Improvements made by Whittlesey primary school

Ofsted inspectors have said a Whittlesey primary school is taking the right steps to improve.

In 2017 New Road Primary School was given a ‘Requires Improvement’ rating by the inspectors.

Education

Education

But in following a monitoring visit last month, inspector Jason Howard said: “Senior leaders and the Aspire Learning Trust are taking effective action to tackle the areas requiring improvement identified at the last section 5 inspection in order for the school to become good.”

Mr Howard spent most of the day in classes, watching lessons and talking to pupils. He also met with the teachers, the senior staff and governors, to collate the evidence for his judgements.

In his report he said: “Leaders and governors have used their accurate judgements about standards at the school to determine appropriate and suitably-prioritised improvement plans. These are being implemented at speed because leaders insist on high standards and make sure that staff get the support they need to meet them. Leaders respond quickly and effectively if their checks on aspects of the school’s work indicate further improvement is needed.”

Mr Howard was complimentary about the amount and quality of the training that staff have had: “Staff have benefited considerably from the significant amount of additional training in the teaching of mathematics. As a result, teachers typically plan activities that ensure pupils develop sound mathematical understanding.”

In terms of improved outcomes, he reported that: “The proportion of pupils achieving both the expected and higher standard in mathematics in the key stage two national tests has increased markedly since the previous inspection and is above the national average.”

In classrooms, Mr Howard saw that “Leaders insist that all staff have high expectations for what disadvantaged pupils with high potential are able to achieve. Teachers set precise targets for these pupils’ progress through the curriculum in different subjects and review these regularly. Teachers ensure that those pupils who need it are given timely and precisely focused support.

“Teachers demonstrate high expectations for all pupils and encourage them to learn from their mistakes and to keep trying. Work that is set is often demanding, and pupils are willing to attempt ‘challenge tasks’ which are usually planned carefully.”

Rob Litten, executive head teacher said: “The Trust and the school are delighted with the report and are clear on the areas we still need to improve.

“Later this academic year, the school will have a full two day inspection to see whether New Road School has moved on from its Requires Improvement judgement to that of Good.

“We are confident that the school is now providing a Good level of education and that all our pupils are getting the high quality education that they deserve. We are also delighted with the improvement to the school through the upgrades on the existing buildings which took place in the summer. The new multi-use games area and playground, the foodroom, the upgraded toilets and new corridors have gone down extremely well with staff, pupils and parents and we are very much looking forward to the opening of the new building in April 2020.

“We have also secured over £250,000 of funding to install three new boilers into the existing school to replace those that were installed when the school first opened over 30 years ago.”