Staff and pupils at a primary school in Reading will be celebrating as they have retained a ‘Good’ Ofsted rating.

The Palmer Academy at 70 Northumberland Avenue in Reading was recently visited by education watchdog Ofsted.

Inspectors praised a number of unique elements of the school environment.

The report states: “From the very start of their schooling, pupils embrace the ‘Palmer Powers’.

“The values, which include being resilient, collaborative and independent, permeate through the school.

“These high expectations lead to a school of pupils who are courteous and who try to do what is right.

“Pupils understand the difference between unkind incidents and bullying.

“They know bullying can happen, but it is rare.

“They appreciate the pastoral support that is available to them to support them with any worries.”

Inspectors noted children that have special roles, such as those involved in the ‘Palmer Parliament’, house captains and play leaders all fulfill their roles with pride.

The school’s early year provision came in for particular praise, being rated ‘Outstanding’ by the inspectors.

The report states: “For the youngest children, in the early years, leaders have designed an exceptional curriculum.

“The children are curious, and fascinated by learning new things.

“The learning environment is designed to maximise learning.

There is an exemplary focus on communication and language.”

Like many, Palmer Academy has supports pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

To improve, staff at the school have been told that support plans for SEND pupils do not always accurately identify how pupils’ specific needs will be met, which means pupils do not always get the support they need to achieve well.

As such, school leadership has been advised to ensure  all staff have the knowledge to identify the individual needs of all pupils with SEND and the skills to action effective support to achieve the best possible learning outcomes.

Furthermore inspectors judged that subject and teaching knowledge are not strong for all teachers, as they do not all use the  the most effective strategies to ensure that pupils transfer knowledge into their long-term memory.

Therefore, school leadership has been advised to strengthen teachers’ knowledge to ensure that all pupils learn and remember the full curriculum well.

The most recent inspection occurred on November 22-23, 2022, with the report being published on Monday, January 16.

It was last fully inspected in 2017, when it was rated ‘Good’ in all areas.

However, in 2015, inspectors rated Palmer Academy ‘Requires Improvement’ due to the quality of teaching and the achievement of pupils falling behind.

The school is led by Aaron Wanford, the interim executive headteacher.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service has asked the school for Mr Wanford to comment on the recent Ofsted rating.