A new Newquay school has fought through adversity to be awarded top marks in its first Ofsted report.

Newquay Primary Academy, which should have opened in 2021 but has been operating from temporary classrooms at Newquay Sports Centre, was judged as outstanding across the board.

Lead inspector Jason Edge concluded the academy was outstanding for its overall effectiveness, the quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, personal development, leadership and management and early years’ provision.

He stated the school, which is operated by Cornwall Education Learning Trust (CELT), had been “plagued” by difficulties with its planned new building, including demolition of the partially completed work, but had continued to “thrive, excel and remain focused on its core vision.”

Mr Edge said: “Warm, positive relationships are the beating heart of Newquay Primary Academy. 

“Pupils display immense pride in being a part of this school community. They eagerly talk about their learning. Pupils’ excellent attendance reflects how much they enjoy school.

“The school’s unrelenting focus on the curriculum and ensuring pupils learn it well, results in pupils receiving an exceptional education. Continual high-quality training means staff at all levels are highly knowledgeable about the subjects they teach. 

“Pupils show a thirst for learning. This starts as soon as they enter the vibrant early years environment.

“Pupils respond well to the high expectations of behaviour staff expect, both in the classroom and around the school site. They feel safe. Pupils play happily and harmoniously together at social times. 

“The school is rightly proud of its work with pupils beyond the academic.

“Meaningful experiences such as performing and recording songs to raise money for a local food bank are strategically woven into the curriculum. This helps pupils to become caring, empathetic citizens.

“The school offers a range of clubs. Take up for these is very high, including for disadvantaged pupils and those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).”

Mr Edge stated that all those involved with the school, including the trust, have worked quickly to provide an environment that is purposeful, stimulating and welcoming for pupils.

He said: “The school is currently operating with only three year groups and will build up to having the full-range of primary-aged pupils.

“The school is operating in temporary accommodation, not designed as a school site. However, the school has continued to thrive and excel in its standard of education. 

“The school has remained focused on its core vision of ensuring that pupils gain the knowledge and skills they need for the future. 

“Key strategic decisions have been taken to aid this.

“The school has established close links with a junior school within the trust which, through highly knowledgeable subject leaders, has provided guidance and support with the curriculum.

“This has allowed the school to accelerate its curriculum work. This means all cohorts of pupils get off to a flying start. Pupils with SEND learn the same knowledge-rich curriculum.

“Staff make appropriate adaptations to support individual needs. The carefully sequenced curriculum starts in the early years. This ensures teachers know precisely what to teach, carefully building on pupils’ prior learning.

“Teachers continuously check what pupils can remember so gaps in knowledge can be addressed. Pupils retain their knowledge impressively over the long term. Highly ambitious vocabulary is identified and continuously reinforced across all subjects.

“Pupils use these words with confidence. This helps to support children’s communication and language skills. Pupils work towards meaningful goals in the curriculum.

“This gives their learning a sense of purpose. Reading underpins the whole curriculum. The school’s approach to phonics is rigorous.

“The small number of pupils who fall behind are swiftly identified and catch up quickly. As the school has grown and recruited more staff, they are provided with the same depth and quality of training as their colleagues.

“This helps to ensure that the teaching of phonics is highly effective resulting in outcomes above the national average. Pupils show a mature understanding of equality. They understand fundamental British values and their importance, such as the rule of law. 

“Close links between the governing body and the trust, mean there is strong oversight of the school. Governors understand their role to support and challenge the school effectively. This ensures high standards are maintained. 

“Parents and carers feel the same pride and passion about the school as their children. They welcome the school’s caring ethos, timely communication as well the celebration of its work on social media. The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.”

Geoff Brown, the chair of trustees, added: “Newquay Primary Academy should have been in its new building in 2021 but for lots of reasons that has not happened.

“Despite the adversity of the disruption and the delay the staff have done a fantastic job providing the very best education for youngsters.

“They have had terrific support from parents who have a great understanding of the challenges they have been facing.”