Ofsted inspectors shower praise on 'Good' junior school in Somercotes

A junior school in Somercotes is living up to its mission statement of ‘Believe, Achieve, Succeed’, according to Ofsted inspectors.

By Richard Silverwood
Thursday, 17th February 2022, 2:20 pm
Children at Somerlea Park Junior School in Somercotes celebrating its 'Good' Ofsted rating with executive head teacher Helina Kirkup and head of school, Daisy Rizo.
Children at Somerlea Park Junior School in Somercotes celebrating its 'Good' Ofsted rating with executive head teacher Helina Kirkup and head of school, Daisy Rizo.

Somerlea Park, on Bank Street, has been given a ‘Good’ rating by the education watchdog after its first inspection since becoming an academy in 2017.

The 161-pupil school is part of the Sheffield-based Learners’ Trust, which runs several academies. Its executive head teacher is Helina Kirkup, while its head of school is Daisy Rizo.

Mrs Kirkup said: “We are delighted with the outcome of our Ofsted Inspection and feel it reflects the continuous hard work and improvements we have made.

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Pupils behave well and work hard at Somerlea Park Junior School in Somercotes, near Alfreton, according to Ofsted inspectors. (LIBRARY PHOTO BY: Sydney Bourne/Getty Images).

"My team works incredibly hard every day. The children and parents should feel very proud of themselves and be secure in the knowledge that our hard work doesn't stop here.”

Inspectors branded Somerlea Park ‘Good’, the second best rating, in all five categories, which covered quality of education, management, and pupils’ behaviour and personal development. And they showered praise on leaders, staff and pupils alike.

Their report said: “Leaders make sure that pupils are the most important people at this school.

"Pupils are well cared for. Staff know pupils well and know how to get the best out of them.

"Pupils enjoy school. They are well behaved and work hard.”

The report revealed how children are rewarded for their positive behaviour by earning points, which they spend at the ‘Brainsbury’s’ school shop.

Safeguarding was “effective” at the school, and bullying was “extremely rare”.

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"Pupils experience a wide range of visits, sporting and musical activities,” the Ofsted report went on. “They know it is important to treat everyone equally, regardless of background, culture or belief. They do not tolerate any kind of racism.”

The inspectors also noted that children with special needs or disabilities “get on well in their learning”.

The report added: “Leaders are determined that pupils achieve and are prepared for the next stage of their education. They have created a united and supportive staff team that shares their ambitions, and they consult pupils, parents and staff regularly”.

The inspectors stressed that Somerlea Park’s curriculum was well planned, with reading prioritised and taught daily, through enjoyable ‘book club’ lessons.

However, they felt that improvements could be made in a small number of subjects, while some staff needed to be trained to teach phonics.

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