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Ofsted success for Bishop's Stortford's St Michael's C of E E (VA) Primary School

Pupils and staff at St Michael's C of E (VA) Primary School in Bishop's Stortford are celebrating after they impressed Ofsted – despite a "seismic shift" in expectations.

Inspectors visited its Apton Road classrooms in December and have now rated standards as 'good' with 'outstanding' features.

Since the school was last inspected in 2009 and judged 'outstanding', there have been three changes in the education examination framework.

Celebrating at St Michael's (26894901)
Celebrating at St Michael's (26894901)

Head Joanne Fradd said: "Certainly, the current framework introduced in September 2019 is the largest seismic shift in expectations for ten years. Put simply, an 'outstanding' school then would not constitute an 'outstanding' school now. The bar has been raised considerably."

St Michael's achieved a minimum of 'good' in all areas, with personal development and early years achieving the exceptional 'outstanding' grades.

The Ofsted report says: "Eco-warriors, worship ambassadors, learning superheroes and school orchestras are only a few of the opportunities open to all pupils."

After some incidents of bad behaviour among older children, the inspectors say: "Pupils' behaviour on the playground and in class has improved this term and most do the right thing most of the time.

"Bullying, usually relating to unkind words, is taken seriously by staff and pupils. Pupils are quick to tell staff when they experience or see things that are wrong. Staff apply the new behaviour policy fairly and openly."

The report continues: "Expectations for pupils' personal development and well-being are high. Expectations for academic performance are not as high. In some subjects, pupils have not achieved as highly as they should from their individual starting points."

It flags up issues with provision for children with special educational needs and the need for teachers to adapt activities to individual pupils across the board.

There is praise for Mrs Fradd for the measures she has already put in place to address inconsistencies, improve performance and develop the curriculum.

She said: "I am pleased that the flying start that our children receive is recognised, along with the incredible opportunities our children are given to grow into valuable members of our global community."

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