A short Ofsted Inspection of Beech Grove Primary School on 9th January has recorded no change to the overall effectiveness grade of ‘Good’ for the school but has identified priorities for improvement.
Published on 5th February the report acknowledges that ‘standards of teaching and behaviour and pupils’ outcomes in writing and mathematics declined for a period following the previous inspection. Staff morale fell and parents and carers raised concerns about the quality of education at the school.’
Claire Joyce, the Acting Head Teacher, is recognised as having “worked tirelessly alongside the acting deputy headteacher to redress shortcomings” and “arrest any further decline”. The report states, “Your systematic approach is ensuring that more pupils are receiving good teaching. You are using the high-quality teaching that exists in the school as an effective model for other teachers.”
It adds, “Your actions are leading to better teaching and learning, but you are aware much more improvement is needed.”
Reference is made to the “stronger gains in knowledge, skill and understanding made by disadvantaged pupils” and improvements in pupils’ attitudes to learning.
The implementation of new approaches to the teaching of mathematics following the levels of achievement measured at the end of Key Stage 2 in 2017 is recognised but “monitoring has not yet focused on the learning and progress made by different groups of pupils.”
The teaching of reading and writing is also mentioned: “The teaching of phonics lacks precision and teachers do not notice when pupils pronounce sounds incorrectly. Pupils lack confidence when segmenting sounds to spell more complex words. On occasions, their poor letter formation and presentation leads to spelling errors that teachers do not address.”
The report concludes by identifying the steps the school should take before the next full inspection:
“Leaders and those responsible for governance should ensure that:
The quality and consistency of teaching improve to match the best in the school by:
– raising teachers’ expectations of what pupils can achieve
– improving teachers’ subject knowledge and ensuring that they use it to plan activities that build effectively on pupils’ knowledge, skills and understanding
– ensuring that the teaching of phonics is technically precise, and that suitable activities help older pupils develop their comprehension skills more fully.
The quality of leadership and management improves by:
– ensuring that monitoring places a sharper focus on the progress of groups – using the findings from monitoring effectively to improve the quality of teaching and the curriculum – developing the skills of middle leaders so they can play a greater part in securing improvement – governors holding leaders firmly to account for the progress pupils make.”
The full report can be found on the Ofsted website.