Ofsted inspection announced? Show rehearsals must go on!

Headteacher Nicola Davenport with some of her Leechpool pupils

When faced with a visit from Ofsted, one headteacher had a tough choice to make. Should she scrap rehearsals for the school concert in favour of ‘normal’ lessons?

When faced with a visit from Ofsted, one headteacher had a tough choice to make. Should she scrap rehearsals for the school concert in favour of ‘normal’ lessons?
Nicola Davenport, head of Leechpool School decided the interests of the children – not to mention the hard work already put into ‘Leechfest’ – should come first.
During their two-day visit, inspector Rob Crompton and his team were certainly impressed, rating the school ‘good’ overall, with the pupils’ personal development, behaviour and welfare praised as ‘outstanding’.
Leechpool had been rated ‘requires improvement’ following its previous inspection in 2015.
In his report, which was published on September 22, Mr Crompton said: “During rehearsals for the end of term ‘Leechfest’ concert, there was a real sense of community as pupils, staff and parents worked together. Pupils were rightly proud of their performances and their support and encouragement of their classmates was clearly genuine.”
When it came to the children’s achievements in the classroom, Mr Crompton found many pupils exceeded expectations, with around half of those in Years 4, 5 and 6 making better than the expected progress in reading, writing and maths.
Praising the work of the school’s teachers, he noted that all children were challenged and supported, from the most able to those who found learning more difficult. As a result, the youngsters generally made good progress, whatever their starting points.
A high-level of specialist knowledge among teachers meant there had been some particularly good-quality achievements in art, music, French and maths.
The little ones in Reception were also seen to make good progress from their various starting points.
Mrs Davenport said: “I have nothing but praise for our wonderful pupils and my very talented and hardworking staff. Add the superb professional help and advice that we receive from the school’s governors and the enthusiastic support of all our parents and you have a community united in its commitment to do the very best for each and every child at Leechpool.
“I am very proud of that”.
And as for Leechfest? It was “brilliant”!

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