Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Badgemore heads promise to improve after latest Ofsted

BADGEMORE Primary School in Henley “requires improvement” according to education watchdog Ofsted. The latest rating equates to the former “satisfactory”

BADGEMORE Primary School in Henley “requires improvement” according to education watchdog Ofsted. The latest rating equates to the former “satisfactory” grade under the previous guidelines that were changed by the Government in September.

Last month’s inspection means the school, in Hop Gardens, has dropped a grade and is no longer considered “good” overall.

Inspectors say that pupils do not make enough progress and their grasp of English and maths by the time they leave the school is below average.

The report says: “In too many lessons, work is not matched closely enough to the different needs of pupils. The pace of learning is too slow in many lessons.

“Pupils are not given clear enough information about what they need to do to improve together with clear and attainable targets.

“Until recently, there has not been a strong enough focus by the leadership upon raising the achievement of pupils, especially on the part of the governing body.”

However, inspectors also said the school has improved in a number of areas.

The report says: “As a result of improvement in the management of teaching, teaching in the early years foundation stage is now consistently good. Pupils’ attainment at the end of year two has improved considerably over the last two years and this improvement is being sustained. Pupils’ achievement is now better in year six, especially in writing.

“Pupils behave well. Behaviour has improved considerably over the last few years as a result of a new behaviour policy that is followed consistently.

“Lower-attaining pupils in key stage two make more rapid progress than other pupils because of the support they receive.” It adds: “The provision for pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is strong.”

Mike Lewin, who will be chairman of governors at the school from September, said he was “really disappointed” with the report’s findings but pledged to improve.

He said: “The governors and I respect and accept its findings and it’s very clear to us what steps should now be taken in order to steer the school towards the higher grade it deserves.

“As chairman, it is my responsibility to address these issues directly, while instilling confidence in the parents, and recognising the already admirable commitment of staff.” His priorities are to allowing children to thrive, help make Badgemore a school that they, parents and staff are proud of and address the issues raised in the report “without delay” with a view to requesting another inspection “as soon as possible” to have its “good” grade reinstated.

Mr Lewin said: “By attaining these goals, we will once again be providing Badgemore’s children with everything they need to develop into valuable members of our local community.

“This is most important, and should always be a core value of the school.

“We very much look forward to working with the parents to ensure that Badgemore fulfils its amazing potential and becomes the school they and their children want it to be.”

Headteachers Lesley Crockett and Mel Caruthers sent a joint letter to parents.

The letter read: “There are many positive points within the report, of which we should be justly proud. These include our good performance in the foundation stage and key stage one described within the report as ‘consistently good’.

“We are the first school in Henley to be inspected under the new Ofsted framework. It is clear that judgements are now entirely focused on children’s attainment and progress in English and maths at the end of key stages one and two. Latest key stage two results indicate that we will exceed national expectations by at least 20 per cent in reading and maths. Progress from key stage one to key stage two will also be greater than expected.

“We are disappointed that the inspection process did not recognise the great work we are doing on engaging all students in a varied and vibrant curriculum, outdoor learning, modern foreign languages and extra-curricular activities.

“We are very grateful to you all for the positive responses to the ‘parent view’ questionnaire that formed part of the inspection. It is clear that you support us in the work we are doing and are happy with the school.”

They added: “Whilst this is a challenging time for the school these challenges will be met and overcome. It is also an exciting time as the school expands and its facilities are improved.”

Oxfordshire County Council is building a £430,000 extension at the school to incorporate a new school hall, kitchen and reception.

Two new classrooms will be provided by converting the current hall, staff room and kitchen.There are currently 77 pupils at the school but it will have a capacity of 228 following the extension.

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