Ark Byron's sister school rated "Outstanding"
Ark Priory Primary Academy has been rated "Outstanding" by Ofsted - less than two years after opening. The report means Ark Priory Primary Academy is considered one of the best in the country – only the top 20% of schools are rated outstanding. The report praised the “high standards” at the school with inspectors pointing out that pupils make exceptional progress. “Children leave reception with skills which are significantly higher than those typically found and continue to excel in year 1. Half the children in year 1 are reading at a level two years ahead of their chronological age.” Children in reception are taught to count to at least 20, and children as young as five wrote at length recounting the story of ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’. The behaviour of pupils is also rated as outstanding, with pupils focussing on tasks and listening attentively. In particular, the school’s ‘family dining’ approach where food is served in the middle of a table and pupils sit with staff at round tables ensuring that pupils “learn to socialise and interact courteously with one another and with adults when eating.” As well as excellent academic learning, the report praises the “opportunities to learn outside the classroom, through visits for example to the Science Museum, the Natural History Museum and other places of interest.” The school has also recently celebrated a 100% pass rate for its year 1 phonics screening test. Jacqui Steele, Executive Headteacher of Ark Priory and Ark Byron Primary Academy, said; “I am extremely proud of how hard everyone has worked since the opening of our primary academy. We have a fantastic community here with teachers, support staff and parents all working together to support children to get the best start in life. As well as being a happy, friendly school, we are really ambitious for our pupils. In line with our values, we expect every child to ‘explore, endeavour and excel’ and to have the ‘courage to fly’."