Village school praised for putting pupils at heart of everything

Karl Laithwaite
Karl Laithwaite

Staff at a village primary school have been praised for putting pupils "at the heart of all" that they do.

Temple Sowerby School continues to be judged as a good school by inspectors from the education regulator Ofsted.

The school was visited in July, but the inspector's findings have only been published on this month's return to school.

It was last inspected in 2014.

Karl Laithwaite joined as headteacher in September 2016, with the inspection taking place at the end of his first year in charge.

He had previously been deputy headteacher at Lanercost School near Brampton for 12 years.

Her Majesty's Inspector Sue Eastwood wrote to him: "As the new headteacher of Temple Sowerby, you have made a significant impact in a short time and ensured that the school continues to go from strength to strength.

"Your hard work and vision has established the school as a valued part of the local community.

"You have created an environment that fosters the care and nurture of the whole school community."
She added: "You, staff, parents and pupils are rightly proud of the ‘inclusive feel’ that is such a strong feature at Temple Sowerby.

"You are ably assisted by your enthusiastic and experienced staff team. Together you ensure that you put pupils at the heart of all that you do."

Staff also feel that Mr Laithwaite "leads by example" and the inspector says that he has "energised staff, parents and children" since his arrival.

Recent improvements are having impressive results too.

Pupils are "flourishing both academically and in their personal development", the inspector noted.

A change has been the tightening up of assessment information so teachers can closely monitoring learning, ensuring that they do not fail to notice pupils if they are falling behind.

Parents were overwhelmingly positive about the school too, the latest inspection found.

Strengths of the school include the leadership of special educational needs, pupils' good attitude to learning, and the huge range of opportunities and experiences offered to pupils taking into account the size of the school.

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