At an Ofsted inspection at St Kew Academy on 9th January, inspectors recognised the small rural school as one where pupils thrive and where many pupils describe the school as a ‘family.’
The school’s vision and values ‘Discover, Learn, Develop’ are the focus of each day at St Kew Academy, and a theme throughout the Ofsted report. The opportunities for discovery through off-site trips and on-site activities are detailed in the report recognising the importance of outdoor learning in providing children with an understanding of the world;
‘Pupils extend their understanding of the world through trips and places such as the Shipwreck Museum and the theatre. Pupils explore the natural world through gardening in the polytunnels. Additionally, pupils whittle wood and make fire in the Anglo-Saxon roundhouse.’
There is a focus on the success of teaching and learning strategies at the school, in particular those applied to literacy and maths in all primary stages;
Head, Rachel Murray, said: “We are immensely proud of what we have achieved at St Kew with this inspection. It has allowed us to demonstrate the true dedication that staff, parents and governors have to the children's education, highlighting the good teaching and learning within and the support given to each and every pupil educated at St Kew. We were delighted to hear that within the time spent at the school the inspectors could see the ‘transformative effect that you have on your pupils’. We are now excited about forthcoming developments within the school grounds with an Outdoor Spaces project beginning imminently.”
Executive Head, Nikki Cotterill, said: “St Kew Academy is a very dynamic place where amazing things are happening every day - and that was recognised by the OFSTED team. From the strong curriculum design in maths, reading and writing to the care and respect that our pupils show each other to the strong attitudes that the children have to their learning - there is much to celebrate as they all contribute to the high standards that the children achieve in their learning. This is a small school making a big difference to the pupils on a daily basis and I am proud to be a part of that. Our plans for the future development of the outdoor environment and the wider curriculum promise to be just as exciting and will ensure that the amazing things continue to happen for our children.”
Matt James, Senior Lecturer at Eden Project Learning, said: "We're thrilled that this exciting collaborative project between Eden Project Learning, Eden Project Schools Team and Kernow Learning is about to be realised. Our collective passion for nature-based play and outdoor learning has made this a really enjoyable project to be involved in. It's also been a particularly valuable real-world experience for Eden design students."
The visualuations below illustrate the final design ideas for outdoor learning spaces at St Kew Academy following a consultation process undertaken by staff and students from the Eden Project and Eden Project Learning. Parents, pupils and the wider community have been involved in the process of designing innovative outdoor spaces that excite and engage pupils in their learning. A huge amount of work has gone into this project from the school PTA ‘Helping Hands’, the parents through volunteer days and fundraising support, the school staff and from the Multi-Academy Trust, Kernow Learning. It is exciting for everyone involved, especially the children at the school, to see the project finally taking shape.