Our dear friends at OfSTED placed Grimes Dyke Primary School in Special Measures in October last year but some colleagues believe that was a mistake and after my visit to the school I am certain that OfSTED got it wrong. This is not a failing school and Diana Mann and her team are very obviously doing a lot of things right.
I toured the school with Diana and Natalie, Joseph, Ryan and Natasha who are all in Year 6 and looking forward to moving on to secondary school in September. The children were confident, articulate and polite, and brilliant advocates for their school. We talked about their plans for a fantastic pond in their amazing grounds, their impressive programme of events and visits, their 'Worry Boxes', their new Children's Centre opening in September, plans for an satellite Pupil Development Centre linked to Woodlands Primary School, their Spanish and French lessons, the impact of 'Success for All' and we took part in a fantastic 'Wake Up and Shake Up' session led by a brilliant young colleague and some more of Diana's young people. Diana and her deputy also talked incredibly positively about the school's involvement in the Intensifying Support Programme and the real impact it was having.
Schools are complex beasts and it isn't easy to pick up the real school in a brief visit or a couple of days if you are an OfSTED team! However, I know what makes Grimes Dyke Primary School a special place...
- strong and passionate leadership;
- positive and dynamic relationships;
- some great teaching and learning;
- clear, shared values driving all aspects of the work of the school;
- high expectations of every child and the whole learning team; and
- some fantastic young people!