School under threat of closure given good report

10:02am Thursday 28th November 2013

A Milford school under threat of closure has been praised by inspectors in a recent report.

A public consultation is currently being held over proposals to close Hubberston VC School and Hakin Community Primary, replacing them with a new school.

Education inspectors Estyn concluded that Hubberston school was “good” in all aspects following an inspection in May.

The school also had a Section 50 Church Schools inspection.

“The school provides a very calm and organised learning environment which supports pupils’ needs well,” states Estyn’s report.

“Pupils feel valued and secure in a caring environment. This is a strong feature of the school. Across the school, the quality of care, support and guidance for pupils is of a high standard,” it adds.

The report found that teaching was good or better across the school. All teachers had high expectations and consistently supported pupils to achieve their best with staff paying particular attention to addressing pupils' personal, emotional and educational needs.

“The early identification of pupils’ needs and the implementation of appropriate intervention strategies is a particular strength. Pupils who have additional learning needs make good and sometimes very good progress. Many make significant gains in their reading skills,” it adds.

The report said the ‘Criw Cymraeg’ - made up of staff and pupils- was having a very positive impact in promoting Welsh with the incidental use of Welsh by staff throughout the day a prominent feature.

“Through curricular and general school activities, including extra-curricular provision, pupils acquire a good range of social and life skills, which prepares them well for life outside school.”

It said that the effective use of performance data, classroom observations and a scrutiny of pupils’ work allowed the school to monitor progress and focus well on improving pupil outcomes.

The report found that the acting headteacher provided strong, purposeful leadership, had a clear vision for the future and succeeded well in creating a learning ‘can do’ climate, while the acting deputy headteacher and a committed team of teachers and learning support assistants provided good support.

“All are actively involved in appropriate decision-making. The governing body is supportive of the school and members are knowledgeable about the school’s performance.

“Parents feel welcome and appreciate the ease with which they can approach the school,” said the report.

The Section 50 inspection noted that pupils’ displayed exemplary behaviour and courtesy and that the quality of Collective Worship was excellent.

Acting headteacher, Heather Cale, said, “We are delighted with the outcome of our inspections and feel that the reports reflect the hard work and commitment of staff, pupils, parents and governors.”

A consultation document about the proposals for the future of the school is available until January 6 at www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/haveyoursay.

Interested parties are also invited to attend drop-in sessions, which run from 6.30pm to 8pm on Wednesday, December 4, at Hakin Community Primary School on Waterloo Road, and Thursday, December 5 at Hubberston VC School.

Pembrokeshire County Council’s head of education will make a brief presentation at 7pm as part of the sessions.

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