Ofsted impressed by Abbotsweld’s progress

Education: Primary / Mon 7th Apr 2014 at 10:58am

THESE have not been easy times for Abbotsweld primary but it has been good to see that Ofsted have been pleased with the progress the school has made since it was graded as “Requires Improvement” late last year.

But the government watchdog has returned and made a number of very encouraging observations.

The report states:

Ably supported by the assistant headteachers, you have reviewed your raising attainment plan to reflect the key priorities identified during the inspection. The plan works in alignment with a clear monitoring timetable and detailed weekly plans. Together these ensure all staff know what is happening when and understand what is expected of them.

You have reviewed how teachers mark pupils’ work so that all members of staff are using agreed approaches, which include giving pupils time to respond to marking to address mistakes or to consolidate their learning. In some instances, the time given for pupils to revisit marking is too limited and insufficient importance is given to the quality and presentation of pupils’ responses.

There is clear improvement in presentation in books; it is evident that teachers are reminding pupils about the standards expected more often. You have developed your approach to handwriting by finding out what is working in other local schools and have visited some of these to see work in action. In between times, you have raised the expectations of pupils and teachers regarding the presentation of work. For example, the ‘Brilliant Book Show’ used pupil’s work to demonstrate the high standards of presentation that can be achieved.

Evidence from your monitoring shows that senior leaders are evaluating teaching against new and more challenging criteria. You give detailed feedback to teachers about how they can improve and are creating an analysis of the quality of teaching over time. Judgements about teaching do not take into account the progress pupils make frequently enough. You have sought the support of a local consortium for moderating teachers’ assessment of pupils and this has confirmed its accuracy.

Effective use is made of systems for assessment and tracking to identify pupils not making expected and better progress. You are increasing the level of challenge for these pupils through combining the expertise of the special educational needs co- ordinator, teachers and learning support assistants to plan work more carefully. This work is not sufficiently detailed with regard to the specific skills pupils need to improve neither is it well enough linked to pupil’s learning targets.

You are implementing plans to work more closely with local pre-school providers to ensure your overview of attainment on entry is accurate and to boost children’s early
learning. You are using new strategies to teach phonics, which are already improving early spelling, and reading attainment and this is providing them with a stronger skills base.

The interim executive board has met once since the inspection. Audits of financial management and safeguarding have been undertaken; they show that the school’s processes are secure. Members have good, relevant experience of governance and the local authority representative contributes evidence from monitoring visits to the school. Two members of the previous governing body are shadowing the board to increase their experience and develop future leadership capacity. To date, members have allocated key responsibilities and planned the monitoring of the school’s work. It is too early to identify any impact of the board’s work.

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