More than half the pupils in some Brighton primary school classes are not native English speakers

Posted On 16 Nov 2015 at 8:28 pm

An official report has praised a Brighton school where more than half the pupils in some classes are not native English speakers.

Ofsted, the government’s schools watchdog, said that St John the Baptist Catholic Primary School was good.

The report, dated last Monday (9 November) and addressed to head teacher Carmel Hughes, said: “The leadership team has maintained the good quality of education in the school since the last inspection.”

The school, in Whitehawk Hill Road, Brighton, was also rated good when it was previously inspected four years ago – in September 2011.

St John the Baptist Catholic School

Ofsted inspector Siân Thornton said in her report: “You wasted no time in acting on the recommendations of the previous report and have continued to improve the standard of education all pupils receive, especially those supported by the pupil premium (additional government funding for those entitled to free school meals or looked after).

“Over time, you have sustained the capacity of the staff team by recruiting new members with fresh ideas and energy.

“Meanwhile you have enabled long-standing staff to continue developing their experience and leadership and to share their expertise.

“Since the last inspection, the proportion of pupils joining the school with English as an additional language has increased year on year.

“In some classes, this group now comprises more than half of the pupils, especially in the early years and Key Stage 1.

“Proudly reflecting the Christian ethos of the school, and led by your unflagging example, staff and governors have welcomed the wealth of cultures and languages this has brought into the school.

“At the time of my visit, pupils were enthusiastically sharing the traditions of their own and each other’s heritages as part of the school’s annual ‘international week’.

“The school actively promotes the fundamental British values of democracy, individual liberty, equality and freedom of speech. Pupils are very well prepared for life in modern Britain.

Quality

“Parents value very highly the way the school involves them in the education of their children, the quality of communication between home and school and the ready availability of staff.

“This includes parents whose children have only recently joined the school and those whose children have special educational needs and/or are disabled.

“You have continued to inspire a vision, shared by all staff, for the best outcomes for pupils whatever their background or starting point.

“Since the last inspection, this has meant an increasing focus on individual pupils’ progress, particularly for those supported by the pupil premium.

“You and the staff know the individual needs of pupils well, so the right support and challenge is provided promptly.

“As a result, pupils make good progress through each phase of the school in reading, writing and mathematics.

“Pupils behave well throughout the school day. They play happily together and take care of one another. Pupils wear their uniform with pride and take care of the resources they use.

“Regularly, through prayer and links with charities, pupils are enabled to help others less fortunate than themselves. Currently, this is through a focus on the plight of refugees.”

Tomorrow (Tuesday 17 November) the school is holding a Macmillan coffee morning at 8am to raise money for the nursing charity – and an open morning for reception parents at 9am.

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