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School in Ipswich awaits its first Ofsted inspection after takeover

Piper's Vale Primary principal Kimberly Morton. Picture: SONYA DUNCAN

Piper's Vale Primary principal Kimberly Morton. Picture: SONYA DUNCAN

Archant 2020

Piper’s Vale Primary in Ipswich is hoping to show school inspectors the benefits of changes made since the Paradigm Trust took over about three years ago.

Ipswich MP Tom Hunt visits Piper's Vale Primary School. With him is principal Kimberly Morton. Picture: SONYA DUNCANIpswich MP Tom Hunt visits Piper's Vale Primary School. With him is principal Kimberly Morton. Picture: SONYA DUNCAN

Before being taken over by the academy trust, the former Piper's Vale Community Primary School had been rated as "requires improvement" by education regulator Ofsted three times in a row between 2013 and 2016.

In the last assessment in 2016, inspectors said that "standards of work are not high enough, especially in reading and writing" and that "teaching across the school is consistent".

They also said: "Leaders gather much information about the school's work but do not analyse it all well to give a clear idea of the impact they are having."

However since being taken over by Paradigm in September 2017, it has not yet been inspected.

Principal Kimberly Morton, who had a period as acting principal before taking over the job permanently in May last year, said the school is now in the window for an assessment.

Hosting a visit Ipswich MP Tom Hunt on Friday, she said she hoped the changes made at the school in recent years would pay off in the forthcoming report.

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She said: "The school wasn't in a great place, it's fair to say.

"However in the past two years we've brought in a new curriculum and purchased a huge amount of new resources."

Those include a new outdoor area where the children can learn during the warmer weather and a dedicated area for special educational needs (SEN) support.

Management structures have also been changed and work done to improve the quality of teaching, with Ms Morton saying Piper's Vale has a "relentlessly positive" spirit and an "unfaltering belief" in young people.

She added: "We want them to be limitless in what they can achieve and we want them to see education as a vehicle to enable that to happen.

"We don't want them to think that because they live in this area, they can't do certain things.

"We're about changing lives through education and completely committed to enabling children to reach their potential."

Mr Hunt praised the school and its new facilities during the visit and said: "Hopefully all the good, hard work will come through in that report."

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