Catastrophic Ofsted for St James’ primary

Communities / Tue 8th Oct 2013 at 08:02am

IT IS a tale of two schools in Paringdon Road. One, Milwards is good with elements of outstanding teaching. However, just up the road, Ofsted have painted a very different picture of St James’ Church of England primary.

The school has always been classed in the “Satisfactory” column of Ofsted reports

Among the severe criticisms are that teachers do not have high enough expectations of what pupils can do or achieve. Pupils are not challenged sufficiently to produce their best work or present it to a sufficiently high standard.

The most obvious exception is in Year 1, where consistently good teaching over time and high expectations have led to good quality extended writing and a clear grasp of mathematics. As a result, pupils have begun to make expected or better-than-expected progress in 2013.

Firstly, here are the overall criticisms.

1. Pupils make insufficient progress in reading, writing and mathematics. Progress in mathematics is slower than in other subjects, particularly for girls and disadvantaged pupils.

2. Pupils do not develop their reading, writing and mathematical skills in a wide enough range of subjects.

3. Teaching is inadequate because teachers’ expectations of pupils are too low.

4. Approaches to assessment and marking are inconsistent.

5. Pupils do not always show positive attitudes to learning because teachers do not give them enough opportunities to learn by themselves or take responsibility for their learning.

6. The new leadership team has accurately identified the right priorities for improvement but planned actions have yet to show significant impact.

7. The governing body is not having enough impact on improving teaching and on raising pupils’ achievement.

The good points are.

1.Good quality teaching and effective use of resources in the Reception class prepare pupils well for Year 1.

2.Phonics are taught well by teachers and teaching assistants so that pupils are beginning to make better progress in reading.

3. Pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is promoted well and contributes to a positive environment for learning.

4.Attendance and punctuality have improved. Pupils receive good care. They are happy and feel safe in school.

St James’s has not responded to a request for a response at the time of publication.

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