Seymour Primary School has been told to improve by Ofsted.
The “passionate” efforts of headteacher Sarah Park were not enough to secure a ‘good’ rating for the Broadfield school following a recent two-day inspection.
But a team of inspectors, led by Ann McCarthy, praised her ongoing efforts to improve the learning and personal development of her pupils while also preparing them for secondary education and beyond.
In her report, which was published on Tuesday (January 3), Ms McCarthy said school leaders had “high expectations” for the children’s achievement. She added: “They have made improvements in Key Stage 2 which have led to more effective teaching, with older pupils learning well.”
Those improvements saw the overall progress made by Year 6 pupils in all subjects in 2016 rank significantly above the national average.
That success was not echoed when it came to the younger pupils. Describing the overall quality of teaching at Seymour as “not yet consistently good”, Ms McCarthy said the outcomes for children in Key Stage 1 – ages 5-7 – were well below the national averages in reading, writing and maths.
Her report stated: “Pupils in Key Stage 1 do not make good enough progress from their starting points and as a result many do not have the basic skills required in Key Stage 2.”
She recognised the work carried out to improve grammar, punctuation and spelling in Key Stage 1 but said the focus on those areas had limited other aspects of writing.
Looking at the behaviour of the pupils, Ms McCarthy said the youngsters were polite and interested in talking to visitors. While attendance levels had been below the national average, she acknowledged this was improving thanks to “persistent efforts” from Ms Park and her team.
In a statement, a school spokesman said they were pleased the inspection recognised key strengths such as leadership and behaviour.
The spokesman added: “The report identifies the strengths and improvements made at Key Stage 2 – high expectations, good teaching and the close monitoring of standards – with pupils now making good progress.
“The school’s leadership has already started to use these strategies at Key Stage 1 and for early years to ensure that the school will be rated good at the next inspection.”
To read the report in full, log on to the Ofsted website.
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