Top grades for school that has instilled a ‘culture of ambition’

Jerry Clay Academy. Outstanding Oftsed inspection.
Jerry Clay Academy. Outstanding Oftsed inspection.

A Primary school has reached the pinnacle of educational performance after being told it is outstanding in almost every department.

Staff and pupils at Jerry Clay Academy in Wrenthorpe are celebrating the praise given to the school by Ofsted inspectors who this week published their findings of a recent visit.

Jerry Clay Academy. Outstanding Oftsed inspection.

Jerry Clay Academy. Outstanding Oftsed inspection.

Four of the five key areas were given the top mark possible, including leadership and management, the quality of teaching, the outcome for pupils and their behaviour and welfare.

The fifth area, ‘the early years provision’, was found to be ‘good’.

The overall ‘outstanding’ mark is a huge step forward for the Jerry Clay Lane school, which picked up an overall ‘good’ result during its last Ofsted inspection four years ago.

Headteacher, Tracy Swinburne, who was described by the inspectors as having built a ‘culture of ambition’, said: “We are absolutely delighted with the outcome and feel the Ofsted inspection result reflects our school motto of always ‘striving to be the best we can be’.

“We have made rapid progress since our last Ofsted inspection in 2013 and this is in recognition of the staff, governors, pupils and their families for their amazing hard work and dedication to being the best they can possibly be.”

Sue Nicol, chair of governors at Jerry Clay Academy said: “Achieving an ‘outstanding’ result from the Ofsted inspection is an extremely high accolade and one which we are extremely proud of both for the school and for the community in which we serve in Wakefield.”

The team of three inspectors spent two days at the school in mid-March, observing lessons, looking at pupils’ work, listening to them read, held meetings with leaders and teachers and spoke with parents.

They found the pupils’ behaviour to be ‘exemplary’, described the curriculum as ‘vibrant’ and said that parents are ‘overwhelmingly positive about the school’.

Mrs Swinburne was also singled out for her efforts since she joined the school in 2014.

The report reads: “The headteacher has built a culture of ambition and high expectations which is shared by everyone in school.

“As a result, pupils make rapid progress from their starting points.

“The quality of provision and pupils’ outcomes have risen strongly since the last inspection.

“Outcomes are at least in line with, and often better than, those of pupils nationally.”

The report completes a unique double for the school after it was awarded model school status for its excellence in literacy teaching.

The accolade made the school just one of 60 nationwide to be a Read Write Inc UK Model Schools.