Diocese of Portsmouth

    St Blasius ‘Good’ in all areas

    18 July 2017

    It’s official! St Blasius Primary Academy in Shanklin is ‘Good’ in all areas

    St Blasius Shanklin Church of England Primary Academy is celebrating after Ofsted confirmed the academy’s remarkable transformation by declaring it ‘Good’ in all areas in a recent inspection.

    The academy, which was judged to be inadequate and requiring special measures when it joined Portsmouth and Winchester Diocesan Academies Trust (P&WDAT) in September 2013, was praised for its ‘treasure chest of learning opportunities’ and ‘united’ school community where pupils’ achievement is ‘good and improving’.

    The Ofsted report, published this week following an inspection in June, describes the academy as ‘friendly happy and safe’ where senior leaders are ‘ambitious for the success of all pupils’ and pupils talk ‘excitedly about the way their lessons bring learning to life’ .

    Inspectors spoke of unanimous approval among pupils, staff and parents for the new Principal Mike Wood who has ‘a clear vision to provide the best possible education for pupils’.

    Portsmouth and Winchester Diocesan Academies Trust, which was praised for providing ‘very strong support to the school’, also took over the running of St Francis Catholic and Church of England Primary Academy in Ventnor on the 1st July.

    P&WDAT’s Executive Officer Amanda Johnston said: “St Blasius has been on a remarkable journey. It has been a delight to see it emerge as the confident, ambitious, caring academy that we see today. This report pays testimony to the dedication and sheer hard work of so many people in the academy community who know that second best is never an option where our children are involved. It is much deserved recognition and we at P&WDAT are absolutely thrilled to have been on the journey with the academy and are looking forward to extending our support for schools on the island now St Francis has joined us as another one of our sponsored academies.”

    The local board of governors were praised for steering the school through a period of considerable change. Chair of the local governors Eric Hemming said: “At our last inspection two years ago we were described as a ‘swiftly improving academy’ that required improvement and I am absolutely delighted to see that the academy’s determination to continue to improve and give its pupils an inspiring all-round education has been recognised in this report. The academy has high aspirations and a strong desire across the Trust, local governors, staff and parents to work together to give pupils the best possible opportunities. Our pupils are a great credit to themselves and to us all.”

    The report described a ‘rich’ and ‘exciting’ curriculum with innovative use of information and communication technology, including opportunities for pupils to learn about different cultures including pupils speaking with a person in China via the internet as part of their studies on Chinese New Year.

    Principal Mike Wood said: “After undoubted challenges in recent years this is a well-earned moment of celebration for everyone to end the school year on. It is a privilege to lead this academy with its dedicated staff, local governors, supportive Trust, engaged pupils, involved parents and skilled staff and they should all be proud of what we have been able to achieve together. St Blasius is a success story and this report has provided a terrific platform on which we can now further build. It rightly points our areas for improvement such as reducing absences still further and providing more mathematical challenges for our more able pupils. We will return in September looking forward to working on these areas and others as we continue to improve and look ahead to providing the exceptional education our pupils deserve.”