School left on a high

PUBLISHED: 10:33 08 February 2008 | UPDATED: 08:20 02 June 2010

Earnest youngsters in their successful group at Marshland High School.

Earnest youngsters in their successful group at Marshland High School.

THE science department of a Fenland secondary school is this week celebrating the results of its Ofsted report. Government inspectors praised Marshland High School, which earned specialist status for its science facilities in 2005, but say there is room

“Well we could try it this way!” – but did it work?

THE science department of a Fenland secondary school is this week celebrating the results of its Ofsted report.

Government inspectors praised Marshland High School, which earned specialist status for its science facilities in 2005, but say there is room for improvement in specific areas.

The report rated the overall quality of teaching and learning as 'good' and highlighted the department's work with science projects with local primary schools.

"Evaluations from the primary schools of the value they place on this outreach involvement are very positive and are reflected in the good attitude towards science demonstrated by Year 7 pupils," said inspectors.

Marshland, which has 807 pupils, was the only school in Norfolk and one in 20 schools randomly selected for this department-specific Ofsted inspection.

Education officers added: "The department now has a set of teachers and technicians who work very well together and who provide a dynamic mix of experience and new thinking."

But the report stressed that 'relatively few students reach the highest grades in their GCSE examinations' and suggested further areas of development.

These include:

n Helping students who lack a natural interest in science.

n Finding extra support in science lessons.

n Developing students' investigation skills.

n Tracking the progress of students with special educational needs because of rural deprivation and poverty.

Headteacher Matthew Parr-Burman, who took over in September, said: "I am delighted with the findings in the report.

"Inspectors are particularly pleased with how we are using our specialist status funding: all classrooms have interactive white boards and our science staff teach in local primary schools to help youngsters move to secondary education.

"We are also looking at the areas which need improvement with the funding we have available. One option is bringing in a specialist science teaching assistant.

"We are due a full Ofsted inspection in the next few years and these departmental findings will help develop our future.

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