Veritas Primary Academy Excels with Continued “Good” Rating by Ofsted

Veritas Primary Academy, under the leadership of Headteacher Danielle Conneely, proudly maintains its status as a "good" school, as affirmed by the recent Ofsted report published at the end of November. 

A School Where Happiness and Excellence Coexist 

 Ofsted inspectors judged Veritas Primary Academy as more than just a school; it's a friendly, welcoming community where children find joy, safety, and success. Pupils take pride in their school, relishing in their achievements and embodying the values instilled in them.  

 The report highlights the exceptional behaviour of pupils, describing them as polite, well-mannered, and diligent. Veritas was found to go beyond conventional education by providing a diverse range of extracurricular activities. From archery and cookery to wheelchair basketball, pupils discover and develop new talents and interests. The school's commitment to physical health is evident through various sports activities, while residential visits offer opportunities for acquiring skills like kayaking and abseiling. 


Leadership roles, such as school captains and librarians, empower students to cultivate essential leadership and teamwork skills. The school takes pride in fostering a respectful environment where children appreciate diversity, learning about various cultures and religions. 

Veritas excels in supporting the youngest learners, ensuring a solid start to their educational journey. Reading holds a central place in the curriculum, with initiatives like book fairs and reading programs fostering a love for literature. It stands out for its inclusive approach, prioritising pupils with SEND and offering an extensive wider curriculum. Trips and experiences enhance the students' learning journey, deepening their understanding and appreciation for the world around them. 



The school actively promotes a positive work environment, with well-supported staff managing their workload efficiently. Appreciation days and team-building sessions contribute to the overall well-being of the school community. 

In conclusion, Veritas Primary Academy's commitment to excellence, inclusivity, and continuous improvement shines through in the recent Ofsted report. The school remains dedicated to providing a nurturing and vibrant learning environment for all its children showing its firm commitment to our Trust’s ‘Great Schools’ strategy. 

Ofsted judges Chigwell Primary Academy continues to offer a good education at school where “staff are proud to work here”

Chigwell Primary Academy is basking in the glow of a recent Ofsted report, celebrating the school's unwavering commitment to delivering a good standard of education. The report commends the academy for consistently providing high-quality education, with inspectors noting that "pupils enjoy coming to this school" and proudly showcase their values. 

 Ofsted highlighted the positive atmosphere at Chigwell Primary Academy, emphasising the students' caring nature, strong work ethic, and their enthusiasm for helping others. The report recognizes the effectiveness of REAch2's support, citing ongoing training for staff to ensure they are well-equipped, particularly in subject knowledge. 



Key highlights from the report include the academy's ambitious curriculum designed in collaboration with the Academy Trust, placing a strong emphasis on important knowledge and concepts. Reading is rightfully positioned at the core of the curriculum, with carefully selected texts fostering a love for literature among pupils. 

 The school and Trust's high expectations create a culture where pupils strive to reach their full potential, fostering rapid progress and development. Diversity and respect for differences are celebrated, with students enjoying learning about cultures worldwide and embracing various religions. 

Chigwell Primary Academy excels in providing an excellent start to education, especially in the Reception class, where thoughtful language and play-based learning contribute to vocabulary development. The report commends the school's understanding of how best to support children with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), ensuring inclusivity in the learning process. 


Leadership at both the school and Trust level is acknowledged for understanding the strengths and areas for improvement, maintaining a manageable workload for staff, and offering effective training. Staff pride in their work is evident, creating a positive and supportive working environment. 

 Elaine Brook, Executive Headteacher at Chigwell Primary Academy, expressed her joy at the Ofsted report, particularly emphasising the school's commitment to placing reading at the heart of the curriculum. Cathie Paine, Chief Executive Officer at REAch2, extended her congratulations to Elaine and the entire team at Chigwell, recognising the positive impact of their work on providing children with the best possible start to their education. 

 Ofsted’s findings stand as a testament to Chigwell Primary Academy's dedication to the Trust’s ‘Great Schools’ strategy and the nurturing of well-rounded, engaged learners - we wholeheartedly congratulate Elaine and her team on the impressive report. 

Pupil Voice Week 2023: Making Voices Count in Education

Pupil Voice Week 2023 is back for its 8th year. Celebrated from September 25th to the 29th, this annual event has been a resounding success, with last year's theme of 'Solving Problems' bringing together over 600 schools and engaging 320,000 pupils in meaningful conversations. This year’s theme "Make your voice count" resonates deeply with us as a Trust and emphasises the incredible power that children and young people hold to shape the world around them.

