Give pupils more brisk lessons, Ofsted tells infants school

A SCHOOL has been told to conduct lessons at a more “brisk pace” after it was downgraded by Government inspectors.

Clarkson Infants School had previously been rated as a “good” school by Ofsted after it was described as “a very well run and happy school with high standards”.

But it may now be subject to more regular monitoring inspections after it fell from a Grade Two to a Grade Three “satisfactory” in an inspection report released this month (February 2012).

Lead inspector Nick Butt said: “While more able pupils make satisfactory progress overall, tasks do not always challenge them sufficiently to achieve well.

“Pupils said that they find their lessons interesting, although occasionally the work can be too easy. This view was supported by inspection findings that more-able pupils are not always challenged sufficiently.”

His main recommendations to the governing body and head teacher Mike English are to “raise standards and achievement in writing” and “ensure most teaching is good or better by conducting all lessons at a brisk pace”.

He also implored the Trafford Road school to “improve the effectiveness of leadership and management” by refining their educational attainment tracking systems and observing lessons to monitor quality of teaching.

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“While all key subject leaders monitor planning and pupils’ work, those who are class-based are not always able to find the time to observe lessons to deepen their overview of the quality of teaching and learning across the school and give advice,” Mr Butt said.

“The governing body has not always had the data it needed to ask searching questions of senior leaders and this is being remedied by the changes to the tracking system.”

In a letter to pupils, Mr Butt said: “Clarkson is a satisfactory school and is improving all the time.

“Your behaviour is good and you have a good understanding of how to keep safe. You find lessons interesting and are very keen to take an active part in them. The school cares for you well if you are having difficulties.

“We have asked the school to improve further by making sure the work is not too easy for you and keeping you on your toes the whole time.”