LAST Friday a lad from Oasis Academy Longmeadow spoke to me about his school being labelled a ‘rubbish school’. The 2017 OFSTED report is a snapshot; data-driven against national averages for performance and behaviour and does not tell the whole story. I helped out there for four and a half years, participating in many different activities. In that time, I observed:
l A Remembrance Day play, performed by children who demonstrated real emotional and intellectual understanding.
l A singing group who performed, with others, at Salisbury Cathedral in Magna Cantata; a celebration of the signing of Magna Carta. They were praised by the Director of Music for their hard work.
l A Year 6 student who achieved a coveted level 6 in her Sats 2 Literacy, one of only nine in Wiltshire that year.
l Trophies for gardening and public speaking.
l Students helping out at the annual Christian Aid lunch.
l Staff offering more love and support to their youngsters than I experienced in 37 years as a teacher.
l A dynamic, innovative group of parents, Friends of Academy Longmeadow School (Foals) who raise funds for the children.
Worried prospective parents should ask informally about progress made in secondary education by ex-Longmeadow pupils. My conversations with some of these young people reveal that they are often in the top groups for maths, excel at sport and a significant number achieve excellent results in science and IT.
Oasis Academy Longmeadow is not a ‘rubbish school’ and deserves every support from the community.
 Paul Hamel