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Whitchurch Primary School; A thriving learning community where pupils feel safe and valued says Estyn



Estyn, the Inspectorate for education and training in Wales, has found Whitchurch Primary School to be a thriving learning community where pupils feel safe and valued.

Following a recent visit, the report highlights the compassionate leadership of the headteacher, supported by two highly effective deputy headteachers, dedicated governors, and an extensive leadership team, has fostered an inclusive ethos that encourages pupils to develop as creative and independent thinkers.

Inspectors noted the school has made significant strides in refining its curriculum, offering a rich array of stimulating learning experiences tailored to individual pupil needs. This has resulted in nearly all pupils, including those with additional learning needs (ALN), engaging positively and making sound progress.

From an early age, pupils are encouraged to be curious and explore their environment. By Year 6, they confidently choose research topics and presentation methods. Effective monitoring and feedback from staff further promote resilience and independence in learning.

Teachers systematically plan for the progressive development of literacy skills, with most pupils effectively using their reading and writing skills across various subjects. However, the report notes that opportunities for older pupils to develop and apply their reading skills consistently need further enhancement.

The school's inclusive culture is evident in its highly successful provision for pupils with ALN and the leadership team and dedicated governing body work closely to monitor and evaluate teaching and learning progress. The school operates efficiently within its financial capabilities and offers valuable leadership development opportunities for pupils.

The report goes on to say that staff appreciate the wide range of professional development opportunities available, and the school contributes positively to the development of teaching practices across the region.

Headteacher Ann Griffin said: "We are immensely proud of our thriving learning community and the diverse range of enriching experiences we offer. This recognition from Estyn underscores our commitment to fostering a nurturing environment where every student can flourish." 

The report includes two key recommendations to help the school continue its improvement:

  • Improve the attendance of pupils eligible for free school meals.
  • Further develop and refine opportunities to enhance older pupils' reading skills.

In response to the inspection, Whitchurch Primary School will draft an action plan to address these recommendations.

Cardiff Council's Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Education, Cllr Sarah Merry said: "Pupils, parents and staff from Whitchurch Primary school should feel proud of Estyn's report, which is a testament to the hard work, dedication and commitment to providing an outstanding education for all pupils.

"Estyn have recognised theskills of teachers who show a good understanding of the individual needs and interests of the pupils they teach and the provision of stimulating learning experiences that motivate and challenge pupils successfully.

"It was particularly pleasing to hear of the opportunities for pupils to explore the world around them and through the school's curriculum, pupils enjoy exploring the school's outdoor classroom and wider learning environment from an early age.

"Congratulations to the school, who will be supported by the Local Authority to address the recommendations given by Estyn."

At the time of inspection Whitchurch Primary School had 687 pupils on roll 12.7% of pupils are eligible for free school meals, 8.7% of pupils identify as having additional learning needs and 9.4% pupils have English as an additional language.

To read the report in full visitWhitchurch Primary School | Estyn (