Celebrations at Franksbridge School after Estyn report

Reporter:

Keri Trigg

A rural primary school will be used as an Estyn case study on developing pupils’ wellbeing through creative arts.

Franksbridge CP School impressed inspectors in October and gained the highest possible marks in two out of the five inspection areas.

The first school in Powys to be inspected under Estyn’s new system, it ranked ‘Excellent’ in ‘Wellbeing and attitudes to learning’ and ‘Care, support and guidance’.

The school also achieved ‘Good’ marks – the second highest of four bandings – in the remaining three areas which cover standards, teaching, and leadership and management.

In their report, released last week, the inspectors had high praise for the school’s pupils, saying: “They behave well in lessons and around the school, and display exceptional attitudes to learning.

“Most pupils demonstrate outstanding levels of self discipline and apply this to a high standard to their work and when trying new experiences. Nearly all pupils support each other well.

“The strong levels of collaboration and positive interaction amongst pupils of all ages are exceptional.”

The school’s arrangements for pupils’ wellbeing, social and cultural development was also described by the inspection team as “outstanding”.

The report continued: “Nearly all pupils are aware of the school's values and learning habits of respect, self discipline, collaboration and perseverance.

“Staff reinforce these values exceptionally well and pupils apply them consistently in their daily lives.”

It also commended the way the school curriculum “enriches pupils’ creative and physical skills”, including its work as a Welsh Government ‘Lead Creative School’.

As a result of the inspection, headteacher Rhian Wilkie has been asked to produce a case study to exemplify good practice in relation to developing pupils’ wellbeing, self-esteem and resilience through creative arts projects.

“The staff and governors are pleased with the report which recognises the children’s values and enthusiastic attitudes to learning,” said Mrs Wilkie.

“They would like to publicly acknowledge the dedication of staff, parents, governors and other partners.”

The report made two recommendations which the school will now work towards.

Mrs Wilkie added: “We are keen to emphasise that the children of Franksbridge benefit from a wide range of opportunities offered by members of our local community, and our wider school community.

“Franksbridge School is extremely grateful to all our volunteers and partners for enriching the lives of our pupils and, in doing so, strengthening our special community.

“It is a wonderful example of the high standards that can be achieved by small, rural schools and the symbiotic relationships enjoyed by small schools and their communities.”

The school hosted a reception to celebrate the report’s publication on Friday, December 8. Staff, governors and pupils were joined by Education Secretary Kirsty Williams AM and Chris Davies MP, who congratulated them on their achievement.

Email:

keri.trigg@nwn.co.uk

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