Why they’re the tops

Ella Kelly and Tommy Holliday celebrate The Hil's' great OFSTED with a Teddy Bears' picnic. Picture: Karen Elliott.
Ella Kelly and Tommy Holliday celebrate The Hil's' great OFSTED with a Teddy Bears' picnic. Picture: Karen Elliott.
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Staff are on top of the world at The Hill Primary in Thurnscoe as inspectors rate their school as “outstanding” – a staggering improvement on their last score.

An OFSTED team gave the Tudor Street school their highest possible rating for its overall effectiveness and its sustained improvement.

At its last OFSTED inspection in February 2008, The Hill was given as overall rating of “satisfactory”.

But after visiting classrooms for two days last month, the inspection team were delighted with the school’s turn-around, under the direction of headteacher Sarah Creighton.

In a newly-published report on the school – which caters for children aged three to 11 and currently has 381 pupils on its roll – inspectors said the school’s improvement had been “remarkable”.

It described the leadership by Mrs Creighton and other senior staff as “expert, determined and dedicated” and said the care given to pupils was “superb”.

Although pupil-attainment was found to be “broadly average”, inspectors said the children were being “taught well”, and that their progress had accelerated.

Pupils themselves were praised for “their concern for others making an exceptional contribution to the school and the community”.

The youngsters have taken an active interest in the Thurnscoe community, recently choosing street names on a new housing estate, and supporting a variety of causes, both home and abroad, to boost their knowlegde of current affairs.

The report also praised the provision for the school’s youngest children in the “early years” stage.

Inspectors said: “The childcare provision has a notable impact on the social skills and language development of the children, whose parents and carers use the service, giving the children’s education a head start”.

They made just a few recomendations for improvement, including making improvements in pupils’ writing ability.

In a letter to children and parents, lead inspector Rosemany Eaton wrote: “We consider that you need to reach higher levels in writing.

“We would like the school to help you improve, by asking you to speak more clearly – making sure that you write as neatly as you can, and that you try hard to spell and punctuate your writing correctly.

“You can help by taking notice of what your teachers say and what they write in your books.”

Mrs Creighton said: “We are delighted with the outcomes of this report. The inspectors have recognised all of the hard work, dedication and enthusiasm of the staff, governing board, parents and carers, and especially the children”.

Just eight per cent of Primary schools have achieved the prestigious “outstanding” grade – with most ranked as simply “good” or “satisfactory”.