Florence Melly Community Primary School is top of the class

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Teachers, pupils and parents at a Walton school are celebrating this week after being rated top of the class by Ofsted.

Florence Melly Community Primary School, on Bushey Road, has been rated “outstanding” in overall effectiveness in its new Ofsted report. The school was previously rated as “requires improvement” in 2018 and it has now leapfrogged “good” and gone straight to the highest rating.

The school is rated as “outstanding” in four of the report’s five areas as well as “good” for its early years provision that inspectors acknowledge to be run in a nurturing, exciting and stimulating environment.

Headtecher Ken Heaton, who has been at Florence Melly since September 2015, has overseen the school’s improvements and has been praised for creating a “dynamic leadership team”. School leaders were praised for “making Florence Melly the best school it can possibly be”, and inspectors noticed that relationships between staff and pupils are “exemplary.”

Whilst children’s academic progress by the time they leave the school is “outstanding”, Florence Melly is also roundly praised for the spiritual, moral, social and cultural understanding the pupils develop thanks to the school’s extra-curricular activities, including enrichment trips, and its commitment to celebrating diversity.Staff and pupils are also all supported by a mental health and wellbeing pastoral team.

Ken Heaton, headteacher at Florence Melly, said: “We’re very happy that we have been rated as outstanding. It gives our pupils, parents, staff and governors recognition for all of their hard work.

“The key to improving a school is to always put the children first. Every child needs to matter and be valued by our staff team. Every member of our staff team also needs to feel valued and continually encouraged to do the very best job that they can for every child. You need to have high expectations and a set of values that everyone believes in. Our values are DREAMS: determination,resilience empowerment, appreciation, motivation and safety. We embed these values in everything we do for our children.

“I went to Florence Melly myself as a child so returning to the school as headteacher makes it extra special. I know our community and we work closely with our parents and organisations to change lives through learning. It is all about giving our children an engaging and exciting curriculum and the very best learning we can, playing to our children’s strengths, and making sure we are challenging ourselves and supporting the children as much as we can.

“We’ve done well, but we now need to continue to raise the bar and do even better. We need to make sure we do everything we can to ensure our pupils are given the best possible chance for success and happiness. Every child matters at Flo Melly.”

Cllr Barbara Murray, cabinet member for education, said: “I am delighted for the whole Florence Melly community and congratulate them on the outcome of their inspection.

“The report makes for truly impressive reading and to jump from ‘requires improvement’ to ‘outstanding’ is an achievement that cannot be praised too highly. “The fact that Mr Heaton believes that they can continue to improve explains why the school has done so well and I have every confidence that the school team will go on to even better things after they return from their well-earned summer break.”