaging’ environment.

Other points highlighted by the inspectors saw the leadership at the school praised for their detailed knowledge of the local context – and how this impacts on attendance – and that positive attitudes and promoting the mental health of the children are at the forefront of the vision of school leaders.

Commenting on this Ofsted report, Mrs Michele Lewis, Executive Headteacher at St Michaels’, said:

“This is a school to be proud of and the good rating is nothing more than Head of School, Alison Chambers, and all the staff deserve.

“In reality, Ofsted found evidence of everything I already knew, but it goes without saying that it is really satisfying to see all the positives highlighted independently. To hear it acknowledged that our pupils feel happy and safe at school is all you can ask for, and to then read the praise given to the learning that is provided is fantastic too.

“I’d like to thank everyone who plays a part in making St Michael’s the great school it is – from every single staff member right through to all the children, the families and the carers that make up our entire community.”

Canon Andrew Teale, Chief Executive Officer at DHMAT, said:

“St Michael’s CE Primary is a precious school, working generously and openly, within our trust family of schools, where close collaboration is the key to success.

“We work as a strong team to build the best education we can for each school community and are delighted with the inspection report for St Michael’s. It recognises the dedication staff have shown to giving our children the best possible start in life and we are proud that our schools continue to prepare children well to live life in all its fulness.

“Executive Headteacher, Mish Lewis, and Head of School, Alison Chambers, have worked tirelessly to ensure the school’s bespoke curriculum offer meets the need of the community, in a way which was highly praised by inspectors but, even more importantly, is treasured by the children and their families.”