Empowering Young Voices at the House of Lords

Recently, REAch2 Academy Trust's pupils had a remarkable opportunity to showcase the significance of their voices. They visited the House of Lords and engaged with Diana Barran, where they expressed their perspectives on a wide range of topics. For many of these children, it was their first trip to London, adding a layer of excitement to their adventure.

Guided by Baroness Barran, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Education, these pupils actively participated in a thought-provoking debate. The discussion centred on the essence of effective leadership in education, with our pupil parliamentarians eloquently expressing the importance of having a voice in their educational journey and the substantial role their input should play in shaping decisions within schools.

A picture of a group of children from REAch2 Academy Trust at the House of Lords representing their School in our new School Council initiative.

Nurturing Aspirations Through Pupil Voice

At REAch2 Academy Trust, there is a wholehearted commitment to nurturing the aspirations of all our pupils across our family of 60 schools. Experiences like these ignite inspiration in young minds. Our newly launched Pupil Parliament initiative stands as a crucial stepping-stone in the journey for students to realise the power of their voices. Olivia from Camulos Academy in Colchester beautifully summed up the sentiment, stating, "A pupil parliament for REAch2 is important because REAch2 has thousands of children, and that's a lot of voices that haven't been heard." Their voices matter, and the Trust is devoted to ensuring they are heard.

Why Pupil Voice Matters

Pupil voice is not merely a concept; it's a right enshrined in Article 12 of The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. It emphasises that every child has the right to express their views, feelings, and wishes in all matters affecting them, and that these views should be taken seriously. In primary education, this right is central to the moral purpose of educators, who seek to ensure that every child's voice is heard and valued.

Pupil voice not only gives children responsibility but also nurtures collaboration, leadership, and negotiation skills. While it guides the curriculum in the early years, it remains equally important as children progress through school. It's crucial to create spaces where pupils feel comfortable voicing their opinions and where their interests can shape the learning experience.

A photo of two childre and two teachers outside of the House's of Parliament.

The Power of Pupil Voice Recognised by Ofsted

Pupil voice is not only valued by educators and students but also by education authorities. Ofsted recognizes its importance and has incorporated it into their inspection framework, particularly under the "Personal Development" aspect. They expect schools to provide opportunities for pupils to have their say on matters affecting them, evaluate the extent to which pupils are engaged in their own learning, and consider their views when making decisions.

Promoting Pupil Voice: Key Strategies

To ensure the continuous promotion of pupil voice, schools can consider implementing the following strategies:

Establish a culture of pupil leadership: Encourage pupils to take on leadership roles and responsibilities within the school community, fostering an environment where their voices matter.

Create opportunities for pupil input and feedback: Regularly gather pupil opinions, ideas, and feedback through surveys, focus groups, and other channels.

Promote inclusive practices: Ensure that all pupils, regardless of background or ability, can participate in pupil voice initiatives.

Empowering Young Voices for a Sustainable Future

We eagerly anticipate the continued development of our REAch2 Pupil Parliament throughout this year, as we embark on an exciting journey of continuing to foster genuine pupil voice across our schools. Our plans extend beyond individual schools to encompass entire clusters, where our schools are grouped geographically and ultimately, we aim to take our pupils' voices back to the heart of democracy, the Houses of Parliament, in June 2024.

One of the driving forces behind this endeavour is our Sustainability strategic goal, which is driven by the motivation of our children. Our pupils are eager to become more actively involved in shaping the future, and they will do so through a series of engaging debates and discussions, focussing on crucial topics such as:

"How can I help the planet to survive?"

"What should be included in a sustainability curriculum?"

"What should transportation look like in 20 years' time?"

A photo of Baroness Barron with our newly formed Student Council within the House of Lords.

The culmination of these pupil voice discussions will be a powerful debate led by Baroness Barran, titled "The Earth is Angry." This final debate will serve as a poignant reminder of the urgent need for collective action and the vital role that young voices play in addressing the challenges our planet faces.

In essence, the importance of pupil voice cannot be overstated. It is the driving force behind positive change in our schools, our communities, and our world. It empowers pupils, nurtures their leadership skills, and instils in them a sense of responsibility for shaping the future. Through initiatives like the REAch2 Pupil Parliament and events like Pupil Voice Week, we amplify the voices of our young learners, ensuring that their perspectives are not only heard but also acted upon.

Their voices are not just the voices of tomorrow; they are the voices that can and will change the world today.