2019 Ofsted – Headteacher letter to parents

Ofsted – we’re a good school!   

As I am sure you will all know by now, the Ofsted report was published this week.  This is a superb turn around as we were told it could be up to 30 working days. 

I am sure you will join us all in being very pleased to have achieved a Good across all categories in this, a brand new Inspection Framework.  I want to state that along with a new Framework, the new report is written in a new style, with much less jargon, so please take this into account when reading it!   

We all think very highly of Longwell Green School and I have said before that we are all ‘in it together’ to create the very best learning for each child in our school community and I think this is a huge reflection on the hard work that everyone, staff, community and of course pupils all put in to make Longwell Green such a lovely school. 

I imagine this is an odd experience for some.  Of course the school you chose is a good school and this was never in any doubt!  However, in reality Inspection Frameworks change, national expectations shift, things never stay the same, and for all of the nearly 420 pupils in school we wouldn’t want them to stay the same!  I do want to say that I wanted to lead Longwell Green because I could see all of the amazing things it already was achieving and could (and can) see even more amazing things we can achieve; I think the report agrees with this!

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the staff, pupils, governors and families who work tirelessly to keep what is great about Longwell Green and to implement changes that we have made in the time I have known this school.  Longwell Green is indeed a good school and I feel that we all have shared a sustained determination to continue to build on our successes to strive to provide the very best quality of education, and again I thank you all for this shared vision. 

I would also like to thank you as parents specifically, who have supported school in all we have been aiming to achieve.  The inspectors noted; ‘Staff and parents are positive about the school’. I always say how Longwell Green School is a partnership and the feedback from the online questionnaire reports have certainly shown that. 

We feel we provide exemplary care, guidance and support for pupils which has contributed significantly to the improvements in achievement that we saw at the end of last year, with some of the highest results we have ever had, attendance raising (thank you everyone for making this happen), punctuality is better than it was a year ago, and pupils feel safe and enjoy of school. The report states that this is a school ‘ that all children want to attend’, that ‘misbehaviour is rare’, that ‘pupils conduct themselves well’

Teaching and attainment was praised highly.  ‘Leaders make sure that pupils learn a wide range of subjects. Teachers plan activities that build pupils’ knowledge well.’ It specifically praises the teaching of reading, of phonics, of how well we support pupils who may find things tricky, how well we prepare pupils for their later education (including secondary school) and how well planned our whole school curriculum is.  Reception is an area that has to be reported on individually and the report is very clear that Longwell Green does a great job here too, saying ‘children in the early years are well catered for’, that ‘adults know the pupils well’ and ‘meet the needs of all children’

We are a values driven school, a place of nurture where we know our pupils.  The report states that we ‘promote pupils’ personal development well’, and that we ‘help them develop a sense of their place in the world’. We try to deliver the best for each pupil.  For example the report highlighted that ‘adults understand the needs of pupils with SEND’ and that we plan well to support all of the variety of needs, while making sure that all pupils are enthusiastic about their learning.

The leadership of the school was praised highly. I want to say that it is not in my nature to draw attention to anything to do with me personally – I really do want to note leadership is not just me, it is an entire and varied team.  I would like to say that words such as passionate, aspirational, inspirational, dedicated and utterly child focused are indeed words that I believe aptly describe the leaders of all subjects in school and of all areas which often go on behind the scenes, as well as the impact and drive that the governors hold for the school and I hope you can see how this was indeed reflected in the report.

I have said to parents who have asked, that for Longwell Green we are not chasing a grade, we are aiming to do the very best for each little person in our care.  We strive to help all children to recognise their talents, build on their strengths, recognise where they may find something tricky and help them have the skills to move forward from this.  We strive to create caring, thoughtful and passionate pupils who are proud of themselves and the communities they live in, and we are pleased that Ofsted recognised this in their report and praised the school and the pupils for this. 

This may sound like I am showing off for the school.  Well I think Longwell Green School community have a lot to be proud of.  Governors, staff, parents / carers and most importantly the pupils all work hard every day to create something very special here in our school.  I thank you for your continued support for Longwell Green Primary School, it is greatly valued and appreciated and we look forwards to continuing to support your children in going from strength to strength. 

Darren Brown


“Inspiring learning”