GOOD things come in small packages – and that’s exactly what education inspectors thought when they visited Holme Junior and Infant School.
It may be among the smallest schools in Kirklees, but the school, in Meal Hill Road, is certainly big on achievement and pupil care.
Headteacher Simon Sloan, now in his second year, was praised for his dynamic leadership.
But it was pupils enthusiasm and attitudes to learning and the strong “family” atmosphere within the 38-pupil school which really won Ofsted over.
The strong sense of community and family ties is, says Mr Sloan, one of the major attractions of the school.
Mr Sloan said: “The school is a central part of the community and over many years people have fought hard to keep this school where it is.”
The school was built in 1880 and generations of the same family have attended there. Indeed there are currently four members of one family in different years at the school.
Mr Sloan said: “Our children, no matter what their age, four or 11, mix together well.
“There are no formal boundaries and they mix socially extremely well. This creates extremely mature individuals who go on to achieve good things.”
Small class sizes and individual attention are no doubt one explanation for the school’s good results, with above-average standards being achieved for maths and science in national tests.
The school has also recently invested in ICT with £30,000 being used to update facilities.
And strong and extensive links with Holmfirth High School, where children attend after year six, ensure the transition to the large secondary school is a smooth and undaunting one.
Parental support is a key feature in the success of the school.
The Friends of Holme School group, described by Mr Sloan as “dynamic and supportive” is in the process of raising £5,000 additional funds for the school.
There are also plans for a vegetable garden with the home-grown produce being used to supplement school lunches.
As a teaching head, Mr Sloan spends three days a week in the classroom, working alongside two other teachers and three support assistants.
The Ofsted report, following an inspection in June, said: “This is a good school with many outstanding features.
“The dynamic leadership of the recently appointed headteacher, supported by staff and governors, provides clear direction to the work of the school.
“The headteacher is passionate about the school and determined to provide the best possible education for all pupils.
“The headteacher’s care and vision have created a positive climate where staff work very effectively together and pupils demonstrate excellent behaviour and attitudes to their learning.”