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Deanwood Primary School in Rainham rated ‘good’ by Ofsted again despite ‘challenging year’

A primary school has been rated “Good” by the education watchdog for a second time running despite a “challenging” year which saw the “sudden death” of a key staff member.

Deanwood Primary School in Rainham received a glowing report from the education watchdog which highlighted its improved attendance record and “community ethos”.

Principal Jane Wright with pupils celebrating the and pupils celebrate "good” Ofsted report
Principal Jane Wright with pupils celebrating the and pupils celebrate "good” Ofsted report

Inspectors noted how pupils enjoy coming to Deanwood and “this is clear in the positive ways that they interact with one another”.

The report also mentioned how children in the early years get off to a solid start in their education at the site.

It adds: “Children in early years start their education strongly.

“Staff set clear and high expectations for what every child will learn, and this helps them to achieve well and be ready for the next stage of learning.”

The school’s vision statement explains it wants all pupils to be “happy, successful and safe”.

It’s believed youngsters who feel happy and safe in school will be keen to learn and will therefore be far more likely to make good progress both academically and emotionally.

Ms Wright said it had been a “challenging" year
Ms Wright said it had been a “challenging" year

Pupils were also keen to join clubs and activities, including karate and cooking, as well as try out different instruments and learn about different musical genres worldwide

The community ethos was strengthened by older children taking on roles as play leaders in the playground

Meanwhile, the school council and pupil parliament ensured pupils were listened to and understood by staff.

When it came to areas for improvement, inspectors noted the school’s approach to checking what pupils have understood as they are learning is not “fully embedded”.

This means that sometimes misunderstandings are not spotted and addressed as thoroughly as they could be.

To address this the report says leaders should make sure that there is a “consistent and systematic” approach to how teachers check for and address gaps in pupils’ knowledge.

Speaking after the result, Principal Jane Wright said they were “absolutely overjoyed” with the outcome of this inspection.

She said the positive result comes despite a “challenging year” at Deanwood following the sudden death of their assistant head last academic year.

Deanwood teacher Ollie Slack passed away suddenly last year. Picture: Diana Slack
Deanwood teacher Ollie Slack passed away suddenly last year. Picture: Diana Slack

“This outcome reflects the hard work that has been put in by all staff and the amazing resilience of the whole school community,” she added.

Teacher Ollie Slack, a father-of-two who worked at the school, died suddenly last February from a sinus bacterial infection which affected his brain.

The 30-year-old was a popular teacher and had worked at the school since 2015.

Owen McColgan, chief executive of The Howard Academy Trust, which runs the school, said: “I am delighted the inspector recognised the fantastic work that takes place at Deanwood Primary School every day.

“Staff within the school are passionate about making sure that every child at Deanwood reaches their full potential.”

The school in Long Catlis Road has about 200 children on the roll aged between four and 11.

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