PUPILS at St Nicholas Catholic High School ‘wear their uniforms with pride’ according to Ofsted inspectors.

Inspectors from the government’s education watchdog visited the school in Hartford over two days at the end of February.

The subsequent report has now been published and despite the school missing out on retaining its ‘outstanding’ grade from its previous inspection eight years ago, a ‘good’ grade gave head teacher Richard Woods plenty to shout about.

Richard said: “There are many, many areas for celebration within the report, which affirms what we know to be true: that the students at St Nicholas are courteous, engaged in their learning and positive role models for each other.

“Since I joined the school in 2017, the whole school community, including students, parents, teachers and leaders at all levels, have engaged in a comprehensive review of our strengths and areas for further development. To this end, it is pleasing to recognise Ofsted’s confirmation that our current evaluations ‘link precisely to school improvement priorities’ and that our ‘school improvement planning is sharply focused on the key actions that will further improve the school’.

“Significantly, Ofsted recognised that all necessary next steps for the future had already been identified in our own self-evaluation.”

The inspectors were full of praise for Richard and his staff as well as the school’s governing body, highlighting a strong focus on literacy and numeracy development, and on helping pupils with special educational needs development (SEND).

The reports states: “Those pupils who entered the school with literacy and numeracy levels below age-related expectations are well-supported to catch up with other pupils. Literacy and numeracy development is a strong feature of day-to-day lessons.

“The leadership of SEND is very strong. There have been significant improvements to the quality of provisions for pupils with SEND.”

The inspectors also lauded the attitude of the pupils at St Nicholas High School.

The report said: “Pupils feel safe in the school and they care for the environment. Pupils wear their uniform with pride and their conduct around the site during lunchtime and between lessons is good. Pupils also behave well in lessons.”

Richard told the Guardian that the school is over the moon with the inspection report and says a change in inspection framework and exam specifications is the reason for the grade now being ‘good’ as opposed to ‘outstanding’.

Richard added: “St Nicholas was last inspected by Ofsted in 2011, with the following eight years seeing a significant strengthening to the Inspection Framework. This, combined with the more robust and challenging GCSE and A-Level specifications, means that all members of our school can be rightly proud of Ofsted’s judgement.

“There is no doubt that such a favourable Ofsted report would not have been possible without the dedication of all members of the school community.”