IMG_7903 Corpus Christie

Ofsted chief praises school for significant improvements

A Wednesfield North and Wolverhampton school has been congratulated by Ofsted’s chief inspector after making significant improvements in recent months.

Corpus Christi Catholic Primary Academy came out of special measures after an inspection in November 2019 and in her letter to acting principal Julie Wardle, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector Amanda Spielman wrote: “I know that the progress your school has made is the result of hard work and commitment on the part of many people.

“It is clear that your provision for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities and the Early Years provision have significantly improved. Furthermore I am delighted to note that pupils make rapid progress in reading due to your staff’s skills and enthusiasm.

“I am sure you will agree that the progress made by you and your team will benefit every pupil at the school. I wish you every success in your continuing drive for further improvement in the months and years ahead.”

Mrs Wardle said: “We are very pleased with the outcome of the Ofsted report and proud of all the staff and children at Corpus.

“We have had a number of challenges to overcome and have been judged under two different Ofsted frameworks within a short period of time. Achieving a good grading in four out of the five inspection areas is a fantastic achievement and a reflection of the hard work and commitment of all the staff.”

Inspectors found that Corpus Christi’s leadership team’s “determination to ensure that pupils have a high quality education has resulted in significant improvements in all areas of the school”.

They also praised the support offered by the City of Wolverhampton Council’s School Improvement Team and the St Francis and St Clare Multi-Academy Company to the Ashmore Park school, which has “helped to improve teaching well”, and that better planning and teaching is “helping pupils catch up quickly in all subjects”. Reading “is taught exceptionally well and is a key strength”, while staff are very skilled at teaching phonics.

Leaders also ensure that pupils’ personal development is focused on their specific needs, with a range of well-attended clubs to suit different interests.

Pupils were commended for their “very positive behaviour”, and were found to “love to learn and show great pride in their work”. Inspectors found a “strong community and family feeling” within the school, with Corpus Christi’s Catholic virtues “promoted extremely well” by everyone.

Overall, the school was judged to require improvement, with the behaviour, attitudes and personal development of pupils, leadership and management and Early Years provision all found to be Good.

Councillor Dr Michael Hardacre, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said: “It’s fantastic to see Corpus Christi making such rapid progress which has seen it come out of special measures in double quick time and I look forward to hearing about further improvements at the school’s next inspection.

“In the meantime I would like to congratulate Julie Wardle and everyone connected with Corpus Christi on their hard work, and also thank our School Improvement Team and the Multi-Academy Company for their continuing high quality support for the school.”

Councillor Phil Bateman MBE on behalf of the WEdnesfield North City Councillors has also commented – He wrote earlier this week saying

“Dear Acting Principle Wardle

I am really pleased that your school ,its staff, and its pupils have received such an important statement as this. I know the school has gone through much change, and the journey to this position has not been without its traumas.

Nevertheless the news contained in this report is justification for the hard work that you have all, as a whole school community put in.

I would like to congratulate you, and your team on behalf of your Wednesfield North Councillors, on the outcome. I am sure the parents will be as thrilled as the rest of us are, to read of the great steps the school has taken . Being out of special measures alone is a huge achievement.

We are as your Local Councillors ready to assist in the progress going forward, if ever required to by the school.

Well done Julie, we are chuffed for you!

To find out more about education in Wolverhampton, please visit www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/education

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Phil Bateman

Phil Bateman is Married to Mary and lives in Wednesfield North. He was a long serving local politician having served previously on the now defunct West Midlands County Council... read more

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