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Cardiff Community Education South Wales

Lakeside Primary School: “A happy and nurturing environment” says Estyn

DURING a recent visit by Estyn, His Majesty’s Inspectorate for Education and Training in Wales, Lakeside Primary School has been commended for creating a safe, happy, and nurturing learning environment.

Inspectors found pupils to make good progress from their starting points, growing into articulate and questioning individuals with a strong sense of community and global awareness. The school’s emphasis on pupil voice groups has been particularly effective, enabling students to actively participate in discussions and decision-making processes.

The curriculum at the school has been praised for its range and quality, particularly in literacy, numeracy, well-being, and creative skills. This diverse curriculum equips pupils with the confidence and skills necessary to apply their learning creatively across various subjects. The provision for pupils with additional learning needs, both in mainstream classes and the Wellbeing Class, is also noted as a significant strength.

Headteacher Rachel Mitchell said: “We are incredibly proud of our happy, inclusive and thriving school and delighted that Estyn recognise our strong sense of community and global citizenship. “Our dedicated and talented team of staff have worked hard to create an exciting curriculum which engages pupils’ curiosity and enables them to achieve and thrive. 

“We are fortunate to have parents, carers and governors who support the school so readily, and it is a source of joy to us that our pupils are proud of their school and engage so enthusiastically with their learning.”

Chair of Governors Nick Alexander added: “The governors are delighted that Estyn have recognised the safe, happy and nurturing environment that is provided at Lakeside Primary School, as well as the range and quality of the school curriculum, the effectiveness of pupil voice groups, and provision for pupils with additional learning needs.”

Overall a positive report, two areas for improvement have been identified by Estyn; Utilise the existing expertise within the school to enhance the teaching of Welsh, thereby increasing pupil progress. Purposefully involve all staff in identifying, monitoring, evaluating, and reviewing whole-school priorities to ensure they understand their role in improving provision and pupil outcomes more effectively.

In response to the inspection, Lakeside Primary School will develop an action plan to address the recommendations.

A Cardiff Council spokesperson said: “Estyn have recognised the positive work taking place at Lakeside Primary School and it was pleasing to hear in particular, the benefits the school’s wellbeing class is having on pupils. This safe and calm environment created by staff, enables pupils to build positive working relationships so that they can successfully engage in meaningful learning activities using a range appropriate and often creative strategies.

“Congratulations to staff and pupils. The school will be supported by the Local Authority to address the recommendations from Estyn, to ensure the school continues to provide high-quality education and support for all its pupils.”

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At the time of inspection Lakeside Primary School, had 477 pupils on roll. 8.3% of pupils are eligible for free school meals and 4.2% of pupils identify as having additional learning needs. 41% have English as an additional language.

Estyn’s approach to inspection in schools and Pupil Referral Units across Wales no longer include summative gradings (e.g. ‘Excellent’, ‘Good’ or ‘Adequate’) and now focus on how well providers are helping a child to learn.

The approach aligns with the personalisation of the new curriculum for Wales with inspections involving more in-person discussions, placing less emphasis on achievement data.

Estyn believe that the inspection approach will make it easier for providers to gain meaningful insights that help them to improve without the spotlight on a judgement.

The full Estyn report is available here Lakeside Primary School | Estyn (gov.wales)

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