Harrogate Headteacher's "incredible" pride in 'Good' Ofsted report

Headteacher Andrew Symonds with children at Richard Taylor CE Primary. Picture: Adrian Murray
Headteacher Andrew Symonds with children at Richard Taylor CE Primary. Picture: Adrian Murray
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Staff and students at a Harrogate primary school have been praised by their headteacher after  receiving a ‘good’ rating in a recent Ofsted inspection.

Andrew Symonds, headteacher of Richard Taylor CE primary school , Bilton Lane, said he was ‘incredibly proud’ following the inspection on April 25.

The short inspection, known as a Section 8, was the first review of the school since their full inspection in December 2012 when the school was also given a ‘good’ rating.

Mr Symonds said: “We are constantly striving to be outstanding but at the same time we reflect on the fact that this is a fantastic inspection report.

“I’m incredibly proud of the work of the staff and the children at the school, it is the integrity and the commitment to the children and the way the children respond so positively that makes us the school that we are, and I’m very lucky to be headteacher of this school.

Indoor and outdoor provision at the school was described as “vibrant” and supporting a “rich and varied curriculum.

The report praised the work of the staff in school and in particular praised the strength of the relationships between staff and pupils.

In her concluding letter to Mr Symonds, the Inspecting Officer, Margaret Farrow, said: “You, staff and governors are vigilant in ensuring that pupils are safe in school and are well-prepared to manage risks that they may face in their lives.

“Pupils who spoke with me are adamant that they feel safe, are taught well about how to stay safe and that they can turn to any adult if they have a worry or a concern.”

Leadership was described as “inspirational and inclusive” with pupils described as “thriving” during their time at school.

The inspection was the first at the school since its conversion to academy status in March 2015, when it became a founder member of the Yorkshire Causeway Schools Trust.

It was also the first time Ofsted Inspectors were introduced to the schools “nine values”, which were established two years ago and act as the ‘ethos’ behind the Christian faith primary school.

Ms Farrow said: “The school lives out its Christian and British values with integrity and fervour. There is a tangible sense of community, care, respect of, and value for, others as you enter the school.”

Mr Symonds said: “The majority of schools will have values and have their own specific ethos but we wanted to make sure it was students’ voices that allowed us to identity what made our community special.

“If we live by those values and use them right then we can all have what we want our community to be. We want to know our children will live those values and not just know them.”

Around 20 children were taken home by their parents

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