St Thomas’ Catholic Voluntary Academy continues to be a ‘Good’ school, according to Ofsted.

Following a two-day ungraded inspection in February, inspectors said that children enjoy coming to this “welcoming school”, in Ilkeston, and highlighted the strong positive relationships that pupils have with staff.
“Pupils say that all staff are caring. Pupils know a trusted adult they could speak to if they had a problem. The pupils at this school feel safe and happy,” they said.
The report said that leaders have woven the school’s five gospel values into the curriculum as well as all parts of school life.
“Teachers develop all pupils to show respect, forgiveness, honesty, love and friendship. The school operates as one cohesive community,” inspectors said.
It was noted that pupils, parents and carers agree that staff have high expectations for all pupils who attend St Thomas’ and as a consequence pupils behave very well.
The quality of early years provision was also highlighted in the report.
“Children in early years are eager to learn. They benefit from well planned provision and staff who nurture and look after them well. The vast majority of parents would recommend this school to other families. One parent’s comment summed up the view of many parents: ‘The school has a very welcoming atmosphere. Staff are kind and helpful to children and parents,” inspectors said.
The curriculum was praised by inspectors, who said it encompassed a broad range of subjects that give pupils the knowledge and skills that they need for the next phase of learning.
Inspectors said that teachers have good subject knowledge and ensure that pupils get opportunities to revisit prior learning.
“Children in early years get off to a flying start. Activities have a clear intent in developing children’s understanding across all areas of learning,” inspectors said.
The report said that the curriculum teaches pupils about different faiths and cultures.
Inspectors said: “Pupils understand the diversity they will encounter in modern Britain. Pupils have a firm understanding of British values. Pupils benefit from sports and gardening club and they enjoy singing. School councillors and members of the pupil parliament help improve the school and wider community.
“Pupils commit to their study. They show positive attitudes towards learning. Purposeful, well-managed classrooms enable pupils to spend most of the time learning.”
Inspectors found that the safeguarding arrangements at the school are effective.
Michael Sellors, Headteacher at St Thomas’, said: “I am so pleased for our staff who work so hard, day in and day out, to educate and nurture all our pupils so that they achieve their best.”
Kevin Gritton, Chief Executive of the St Ralph Sherwin Trust, said: “We are delighted for everyone at St Thomas’ and we would like to thank staff at the school for everything they do, every day, for the children in their care. Staff, governors, pupils and their families should be extremely proud of this outcome, as we are.”


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