Staff at St Anne's Fulshaw finished the year with a bang when they were informed that they were only one of 104 schools nationally to be awarded the Platinum School Games Award. Then, the very next day, they notified that Ofsted were coming to inspect them.
Only schools who had been awarded the Gold School Games Award for the last five years were invited to apply for the Platinum Award and applicants had to submit a case study evidencing how they had worked to increase participation and exit pupils from school sport into community sport. The school's case study was based on their dodgeball club which has been incredibly successful, particularly with children who were not accessing sports as after school clubs or in the community before it was introduced.
Only established in 2016, the club grew with increasing numbers of children starting to play outside school too. In July 2017, five members of the club were part of the team who won the Under 11 silver medal in the national championships. Their coach, Chris Riley, from Mr Dodgeball continues to work with the school and the club still goes from strength to strength. Children and parents have been so inspired, that one of the parents has even completed her coaching badges and now steps in to take sessions.
Rosie Harris, School Games Organiser from the Macclesfield School Sport Partnership said "Wow! How fantastic are St Anne's Fulshaw? They are one of only 104 schools nationally to receive the Platinum School Games Award for their exemplary approach to physical activity, education and school sport. Having worked alongside this school for 14 years, I know how hard they work to ensure every child experiences a fun, organised and challenging array of activities in PE, sport and physical activity. Well done St Anne's, and very well deserved!"
Within the Macclesfield, Knutsford, Wilmslow and Knutsford cluster of schools, only St Anne's Fulshaw and Wilmslow High School have attained this award.
OFSTED judged the school to be good overall, saying "The strong leadership of the school has sustained the good quality of education since the last inspection. The school provides a nurturing, highly inclusive environment where all pupils feel valued and make excellent strides in their personal development. Pupils make good progress over the course of their time at the school from their starting points. Pupils' behaviour is exemplary. Their highly positive attitudes to learning make a significant contribution to their good progress."
The inspector recognised the very high levels of support for the school from the parental community. She said "Parents who shared their views via text message or through talking with the inspector expressed their positive views of the school. In particular, they praised the nurturing nature of the school, their children's good progress and the broad range of extra-curricular experiences provided."
Claire Carter, Chair of Governors at the school, said "I am very proud of all the staff at St Anne's; their dedication, determination and care is unwavering. But most of all I am proud of our lovely children who are a true credit to our school. I thank the inspector for taking the time to understand us. Listening to feedback that truly reflected the school we recognise was a joy. It's a privilege to serve our community as a governor at St Anne's."
The school's Headteacher, Clare Daniel, said "We are delighted by the outcome of our recent inspection, particularly by the recognition of the many strengths in pupils' personal development, behaviour and welfare, which was judged to be outstanding. We welcome all children at St Anne's Fulshaw, and to have their positive attitudes to learning, their conduct and specifically their behaviour described as 'exemplary' is a great testament to the individual responsibility they take for making our community such a wonderful place to grow and learn. I was delighted that the report recognised the good progress made by all groups of pupils, the skill of the staff and the impact of the exciting and enriched curriculum that we offer here, as well as the great start the children get in the early years.
"Our inspector dug deep into children's books and observed lessons over two days. She spoke to a number of pupils, parents and governors and really took the time to get to know us well and to fully explore the profile of our school. She saw lots of evidence of the good progress that all groups of pupils make and was particularly impressed by how the leadership team, including governors, have continued to drive improvements and remain completely committed to improving the school and raising standards for all pupils in their care. Having spent many years as an inspector myself, I know that she did a really thorough job, and I can recognise our school in every line of the report, which makes me very happy and exceptionally proud.
"We were able to send out the report the day before we broke up for the Christmas holidays which was the very best way to end the year. I am so proud to be part of this amazing community and am really looking forward to another year of exciting experiences, fabulous learning and giving our wonderful children even more chances to develop, grow and lead us forward."