Thomas Hickman School goes from ‘inadequate’ to ‘good’ in less than 18 months

Thoms Hickman School headteacher Helen Emmett celebrates 'good' Ofsted result with pupils in November 2015
Thoms Hickman School headteacher Helen Emmett celebrates 'good' Ofsted result with pupils in November 2015

Teachers, pupils and parents at a primary school in Aylesbury are celebrating after it went from ‘inadequate’ to ‘good’ in less than 18 months.

In the Ofsted report published today (Thursday, November 19), Thomas Hickman School was graded ‘good’ across all five categories – including leadership and management and quality of teaching – following a visit by inspectors in October.

In the report, Ofsted highlight the ‘tireless’ work by staff, leadership team and governors to improve pupils’ achievement and quality of teaching since the school’s ‘inadequate’ report last year.

Part of the report says: “Quality of teaching, learning and assessment is now good as a result of school leaders’ high expectations and regular, rigourous monitoring.

“Leaders have established a school culture of respect and tolerance.

“There is a focus on helping pupils, including those in the early years, to understand British values.”

Inspectors also found pupils in most year groups to be making good progress, “particularly in reading, writing and mathematics”.

They described relationships as a ‘strength’, with pupils enjoying coming to school, behaving well, and being polite and cooperative with their peers.

Helen Emmett, headteacher at the school on Belgrave Road, said: “I am incredibly proud of the huge efforts made by everyone involved with the school which has helped us achieve this ‘good’ rating so quickly.

“I would like to thank staff for their continued hard work and dedication to our school; pupils for their enthusiasm towards their learning; parents for their ongoing support; and to the governors for their commitment.

“It has been a very challenging road over the last four terms and we could not have achieved this result without the whole community working together.

“However, we aren’t standing still and ‘outstanding’ is our next goal!”

Zahir Mohammed, Bucks County Council’s cabinet member for education and skills, said: “This Ofsted report is excellent news and a testament to the hard work of head teacher Helen Emmett and her team at Thomas Hickman School.

“Inspectors have noted significant improvement since their last visit and I would like to congratulate everyone at the school for making such rapid progress.”

In order to be graded ‘outstanding’, inspectors said the school must improve the quality of teaching and learning in literacy and other subjects as well as give older pupils more challenging homework.

Pupils in Key Stages 1 and 2 need to be provided with more opportunities to experience creative subjects such as art, drama and music in timetabled lessons, plus after-school and lunchtime clubs.

To read the full report, click here.