My name is Rhys, a first time dad blogging about my adventures and experiences of being a parent. [email protected]

Cardiff faith school earns high praise from Estyn inspectors

Holy Family RC Primary School in Fairwater

A Catholic primary school in Cardiff has been praised for its ‘outstanding’ work in a number of areas in its latest report by Estyn, the education and training inspectorate for Wales.

The Holy Family RC Primary School in Fairwater had 163 pupils at the time of its inspection in June, with more than a third (36.9%) eligible for free school meals, more than a fifth with additional learning needs (ALN) and just over four per cent who have English as an additional language.

In the report, the school was judged to be a “diverse community where contributions to its unique ethos and culture make it a warm, welcoming and exciting place to live and learn.”

It added: “Pupils are respectful, confident and friendly. They love coming to school and are brimming with interesting comments and information about their time at the school, whether right at the beginning of their journey or heading towards the end.

“They feel very safe and listened to and this is echoed by parents and carers who are full of praise for the dedicated staff.”

Inspectors felt that the school leaders had an effective vision and nurtured creativity, helping pupils explore all aspects of their learning through art and digital media. They also praised the school’s “careful consideration of pupil progress” which ensures that all pupils, including those with ALN, language barriers and those who are vulnerable in other ways, do well.

Across the school, said the report, pupils have “exceptionally positive” attitudes to learning. From a young age, it added, pupils take ownership of their learning and by the end of their time at Holy Family “pupils develop of sophisticated approach to assessing their own learning and that of others. They act as leaders of learning, through modelling their work and sharing their individual expertise with their peers.”

The report had special praise for the school’s work on Language Literacy and Communication. “This has resulted in outstanding provision for speaking and listening,” said inspectors, “in both Welsh and English. The school also supports pupils’ understanding of human rights and promotes healthy lifestyles although it noted that “there are fewer opportunities for pupils to influence what and how they learn in the outdoors,” adding, “generally, teachers do not always take full advantage of the extensive outdoor area in their planning across the curriculum.”

Holy Family head teacher Louise Mills said: “The whole school community are delighted with their recent Estyn report. We were particularly thrilled with the recognition of the school’s shared vision for moral and social development being intrinsic to our curriculum.

“Estyn also highlighted the excellent relationships between staff and pupils; these relationships extend to form a strong bond between school and home, showing care and commitment for our families. These are essential to everything that takes place in Holy Family and helps to ensure that all pupils make very good progress throughout their time at school”.

Cllr Sarah Merry, Cardiff Council’s Cabinet member for Education, said she was delighted to see such a positive report from Estyn. “Holy Family is one of the many excellent faith schools we have in Cardiff and they have an important role to play in our diverse community here in Cardiff.

“It’s clear from the report that the teachers and the governors, together with the pupils, of course, have created a wonderful learning environment in Fairwater.”