THE BATTLE to improve Ofsted took a backward step today as one of the borough’s primary schools was downgraded by Ofsted.
Somers Heath primary has been rated as “Requires Improvement” by the government watchdog.
The school was placed in special measures in 2009 but rose to a rating of Good in 2011 under the stewardship of head, Kevin Imber.
But now a critical report threatens to keep the boroughs schools mired in the relegation zone, nationally.
Among the criticisms are:
1. Teaching in the Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 does not consistently help all pupils make good progress in every subject.
2. Teaching does not ensure that the most-able pupils reach the higher levels of attainment at the end of Year 2 and Year 6.
3. Teaching does not ensure that pupils consistently attain the reading and writing skills they need to progress well in their secondary schools.
4. The teaching of the sounds letters make is not consistently good enough to help all pupils read books confidently or spell words correctly.
5 Teachers do not provide enough opportunities to investigate and learn enquiry skills in science lessons. Pupil’s progress in science is not good enough.
6. Senior leaders do not focus rigorously or urgently enough on improving the quality of teaching to make sure that all of it is good.
7. Pupils have too few opportunities to learn new skills and knowledge in art, history and geography.
8. Governors do not check or challenge the school’s progress well enough.
The report does highlight the following good points:
1. Most pupils make good progress in mathematics.
2. Most pupils make good progress from Year 3 to Year 6 in reading, writing and mathematics where teaching is consistently good.
3. Pupils behave well in classrooms, the dining room and playground. They enjoy school and try their best in lessons. The headteacher sets the tone of respect and care which permeates the school.
Council bosses appear to have developed a mantra that primary school standards are on the up but the Ofsted reports from the last eleven months make grim reading.
Since Tudor Court received a Good rating in May the reports are as follows:
Little Thurrock, St Josephs, East Tilbury, Lansdowne Academy, Horndon-on-the-Hill and Somers Heath.