Handford Hall Primary School is a leading example of embracing different cultures and languages – Ofsted

Handford Hall Primary School celebrate the news that they have received a 'Good' foster report.
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Handford Hall Primary School celebrate the news that they have received a 'Good' foster report. Head teacher Kasha Blake with the pupils. - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

An Ipswich primary school described as a “shining example’’ of a successful mix of cultures and languages is on its way to becoming “outstanding.’’

Handford Hall Primary School in Gatacre Road was visited last month and inspectors have praised its “strong ethos and core values”.

Ipswich MP Ben Gummer said it was “worth noting” the high number of children from eastern Europe at the school and hailed it as a “shining example of how to harness a mixture of cultures and languages – turning it into a real success story”.

The report said: “Handford Hall Primary is a school that is a purposeful place for children to learn, underpinned by a strong ethos and your core values.”

It adds that a significant number of children start with little or no understanding of English – but by the time they leave, their test results have almost reached the national average.


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The school has a high proportion of pupils starting and leaving during the year, but the way it is organised makes it much easier for children to settle in.

Headteacher Kasha Blake said that when the inspectors presented their findings to the school, staff were told: “This school is well on its way to being outstanding.”

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Mrs Blake said: “Handford Hall is all about equality of opportunity and we are very proud of our wonderful pupils who strive to do the best they can every day.

“The dedication and hard work of both staff and children makes Handford Hall Primary School a unique and exciting place to both teach and learn.

“We have really focused on what makes a wonderful school, including high standards of teaching and learning, but also supporting children in terms of personal development, pastoral care and promoting a caring and aspirational ethos.

“Handford Hall is a happy and vibrant school and the inspector was quick to pick up on the children’s excellent behaviour as well as their kindness and thoughtfulness towards each other.

“The pupils were keen to tell the inspector how much they loved their school and the staff; that their school was a great place to be.”

Mr Gummer said: “It’s another school added to the growing list of good primary schools in the town.

“It’s worth noting the very high level of children from eastern Europe in this school, and how this has not stopped Handford Hall getting a good rating by Ofsted.

“Indeed the staff will tell you that its mixed population makes it a better school. Congratulations to everyone.”

Jason Kirk, chairman of governors, said he was delighted with the report. He added: “Our inspirational headteacher has built a very strong team who through their hard work, commitment and enthusiasm have made this school such a special place.

“There were so many positives coming from the pupils that reflect a consistency of excellent teaching, dedication and care – from everyone involved in the school – and a relentless drive and passion to ensure every child is the best they can be.

“That is what matters, and that is what our school gives to every child every day.”

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