School is improving, say Ofsted

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OFSTED inspectors who visited Barrowford Primary School last month have given it an improved “good” rating.

The Rushton Street primary school was ranked as “satisfactory” at its last inspecton in February last year, but the latest report says the majority of the 313 pupils across the school are now making good progress relative to their starting points.

The report also praises teaching standards, saying lessons are carefully planned to appeal to pupil interests and delivered with great enthusiasm.

The individual needs of pupils are met well, says the report. For example, “The Place” is a well-staffed nurture room that provides a welcoming and supportive environment for pupils and also their families when required. The more able pupils are regularly provided with opportunities to extend their learning. Pupils who are disabled or who have a statement of special educational needs make good progress due to accurate assessment and monitoring.

“Pupils have very positive attitudes towards learning. They feel that they make a valuable contribution to the school and that their views are listened to and acted upon. Pupils feel safe. Attendance is avearage but improving,” says the report.

“The headteacher has a strong vision and aspiration for the school. She is well-supported by a governing body that provides consistent challenge and support. The staff are united in the drive for school improvement.”

But the report says the school has not achieved “outstanding” status because:

l The proportion of pupils making and exceeding expected progress from their starting points is not yet high in comparison to national data.

l Teaching is good. However, there are occasions when a few teachers do not always provide sufficient challenge for all abillity groups during whole class teaching. This is because they do not effectively use information on how pupils are progressing.

lMiddle leaders are not yet involved enough in monitoring their subjects. They do not have a sufficiently sharp overview of attainment and progress in their areas of responsibility. This prevents them from contributing more fully to the drive for further improvements in standards in their subjects.