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Great Yarmouth school celebrates ‘good’ Ofsted report

PUBLISHED: 09:16 30 April 2014 | UPDATED: 09:16 30 April 2014

Pupils and teachers from North Denes Junior School celebrating after getting a good Ofsted grade.
Headteacher Debbie Whiting.

Picture: James Bass

Pupils and teachers from North Denes Junior School celebrating after getting a good Ofsted grade. Headteacher Debbie Whiting. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk © 2014

A Great Yarmouth school is celebrating after receiving its first ever ‘good’ judgement from Ofsted inspectors.

Staff, pupils and teachers at North Denes Junior School are delighted with their latest report, which praised the progress they had made since their last inspection.

On that visit, at the end of 2012, inspectors said the school needed improvement in almost every area.

But in their latest report, published this week, Ofsted officials hailed the school as ‘good’ in all categories and praised the turn around it had made in just 14 months.

Inspectors applauded headteacher Debra Whiting’s “outstanding leadership” after she joined the school in September 2012 and said pupils were making “better than expected progress”, while commending their behaviour as “good and often excellent”.

The report said: “Learning is well planned and structured, and focuses strongly on making sure that all pupils have a good grasp of basic skills. Pupils who struggle with their learning are effectively supported by skilled additional adults.

“As a result, pupils are now working at higher levels than in the past.”

Addressing teaching, inspectors highlighted the respect adults show each other and pupils adding: “This very successfully develops pupils’ desire to improve their work and the way they listen to and respect the views and contributions of others.

“This approach to teaching has resulted in a delightful atmosphere for learning in classrooms.”

And in discussing the school’s leadership and management the report praised the “rapid improvements” made, highlighting rigourous and regular checks of staff performance and the way subjects and activities are planned, and described the governing body as “ambitious, active and an effective partner in the leadership of the school”.

Mrs Whiting, who is also head at Ormesby Village Junior School, said everybody was “thrilled” with the good grading.

“It’s the first time the school has - under the Ofsted process - ever received a good. It’s had a chequered history of being in and out of special measures and having satisfactory judgements, so this is a real boost and a real change,” she added.

“It’s exciting and rewarding because everybody has worked incredibly hard and continues to work incredibly hard.”

As well as making improvements within teaching, Mrs Whiting said physical improvements had also been made to the school through refurbishments.

But she said this was just the “beginning” for the school as it was keen to build on further improvements as outlined by Ofsted to become outstanding.

She added: “It’s been really, really good but I’ve told people this is not the end of the journey. We haven’t arrived, the outstanding is still out there and children deserve to have a good school and education.

“We want to be the best we can be and give the children the best they can possibly have.”

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