Nelson primary school ‘requires improvement’ say inspectors

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ofsted inspectors who visited a Nelson primary school last month have said it “requires improvement” in a report published this week.

The three-strong team found Castercliff Community Primary School in Marsden Hall Road North had a number of strengths, which included providing exceptionally good care for its pupils, who behaved well and were eager to learn.

But they also said the school required improvement and could not be classed as good because:

l Although pupils’ attainment at Key Stage 2 has improved over the last four years, it remains below national averages in reading, writing and maths.

l Increasing numbers of pupils are making good progress, but progress across the school and in different subjects is not consistently strong.

l A lot of teaching is good, but it is not consistently so in all classes and subjects.

l Teaching and marking of pupils’ work do not always help pupils understand what they need to do to make progress.

l Actions taken by senior leaders have not yet led to enough improvement in teaching to make it consistently good, nor to all pupils making sufficiently rapid progress.

In their report, the inspectors graded the behaviour and safety of pupils as good, but said the achievement of pupils, the quality of teaching and leadership and management all required improvement.

They said the school needed to improve achievement in reading, writing and maths by:

l Ensuring phonics are taught systematically.

l Precise teaching of grammar, spelling and punctuation to improve the structure of pupils’ written work.

l Providing more opportunities for pupils to write at length and in different subjects; systematic teaching of skills in maths.

l Providing more opportunities for pupils to apply their skills in maths to problem solving.

Improvements in the consistency of teaching so all of it is good or better should be made by:

l Continuing to share good and outstanding elements of teaching that already exist.

l Making sure, in lessons, that pupils always know exactly what is expected of them to make progress.

l Using marking more effectively to provide precise guidance for pupils on how to improve their work and giving pupils opportunities to respond to this.

l Ensuring teaching assistants are always used as effectively as they are in the best lessons to support pupils’ learning.

On leadership and management, improvements should be made by:

l Monitoring the quality of teaching and learning over time more rigorously to ensure its consistency.

l Building on the existing accurate assessment of pupils’ achievement in order to bring about more rapid progress for pupils and raise attainment further.