Praise from Ofsted for Sutton school that preaches 'love, laughter and learning'

A primary school in Sutton has been praised by Ofsted inspectors for living up to its values of ‘love, laughter and learning’

By Richard Silverwood
Tuesday, 25th January 2022, 10:24 am
Staff, children and the school dog, Maggie, celebrate St Mary Magdalene Primary School's Ofsted report. Head teacher Samantha Robinson (centre right) is pictured with the deputy head, Sarah Pearson (stroking the dog). PHOTO BY: Louise Brimble

St Mary Magdalene Church of England Primary School, on Springwood View Close, has received a ‘Good’ rating in all six categories from the education watchdog after an inspection in November.

"Staff make sure that pupils are cared for, receive interesting lessons and have fun,” said the Ofsted report.

"Artwork displayed around the school is impressive, and reflects pupils’ talents. They are enthusiastic learners and take pride in their work.

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The Ofsted report praised the children at St Mary's for being respectful towards Remembrance Day. These two pupils were chosen to lay a wreath at a service in town.

"They also behave well in lessons, and are polite and friendly. They were very respectful during the school’s Remembrance Day service.”

The 207-pupil school is part of the Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham Multi-Academy Trust, which runs about a dozen similar schools across the county. The head teacher is Samantha Robinson, while the chair of the governors is Philip Blinston.

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The Ofsted inspectors heralded the trust for “providing effective support for senior leaders and the governing body”.

It said governors were ambitious for the school and kept a close eye on how well it was doing.

Staff also felt valued and were proud to work at St Mary’s, while most parents were keen to praise the school.

Children felt safe and were confident that bullying would be dealt with by teachers if it occurred.

"They are also well prepared for life in modern Britain,” the report went on. “They understand British values and learn about equality and diversity.

"Pupils with special educational needs get on well in their learning.”

The inspectors reported that the curriculum at St Mary’s was “well planned”, with high priority given to reading, while phonics was taught well.

The only areas where the school could improve were ensuring that gaps didn’t appear in the learning of some youngsters, and also that “pupils who do not read regularly enough” were given the opportunity to do so.

Head teacher Miss Robinson said: “We are pleased that the inspectors highlighted so many positives about St Mary’s.

"Their reports reflects the warmth of the school and the hard work and commitment that children and staff show every day. Children should be very proud.

"We will continue to strive to be better and provide our wonderful children with the best academic and character education possible.”

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