29th January 2022
I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the school and all of its staff on a 'GOOD' outcome following the school's Ofsted inspection before Christmas.
The school had not been inspected since 2013 and in that time there have been significant changes, including and not exclusive to:
Transitioning from infant to primary school
Changes to the senior leadership team, including the appointment of a new headteacher
Development in SEND provision including future plans and strategic direction towards a specialist ASD resource base
Furthermore in 2019, Ofsted published its new Framework for Education standards, focusing largely on Curriculum & Behaviour. The school have demonstrated to governors that these 2 areas in particular were key focus areas of improvement, development and maintenance in readiness for any impending inspection.
During all governor monitoring (both virtual and in person), excellent behaviour was demonstrated by the children and subject and senior leaders presented to governors, their hard work in developing a broad and balanced curriculum, which continues to be developed and monitored to represent the community in which the children grown and learn.
Reading has been a top priority, projected from senior leaders down, with the ambition that children develop a love of reading, which will enhance their learning in other curriculum areas as they become hungry for knowledge, question critically and comprehend texts. Children are supported from their early years at Drake to learn to read via their daily Phonics sessions, which has embedded into school life and is reflected in the school's phonics data.
Then there's the Pandemic!
It is testament to the staff at Drake, whom continued to work hard behind the scenes to ensure that when children returned to school that standards in education were maintained, notwithstanding the high quality provision and teaching, which was demonstrated during the lockdown(s).
I chose to send my children to Drake on the backing of the school being rated Outstanding, the only outstanding school in Thetford. As a governor, I am blown away by the work and dedication shown by all the staff at Drake and in view of the aforementioned changes to the school and Ofsted priorities, the governors and I are thrilled by the school's Ofsted outcome. I know the school and senior leaders will continue to strive to improve and ensure that the school delivers a high quality curriculum, environment and support to all children and families. Governors will also continue to work with Drake and monitor all statutory and strategic priorities to ensure that when the time is right, Ofsted will be invited back to see how Oustanding we think Drake was, is and will continue to be.
I hope you all get chance to read the Ofsted report and join me in congratulating the hard work and passion of the staff. Also the hard work, excellent demonstrated behaviour and love of their school by the children within it.
Stay safe & thanks for reading :)
Chair of Governors