Proud moment for 'Good' school where tireless efforts have led to significant improvement

Celebrations are under way at a Derbyshire primary school now rated ‘Good’ following an Ofsted inspection which noted ‘significant’ improvement.

Inspectors have delivered their report after visiting Tupton Primary & Nursery Academy in October, where they encountered ‘a school where pupils work hard and do their best’.

It was the first inspection since the school, previously rated ‘Inadequate’, joined Redhill Academy Trust in July 2019. The report reads:

The multi-academy trust has provided effective support for the school during their tireless efforts to improve the school.

The Tupton community is now served by two Ofsted ‘Good’ schools, with Tupton Hall School – also a Redhill Academy Trust academy – rated ‘Good’ last year.

This time around, Ofsted noted only one point for improvement - to complete a piece of work currently underway to review curriculum plans, including adaptations to ensure every pupil can do as well as possible. This means the school is placed at the top end of the ‘Good’ rating, awarded across all areas of education and school life.

Headteacher Katherine Richards said: “I am incredibly proud of all our staff and students who were able to show what PRIDE at Tupton Primary is all about. Our whole community rose to the occasion during this inspection to showcase their learning, behaviour, and positive relationships with each other. The support we’ve had from Redhill Academy Trust has helped us realise our vision for Tupton, making it a wonderful place to work and learn.”

During the recent two-day visit, inspectors visited lessons, looked at pupils’ work and spoke to a wide range of stakeholders including pupils, parents, teachers, leaders and governors.

They commended Tupton Primary for having ‘high ambition for every pupil’ and said that expectations of what pupils can achieve had ‘risen significantly since joining the multi-academy trust’.

Relationships between pupils and staff were said to be ‘built on trust and mutual respect’, with staff ‘providing the best  possible education for pupils.’ Inspectors added: “They want pupils to be confident communicators and independent learners who are excited about their future. They plan carefully to make sure that pupils are well prepared for the next stage in their education, both academically and personally.”

Parents’ views were also taken into consideration during the inspection, with the overwhelming view being that parents and carers ‘appreciate the care and support their children receive’. One parent commented: “This is the best decision I have made sending my child to this school”.

During their time observing day-to-day life at Tupton Primary & Nursery Academy, the inspection team saw children ‘work well together in class and play happily together at play times’. The report reads: “Pupils give their full attention in lessons. They are keen to talk about their learning. They soak up knowledge.” It continues: “They look out for each other. When a pupil has no one to play with other pupils invite them to join their games.”

This is the best decision I have made sending my child to this school

On teaching and the curriculum Ofsted were also full of praise, acknowledging that teachers ‘know precisely what to teach and when’, with strong subject knowledge and teaching techniques which help pupils remember their learning. The curriculum was described as ‘well-organised and interesting’ covering a broad range of subjects and led by ‘skilled curriculum leaders’. “These leaders are committed to ensuring that each curriculum meets the needs of all pupils,” the report said.

Further recognition was given to the school being a ‘highly inclusive’ place to learn, where pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities are supported to access the full curriculum, keep up with their peers and play an active part in school life.

The way the school prioritises reading and boosts pupils’ personal development were also underlined as particular strengths.

Julie Wardle, Primary Director at Redhill Academy Trust, said: “I am delighted for Katherine and ‘Team Tupton’! This ‘Good’ Ofsted judgement is so well deserved. Moving a school from inadequate to good is a significant achievement. Katherine and her leadership team have shown great resilience, bringing stability and confidence to this school.”


Andrew Burns, Chief Executive of Redhill Academy Trust, said: “It is great news that both our primary and secondary academies that serve the Tupton community are now rated good by Ofsted. I’d like to congratulate all the staff, pupils, governors and parents who have worked so hard together to achieve this great outcome for the Trust and, more importantly, for local families.”

Listed below are further comments made by inspectors following the recent Ofsted inspection:

  • Pupils learn to communicate their learning well. They use subject specific vocabulary to talk about their work. This commitment to developing language begins as soon as children start at school in the early years.
  • (Teachers) regularly check that pupils remember what they have been taught. They step in quickly when pupils have not understood the intended learning or have misconceptions.
  • Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are identified without delay. Their needs are well known.
  • Teaching pupils to become fluent and confident readers is a priority. The school has trained staff to be reading experts. Pupils experience the joy of listening to stories. They are encouraged to read at home. Pupils talk about the books they love.
  • Pupils’ personal development is a strength of the school. Pupils have rich and varied experiences beyond the academic curriculum. Pupils develop the characteristics they need to make a positive contribution in their school and their local community. They become young leaders. They learn to take initiative. They develop empathy for the lives of others, for example pupils participate in wheelchair basketball. Pupils learn to respect and value people who are different to them.
  • Governors work closely with the school. They know the many strengths of the school and hold the school to account for future improvements. They are proud of what the school has achieved.
  • Staff appreciate the training they have been given. They feel valued. They agree that their well-being and workload has been considered. They say that the school is a happy and purposeful place to work.