OAK View Academy in Winsford, rated second worst in the country just three years ago, is celebrating after being given a glowing Ofsted report by Government inspectors.
The school, known as Greenfields Primary School in 2012, was placed in special measures by Ofsted officials who judged standards to be well below the required levels at that time.
The future still looked bleak two years later when things were not improving, and the school was ranked second bottom in the primary school league tables, which are based on exam results.
A remarkable transformation got underway in 2014 when it became part of Chester-based charitable organisation North West Academies Trust (NWAT).
The school was relaunched as Oak View Academy with a whole spectrum of new investments and structures in place.
Now the hard work of staff and pupils has been rewarded after the school was rated as ‘good’ by the 2017 Ofsted inspection.
Headteacher Fiona Rimmer said: “I’m really proud of what we’ve achieved. It’s great we are recognised as good, but we are on the road to outstanding and our drive to further improve the school continues.
“This has been a huge team effort and we’ve had a lot of support from the governors, the trust and the Timpson Foundation.”
Oak View draws its 194 pupils, aged three to 11, from an area of significant social deprivation.
With the support of NWAT, it reopened with new management and staff in September 2014.
Progress since has been swift, with the school last year announcing it now ranks in the top five per cent in the country for progress in reading, according to the Government’s primary league tables.
Financial backing from the Timpson Foundation has helped provide a rich and varied curriculum, with pupils benefitting from a wide range of extra-curricular experiences and opportunities.
Children now enjoy residential trips, a free breakfast club, interactive educational workshops and inspirational visitors, Spanish lessons, swimming sessions, cross-school sports competitions and much more.
Other highlights have included visits from Winsford-born comedian John Bishop and TV and radio appearances to promote a Christmas single the school choir released to raise funds for a speech and language therapist.
The Ofsted report said Oak View has created a ‘caring school community where pupils can learn’ and praised the ‘good’ teaching, ‘well-prepared’ lessons and ‘good’ progress in writing and mathematics.
The report states: “In a courteous, respectful environment, children work well together and activities encourage their independence and social skills.
“Disadvantaged pupils make good progress. Effective strategies have enabled them to make progress in line with, or better than, other pupils.”
Steve Docking, CEO of NWAT, is delighted with the report.
He said: “This report is testament to the hard work of many people who have really opened everyone’s eyes to a world of possibility.
“Oak View is a great place for children to learn and is a positive example of what can be achieved when you never accept second best.”
As part of NWAT, Oak View shares resources with other schools including Delamere Academy, near Northwich, and St Martin’s Academy in Chester.