Wednesday, 28 July 2021

New head celebrates Ofsted improvement

THE headteacher of a Henley school is delighted after its Ofsted rating improved just 14 months after she took charge.

THE headteacher of a Henley school is delighted after its Ofsted rating improved just 14 months after she took charge.

Badgemore Primary School, in Hop Gardens, has been judged ?good? by the education watchdog following an inspection.

The school?s last inspection report, issue two years ago, said it ?required improvement?.

Headteacher Jacky Steele said: ?I?m delighted because everybody has worked so hard for this.

?The previous report was hard for the school, hard for the whole community, and it was a shock for the governing body.

?When I got here in April 2014 the staff were exhausted and demoralised. The children needed a leader, somebody to come and see what needed doing. It was a mammoth task and there wasn?t time to faff about. I knew it was a big ask but that it was possible to get it done in a short space of time.

?Every single member of staff was utterly behind me from the word go. They all demonstrated elements of outstanding practice in the inspection. I?m delighted for them and for me that?s one of the most pleasing things because they have worked so hard.?

In her report, inspector Jeanie Jovanova said: ?The highly skilled headteacher, ably supported by an effective governing body, has successfully improved the quality of teaching and pupils? achievement so that they are now good.

?The headteacher has established a thriving and committed learning community in which everyone plays their part to produce increasingly strong outcomes for pupils. Staff have embraced new training and higher expectations and good quality teaching is now the norm.?

She said that a number of pupils in each class showed ?outstanding behaviour for learning through their exemplary attitudes and exceptionally high levels of engagement?.

Ms Steele said that when she arrived the attitude towards learning was ?questionable?.

Now there were clear objectives running through the curriculum. ?I provided training for grammar because our grammar results were absolutely dire,? she said. ?Every single staff meeting was a training opportunity and we had two meetings a week.?

She also overhauled the school?s behaviour policy and introduced a new system with clear rewards and sanctions and revamped the marking and feedback policy.

She also bought resources, including books for the school library.

?Children used to cry when they were asked to read, now they love it,? said Mrs Steele. ?The kids work hard and their behaviour is exemplary and I want people to see that.?

Mike Lewin, chairman of governors, said: ?Jacky joined us only 14 months ago and in that time she has achieved an amazing turnaround.

?On behalf of the governors, I would like to pay the fullest tribute to her drive and dedication to achieve that level. Because of Jacky the rest of the school team has fallen into place.?

He added: ?We?re not going to rest on our laurels ? our aim is that the school should become ?outstanding? within the next three years.?

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