The leadership and governance at Ark Castledown Primary Academy have been hailed as "Outstanding" by Ofsted.
The report said: "Leadership and governance at this school are exceptional... the clarity of vision, the training, and professional development provided both within the school and within the trust mean that all leaders are extremely well focused on the education provided by the school."
Ofsted commended the school for its positive relationships between staff and children, stating that "staff always maintain clear and consistent expectations for behaviour. They also have a detailed knowledge of individual pupils' needs and how to get the best from every learner." The report says that this is "enabling them to access the ambitious new curriculum that leaders have introduced." Inspectors spoke to parents who recognised that "staff provide children and their families with a high level of support." The report highlighted that pupils receive an "exceptional quality of education", especially in reading and mathematics.
They also added that the school has high expectations for all children – noting that "pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), are well supported so they can access the ambitious learning in each subject."
Principal Mark Rankin said: "I am incredibly proud of the school community and the hard work and dedication of children and staff. "We feel this report is a positive reflection of where we are as a school. We are incredibly proud that, despite the disruption to normal school life over the past two years, Ofsted saw that Ark Castledown is a place where all children are safe and happy and receive an excellent education delivered by high-quality teaching staff."
Regional Director Lorraine Clarke, OBE, said: "I am delighted with the findings of the report. We work closely with our schools to ensure that we can give the children the best possible start to their school life. Staff at Ark Castledown go above and beyond to ensure pupils enjoy their education, having fun when learning."
The school was rated as "good" overall after the full inspection on 23 and 24 November 2021. This was the school's first routine inspection since the COVID-19 pandemic began.