‘Inspirational’ head makes her good school even better

All smiles at St Philip's
All smiles at St Philip's

An “inspirational” headteacher and her team have been praised for improving the quality of education at their school.

Lucy Horne, head of St Philip’s Catholic Primary, in Arundel, said she was “really pleased” with the report from Ofsted, which was published on January 10.

St Philip’s had already been rated ‘good’ after Ofsted’s previous visit in 2012, and inspector Matthew Newberry recognised how the “high aspirations” promoted by Mrs Horne had pushed standards to be even better.

The improvements were reflected in the results achieved by children at the end of Key Stages 1 and 2. While figures from the Department for Education said progress in writing was below the national average, Mr Newberry said that was no longer the case for pupils currently in the school.

He said of Mrs Horne: “Your vision for school improvement rightly focuses on providing a rich and creative curriculum together with an exceptionally caring and inclusive community environment.”

He added: “St Philip’s offers a warm and welcoming community where pupils are known as individuals by staff, who take great care to support the academic and pastoral development of them all.”

Mrs Horne is in her third year as headteacher and was pleased that processes she put in place had had time to bear fruit since the previous inspection.

She was particularly proud that Mr Newberry had recognised the work done to ensure the St Philip’s curriculum embraced children as a whole, and did not solely focus on hammering home the three Rs.

The school’s musical and outdoor education were seen to be particularly strong.

Mrs Horne’s performance as headteacher was also praised by parents who contributed to Mr Newberry’s report.

One commented: “This is an absolutely wonderful school.

“The quality of leadership and teaching is of the highest level and the school is welcoming and accessible to all. It is a real pleasure to bring my daughter here each day.”

Another simply said: “This is a rare gem of a school.”

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