Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Last week I announced the great news that Elstow Lower School has just been rated 'Outstanding' for the second time in 3 years by Ofsted. As you can see in this photograph our school children are as thrilled as the staff, parents and governors with this tremendous result as they play a key part in the school's success.

Despite heavy snow in February, Elstow Lower School was one of the few Bedfordshire schools to stay open so that the Inspectors could visit and assess the standard and quality of the education.

Recent achievements at Elstow Lower School include gaining 'Eco School' status and receiving the prestigious 'Green Flag' award. Many of our children do not speak English as their first language and each year the school has an International Week.

Highlights of the Ofsted Inspection report include:
1. Inspectors were 'wowed' by the young School Council Members and 'Eco Warriors' who talked enthusiastically about their roles and the decisions they have to make.

2. Parents said that their children 'always come home full of information and we could not ask for anything more'

3. The Inspectors considered the level of care and support for the children to be of the highest quality and a real strength of the school.

4. Recently the children enriched their learning with visits from 'Night Owls', re- enactments of historical events, becoming 'entrepreneurs', visits to London and other exciting projects.

As Head Teacher Jenny Winder says "We are delighted and proud of the result of this latest inspection. Everyone - children, staff, parents, partner schools and local businesses - works hard as a team and together we strive to provide our children and their families with the very best education which will give them life opportunities and allow them to live healthy and harmonious lives within the society of today and in the future".

As Vice Chairman of Governors at the school I am pleased to endorse these comments, and also passionately believe in the importance of teamwork and partnership in my other role as the local Councillor for Elstow and Wilstead villages.

This week I attended a meeting to discuss the development of John Bunyan Upper School into Bedford Academy in September 2010. The meeting was held at Cauldwell Lower School, another Outstanding Lower School, located in an area of South Bedford with high levels of social deprivation. Elstow Lower School also draws 40% of its pupils from this area and the qualities that shine out of these two schools are strong, inspirational leadership and teamwork.

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