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St Mary’s Island school offers pupils a good start

Date: 17/01/2008           Category: Learning and Achievement

Ofsted inspectors have graded St Mary’s Island CofE Primary School as ‘satisfactory’ in its latest report, which says the school no longer requires significant improvement. You are invited to send a photographer and/or reporter to the school, on Island Way West, St Mary’s Island, Chatham at 10am on Friday, 25 January to meet the pupils and staff at work. There are 340 pupils aged four to 11 years old. On its last inspection, the school was given a Notice To Improve its leadership and management. This has now been “tackled successfully”, the latest report concludes, resulting in a “better team spirit in the school”. The school provides a caring and supportive environment for pupils, who are well motivated and have very positive attitudes to learning. They start Year 1 with standards that are “notably above average”, the report states. As a result, the school’s foundation stage earned a ‘good’ rating. “I couldn’t ask for a better start to my son’s education,” one parent told inspectors. “He is thoroughly enjoying school life and has learnt so much in a short space of time.” The school was also rated as ‘good’ for personal development and well-being of pupils, who the report describes as “friendly, courteous and exceedingly well-behaved”. However, although results in the Year 6 national tests in 2007 were sharply up on the previous year, pupils did less well in maths and science than in English, the report notes. As a result the school has set pupils more challenging targets in maths. “I’m pleased that this report recognises the improvements we have made since their last visit,” said head teacher Sharon Day. “We have strong plans in place to continue to get better, so that the excellent start pupils get will continue throughout their time at school.” Chair of governors Canon John Saunders said: “This is a fair report that recognises the school’s strong points and the progress it has made since the last inspection. I look forward to further improvements, which it is well placed to achieve.” Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services, Cllr Les Wicks, said: “I’m very pleased to note that the inspectors’ report shows how well St Mary’s is improving. “I’m sure all the teachers and support staff are committed to giving their pupils the very best education and achieving even better results.” Medway Council’s Director of Children’s Services, Rose Collinson, said: “St Mary’s Primary has come a long way since its last inspection and I’m pleased this has been recognised by Ofsted. I’m confident plans are now in place to make sure progress and improvements continue”.