Onwards and upwards for Welwyn Garden City primary school

PUBLISHED: 17:17 19 January 2017 | UPDATED: 17:17 19 January 2017

Holwell Primary School foxes class celebrate maintaining their Ofsted 'Good' rating.

Holwell Primary School foxes class celebrate maintaining their Ofsted 'Good' rating.

Danny Loo Photography 2017

A headteacher has been praised by Ofsted for tackling a “legacy of underachievement” to bring about rapid progress at a primary school.

Holwell Primary School foxes class with teacher Laura Rumsey, Margaret Richards, Stephanie Squires and head teacher Joe McIntyre celebrate maintaining their Ofsted 'Good' rating.Holwell Primary School foxes class with teacher Laura Rumsey, Margaret Richards, Stephanie Squires and head teacher Joe McIntyre celebrate maintaining their Ofsted 'Good' rating.

The education watchdog carried out a short inspection visit to Holwell Primary School in November 2016 following a previous inspection in November 2011, in which the school was judged to be good.

Results of the latest inspection (published on Friday) still rate the school as good, but the report also highlights that headteacher Joseph McIntyre has had to overcome a “decline since the previous inspection”.

Since Mr McIntyre was appointed in September 2014, he has “re-established the good quality of education noted at the time of the previous inspection”.

Ofsted inspectors also wrote: “You have worked closely with other senior leaders and the governors to improve the school after a period of decline following the previous inspection.

Holwell Primary School.Holwell Primary School.

“The decline had left a legacy of underachievement.

“Your passion and commitment to ensure that all pupils succeed is noted by many of the parents who responded to the online questionnaire.”

Inspectors noted “rapidly increasing rates of progress”.

Reception children are doing well in literacy and maths, gaps in achievement are “diminishing quickly for disadvantaged pupils” and lessons are carefully planned for children with special educational needs.

Mr McIntyre said: “We are extremely pleased with our ‘good’ Ofsted result.

“All staff at Holwell work incredibly hard for our children.

“I am very proud that their passion and commitment has been recognised.

“Since joining Holwell in 2014, the school has undergone huge changes; expanding to two forms of entry and managing with the building of eight new classrooms.

“The staff, governors, children and community have all pulled together to make sure the heart of Holwell stayed true during this time of change; all children striving to be the best they can.

“It is pleasing to note that we have not only maintained our good standards but have ‘a rising trend of improvement’.

“The governors have a ‘clear view of the school’ due to ‘effective monitoring.’

“Our parents and children are fully on board and the inspector was very impressed.”


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