Date: 04/01/2008 Category: Learning and Achievement
A good school with outstanding features is how Ofsted inspectors describe St Mary’s Catholic Primary School in Gillingham. Pupils throughout the school make good progress – children in Reception make excellent progress. Pupils with learning difficulties and or disabilities, as well as those from ethnic minorities or with English as a second language are well supported. Headteacher Bernadette Long said: “This is an excellent result for us and one that the staff, pupils, governors and parents should all be proud of.” Teaching is good and lessons are well-planned and fun. The curriculum is stimulating and promotes great interest and curiosity along pupils. Theme weeks, visits and visitors enrich the curriculum. One Year 6 pupil told inspectors: “Teachers make you think about important things, like what are you going to do with your life.” The parents are overwhelmingly supportive of the school, and pupils feel safe and secure and are enthusiastic learners. The school council plays a big part in school life and members are proud of their improvements to the environment, including the newly redecorated toilets. Personal development and well-being at the school is excellent. The Place2Be counselling service is a great strength and the school’s Catholic ethos is important for the pupils’ spiritual, moral and social development. To further improve Ofsted inspectors recommended that the maths curriculum for boys’ in Years 3 to 6 be adapted to meet their interests, and that the school continue to involve governors in planned classroom activities. Medway Council’s Director of Children’s Services Rose Collinson said: “This rightly reflects the enthusiasm and dedication displayed by the headteacher and all her staff. We are not surprised that the children enjoy their time at St Mary’s.” Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services Cllr Les Wicks said: “Congratulations to the team at St Mary’s. The report itself is an encouraging reflection on the children and their parents. "The report shows how successful the school is and how it can add to its results." The school in Greenfield Road caters for 406 pupils aged between four and 11 years.