A HEREFORD primary school is confident inspectors will see improvements when Ofsted resumes its visits after the coronavirus pandemic.

Ofsted stopped carrying out inspections on March 17 due to the pandemic, days before schools closed to the majority of pupils.

But the headteacher at St Thomas Cantilupe Church of England Primary School in Hereford is confident they will be able to improve on their most recent rating.

When Ofsted visited in December 2018, they judged to the school to be "inadequate", with criticism of the school's leadership and management, with improvement to teaching also needed.

But headteacher Claire McKeown said the school has made progress since the last inspection and are now awaiting inspectors to return.

“Our latest Ofsted inspection had to be postponed during these unprecedented times which means we have been unable to share the positive progress that our school has made," she said.

“It is really pleasing that our nursery and reception provision is already rated as ‘Good’ by Ofsted and that the school itself is now thriving. The commitment and creativity shown by the whole school has been astonishing and we want to share our school’s future with the community.

“St Thomas Cantilupe we will continue to strive for improvement in all areas. We have new, experienced teachers in place and have developed the curriculum to offer the very best opportunities to our children.

“We also have new uniform to celebrate the 700th anniversary of St Thomas Cantilupe and our school choir had been due to sing at the service to mark this momentous date prior to the lockdown being put in place.

“I’m really proud of our school and while we know we must continue our hard work to provide the best possible learning environment for our children, there is no doubt everything here has been moving in the right direction for some time.”

A new "quiet reflection area" is being constructed to take advantage of the grounds at the school's site in Coningsby Street.

The area, which is being created thanks to funding from the Bluecoat Trust, will be situated under some trees and will include benches for children to use to read and relax, as well as a sensory garden.

Speaking about the area, which is due to be finished by September, Mrs McKeown, added: “We’re all really looking forward to work being completed and I cannot wait to see our pupils making full use of it.

"It’s so important children have areas they can use to enjoy quiet times and to get absorbed in a book.

“The quiet reflection area will be something that all our children can enjoy and will be a fantastic addition to the facilities we have here.

"As a school, especially one situated so conveniently close to the city centre, we are really lucky to have a large outdoor space and forest school trained staff who know how to make full use of our grounds to provide lovely learning experiences.”