Ofsted praise Nelson primary school for ‘fresh start’

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A MORE settled staffing regime at a Nelson primary school has seen improvements in teaching and learning, Ofsted inspectors say in a report this week.

The team which visited St Philip’s CE Primary School last month said the ambition and drive of headteacher Mrs Kathryn Ellidge, supported by two new assistant heads, had created a united team of staff that is fully behind the fresh start being made.

Rating the school as satisfactory, the inspection team said: “Parents, carers, pupils and staff are justified in their perception that the school’s fresh start has produced improvements in teaching and learning.

“Senior leaders are focused on targeting resources and professional development effectively in the pursuit of increasing the proportion of good teaching.

“However, senior leaders recognise that while teaching is satisfactory overall, further improvement is needed to sustain the increasing rate of pupils’ progress and learning. Because senior leaders have taken action based on accurate self-evaluation, the school is recovering quickly from a dip in its performance.

“Determined leadership ensures pupils’ personal qualities, such as behaviour, remain positive features of the school. The way in which pupils contribute to school life and assume responsibilities within the Pendle Pupils’ Parliament, for example, is excellent.

“Their keenness and commitment to learning, their willingness to join in and confidently express their opinions, result from the good care and support they receive and from the school’s many successful partnerships. Leadership, including that provided by the newly-formed senior team, which includes two assistant headteachers, is working on the right lines to improve the school. Advances in the Early Years Foundation Stage that began last year are now being refined.

“As a result, children’s learning is satisfactory with some good aspects in the basics of reading and maths. However, adults often do a little too much for the children, who lack enough opportunities to develop their own play activities and the confidence to communicate their own ideas.

“Overall the school’s capacity to improve is satisfactory rather than good because despite indications of good improvement, too little time has elapsed to demonstrate these improvements are embedded fully and are being sustained.”