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Ofsted inspectors praise Christ Church Primary School

A SHIPLEY primary school has been praised for raising expectations and improving standards over the past 18 months. Christ Church Academy has been awarded a good Ofsted judgement in every area of education in a report released this week.

In March 2015 the Wrose Brow Road school was told it required improvement, with inspectors critical of its quality of teaching, leadership and results of its pupils. The report said pupils did not perform well enough in maths and writing, and that there was a “historic and significant underachievement.” But newest report recognises that the school has changed for the better in many areas, and says there is a “wave of high achievement” sweeping through the academy.

Inspectors visited Christ Church last month, but have just released their report. In it they say: “Since the last inspection, leaders have been unwavering in their actions to address the areas for improvement.

“The headteacher is ambitious for every child to have the chance to succeed.

“Inspectors observed how even the youngest pupils demonstrated their understanding of compassion when reflecting on how they could try to be a better person.

“Over time, teachers have made considerable improvements in the way they teach writing and mathematics.

“Teachers use a wealth of different strategies to increase pupils’ interest in reading and confidence to read.”

Inspectors spoke to pupils during their visit, and the report adds: “Nearly all pupils said, ‘Christ Church is a school where people are kind’ and they should ‘get 10 out of 10 for being friendly’. They recognise and value differences and say, ‘We welcome everyone…it is special to be different.’

“Since the last inspection the school has quickly and effectively addressed some long-standing historical and significant underachievement.”

The school, which has 216 pupils, joined the Bradford Diocesan Academies Trust in 2013, and the trust’s director has admitted the school has faced a “tough journey” since it converted. The report praises both the trust and the governors for their “support and challenge” in improving standards.

Craig Lee, Primary Director at BDAT said: “We are delighted to be able to celebrate the improvements at Christ Church Academy and are pleased that the hard work of the head and staff at the school have been recognised in securing this judgement.

“Christ Church has been on a tough journey since academy conversion and it is fantastic to see that the collective determination and drive of school, governors, the trust and our children has paid off”.

Philippa Foster, head at the school, said “We are delighted with the outcome of the recent OFSTED inspection. The feedback from pupils that they feel safe at school, enjoy their time with us, and are seeing strong progress in their learning is a real achievement for the academy.

“Our good OFSTED judgement reinforces that Christ Church Academy is a school which our pupils, our parents, our staff and our community can be proud to be a part of.”