Five years ago Wistaston Green was the eighth worst school in the country, now Ofsted has ruled it is outstanding in every aspect and others could learn from it. This is from the Crewe Chronicle…
The first thing that strikes you when you go into Wistaston Green Primary School is the atmosphere.
It’s a happy place, there’s a lot of laughter, and both staff and pupils enjoy being there.
It’s also relaxed and, as we walk down the corridor, one of the older boys smiles at headteacher Linda Davis and greets with her a ‘high five’.
“One of the things that has changed the most since that awful Ofsted report in 2008 is the atmosphere, for the children and the teachers,” said Ms Davis…
…In 2008 Wistaston Green, or Wizzie Green as staff affectionately call it, was put into special measures after failing an Ofsted inspection. In fact it was so bad it was branded the eighth worst school in the country.
Its test results were among the poorest in England and the inspectors highlighted disruptive behaviour as a key problem.
Ms Davis, who had just moved to the school as headteacher, had been brought in to turn things round.
No-one expected it to be done quite so quickly.
“We came out of special measures after 40 weeks with a good Ofsted report,” she said.
That in itself was regarded as pretty spectacular – the average time for a school to come out of special measures after it has been labelled as failing is 79 weeks, and then it is normally rated just as ‘satisfactory’.
Now just five years later it’s outstanding in every single aspect.
The Ofsted report which has just been published following the two-day inspection at the end of September, reads: achievement of pupils – outstanding; quality of teaching – outstanding; behaviour and safety of pupils – outstanding; leadership and management – outstanding.
In fact Ofsted inspectors rated the school so highly, the only thing they could find to write under the column headed ‘what does the school need to do to improve further?’ was to bring the good quality library in key stage one up to the very high standard in key stage two!
But how does a school make such an impressive turnaround in such a short space of time?
“Addressing challenging behaviour, first and foremost,” said the headteacher.
In 2008 there were fights among pupils, some children were swearing at staff and there were cases of assaults on staff.
Now there’s none of that. At Wizzie Green good behaviour is non-negotiable.
“We had some exclusions, we did have to do that,” admits Ms Davis. “It comes to a point where you have to think about the other children and their well-being.
“Eventually those children moved on, either to special provision or to high school, and then you’ve got a culture where it’s not acceptable to be rude to somebody or overly aggressive, physically aggressive.
“That never happens here now. Before, I think it was acceptable because if one child did it another would think oh well I can go and chuck a pencil then, or whatever. No-one does it now. It just doesn’t happen and it’s been like that for three years. We had to sort that out because that enables teachers to teach.
“Ofsted commented on the children’s behaviour and their enthusiasm and it was exemplary which was pleasing.”
What do you think of this turnaround and the concept of “making good behaviour non-negotiable”? Please let us know your views in the comments or on twitter…