A PRIMARY school in Portsmouth has leapfrogged two Ofsted grades in just over two years to become officially ‘outstanding’.
Corpus Christi Catholic Primary, in Gladys Avenue, North End has been praised for outstanding teaching, an exciting curriculum, and higher than average exam results – especially in maths.
It’s a far cry from 2008 when it was rated ‘satisfactory’ by inspectors.
Elizabeth Giltian, headteacher since 2000, said: ‘I am so proud of this achievement, but it is the result of years of slowly building up to where we want to be.
‘The teachers were thrilled when they read the report but no sooner than they did so, they were saying “right, what’s next?”.
‘If you stand still in education you move back very quickly.’
Inspector Mike Burghart, who visited the school on January 10 and 11, wrote: ‘Pupils do well because care for them is outstanding and teaching is excellent.
‘The school has outstanding capacity to sustain further improvement, built on the vision and ambition of the headteacher.
‘Staff and the governing body are committed to maintaining high expectations and ensuring every child reaches their potential.’
Mrs Giltian said a lot of hard work had gone into the quality of teaching and learning over several years.
She said: ‘We have 319 pupils – they are all individuals.
‘Outstanding teaching is the backbone of our school, but what has really helped bring the children along is the creativity of our lessons.
‘For example, we put on a Dragons’ Den competition where teams designed innovative products like personalised calendars and even went as far as making them, marketing them, and selling them at our fairs.
‘The sum total of that is our children are having fun, and they want to behave in class and learn.’
A very strong commitment to the Catholic ethos of the school was also highlighted by Mr Burghart.
Mrs Giltian, who was brought up in North End, said: ‘I came back to Portsmouth in 1995 because I love the city and I love the children.
‘This is great news not just for Corpus Christi, but for the whole city.’