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The Shade primary school in Soham retains its 'good' Ofsted rating

Jane Segust, The Shade school, Soham (7575948)
Jane Segust, The Shade school, Soham (7575948)

A Soham primary school has retained its ‘good’ Ofsted rating after its first inspection since a new headteacher took over in September.

The inspector, Elizabeth Cornish, said that since Jane Segust became headteacher at The Shade she had earned the support and respect of parents and carers because their children loved going to school and were excited about learning.

Ms Cornish said: “One parent summed up the views of many, saying ‘I have two children at The Shade and I get comments from both of them saying how much they love to go to school. The stories they tell me every night reflect a lot about what they have learned and how much they enjoyed the learning process’.”

The inspector said children were not afraid to make mistakes, challenge themselves to achieve and keep trying, even with difficult work. Consequently, she said, pupils made good progress from their individual starting points.

Children were so focused on learning that they behaved extrememely well in lessons and around the school.

“Good behaviour is a characteristic of The Shade,” said Ms Cornish.

Among the next steps to be taken, Ms Cornish said that language and communication skills should be developed further in children’s early years. Spelling, punctuation and grammar should be taught to a high standard ‘to support the excellent authorship and advanced vocabulary that pupils are achieving’.

At The Shade’s only previous Ofsted inspection in May 2015, the school, which was opened in 2013, consisted of Reception and Year 1 pupils only. In September 2019, it will have its first Year 6 group and, said the inspector, the school’s leaders were planning carefully for this.

“They have considered how pupils will progress through the school and how to best equip them with the knowledge and skills they will need to help them excel at secondary school,” she said.

Mrs Segust said: “I am delighted that Ofsted saw how much our pupils enjoy their lessons and are ‘absolutely committed to their learning’. Our children enjoy a range of rich opportunities because of the skill and hard work of so many adults working at The Shade. It is an exciting and inspiring place to work whether you are an adult or a child.

“We are pleased that Ofsted recognised the many strengths of our school.”