WHAT a difference three years can make.
Back in 2008, Wallisdean Infants school in Fareham was saddled with the second worst grade from education inspectors.
But now staff and pupils are jubilant after it was rated good with outstanding features.
The transformation has come under the headship of Sandra Cammish, who joined the school when it was suffering from a high staff turnover and below national average results.
Mrs Cammish said: ‘We have been on an amazing and rewarding journey over the past three years and staff work tirelessly to provide the very best education and support to all our children.
‘This judgement is thoroughly deserved and a real testament to the staff, past and present pupils and governors of the school for their passion, commitment and untiring drive for excellence.’
The scale of improvement, which has been underpinned by a focus on literacy and numeracy skills across all subject areas, can be seen in key stage one results.
In 2008, just 83 per cent of seven-year-olds were gaining the target level two in writing, and just 85 per cent in both reading and maths.
This year the figures stand at 94 per cent, 96 per cent and 98 per cent in reading, writing and maths respectively.
Mrs Cammish said: ‘I’m so proud we are now exceeding national averages, where we were significantly below a few years ago.
‘We have made changes which allow our children to go on a fun and challenging learning journey that will give them the skills to thrive in junior schools and beyond.’
The secret to Wallisdean’s success has been reorganising the leadership team to create a clearer line of accountability for areas like literacy, numeracy and other curriculum areas.
On top of that, teachers have been working jointly in classes to give feedback on how to make lessons as fun and engaging as possible.
And in class, the bar is set as high as the top performing pupils – with teaching assistants trained in various specialist areas giving extra support when needed.
Mrs Cammish said: ‘Although the improvement has been rapid, the good practice is embedded in everything we do.
‘Our foundations are strong and I am in no doubt we will be outstanding at the next inspection.’
Inspectors also reported outstanding pupil behaviour, capacity to improve, and assessment of support learning.