Rhiwbeina Primary School praised for its commitment to excellence in education by Estyn


In a recent inspection carried out by Estyn, Wales's Inspectorate for Education, Rhiwbeina Primary School in Cardiff has been acknowledged for its commitment to excellence in education and its vibrant learning environment.

Inspectors found the school's commitment to providing a high-quality education was evident throughout the assessment with positive highlights including:

  • Academic Progress: The school's staff fosters a vibrant learning environment where nearly all pupils make strong progress from their individual starting points.
  • Curriculum Innovation: Teachers are commended for planning an exciting curriculum that incorporates student perspectives and effectively utilises the local community.
  • Welsh Heritage and Culture: The school provides beneficial opportunities for pupils to learn about Welsh heritage and culture.
  • Leadership and Governance: School leaders ensure compliance with national reform requirements, and the headteacher diligently monitors pupil progress and teaching.
  • Teaching Excellence: Teaching across the school is generally strong, with appropriate professional development for staff.
  • Governance and Budget Management: Governors work closely with the headteacher to manage the school's budget effectively, ensuring appropriate resources for teaching and learning.

Inspectors commended the school's use of drama and creative approaches which they found to enhance communication and social skills. Estyn has recognised this as an area of best practice and has invited the school to prepare a case study, for use as a resource on Estyn's website.

An overall positive inspection, the report outlined three key recommendations for improvement which will be addressed in the school's action plan. They include:

  • Strategic Planning: Enhance strategic planning to involve all stakeholders and further improve the quality of teaching and learning.
  • Professional Learning: Improve professional learning opportunities to ensure staff collaboration and the sharing of best practices.
  • Welsh Language Skills: Enhance pupils' spoken Welsh to strengthen language proficiency.

Reflecting on the report, Headteacher Carol Harry said: "Our school approach ‘Together Everyone Achieves More' is reflected extremely well throughout the report. Estyn's comments are a testament to the pupils' enthusiasm for learning and the commitment of all staff both teaching and support, to provide our pupils with the best possible start on their learning journey. Also, the commitment and support from governors, parents and the local community in providing opportunities which enhance all aspects of our pupils' learning.

"Together we are achieving our vision to provide a safe, happy and inspirational learning environment, empowering all learners to acquire the skills and knowledge for future learning in a fast-changing world."

Mathew Sutton, Chair of Governors at the school said: "This inspection report is very positive and reflects the hard work of the teachers and pupils of Rhiwbeina Primary School.  

"The school has been praised across the spectrum and has been asked to share a case study on its excellent creative approach to pupil learning with other schools. The school can be very proud of the report."

Cardiff Council's Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Education, Cllr Sarah Merry said: "This recent report from Estyn draws attention to some of the brilliant work taking place at Rhiwbeina Primary School and highlights the commitment from staff and governors to provide learners with an excellent standard of education.

"It is pleasing to hear of the exciting curriculum planned by teachers which takes account of the views of pupils and utilises opportunities available in the local community. Drama and other creative approaches are clearly used by the school in an effective way to bring history and other curriculum areas alive and has been praised by Estyn as an example of best practice.

"Congratulations to the head, staff and wider school community, the school will now be supported to address the recommendations from Estyn."

At the time of the inspection Rhiwbeina Primary School, had 683 students on roll. 2.1% of pupils are eligible for free school meals and 2.8% identified as having additional learning needs.

Estyn has adopted a new approach to inspection in schools and Pupil Referral Units across Wales. Inspection reports will no longer include summative gradings (e.g. ‘Excellent', ‘Good' or ‘Adequate') and now focus on how well providers are helping a child to learn.

The new approach aligns with the personalisation of the new curriculum for Wales with inspections involving more in-person discussions, placing less emphasis on achievement data.

Estyn believe that the new inspection approach will make it easier for providers to gain meaningful insights that help them to improve without the spotlight on a judgement.