St Nicholas Primary School in Elstree named 'good' by Ofsted on 130th birthday

Borehamwood Times: Bishop Smith and Councillor Clive Butchins with children Bishop Smith and Councillor Clive Butchins with children

A school is celebrating a very special birthday present after receiving a 'good' rating from Ofsted on the day it celebrated its 130th anniversary.

St Nicholas Church of England Primary School in Elstree, which was previously told it required improvement, today received a report from the education watchdog praising the “rapid” progress it had made.

The report acknowledged the quality of the school’s teaching, leadership and governors, the good behaviour of the pupils and their above-average achievements in reading, writing and maths.

It also praised St Nicholas’s work to make every child feel safe and secure and combat bullying, meaning pupils were “proud” of their school.

The report coincided with the official opening of Calmer Court, a quiet outdoor space for children to use to reflect and pray, by the Bishop of St Albans Alan Smith and Mayor of Elstree and Borehamwood Councillor Clive Butchins.

The outside space includes a wall of remembrance to commemorate pupils and former members of staff who have died, and a shed, called Calmer Corner, in which pupils can sit and reflect.

The shed will also be used for the school’s prayer club, and its opening was organised by the worship club, which organises the celebration of religious ceremonies throughout the year.

Headteacher Kate Johnston-Grant said: “This really is a double celebration for us. It’s wonderful to receive such excellent Ofted results on the day our school turns 130.”

Chairman of governors Geoff Strack said the report had been a “strong good” with very little room for improvement.

He said: “It’s excellent to have the strong leadership of staff and governors recognised in this way, the report said there were very few things we needed to improve to become outstanding.”

Surrounded by pupils wearing a combination of Victorian and modern dress, Bishop Smith cut the ribbon on the Calmer Corner, which was decorated in purple to commemorate Lent.

Bishop Smith said: “The school has very gifted children and a talented headteacher and it’s wonderful they’ve been recognised in this way.

“It’s important for children to have a space away from the noise of the playground to come and enjoy peace and quiet. Silence is very restorative and I’m sure it will benefit their learning.”

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