Who is Ofsted and What do Ofsted do?
Ofsted is the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills. Ofsted report directly to Parliament and are independent and impartial. Ofsted inspect and regulate services which care for children and young people, and those providing education and skills for learners of all ages.
The aim of all this work is to promote improvement and value for money in the services we inspect and regulate, so that children and young people, parents and carers, adult learners and employers benefit.
King William Street Church of England Primary School was last inspected in March 2015. Although the inspectors recognised the very many positive features of the school they judged that it required improvement in certain key areas in order to regain its “Good” category.
The report praised King William Street’s leaders and governors for being “determined to make the school as good as it can be” but stated that planning needed to be more focused on improvement. Although most pupils achieve in line with national expectations some able pupils, some disadvantaged pupils and some boys do not make as much progress as the inspectors believe they should.
The inspectors also reported a number of strengths.
- the curriculum provides a wide range of interesting experiences for pupils and helps them develop their understanding of the wider world;
- recent improvements in marking methods are providing pupils with good guidance on how to improve their work;
- Early Years provision was judged as “Good”;
- new pupils settle into school quickly and make good progress;
- staff take especially sensitive care of disabled children and those with special learning needs;
- the nurturing feel of the school, created through its wide-ranging curriculum, respectful environment and foundation on Christian values;
- pupils were praised for their good behaviour, which supported their learning.
The inspectors noted that pupils were proud of their school, telling them, “This school is one of a kind”. They also noted that the school was much appreciated by parents. A typical comment made to them and cited in the report was: “The school is brilliant; my child has been given really good support for his needs and is making good progress.”
In response to the Ofsted report we have begun to implement of a series of measures to address the specific areas which were deemed to require improvement. The Governing body has also implemented improvements in its monitoring and reporting processes to ensure its actions are even more focused on improving the achievement and progress of all pupils.
Importantly, Ofsted recognised that the school’s leaders “demonstrate the capacity to secure improvement in the school”. In order to successfully achieve our objectives we will be working hard to address those areas which require improvement, while maintaining our existing high standards in other areas. Our hope is that the school will be re-inspected within the next eighteen months and that we will at least regain our overall designation of “Good”.
Since our inspection a HMI has undertaken a monitoring visit which stated that ‘senior leaders and governors are taking effective action’ and shared the vision that the school would be good at the next inspection. The HMI identified that the Headteacher is sharply focused on improving the quality of teaching of mathematics and has already introduced strategies to deepen pupil’s mathematical understanding which is helping children to use and apply the skills they know more effectively. Work in books showed that the teachers are stretching and challenging children’s thinking and the gap is closing.
Improvements have also been made to writing which includes providing writing opportunities every day and planning styles which motivate and inspire boys in particular. The HMI Catherine Leahy found that work in the books also showed this improvement in both the quality and quantity of writing.
The children agreed that they liked being challenged more and agreed they were learning more. Staff are also very positive about the changes made.
Governors have also made changes. They visit the school regularly to ensure they are better informed and already are on their way to understanding their roles and responsibility.