Just 18 months ago the school was languishing in the bottom five per cent of the country and judged “inadequate” by government inspectors.
Yet today tells a different story, with Ofsted announcing that Helston’s St Michael’s Primary School has raised its standards by not one but two full rankings.
Having been placed in the bottom grade, forcing intervention by inspectors, on Monday it was revealed that the school is now judged as “good” – the second best rating.
Just three per cent of schools nationally improve to that extent in such a short space of time.
Headteacher Shaun Perfect, who has overseen the improvements, said: “I am delighted that Ofsted judge St Michael's to be good in all areas.
“The last 20 months [since the initial inspection] have been incredibly challenging and I would like to thank all of the staff and governors who have worked tirelessly to ensure all of our children have the chance to achieve their potential.
“We have a report of which the whole school community can be proud.”
In their most recent report, Ofsted inspectors Robert Pyner and Susan Smith praised the “determined leadership” of Mr Perfect and deputy headteacher Claire Dornan – who was originally seconded from Parc Eglos Primary School – plus the governors and subject leaders.
As a result the inspectors found “significant improvements” in pupils’ achievements since the last inspection.
Year six pupils were now judged to be doing better than the national average in reading, writing and maths, with pupils making a good start in the reception classes.
Teaching was described as being “consistently good”, with some “outstanding,” and teacher assistants are “particularly effective.”
Telling parents the good news, Mr Perfect said “intense school improvement work” had been carried out by both staff and governors, which had included no less than five monitoring inspections from Ofsted.
He added: “We would like to thank all of our parents for their support and loyalty during this very difficult time. We would also like to say a big thank you to all of the children for all their hard work and superb attitude.
“In addition, all of our wonderful staff should be given enormous credit for their commitment and dedication during this period of intense scrutiny.”
Mr Perfect also thanked the governing body for their hard work, especially chairman Sasha Wilkinson, and acknowledged the support and advice provided by other schools in the 18-member Southerly Point Co-operative Trust – in particular Parc Eglos and Mullion Primary.
He said the school was similarly grateful for the leadership support provided by Roskear Primary School, pastoral support from the Diocese of Truro and training from the Cornwall School Improvement Team.
This Monday the school will officially convert to an academy. Although it will continue to be known as St Michael's C of E Primary School it will become part of the Pigrims’ Way Multi-Academy Trust sponsored by the Diocese of Truro.
And the school is not resting there, with plans to raise standards even further to be ranked “outstanding.”
To do this the school has been told it needs to raise the proportion of outstanding teaching, with achievement in reading, writing and maths at the end of key stage one needing to be better, particularly at higher levels.
Pupils eligible for free school meals, disabled pupils and those with special educational needs in maths could also being doing better.
Ofsted inspectors will return within two years, to make sure that the school has continued to improve.