Pupils ‘learning together in harmony’

Cotham Gardens Primary is an inclusive school that celebrates its diversity, Ofsted says. 

Two inspectors from the education watchdog visited in January and concluded that there was no change to the overall Good rating the school has held since 2014. 

However, they said they would return within two years for a full inspection.

Cotham Gardens is a co-operative academy that has 543 pupils across two sites. The inspectors said pupils were fulsome in their praise of the school.

“Pupils and parents and carers say that they feel welcome and included. Pupils are tolerant. They enjoy finding out about each other’s cultures, beliefs and values. The school celebrates its diverse character. 

“Pupils are considerate towards one another. They behave well around school and in lessons.”

Ofsted said the school had created a broad and balanced curriculum, which was coherent for core subjects but less well sequenced in some other subjects. Assessment was also said to be stronger in some subjects than others.

The school was praised for promoting a love of reading and for supporting children’s personal development. 

“Many pupils enjoy singing in the school choirs. Others are keen to take part in local sporting competitions. Many participate as eco-monitors. Pupils learn about their place in the world and the contribution they can make,” the inspection report said.

Ofsted noted that governors were acting on concerns raised by some staff about the way they were managed.

“Governors, many in new roles, are keen to make a difference. They are committed to driving the necessary improvements at the school,” the report said.

 Acting headteacher Seth Insall said: “Here at Cotham Gardens Primary School, we are proud that inspectors recognised our school’s distinctive ethos of ‘Celebrating Diversity, Learning Together’, highlighting how children and parents and carers alike feel welcome and included. 

“Inspectors also commented on how pupils feel safe in school, behave well and are considerate towards one another. Our teachers have worked hard to instil a love of reading in all of the children and we are pleased inspectors could see that this is a priority. School leaders had already started work to create an ambitious, inclusive curriculum that meets the needs of all learners before the Ofsted visit and this will remain a priority for the school over forthcoming months. 

“As well as highlighting the breadth and balance of our curriculum, it was pleasing that Ofsted commented on the children’s enjoyment of singing in the school choir.  Our Spring Concert took place recently, involving well over one hundred children singing, playing instruments and sharing their own poetry, and was an uplifting and joyous reflection of our school and its community.”