CHILDREN at Windmill Primary School in Headington benefit from an education which gives them some of the best results in Oxfordshire but headteacher Lynn Knapp said there was much more to the school than traditional teaching.

When she took over in 2007 it was rated inadequate but is now one of Oxford’s few primary schools to be rated outstanding – Ofsted’s highest rating.

Mrs Knapp said the continued success of the school in Margaret Road was down to hard work from staff, pupils and the wider community as well as a “values-based curriculum.”

She said: “We are a very strong community of children, parents and children.

“The wider community is also very important to us – we try to be involved in things like the Headington Advent and the low carbon group.

“It is good for the children to be part of that community and we have them sing at St Andrew’s care home every Christmas.

“That ties in very well with our values-based curriculum.”

As well as promoting strong academic learning, teachers at Windmill aim to give pupils as many opportunities as possible in other areas.

The school particularly focuses on dance, music and drama which help pupils to develop skills across various subjects.

Mrs Knapp said: “Each year group does a performance every year, it is good for their confidence.

“When they first start they may be quite shy but by the time they are in Year 6 they are taking on lead roles.

“We have an ethos of dance being embedded across the curriculum, not just PE.

“We have dance classes in the summer and the children perform for parents.

“The children can make up their own choreography which is fantastic.

“We want our children to be independent learners and have skills they can transfer to any part of the curriculum.”

At the start of October pupils at the school moved into new classrooms, which opened after more than a month of construction delays.

Mrs Knapp said despite the problems everyone at the school was pleased the work was now completed.

The classrooms were accompanied by a new games area and music rooms.

Mrs Knapp said: “There are always new and exciting opportunities out there that we can use.

“I do not want to rest on my laurels because there is so much we can do for the children and we will not be complacent.

“Nine years here has shot by – it is nice to see how much has changed here since I started.”


Windmill Primary School was most recently visited by inspectors in June 2015 and was rated ‘outstanding’– Ofsted’s highest rank.

The school had previously been rated ‘good’ but inspectors moved it up one level after being impressed by the “excellent progress” pupils made.

Inspectors Jenny Batelen, Spencer Allen and Christine Curtis also praised lessons which engaged and excited children and said all youngsters at the school felt very safe.

British values were said to be at the heart of the school’s ethos and helped to develop “mature and sensible pupils” well prepared for moving on to secondary school.

Mrs Knapp and other leaders were praised for monitoring the quality of teaching closely and governors were also deemed to keep a thorough check on the work of the school.