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.
On 6th July 2018, Jonathan Dyer HMI visited our school for a monitoring visit. Please note this was not a full Ofsted inspection and so our grade couldn't be changed to ‘Good’ but it was an invaluable chance to speak to an inspector about the progress we have made and also test our preparedness for our full inspection which should take place sometime next year. I am pleased to say that the monitoring inspection was very successful- Jonathan Dyer HMI agreed that ‘Senior leaders and governors are taking effective action to tackle the areas requiring improvement identified in our previous Ofsted inspection in June 2017’.
In his letter which can be read below, Jonathan Dyer HMI identifies very clearly the improvements we have made in leadership, teaching and outcomes including:
- Senior leaders, staff and governors, are determined that pupils receive the best possible education while in the school.
- There is a shared focus on school improvement and what the school needs to do in order to be good at its next inspection.
- Pupils talk positively about the school. Older pupils, in particular, recognise the improvements that have been made and how these help them in their learning.
- Improvements have been made to the systems for monitoring the implementation of actions, as well as for measuring and recording success. This additional precision is providing a clearer picture of the impact actions are having on pupils’ outcomes.
- Governors are now holding leaders to account with greater rigour.
- Leaders are holding teachers and teaching assistants to account for both their performance and the impact they are having on pupils’ outcomes.
- Focused monitoring and a greater emphasis on professional dialogue are leading to a greater consistency in the quality of teaching, learning and assessment.
- All staff are actively involved in their own professional development, for example through sharing best practice with teachers across the Executive Strategic Partnership.
- The leaders of English and mathematics can demonstrate the impact they are having on the quality of teaching, learning and assessment and, consequently, pupils’ outcomes.
- The school’s revised approach to the teaching of reading is leading to greater proportions of pupils working at and above the expectations for their age.
- In mathematics, the school’s approach of ‘do it, use it, own it’ is now embedded across the school with well-planned activities proving effective at providing pupils with tasks which support, reinforce and deepen their conceptual understanding.
- Higher quality teaching is benefiting all pupils, and in particular disadvantaged pupils and those who have SEN and/or disabilities.
- The SENCo has established a system for monitoring the quality of provision, as well as the impact that planned interventions are having on pupils’ outcomes.
- Leaders ensure that support is effective in raising outcomes for the school’s most vulnerable pupils.
- Use of external support and challenge is continuing to raise the effectiveness of leadership and management, as well as the quality of teaching and, consequently, pupils’ outcomes.
In summary, the school is making very good progress in all areas so hopefully our next, full inspection should be a very successful one.
King William Street Church of England Primary School was last inspected in June 2017. Although the inspectors recognised the very many positive features of the school, for example that pupils’ achievement in mathematics has improved and that teaching and learning in year 2 and 6 is effective, they judged that the school still “requires improvement” in specific areas.
The report particularly focuses on improving writing and pupils who are disadvantaged or who have SEN making consistently good progress, but we are pleased that the report highlights the school’s many strengths. We are proud that:
- Mathematics teaching has improved and is effective with children tackling mathematical challenges keenly through our ‘do it, use it and own it’ approach.
- Year 1 phonics screening check is above the national average and is gradually rising.
- English as an additional language children are supported effectively in English and mathematics.
- Sports premium funding is used effectively.
- Attendance has improved as a result of leaders’ actions.
- Children are well cared for and safe within school because staff provide good levels of nurture and support meaning their emotional and social needs are well catered for.
- Children demonstrate positive attitudes to learning, try their best and present their work well.
- Children say bullying is rare.
- Peer mediators and play leaders make as significant contribution to school life because they sort out differences quickly and promote fitness and healthy activities at lunchtime.
- Our early years teaching remains good and provides a solid grounding for learning.
Following the last inspection senior leaders, middle leaders, staff members and governors have worked tirelessly in pursuit of school improvement. There has been significant improvement particularly in mathematics but as yet the work done throughout the school is still to be reflected in English, particularly writing. The inspector said ‘Leaders’ actions to improve mathematics teaching is proving effective.’ One of the key reasons for this is how quickly the school acted following the previous inspection. However similar efforts to improve outcomes in writing are taking longer to show impact.
Since the last inspection a plan for school improvement has been in place, but as the report details ‘Considerable staff changes have slowed the school’s improvement journey.’ With strong leadership and support for the new staff, the inspector identified that ‘the pace of improvement is quickening this year.’
In response to the recommendations made in this report, modifications to the teaching of writing were immediately taken to develop further the opportunities for the children to apply their spelling, punctuation, grammar and precise and ambitious vocabulary into their independent writing.