‘Inclusive school at heart of community’

 The Dolphin School in Montpelier has won praise from Ofsted for its strong culture of inclusion and celebration of diversity.

Two inspectors who visited the 210-pupil primary in November judged it good for pupils’ behaviour and attitudes and for personal development.

Although Ofsted rated The Dolphin School overall as requiring improvement, it said the school was well placed to bring about those improvements.

The inspectors noted that most parents and carers were positive about the school and liked how their children learned about the diverse community they belonged to.

“The Dolphin School is an inclusive place in which to learn. It puts children at the heart of the community. Pupils describe the school as friendly and welcoming,” their report said.

“Pupils behave well. They know the importance of working hard and being kind.

“Every effort is made to celebrate the wide range of languages, faiths and cultures represented in the school. Pupils regularly engage in cultural events, such as singing at the Windrush concert and taking part in the St Paul’s carnival. These and other experiences help pupils develop a strong sense of community.”

Ofsted said that since the school was found to be good at its last inspection in 2018, it had not done enough to maintain the quality of education. They said the leadership team put in place by Venturers Trust were working on the right things to bring about improvements to the curriculum but these would take time to embed.

“The trust and interim leaders know what needs to improve. They have taken decisive action to evaluate and strengthen the curriculum,” the report said. 

Interim headteacher Kirsteen Craig said: “We are pleased that our staff and children were able to demonstrate to the inspectors that The Dolphin School is the heart and future of the community. We are proud to be an inclusive and diverse school.

“Our whole school community is working together to make sure that our new curriculum gives children enough practice in reading, is implemented effectively and is adapted to meet the needs of all pupils.”