Monday, December 5, 2022

Purfleet primary on the right track

PURFLEET primary continued to show promising signs of improvement after a recent inspection by Ofsted.

The school was given “Notice to improve” by Ofsted in 2011.

In July, Ofsted visited the school on Tank Hill Road to assess whether any progress has been made.

The latest report makes the following observations:

1. Since the last inspection, there have been substantial changes in staffing. This has resulted in the appointment of 11 new teachers for the start of the next academic year. Five newly-qualified teachers have been appointed.

2. The number of disabled pupils and those with special educational needs continues to rise to above average proportions. Mobility in and out of the school other than at expected times remains high.

3.The school is making satisfactory progress in addressing the issues for improvement and in raising the pupils’ achievement.

4.Pupils’ achievement, particularly in reading and writing across the school, is improving. Standards in English and mathematics are improving and are closing the gap on previous underachievement, although overall they remain below national averages.

5. Standards amongst the higher levels reached by Year 6 have risen by 15 per cent, and the average level achieved has also increased by 15 per cent. Pockets of satisfactory and good progress across the rest of the school in writing, spelling and handwriting, are ensuring that standards and achievement in English are moving in the right direction.

6.The progress made in mathematics has also increased by 15 per cent but because this progress started from a lower starting point the standards achieved are not as high as they are in English.

7.Pupils are starting to take a more active part in reviewing their own work, although this varies from year to year. Improvement has been supported through a number of initiatives including a thorough review of the curriculum. There has been an increased emphasis on the teaching of basic skills including the teaching of letters and sounds (phonics) and pupils are consistently encouraged to apply their sounding-out skills to help spell difficult words and improve their reading and writing.

8. One-to-one tuition has also supported pupils’ achievement in both English and mathematics. The school ensures that disabled pupils, those with special educational needs and those who speak English as an additional language, make similar progress to their peers.

9. Half-termly pupil progress meetings held by the senior leadership team, along with a more robust analysis of assessment and tracking data, ensure that the progress of individual pupils is more rigorously monitored and reviewed. Support is then appropriately deployed where it is most needed. This is resulting in the more successful progress across the school.

10. The quality of teaching is improving, despite the considerable number of changes within staffing. Some year groups have experienced three different teachers in the last seven months due to difficulties in recruiting and retention. Teachers’ expectations have been raised through both training and the introduction of clearly laid-out expectations for all staff, including work on planning, challenge, differing teaching styles and sharing good practice. More rigorous monitoring of lessons by the headteacher and senior leadership team, and involvement from the governing body,are having a positive effect on improvement.

11.While the number of good lessons seen is increasing, there are still a significant number of satisfactory lessons. Pupils in some year groups are much clearer about what the aims of the lessons are and how they can improve their work. But this is inconsistent between classes and year groups. The introduction of a more systematic structure to marking, and recently introduced target setting in English and mathematics, means that pupils are clear about what they are aiming to achieve. Where teachers keep a robust eye on these targets and regularly review them progress is increasing at a faster pace.

12. The local authority, together with an external consultant, as part of the implementation of the statement of action and action plan, provide effective support for the school. Inspection evidence shows that this additional, focused support has been effective in improving the quality of teaching. This external support, the more rigorous monitoring and evaluation, the head teacher’s drive and enthusiasm and the continued and astute support of the governing body, has helped the school to raise its own internal capacity to improve.

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