Challenge Partners stems from London Challenge, a model based on school partnership collaborative school improvement that was so successful in turning around education in the capital and is still talked about today in the media. Challenge Partners is formed of hundreds of schools nationwide who work together to support and challenge each other to be better. As part of this process every year each school has a review which is independent and conducted by external professionals, including a Lead Reviewer who will be either a current or former Ofsted Inspector. These reviews are carried out over 3 days and are an intensive examination of each school which can then be used for developmental purposes to move forward. The schools are also reviewed against a framework, which whilst not Osfted, is very similar indeed and looks at the same key issues. Schools receive a summary of estimates which, in part, estimate how the school might perform if inspected by Ofsted. We have had two reviews as an academy in November 2015 and November 2016. Both reviews found that our school was "Good" in all areas. Please read the reviews to gain a further understanding of St Mary Cray Primary Academy.
"Challenging learners is the norm... Pupils relish challenge, right from the start…pupils have very positive attitudes. They are proud of their school’s high place nationally… very positive about wider reading and understand the impact it has on their learning. In lessons they understand what is required and apply themselves to meet success criteria. Pupils keenly undertake independent research. They aspire to achieve well and link success at school to future working life…the promotion of wider reading achieved an astonishing degree of improvement in results…teachers often encourage pupils to, to be ‘mindful’ and self-aware of themselves as learners. Focusing on themselves as learners has raised achievement…overall outcomes are at a high level. St Mary Cray Primary is not a school that stands still.”
Challenge Partners Review (March 2018)
“Pupils are engaged in lessons; they are enthusiastic and apply themselves well. They are keen to listen to staff and each other and are interested in what they are learning… pupils are proud of their work… teachers have high expectations of pupils’ work and their conduct in lessons.” Challenge Partner Review (Nov 2016)
"…[SMCPA is] working within the Good grade… the rigorous and relentless focus on school improvement since the academy conversion has led to significant improvements in the quality of teaching which has resulted in much better outcomes for pupils... Pupils have high aspirations for themselves and each other which creates a supportive, collegiate atmosphere in classrooms and around the school…created a calm, nurturing and safe environment where everyone can work together harmoniously. Pupils are clearly at the centre of the provision at St Mary Cray. It is clear that much has been done to create a culture in which the teachers care for the children and as a result the children’s appreciation is shown through their good learning behaviours. Pupils work well together and are highly cooperative and supportive of one another and respect their teachers... They look very smart and have developed resilience. They are articulate, audible and confident to express their opinions which they know are valued. They are proud of their school and take responsibility for different aspects of school life.” (Challenge Partner Review Nov 2015)