Praise from Ofsted ends summer term on a high note at Ribble Valley school

Pupils and staff at Thorneyholme RC Primary School in Dunsop Bridge were thrilled to be rated good by OFSTED inspectors.
Pupils and staff at Thorneyholme RC Primary School in Dunsop Bridge were thrilled to be rated good by OFSTED inspectors.

A Ribble Valley school has ended the summer term on a high note with praise from government appointed Ofsted inspectors.

Both the staff and children at Thorneyholme RC Primary School in Dunsop Bridge were praised in the short inspection.

Inspectors said that both the headteacher, Miss Elizabeth Seedall and her deputy, Mrs Olga Jackson, had a 'clear vision' for the school to ensure it retained its 'good' ranking since the last inspection in 2015.

The report said the duo worked together as an effective team to identify the school's strengths and areas for development.

The enrichment of the curriculum was seen as a strength of the school and pupils' behaviour was described as excellent.

Teachers were praised for setting challenges and extension tasks that allow pupils to think more deeply and the children's 'strong progress' in science was seen as a real bonus as inspectors observed how they were able to plan and carry out investigations effectively while using the appropriate scientific vocabulary.

Inspectors said the extensive enrichment activities form part of what the pupils learn every day and these are highly engaging and contribute to the rich and memorable curriculum.

A small school in a rural setting, due to small class size sizes Thorneyholme Primary is able to provide individualised learning for pupils. Mixed age classes also enable children to deepen and even at time accelerate their learning by having the opportunity to share their learning at different levels.

The school is a Unicef Rights Respecting School. Pupils are given opportunities to learn about their rights and the rights of others. They have studied topics such as global warming and child soldiers and learned about life in other parts of the world.

Pupils regularly watch the news together and during the inspection, pupils were discussing the Conservative Party leadership campaign.

Mrs Jackson said: "We provide many enrichment opportunities for the pupils.

"We aim to take the basic curriculum subjects and expand them, looking at them in more depth or from a different perspective. This is through trips, this year alone the school has been on over 10, and through themed days and weeks such as Parliament Week and Show Racism the Red Card Day."

The Forestry Commission has allocated the school a designated area for Forest Learning in the Black Plantation Forest next to school and fun, cross-curricular learning activities are organised for the pupils in the forest.

Mrs Jackson added: "We use our beautiful local environment to enrich their learning, from geological field trips to cross country running near the fells."