Oak Tree Primary School is a big school – with a small, friendly village-school atmosphere. With a brand-new building and state-of-the art facilities to match, Oak Tree is an amalgamation of two long-established and much-loved schools; Orrishmere and Queens Road. Built upon the many strengths of those schools, the new Oak Tree Primary School ethos is proudly displayed upon ‘Values and Vision’ trees in each classroom – and taken very much to heart by the students.
Headteacher, Mrs Slater, says “our aim is to be a school which challenges, excites and encourages our children to be the very best that they can be”.
Along with Mrs Slater and her team, Oak Tree Primary School projects a genuine warmth and a positive outlook, along with a real community feel. The children clearly feel happy, safe and secure. This is key to truly achieving their full potential. Likewise, the staff are tangibly proud of, and invested in, their school. The children themselves came up with the school’s motto:
“Aspire Together; Achieve Together; Grow Together”
• Active and informative Parent Link Group and ‘café’.
• Parent volunteers.
• Information evenings for parents.
• Parent Questionnaire.
• Parents were consulted and involved in the choice of name and logo, inspired by the large Oak Tree in the school grounds, as well as the uniform.
• Current and prospective parents are encouraged to visit during the school day
• ROOTS – the dynamic and hardworking Parent Teacher Association. ROOTS have organised many fun fundraising events and were also instrumental in funding the garden and adventure playground.
Positive parent participation in school is invaluable to children’s progress and happiness in school. Parents deciding on a school for their child are welcomed and are invariably impressed by what they see and hear. Many cite the welcoming and nurturing ‘feel’ of the school, and just ‘knowing’ Oak Tree Primary School is right for their child.
And it’s not just the parents and staff – many of whom are Queens Road and Orrishmere alumni. The children themselves are palpably proud of their school. There’s a real sense of ownership; of involvement. This is no mean feat – both Queens Road and Orrishmere inspired pride and a sense of belonging in their students, parents and staff, who were originally devastated to lose ‘their’ schools. However, that has pride and belonging have carried over – and doubled. Staff from both original schools have stayed – there were no redundancies – and that has really helped maintain that feel.
OFSTED’s 2016 inspection recognised the work done but said improvements were needed. This was a sucker-punch for the school community. They’ve really rallied, and significant progress has been made – glowing reports recognise the achievements and huge rise in standards. An HMI monitoring visit in November 2017 verified this:
“Your relentless focus on teaching, learning and assessment is paying off. Across the school, work in lessons, pupils’ books and pupil performance information all show that pupils are making stronger progress in reading, writing and mathematics. Lessons are now more challenging. Expectations are high and your checks on pupils’ progress allow staff to drill down from year group and class information to individual pupils’ needs.”
Of course, choosing the right school for your children will always be about so much more than inspections, reports or league tables. Everyone involved in Oak Tree Primary would encourage prospective parents to call, visit, and talk to any members of staff or students. Come and see the work, feel the pride everyone has in their school, have a look at the website and chat with members of ROOTS. See what OFSTED say now. This is more than just a school, it’s a community. The school community also works closely with and for the wider, local community:
• Links with and visits to the Valley School
• Music tuition – there’s a 70-strong choir; Year 4 learn an instrument and visit the Royal Northern College of Music; Year 5 participate in Young Voices at Manchester Arena
• Parent and Grandparent Afternoon Tea
• Regular Wider-Curriculum days and events – such as a recent Eco Day where the pond was cleared and flowerbeds planted
• Community Action Day – this year, parents and staff worked together to improve the grounds
• Year 6 Garden
• Year 1 Crashed Rocket Project
There’s also a sought-after nursery with 30 free hours for eligible families and a thriving Breakfast Club and After School Club. Oak Tree Primary School always aims for academic excellence, but clearly values enriching extra-curriculum activities, too.
Oak Tree Primary School is going from strength-to-strength; with a strong team of committed staff, strong governing body and passionate leadership team, everyone is very enthusiastic and positive about the future of this wonderful school. A mighty Oak Tree from acorns indeed.