'˜Popular and skilful' head sees his school rated '˜good'

The new term brought joy for one school after it was rated '˜good' by Ofsted for the first time since 2007.

Tuesday, 20th September 2016, 2:51 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 1:26 am
Headteacher David Tow, deputy heads Catherine Lewis and Sian Marham and pupils celebrate Broadfield Primary Academys good Ofsted rating

Broadfield East Junior School – which is now Broadfield Primary Academy – underwent a two-day inspection in July and the results were published on September 12.

The news was greeted with delight by school leaders, including headteacher David Tow, who was described by Ofsted as “relentless in his pursuit of excellence”.

He said: “We are absolutely delighted. We said we wanted to achieve was to get the school to ‘good’ as quickly as possible and when we got the report we were thrilled.”

During their visit, a team of inspectors, led by Simon Hughes, observed 24 lessons, met with parents, teachers and pupils and examined a wide range of school documents.

In his report, Mr Hughes described the behaviour of pupils in lessons and around the school as good and said they were “increasingly well prepared for their time in secondary school”.

He added: “The headteacher leads the school with skill, flair and good humour. Most parents say he has transformed the school since his appointment.”

His words were reflected by many of the 114 parents who responded to Ofsted’s Parent View questionnaire, with 95 per cent saying they would recommend the school to another parents and 97 per cent saying their children made good progress.

That progress was described as “strong” in every year group and in all subjects by Mr Hughes.

The new SATs results for the end of Key Stage 2 saw Year 6 pupils beat the national average in writing and maths, though their performance in reading was just below the national average.

Their combined scores for all subjects were broadly in line with the national figures.

Disadvantaged pupils and those with special educational needs were found to be making faster progress than their peers “due to exceptionally strong support work”. Mr Hughes also said of the most able pupils: “In the last two years, their passion for learning has been ignited and they want to learn more and faster.”

The provision for the most able children was one of the points highlighted for further improvement by Mr Hughes, who said: “In some lessons, even now, they find the work too easy.” Mr Tow confirmed the Kemnal Academies Trust (TKAT), which runs the school, had also identified that point and added: “We see teaching children as building a house and, when we take on a tough school, we need to keep on building the house and filling the foundations.

“Now we’re in a position that we can start to really stretch the able children.”

Praising his staff for their work over the past two years, Mr Tow said they had been “invaluable in this journey” and that, when he took over at Broadfield, the school had been described as “free-falling into disaster”.

He added: “I have to take my hat off to the governors, teaching staff and the teaching assistants who have worked their socks off.”

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