Church praise for 'outstanding' junior school

Headteacher Helen Martin and the children of Duncton Junior School
Headteacher Helen Martin and the children of Duncton Junior School

A headteacher has been described as “inspirational” and her school “outstanding” following an inspection by the Church.

Duncton Church of England Junior School recently underwent a Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools – and head Helen Martin said she was “surprised and extremely pleased” with the findings.

Conducted by Kelly Dillon, from the Diocese of Chichester, the inspection found children at Duction were “truly valued” and all their achievements “celebrated”.

In her report, Ms Dillon said: “This positive and honest working environment creates a culture of love, support and care.

"Pupils are warmly encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning, to take risks and to learn from their mistakes. As a result pupils grow in confidence and are spiritually aware.”

She added: “Pupils at the school develop a strong understanding of morality based upon these values. The behaviour of pupils is of the highest standards.”

Her findings echoed those of Ofsted following the school’s last inspection at the end of 2014, when the behaviour was seen to be outstanding and the school was rated ‘good’ overall.

When it came to the children’s academic achievements, Ms Dillon recognised that the school was “quick to identify gaps in pupils’ knowledge and deals with these gaps very effectively”.

Duncton was last inspected by the diocese in 2011 when it also received the top rating. Mrs Martin said: “We were surprised and extremely pleased that we have retained our church school outstanding grade at Duncton as, in the last five years, the criteria for inspection have been raised.

“However, we are always striving to support the children to make our school a kind and caring place to be.”

She added: “We were pleased with how our vision and values support all children and how the inspector could see this in all that we do.”

The children weren’t the only ones Ms Dillon said benefited from Mrs Martin’s leadership.

She said: “In this caring Christian environment all are given the opportunity to excel and flourish.

"The exceptional leadership of the headteacher and deputy headteacher directly impacts upon the professional development of each of her staff. All members of the school team feel very well supported and nurtured.”

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