'A huge achievement' - Boston primary school overcomes 'challenging times' to earn 'good' Ofsted rating

A primary school in Boston is celebrating after receiving praise from the Government’s education watchdog.
Pupils at St Nic CofE Primary Academy with celebration cupcakes following the school's 'good' Ofsted rating.Pupils at St Nic CofE Primary Academy with celebration cupcakes following the school's 'good' Ofsted rating.
Pupils at St Nic CofE Primary Academy with celebration cupcakes following the school's 'good' Ofsted rating.

St Nicholas CofE Primary Academy, in Woad Farm Road, has been rated as ‘good’ for its overall effectiveness following a two-day inspection by Ofsted last month.

The school received the grade – the second highest of the four available to the watchdog – in all inspection categories, namely: quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, personal development, leadership and management, and early years provision.

This is the first time that the school has been inspected since joining the Infinity Academies Trust in September 2019.

Its previous rating – given following an inspection in July of that year – was ‘requires improvement’. Two years before that, the rating was ‘inadequate’ – the lowest grade.

Headteacher Fiona Booth said: “This ‘good’ Ofsted rating is a huge achievement for St Nicholas CofE Primary Academy and marks a significant milestone for us as a school family.

“When Infinity Academies Trust first stepped in to help our school in 2019 it would be fair to say that times were challenging and we desperately needed their support, but I am proud to say that the transformation that has taken place since then has been nothing short of amazing. I am so pleased that this has been recognised by Ofsted.

“At the heart of our school is our firm belief in ‘letting your light shine’, this is something that has guided us in everything that we do for our pupils, our families and our staff every day.

“We can’t wait to see what the future holds.”

Praise in the report included:

  • “Pupils enjoy attending this school. They know the school values of hope, love, curiosity, integrity and unity. They feel part of a community.”
  • “There are high expectations for what pupils can achieve personally and academically.”
  • “The school promotes positive behaviour and helps pupils to develop a secure understanding of the protected characteristics. … Pupils behave well. They develop a strong sense of

respect for others.”

  • “The school has established an entitlement and enrichment programme to ensure that all children and pupils have the chance to ‘let their light shine’ by broadening their interests and developing their talents.”
  • “The school’s curriculum is ambitious and clearly identifies the important knowledge that pupils should learn and in what order. In most subjects, this includes adaptations for pupils at this school, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities.”
  • “There is a calm atmosphere throughout the school. Pupils value their education. They benefit from extra support with behaviour or social, emotional and mental health needs in the ‘lighthouse’ room, when necessary.”
  • “The provision for pupils’ personal development is well considered and ambitious.”
  • “Staff overwhelmingly say they feel proud of working at this school. They say that they feel respected.”

Gavin Booth, chief executive of Infinity Academies Trust, added: “St Nicholas CofE Primary Academy is certainly a different school to the one that joined our Infinity family back in 2019.

“At St Nicholas CE Primary you are now greeted by an atmosphere that provides a warm and welcoming space for children to learn and thrive. Through an ambitious curriculum and many exciting opportunities and experiences we set out to give every child the best possible start to their education and prepare them for the future.

“My thanks go to all of the staff, parents and members of the wider community who have supported the school over the past few years, and the wonderful children who we do all this for.”

In terms of areas for further improvement, inspectors wrote that ‘teachers and teaching assistants do not always precisely link their planning and teaching to pupils’ existing knowledge, including by identifying and resolving any misconceptions pupils may have in their learning’.

It also notes ‘the school does not have a complete picture of strengths and areas for improvement in relation to some areas of the curriculum’.

St Nicholas CofE Primary Academy is currently offering tours for prospective pupils and parents looking for school places for September 2024. Anyone interested, should call 01205 363210 for further information.

Related topics: