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'Visionary' Boston West Academy is Outstanding

19 July 2016

They create memories here that will be with them for a lifetime... This is how one teacher summed up the experience of pupils at Boston West Academy to the Ofsted team who have judged the CfBT Schools Trust primary to be Outstanding across the board following its latest inspection.

Inspectors praised Boston West's innovative, holistic approach to teaching and learning that makes extensive use of the school's outdoor learning resources to secure excellent outcomes for all its pupils. "The visionary senior leaders have created a school garden and grounds that are highly impressive," the Ofsted report says. "Teachers make best use of this fabulous resource so that pupils have exceptional learning opportunities."

The variety of the learning opportunties, and outstanding curriculum delivered by a well-led, cohesive staff team mean that every child has an opportunity to shine, says the report: "Pupils make rapid progress from their starting points so that by the time they leave Boston West, many are exceeding the level of achievement expected for their age."

During the two-day inspection on 14 and 15 June, the inspection team witnessed pupils responding well to the positive climate for learning across the school, and fully engaged in their lessons. "They understand how the lesson is helping them improve their knowledge and skills," the report observes, after pupils recreated the lifecycle of a frog out of flowers, twigs, leaves and pebbles, saying 'this helps us to understand it and remember it much better than just writing a book'.

Alongside factual knowledge, pupils gain leadership, team-building and problem-solving skills that set them up 'exceptionally well' for life beyond primary school.

Headteacher Mike Schofield has, says Ofsted, successfully shared his vision for all pupils at Boston West to receive an outstanding education in the broadest sense: "The highly aspirational headteacher has created a culture where everyone is cared for and supported to achieve their best at Boston West Academy."

Responding to the report, Mr Schofield said:

"I am obviously delighted with the outcome of our Ofsted inspection, particularly for my amazing team of staff and our fabulous kids!

"It's been quite a journey since 2000, when I took over as Boston West’s headteacher. My simple and clear aim from the outset was to give our children the very best primary educational experience - one that would touch every aspect of their development, enabling them to become happy and successful life-long learners, ready to embrace the future. "For a long time, we have been recognised by all as an excellent school, now we can hold our heads high in the knowledge that we are officially an Outstanding school in every aspect of our work."

Chris Tweedale, chief executive of CfBT Schools Trust, said:

"We've all known for some time that Boston West is a remarkable school – and now it's official. Mike and his team work something akin to educational magic through their creative use of outdoor learning and an approach that allows all children at the school to thrive. This is well-deserved recognition indeed."

To view the full Ofsted report, please visit Boston West Academy (link will open in a new window).