Ofsted Lavish Praise On Arts Primary

Ramsgate Arts Primary School’s innovative specialist arts teaching balanced successfully with the international primary curriculum has won high praise from Ofsted.

The report is full of highlights in all aspects of school life. Ofsted say the “focus on the creative arts successfully builds pupils’ confidence and creates a love of learning,” with children enjoying “an interesting range of topics and themes.”

Executive Head Teacher Michael Lewis with pupils

Michaela Lewis is Executive Head Teacher of the Viking Academy Trust that includes RAPS, Upton Junior School in Broadstairs and Chilton Primary, said:

“This is a fantastic first Ofsted. The inspectors very clearly zeroed right in to what makes us tick, our ethos, passion and integrity and our desire to give children a vibrant and different type of learning experience, something that is unique at primary level in Kent.

The inspection drilled down to the heart and soul of this school and they loved what they found. RAPS is unique with a strength in balancing an excellent education that has creativity and the arts at the core.

Families that want their children to receive a first class, arts-based primary school education love the way we work and the outstanding results we have achieved in such a short time.

The enthusiasm, dedication and energy of our staff, pupils, families, governors, and education partners in the Trust is why RAPS has done so well.”

RAPS, which officially opened in September 2017 at Newington Road on a purpose-built site, previously spent two years from inception as a free school on the Chilton Primary School campus at Pegwell.

Ofsted inspectors have now awarded RAPS an impressive ‘good’ rating in all areas after an in-depth inspection.

Head of School Nick Budge said:

“Ramsgate Arts Primary is a school that leads the way in its provision. Our pupils and families tell us that they love the way we offer such an inspiring and mixed curriculum. Our aim is to develop well-rounded educated young people who enjoy achieving and meeting challenges, while learning a broad range of skills in the Arts as well as in traditional primary education.”

Jo Brand, RAPS Chair of Governors, said:

“The school’s success is due to a strong team effort. Our determined challenge now is to move onwards and upwards, further implementing our action plan as we take our children’s learning to an even higher level.”

Ofsted reported:

“All leaders, including governors, ensure there are high aspirations for every pupil. The Viking Academy Trust provides highly effective support to the school. The three schools within the multi-academy trust work closely together to share good practice. This benefits all pupils.”

Pupils make good progress in all subjects and are developing as successful learners as a result of strong teaching.

It said that “pupils enjoy an interesting range of topics and themes,” and added that RAPS “focus on the creative arts successfully builds pupils’ confidence and creates a love of learning.” It said their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is strong. Pupils are kind and considerate to each other and show respect for each other’s differences.”

Praise was also given for the way the RAPS project developed. Ofsted said:

“Leaders and governors have shown a relentless determination to establish Ramsgate Arts Primary School. They have demonstrated admirable commitment and tenacity in their quest to develop a capable staff team and build suitable premises.”

It said that Mrs Lewis and Mr Budge “provide highly effective leadership. They share great passion and ambition for the success of pupils and staff.”

Parents rate RAPS highly and the inspectors said: “Parents are overwhelmingly supportive of the school and very happy with the education their children are receiving.  Parents and carers appreciate the friendly and approachable staff.”

Pupil Voice is a big part of life at RAPS and Ofsted said children “relish the responsibility they have to contribute to decisions about the school’s development.”

The inspectors added that “pupils’ conduct themselves well in lessons and respond positively to teachers’ high expectations for behaviour.”


Ramsgate Arts Primary School is part of the Viking Academy Trust with Upton Junior School at Broadstairs and Chilton Primary School, Ramsgate.


Congratulations to everybody at Ramsgate Arts Primary School for your outstanding Ofsted report. It is testament to the community spirit encouraged by the school ethos and nourished by the teachers and staff. You must be over the moon for your work to be recognised and to have the support of Ofsted, as well as the family’s of pupils, is fantastic. A lot of hard work and dedication are poured into making RAPS the wonderful school our community are so proud of, congratulations!