Inspection at Marshland Primary and Nursery School shows “reasonable progress” being made


Ofsted - Credit: Archant

A school which was considered to have “serious weaknesses” after an Ofsted inspection in January is on the road to recovery.

A monitoring inspection at Marshland St James VC Primary School and Nursery found the school, which will become an academy in September, is making “reasonable progress”.

In January, the school was criticised for pupils’ level of achievement and the quality of the teaching. Since then, steps have been taken to tackle these issues, with encouraging results.

Inspector Kim Hall said: “Leaders have raised pupils’ achievement in reading, writing and mathematics, and predictions for end of key stage assessments show an improvement on last year.

“Leaders have rightly focused efforts on raising the achievement of the pupils and the local authority has externally verified the school’s assessments. There is now more rigorous tracking of individual achievement across the school.

“The behaviour of pupils has improved. Teachers are focusing on helping them acquire positive learning behaviours and the pupils are responding well.

“They are developing improved attitudes to learning and, as a result, are more willing to persevere with their activities and participate in lessons. They are polite and move calmly around the school.

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“There has been some progress in the leading of teaching. From the evidence seen in lessons, pupils are experiencing a wider range of activities. They are more enthusiastic about their learning as a result.”

To progress further, the school needs to challenge its most-able pupils more, particularly in mathematics, and improve teaching in the early years.

The inspector said: “The school and governors’ plans for improvement are not effectively aligned. As a consequence, school improvement is not cohesive and results in too many actions that are not precise enough to secure rapid school improvements.

“Subject leaders are not given time to monitor and evaluate teaching, and so some inadequate practices still remain. The marking in mathematics at Key Stage 1 does not help pupils make progress. It does not give precise help to pupils as to how they can improve their work.

“In Key Stage 1, opportunities for assessment of pupils’ learning in mathematics are not being used as effectively as Key Stage 2 to accurately provide activities that help the most-able make enough progress.

“In the early years, not enough is expected of pupils so opportunities for them to develop their enthusiasm in learning are too few.”