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OUTSTANDING: Maidstone primary school gets top Ofsted rating

Thursday 25th November 2021

A MAIDSTONE primary school has achieved the very highest accolade from the Government inspectorate Ofsted - 'outstanding' grades across the board.

At Oak Primary Academy, the inspectors found exemplary standards in all areas, such as teaching, behaviour, a "highly-ambitious" curriculum, pupil feedback and staff development during a visit in late September.

The Oak Tree Avenue school, part of the Leigh Academies' Trust (LAT), says the achivement is through the "carefully crafted curriculum" and the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP) at its heart.

LAT spokesman Richard Taylor said: "It is quite a remarkable achievement when you take into account the area it draws from is quite deprived. Now it's in the top 20 schools in the country."

The school was also IB 'verified' as a "world school" at an earlier inspection.

Among the many complimentary observations made by Ofsted inspectors were:

-  Classroom observations show students engaged in inquiry where students explore, wonder

and question, collect data and report findings, and research and seek information;

- Parents described the understanding and respect shown to them daily;

- Pupils, who receive feedback about learning through pupil-teacher discussions known as

‘conferencing’, said it is a helpful way to improve their work;

- Every bit of the day is a chance for pupils to learn - achieved through a highly ambitious

and well-thought-out curriculum.

The IB inspectors said the PYP is implemented in an inclusive manner and praised the school's generous use of library and Chromebooks to gain a global perspective.

The school’s previous full Ofsted inspection was carried out in 2014 when it was rated ‘good’.

A short, interim inspection in 2018 head teacher Jane Tipple was told: “Since becoming part of Leigh Academies Trust in 2015, the school has gone from strength to strength. Standards and attendance have risen considerably.”