Mill Hill Community Primary School is moving swiftly from strength to strength under strong leadership according to inspectors in the school’s latest Ofsted report.
The Northallerton school has made rapid progress and is a “calm and purposeful place in which to learn”. Inspectors, who judge the school to be good on all counts, say the balance of academic and personal care given to pupils is “seamless and impressive”.
Teaching in literacy and mathematics is “typically good and on occasions outstanding” according to Ofsted and inspectors describe a school where behaviour continues to improve and where older pupils enjoy being role models for younger children “and are courteous and considerate to everyone”.
The school has made huge strides since it was placed in special measures through the dedication and hard work of its staff, governors, children and families and with the support of the local authority.
“I can honestly say that now when I walk around the school it is an entirely different place,” said Sheila Sutton, Mill Hill’s Chair of Governors. “The ethos is happy and hardworking. The children obviously enjoy school and the relationship between staff and children is cheerful and committed. It is a school to be proud of and will, I am sure, go from strength to strength.”
Pupils in year 6 are now working at levels above the national average in reading, writing and mathematics and the number of pupils on track to reach the higher levels in national tests is rising.
“We have come on a long journey” said Annie Croft who was appointed at the same time as Headteacher Stephen Hanscombe to take the school out of special measures and is now one of the Co-Heads. “The school came out of special measures quickly but since that time we have all worked together- staff, governors and families- to change the culture of learning and expectations.
“The local authority has held us to account and provided the necessary challenge. This is now a school where children have high expectations of themselves, both socially and academically and who believe that through hard work they can achieve whatever they want to do.”
Over the past year Mill Hill has adopted a policy of “Assertive Mentoring” where each child is mentored individually by their class teacher six times a year, three times with their parents present.
“This has achieved incredible results” said Annie Croft. “Our children are very proud of their school and their achievements and are knowledgeable of where they are academically and what they have to do to make progress.”
“Our aim is for all our schools to be good or outstanding,” said County Councillor Arthur Barker, North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Schools, “and schools like Mill Hill are among those showing the way. This is an impressive achievement and the school’s leadership has shown great vision and sense of purpose through the years. We must congratulate everybody – staff, children, governors and families – for their commitment in getting better and better.”