A HEADTEACHER has received glowing praise after her school achieved its first “good” Ofsted rating since coming under new management.

St Bartholomew’s CE Primary in Ann Street, Brighton, had been told it needed improvment for four consecutive years from the independent schools inspectorate.

However, the school is now celebrating its first “good” rating since 2011.

Inspectors praised the turnaround the school has enjoyed since headteacher Katie Blood joined in April last year.

The report said: “After a period of significant turbulence, [Ms Blood] united staff and parents with a clear vision.

“Her efforts, along with those of [deputy headteacher Fiona Keeling] brought about a change in culture in the school and staff, parents and pupil alike now have

higher expectations and aspirations.

“Behaviour has improved enormously since [Ms Blood] joined, and pupils whose behaviour is more challenging have their needs well met because staff are taught how to de-escalate potentially challenging behaviour and help all pupils focus on learning.”

The report said the school was a warmly inclusive

place where all felt included and valued and pupils

and staff enjoyed positive, mutually respectful relationships.

Ms Blood said: “I think the biggest change we’ve seen is in behaviour. I realised when I came here that there wasn’t a strategy in place for dealing with it so we introduced a system of smiley faces and golden time to reward good behaviour and staff and pupils have all adapted to it really well.

“The change is really obvious when you walk round, the children are happy and they want to learn.”

She said the school has also adopted a policy of allowing children to choose the level of task they undertake

in lessons, which had boosted academic success.

She said: “We all believe that there is no ceiling on a child’s education, so rather than making the kids work in rigid ability-based groups, we let them decide the difficulty of work they want to attempt.

“It means that kids really reach for success, and many end up choosing the harder activity in order to challenge themselves.”

The school will

host open mornings for future parents on November 8 and 27.