Executive headteacher Paul Conway and head of school Fran Mackle have spoken of their delight after All Saints Catholic Primary School in Thirsk was graded as Good in its latest diocesan inspection report.

Head of school, Fran Mackle, with All Saints pupils

Inspectors found the school to be Good in all areas – Catholic life, collective worship, Religious Education and overall effectiveness.

It was also found to be Outstanding in the leadership of collective worship and RE. 

The report says All Saints’ new mission statement – “With God all things are possible”, taken from St Matthew’s Gospel – is evident across school life.

“This is a happy school with a genuine love and regard for every pupil,” it says.

“The quality of the Catholic life of the school is good. Parents fully support the school. Leadership is building on existing strong relations between school, parish and parents, aiming to be a community inspired by Christ to serve others.

“A climate of kindness, friendship and cooperation exists. Christ’s message of faith, hope and love is acted out in the small acts that occur across the school daily.”

Mr Conway said: “We’re all so proud of the journey the school has made in recent years and this report is testament to the hard work of all stakeholders. 
“We are confident this will be a platform for the school and the community to strive for further success as a result of the steadfast determination of the leadership and the trust to continually improve to be the best we can be.”  

Miss Mackle said she couldn’t be prouder of the children, parents, staff and wider community who made the report possible.

“All Saints is a happy school”

She said: “The one line that stands out and drives us every day is, ‘All Saints is a happy school’. For me, this is key, and all the staff work hard every day to make this school the happy place it is.

“We were praised for being an open and welcoming school, which we will continue to be, welcoming new families to join our wonderful school community.”

All Saints is a small rural school in Thirsk, North Yorkshire. It serves the parish of All Saints and also draws pupils from surrounding villages.

The school was previously inspected by the diocese in June 2018 and found to require improvement.

A year later, All Saints joined Nicholas Postgate Catholic Academy Trust (NPCAT) and it has also undergone changes to leadership and its board of governors.

It currently has 82 pupils and six full-time teachers, including Mr Conway and Miss Mackle.

“Current leaders are firmly established and have worked hard to bring about stability and resilience,” the report says. “This is now a strength of the school.”

“All Saints is a community which has created a strong sense of belonging. Pupils, staff and parents believe they are part of a Catholic family. Opportunities to promote the school’s ethos within the wider community are grasped as they begin the journey of growing the school.

“Behaviour is at all times very good. Pupils listen attentively, show appreciation and celebrate the achievements of others. They were seen to help each other without prompting and are kind and welcoming.

“The Catholic tradition of the school is respected and valued by those who learn and work in the school.”

The report praises the school’s commitment to serving others, both at home and abroad, as witnessed by their fundraising for Mission Together, CAFOD, Yellow Minds, Action Aid and Children in Need.

They were also impressed with a school project that raised awareness of climate change and said its links with St Paul’s school in Ghana help pupils understand the reality of life for other children and how our actions impact the world.

Weekly newsletters and social media postings are highly valued by parents and always include a theme of Catholic life.

“The head of school works hard, along with her staff, to ensure the best Catholic education for all in her care,” the report says.

“Leaders are not afraid to discuss God’s love for us and say that they love their pupils. Motivated by love and a desire to provide an enriching experience for the pupils at All Saints, leaders are successful in creating a harmonious learning environment with Christ at the heart.”

Positive relationships with the diocese, trust and parish – including parish priest Canon Pat Hartnett – are all strengths of the school.

“These are in place due to the diligence of the executive headteacher and head of school, who are excellent examples of faith in action in the community,” the report says.

“The school works closely with the parish to coordinate the First Holy Communion programme.

“All Saints is proudly Catholic. Evidence for this can be found in the main entrance, where displays of religious art and texts are found. Every classroom has a ‘Sacred space’ and there are a number of spaces outdoors which are used for prayer and reflection.

“All adults – the headteachers, staff and governors – play a key role in the Catholic life of the school.

“The Interim Advisory Board (IAB), set up following the last inspection, is well established and is both supportive and challenging in terms of Catholic life.

“Governors know the school well and are active in all aspects of school life.”

Mr Conway said: “We would welcome prospective parents to visit our happy school – you will be given such a warm welcome!”

To view the report in full, click here.