Since joining the Knowledge Schools Trust (KST) in Autumn 2020, Edlesborough Primary Academy has made vast improvements across all areas of the school. As part of the trust’s improvement plan for the school, KST commissioned an independent external inspection by a HMI (Her Majesty’s Inspector) to evaluate the school. In this review the school was described as “solidly good” and it reported that “the school is going from strength to strength. The school is focused on outcomes, the curriculum is scaffolded and pupils want to learn”.
This inspector, who is trained in the new inspection framework, highlighted key areas where there have been improvements in the school including curriculum, leadership, behaviour as well as teaching and learning.
The last year has brought on huge changes, particularly with the implementation of the Primary Knowledge Curriculum: a bespoke curriculum, providing a broad and balanced curriculum from Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) to Year Six. The curriculum was introduced in September 2020 and teachers were provided subject leadership training and continued support from subject experts.
Of these new shifts the review stated: “The curriculum changes are positive since the take over. Expectations are now high and there is consistency in the curriculum delivery. There are more cross curricular links and a review of phonics have presented opportunities for pupils and staff to move forward, grow and develop… Ceilings are being removed. Pupils are being presenting with opportunities to have access to a challenge.”
These changes are being recognised both internally and externally, as observed by the inspector: “Staff are being supported effectively to deliver the new curriculum. Teachers are enthused and engage pupils well fostering enthusiasm for learning within a purposeful learning environment.”
The inspection also highlighted the consistent behaviour across the school: “The behaviour of pupils is a real strength of the school. There is a high focus placed on this by leaders and there is consistency of managing behaviour positively by all adults across the school.” The review also noted how articulate students were, as well as being “confident and reflective learners, able to recognise mistakes and correct” and that “in independent learning tasks, all take responsibility for learning and secure in questioning each other to clarify understanding and contextual awareness.”
KST is working closely with leadership, governors, teachers and parents to deliver improved outcomes. Parents are more engaged in the process of learning and have seen a difference, especially in reading. Laura Lund, Director of Primary Education, said, “We want to involve parents on the improvement journey that the school is on.”
The inspector added, “It’s a cohesive team who will drive the school forward… They now have the tools needed as a result of support from the trust… There is a clear vision of what they need to do to improve and how they are going to achieve this.”
Lund outlined the future of the school, saying: “The vision for Edlesborough Primary Academy is to become an outstanding school. We know that is something we are able to provide for the children within our trust because we have achieved that outcome successfully in our other primary schools. This is not just about an Ofsted judgement, it’s about ensuring that the children have the best quality provision that we are able to provide.”
The school is now on the road to becoming the ‘outstanding’ primary school in the area and wants to invite other parents to join them on the journey. Parents and carers of all primary and nursery age children are invited to come see for themselves at the next Open Morning.