'Pupils thrive in this happy place' - St Frideswide CE Primary
One of Oxford's newest schools goes from strength to strength
One of Oxford’s newest schools, St Frideswide CE Primary, has achieved an Ofsted ‘Good’ grade in its first Ofsted inspection, with personal development for pupils rated ‘Outstanding’.
Inspectors said ‘Pupils thrive in this happy place’ and found the school’s ‘rich and interesting curriculum goes beyond academic subjects to ensure pupils develop skills for life.’ They praised the ‘high standards of behaviour’ and noted that parents are highly positive of the school, including of the staff’s commitment to ‘ensuring that every child has the chance to succeed.’
The report highlights the ‘Outstanding’ programme of personal development for children, which includes learning skills such as managing money, life-saving and cooking; taking part in activities such as karate, cycling and outdoor adventure; and gaining leadership experience as school councillors, wellbeing ambassadors and eco-warriors. In July, the school was also presented with a National Nurturing Schools Award for its dedication to children’s social, emotional, and mental health and wellbeing.
The successful inspection marks a new milestone for St Frideswide’s, which opened in November 2020 on Cricket Road. Named after the patron saint of Oxford, the school has since forged strong links within the city to provide rich opportunities for children. It is twinned with Oxford University’s Somerville College, which offers 1:1 maths tutoring and experiences such as creating a biodiversity garden; it welcomes Faculty of Music students providing expertise for music lessons; the school choir has performed at Christ Church Cathedral and the Sheldonian Theatre; and children take regular local trips including the Bodleian Libraries, Botanic Gardens - and learning how ice cream is made at George & Danver.
The school’s outward focus is just as strong: the curriculum encourages children to learn about the world around them including languages and cultures, recent trips further afield have included sailing on the Solent, and in September the school was awarded a Geography quality mark.
Hot on the heels of their Ofsted success, St Frideswide’s is also excited to welcome families who are interested in joining the school to an open morning on Saturday 25th November, from 9am-11am.
St Frideswide’s headteacher, Hannah Forder-Ball, said:
‘I am constantly humbled by the children, parents and staff team at St Frideswide. We as a school family are grateful to all those who have been part of journey and those who continue to inspire and help us. This is a school that advocates social justice and equity. The children here understand that not everyone needs the same things to thrive and we are delighted that this inspection team were able to recoginse that. We would really welcome families who are interested to come and see what we do at St Frideswide.’
Anne Dellar, Chief Executive of Oxford Diocesan Schools Trust, said:
‘I’m delighted the Ofsted report provides a snapshot of what we see day in, day out at St Frideswide – an absolutely exceptional education for children, both academically and pastorally. I couldn’t be prouder of the staff and pupils at this wonderful school. Of course, Ofsted also always identifies areas for development, and progress in those is already underway. I have no doubt that this school will continue to go from strength to strength as it has done for the last three years.’
St Frideswide Church of England Primary School opened on 1st November 2020. It is a primary (4-11) school with 302 pupils on roll. The inspection took place on 17-18 October 2023. St Frideswide also has a nursery for children aged 0-3, which was rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted in January 2023.