Our Lady & St Joseph Catholic Primary is a small school with just 100 pupils based in Lymington, in the New Forest. 2022 was an exceptional year for the school – with OFSTED recognising the establishment as “Outstanding” in all areas, stating that “pupils receive an excellent academic and character education.”
In particular, OFSTED praised leaders’ “clear and uncompromising vision to empower pupils to become ‘architects of a better world’.” Pupils’ personal and holistic development is a key strength of the school, who are regularly involved in supporting their local community.
Last year, pupils took part in a range of initiatives to support others in the local area. As a “Queen’s Green Canopy School” and “Eco Green Flag Award” winner, students put their ‘green fingers’ to good use, and donated produce that they had grown on site to local foodbanks, for those in need.
The school choir also toured in the local area to spread their community spirit, singing at Waitrose and in care homes. Pupils sent personalised Christmas cards to residents at their local assisted living facility and created bright and vibrant artwork for the walls to “bring the outside in” for those unable to go out and about.
Pupils are very active in using their voice locally – this year, Junior Road Safety Officers successfully campaigned to slow the speed limit outside the school, after writing to Hampshire County Councillors and presenting their case to them in person.
Our Lady & St Joseph is officially recognised as a “School of Sanctuary,” for the school’s work in ensuring that they are welcoming, safe and inclusive environment and for their ongoing support of refugees and displaced people. This year, pupils filled shoeboxes full of Easter gifts for Ukrainian children seeking refuge in Poland, as well as at Christmas time for displaced children in Moldova, Romania and Montenegro.
Academic rigour is also a strength of the school. 100% of pupils met the Expected Standard in their Key Stage 2 SATS tests in 2022, with more than half of pupils achieving ‘Greater Depth’, considerably well above the National Average. OFSTED additionally praised the school’s ambitious curriculum, stating that “the curriculum is exceptionally well designed,” and that “Leaders and teachers have high expectations for all pupils.”