‘Good’ school needs to improve


A Nelson primary school which was classed as “good” by Ofsted inspectors in 2011 has now been found to require improvement.

A team which visited St John Southworth RC Primary School last month found that standards in Year 6 were below average and progress was slow.

The quality of teaching in Key Stage 2 was said to be not always good enough, which hampered the progress of some pupils.

“Not enough pupils reach the higher levels in English or mathematics by the end of Year 6.

“Pupils are not enabled to develop their numeracy skills fully by using them to solve mathematical investigations,” the inspectors said in their report.

“Pupils in Key Stage 2 are behind others in reading, spelling, punctuation and grammar.”

The inspectors, however, acknowledge that the school has a new leadership team whose members are still gaining the experience an d skills required to remove the inconsistencies in teaching.

They said: “Leaders and governors manage staff well and are reducing the underperformance in Key Stage 2.

“The school is steadily improving and is well placed to continue to do so.

“The quality of teaching at Key Stage 2 is improving as staffing disruptions diminish. The commitment of the teaching assistant team is commendable.”

In order to improve further, the inspectors recommend the school to improve the quality of teaching so that it is consistently good or better by making better use of all available information about what pupils already know and can do to make sure work is at the right level to stretch the most able.

It is also urged to develop the leadership skills of the new middle leaders in order to sustain the current rapid improvement in progress, strengthen the school’s strategy for boosting the progress of the most able pupils across the school and support teaching assistants in their desire to develop their skills so as to be better able to help pupils reach their potential.