An Ofsted inspection at Tindal Primary School just prior to the summer took the school out of the ‘improve’ category and lifted them to satisfactory. All of this was achieved through a commitment to improve the schools standing. The efforts of parents, teachers, pupils, staff and partner organisations resulted in inspectors stating that; “This is a satisfactory school where the head teacher and staff work hard to drive improvement…”
The whole child
Improvements in the academic arena were not the only areas that received praise from inspectors. The levels of community involvement, effectiveness of care, guidance and support and effectiveness of how the school promotes community cohesion all added to the schools effectiveness. Pupils feelings of safety within the school and their contributions to both the school and the wider community were seen as further evidence of the schools commitment to each child as a whole.
Beyond the core
Examples of how pupils at the school benefit from extra curricular activities can be seen in the schools involvement in a range of activities outside of the school environment. When the Midlands Arts Centre was reopened following its extensive refurbishment pupils from the school took part in an oral story telling project. Recordings were made of the pupils reading a story which visitors to the centre now listen to on portable devices as they tour the grounds.
Leading the way
The school embraces opportunities to develop the children and one such opportunity, which they grasped, with both hands was to be one of only two schools in Birmingham to take part in a special pilot scheme called ‘Mini Mentors’. The scheme which saw pupils in years 1 & 2 being trained to become mentors for others is expected to be adopted nationally within other schools.
Healthy body and a healthy mind
A commitment to encouraging healthy living is a key message within the school. Initiatives like ‘Fitness Fortnight’ where pupils spend two weeks taking part in a range of sporting activities and which finished with a school sports day with house teams competing against each other help to promote this aspect of their education.
As well as fitness the children and their parents worked with a local intuitionalist to learn about and cook healthy meals in an initiative called “Cooking with Kids”. Similarly a trip to Villa Park for the ‘Villa Vitality’ programme saw a select number of pupils learning about healthy lifestyles and how to make sensible choices.
Encouraging respect for the environment has always played a part in the schools day to day activities and so every year the school through its pupils takes pride in the appearance of their school and the local parks demonstrated through their continued involvement in the Balsall Heath Britain In Bloom entry.
Thinking outside the box
The school enjoys challenges and so does it’s pupils. For the girls the chance to be inventors and then engineers proved to be a major hit especially with their construction of a giant bubble machine. This year it is the boys’ turn and excitement at the prospect of building their inventions is clear to see.
Designing solutions to problems can also be found in the recently established Parent Consultation Group, which has proved a real boon to the school. Coupled with the school council the school is now in a position to tackle problems with the added benefit of help from all of its community.
The recent improvements are a commitment by the whole school to rise to the challenges that lie ahead and are an indication of the determination that Tindal has to continue to further it’s success.