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Tuesday, 23 December 2014

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West Cumbrian head pledges action to improve standards

The headteacher of a Whitehaven primary ordered to improve said they are working with other schools and action is underway.

Paula Skelly photo
Paula Skelly

Her comments came after Ofsted ruled that standards at Moor Row Primary have dropped, as it was rated as good on its previous inspection. It has been told to now work on improving the achievement of its pupils, the quality of teaching as well as the leadership and management.

Headteacher Paula Skelly said that “action has already been taken” and that the school was working with two others to “learn from them”.

She added that while others may see the Ofsted as a bad report, the school is building on its strengths and will continue to improve to become a good school.

“The inspection highlighted some issues we need to address but it also picked up on a lot of the positives the school has,” said Ms Skelly. “I am pleased with how the quality of teaching is noted as improving and Ofsted picked up on how well we are doing in maths.”

Ofsted inspector Naomi Taylor said achievement was “variable between year groups and across subjects”.

According to the report, last year pupils’ progress in year two was behind the national average for reading and writing, as was phonics development in year one. Although, it added, the head has now “rightly invested in phonics training and new resources. Current pupils are on track to do well in phonics”.

Pupils “make good progress in mathematics and are above national average by the time they leave”.

The quality of teaching requires improvement and the report states “expectations of what the pupils can achieve are not always high enough” and the most-able pupils are not challenged.

While pupils’ work is regularly marked there “is an inconsistency in the quality of written advice... particularly in Key Stage One”.

The behaviour and safety of pupils is good with older children taking on playground responsibilities.

Ms Taylor said the management needs to provide more opportunities across all subjects for pupils to use numeracy and literacy.

Also she suggests the governors need to be more involved with the school.

As the school requires improvement, it will receive a full inspection within two years. Schools rated good or outstanding have inspections every four years.

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