Troubled Nelson primary school on the mend - OFSTED report

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ofsted inspectors who visited a Nelson primary school last month have found it to be no longer in need of significant improvement.

The team of four sat in on 23 lessons and observed 15 teachers during their visit to Walverden Primary School and reported “there are very clear signs it is improving securely”.

The previous inspection in March last year had found significant improvements were needed in achievement and attainment in English and maths and attendance levels were also below standard. It was given notice to improve.

In her report on last month’s inspection, lead inspector Marie Cordey said: “Pupils make satisfactory progress which is improving quickly, although their attainment is low by the time they leave school at the end of Year 6.

“Leaders and the governing body, with the support of the local authority, have rigorously tackled weaknesses in teaching, set more challenging targets and systematically tracked the progress of individual pupils towards meeting these targets.

“As a result, the quality of teaching has improved and is now good and underpinning the rapidly improving progress. It is enabling pupils to overcome a legacy of low attainment and make much faster progress.

“Consequently, attainment in Years 3, 4 and 5 has risen significantly and is now on track to be average by the end of Key Stage 2.

“Attainment in Year 6 has also risen rapidly but overall remains low because these pupils have had to close the biggest gaps in their learning.

“Pupils enjoy coming to school and their attendance has improved significantly. The school’s effective strategies and the actions of the family support officer have been instrumental in bringing this about.”

The report says the school needs to raise attainment further by focusing more sharply on improving pupils’ skills in spelling, punctuation and grammar and their application of mathematical knowledge.