More work is needed if The Orchards School in Wisbech is become ‘good’ says Ofsted inspector

Nicola Parker headteacher at the Orchards School in Wisbech

Nicola Parker headteacher at the Orchards School in Wisbech - Credit: Archant

Senior leaders and governors at the Orchards School in Wisbech are still not taking effective action to improve the school.

A report by Kim Hall, an inspector from Ofsted, lists six actions that need to be taken to help the school become ‘good’.

Her report follows a second monitoring visit on March 18 to the school in Cherry Road since it was judged to require improvement following an inspection in May last year.

Ms Hall told headteacher Nicola Parker that action is needed to reduce inconsistency in the quality of teaching across the school so “pupils can make accelerated progress”.

Teachers also need to raise their expectations of pupils, especially in lower key stage 2, and to plan learning “more precisely so pupils can achieve more”.


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Consistency is needed in giving pupils feedback, which also needs to be precise and specific, so pupils know how to improve their work and presentation.

Support staff need to be more effectively used throughout lessons to help accelerate pupils’ progress, particularly those children who speak English as an additional language.

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Leaders need to consistently use the systems to monitor and tackle poor teaching rigorously and governors need to receive training and support so they understand their roles and responsibilities when conducting visits.

This will enable them to increase their level of “effective challenge”.

Ms Hall said staff changes - one teacher has left since the last monitoring visit - and another is on maternity leave - have also had an impact.

She said: “The capacity of the senior leadership team has been affected as a result, with the deputy headteacher now teaching a Year 6 class full time. Although you have plans in place to address this, these will not be in effect until September 2016.

“This is impacting on the overall capacity of leadership, giving the headteacher too much to do. The local authority now provides additional support. Representatives visit more regularly to assist with monitoring and evaluating the school’s performance. Although the impact of these visit is too early to assess.”

Ms Hall found that since the last monitoring visit there has been “much work” in English to provide organisation and a systematic approach to teaching phonics and early reading. “There are signs of a positive impact on pupils’ progress in Year 1.”

But she said: “As you acknowledge, the quality of teaching, learning and assessment remains inconsistent across the school, within year groups and in different subjects. As a result, the outcomes for all pupils are not rising quickly enough to ensure that the standard of education can be considered good and the next inspection.”

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