Hard work pays off at St Luke’s CE Primary School

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“LAST year people behaved badly but now the school has changed.” They were the words of Year Four pupil Ayaan, from St Luke’s CE Primary School, in Maidenhead.

“Everybody is kind and everyone shares. We all use our Christian values nicely,” adds Ayaan, who echoes the praise of Government inspectors in their latest monitoring report for the school.

Maidenhead MP Theresa May, said: “I welcome the improvements at St Luke’s CE Primary School over the last year. It is good to see that, since Ofsted identified some problems in 2012, the staff have worked hard to make progress and that this is now paying off.”

The lastest HMI report praises head teacher, Amanda Hough and her team, who have worked tirelessly to improve St Luke’s since it was placed in Special Measures last year. With the help of educational specialists from the Diocese of Oxford and the Royal Borough of Maidenhead and Windsor, Mrs Hough says that the school has moved on in leaps and bounds and is expecting the real proof of the pudding to be in the SATs results that are released in the autumn.

Mrs Hough said: “The biggest thing has been focusing on the quality of teaching. Our staff are all aware of where the children are. The pupils are increasing their aspirations. It’s been quite inspirational for everyone and now they are feeling that hard work really does pay off. It has come down to standards and high expectations.”

The HMI report states: “Pupils are beginning to catch up lost ground. The school is successfully addressing past underachievement with the good deployment of staff to run booster groups and special writing groups, so that the gap is narrowing in reading and also in mathematics.” They praised the greater consistency teachers were using to organise classroom wall displays and their encouraging children to talk to a partner during lessons to help them organise and express their thoughts and views.

The report also praises Early Years Foundation Work, the work of teaching assistants and the opportunities for children to read in class. Inspectors noted: “Behaviour is much improved in lessons, around the school and at break times. Of particular note are the improved attitudes pupils have towards their learning.”

They said: “The strong leadership of the headteacher is ensuring a concerted and measured approach to making improvements. Staff morale appears to be good and the school is addressing each of the key areas for improvements determinedly.”

Mrs Hough added: “It’s been a really hard year of being monitored every three or four months and we have put in a lot of hard work to see this come to fruition. We aim to equip the children academically and we also aim to be active in developing well rounded people.”

As well as improvements in academic achievement, the school boasted finalists in last year’s Active Gaming world championships. Active Gaming is a community project where children take part in physical sports using giant technology similar to a Nintendo Wii. Active Gaming runs as a club at the school each week. Children also get the chance to be involved in leadership on the School Council, to take part in a Glee style performance group which is gearing up for a Grease inspired end-of-term production and to become Eco Warriors, learning about the environment.

Vicar of St Luke’s Church, the Revd Sally Lynch, who runs weekly assemblies at the school, and has been a governor for two years, said it was wonderful to have seen it improve. She says: “It’s just got a fabulous atmosphere and a vibrancy at the school. It’s really diverse and the children understand Christian values but at the same time its multi faith and it’s great when the Muslim children see me in the street and say hello.”

Cllr Phill Bicknell, cabinet member for children’s services in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, said: “The Royal Borough is committed to ensuring that local children and young people have access to the best possible educational opportunities and St Luke’s is demonstrating a robust approach to improving standards. The entire school community deserves praise for the marked turn-around now recognised by Ofsted and we look forward to continuing improvements in the future.”

Click here to see the school and hear Amanda talking about why she is so proud of her team of staff and the pupils.

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