Wisbech St Mary school warned to improve by inspectors as pupils skills are ‘well below national average’

Wisbech St Mary school warned to improve by inspectors - but rapid progress is being made. Picture:

Wisbech St Mary school warned to improve by inspectors - but rapid progress is being made. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

A Fenland school has been warned to improve by inspectors after pupils reading, writing and maths is “well below the national average”.

Wisbech St Mary Church of England Academy was inspected by Ofsted at the beginning of July.

The school was ranked as 'requiring improvement' overall, particularly in leadership, management and outcomes for pupils.

The inspection came almost at the end of headteacher Jaynie Lynch's first year in charge.

"The legacy of weaker teaching has left significant gaps in pupils knowledge and understanding," inspector Jenny Carpenter said.

However, it was noted that there was "high expectations" for the school, with Ms Lynch leading with "passion and determination".

"She has empowered leaders and rapid improvement is being made," the report added.

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"Leaders are developing an exciting curriculum."

But the education watchdog noted that the quality of teaching was "inconsistent".

The report, by inspector Ms Carpenter, continued: "There are gaps in some pupils' knowledge and understanding.

"In 2018, pupils' attainment at the end of key stage 2 in reading, writing and mathematics combined was well below the national average."

"The quality of teaching, learning and assessment is too variable."

The report stated that not all teachers have "high enough expectations of what pupils can achieve, which limits their progress".

"This means that pupils do not have the language skills to explain their thinking," Ms Carpenter continued.

Similarly teachers do not build successfully on pupils' early reading skills and older pupils do not read widely to "develop their fluency and enjoyment of reading".

However, the inspectors found "a nurturing environment supports pupils' good behaviour and positive attitudes to learning".

Quality of teaching, learning and assessment, personal development and early years provision was ranked as good.

"Children make a good start to their education in the newly extended early years provision," it added.

The school has been part of the Diocese of Ely Multi-Academy Trust since September 2016.

It was noted that they are also providing "effective support" for the recent "rapid improvement of the school".

The school has 183 children on the school roll aged from two to 11.