I started my day early at Castleton Primary School. I arrived at the school at 7.45 to find the place buzzing and a brilliant team getting ready for breakfast at what must be the biggest breakfast club in Leeds. It's sponsored by Gregg's who are brilliant and in the summer it has up to 130 children! Today it had about 80 but what struck me was how calm, civilised and organised it was... just imagine doing breakfast for 80!
The school is led by Judith Norfolk and it is an amazing place... Judith showed me round and I met her talented team and her wonderful children. The learning environment is wonderful, the pace and purpose is great and the children are fantastic. The thing about Castleton Primary School is that they are doing everything... Wake and Shake, the arts, fantastic ICT, Healthy Schools, nurture groups, transition work with Wortley and West Leeds, parenting work and so much more... and there is a Children's Centre on the way. They are also achieving brilliant outcomes!
The little things that make brilliant were evident wherever you looked at Castleton Primary School...
- strong and passionate distributed leadership;
- clear, shared vision, values and beliefs driving the work of the school;
- confident, creative and passionate use of appropriate strategies and approaches to raise standards;
- high shared expectations of children and the whole learning team;
- strong, dynamic and wonderful relationships;
- inspiring teaching within a nurturing culture;
- individual tracking and focused interventions;
- high parental engagement and involvement.
So what did I take away from my visit today... this is an outstanding little school with talented, brilliant, gorgeous and wonderful colleagues releasing a very special Castleton magic.