Thornton Heath school among best performing primaries in country
A THORNTON Heath school has been named within the top seven per cent best performing primaries in England and Wales.
St James the Great Roman Catholic Primary and Nursery School, in Windsor Road, is celebrating an Ofsted report where it was labelled "outstanding" in every category.
The achievement is even more remarkable because the number of pupils who speak English as an additional language is three times the national average.
An inspection was held on October 24 and 25 and led by Mandy Snook and two additional inspectors.
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Within the report she writes that the teachers have "excellent subject knowledge" and are "enthusiastic and inspiring".
She said: "Behaviour in lessons is exemplary. Pupils enjoy their lessons and manage to do a great deal of work every term.
"They show much enthusiasm for their learning and regularly choose to do more demanding work, which they discuss animatedly with their talk partners and in groups, contributing to a 'buzz' of learning in all lessons.
"Pupils show respect for all adults and for each other. They are polite, have good manners and are friendly and cooperative."
Stephen Beck has been the head teacher at the school for 23 years and leads a school that is "managed exceptionally well".
It caters for 483 pupils aged between three and 11.
Delighted with the report and saying it was a credit to the children, Mr Beck added: "I've never felt the job is finished.
"All throughout my time I've tried to maintain a family atmosphere and to make sure education remains fun - although obviously the children are still learning.
"Everybody has pulled together in terms of the staff, governors and the parents who are very supportive."
St James the Great converted to become an academy school in April this year.
Attendance rates are above the national average and pupils are always punctual to school
Edwin Abreo, chairman of governors, expressed his confidence that the school would not take the accolade for granted and that work would continue to build on the success. He added: "Complacency is not an option."