A primary school in Portslade has been given an improved report by Ofsted, the government’s official education watchdog.
St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, in Church Road, Portslade, has been rated as good – the second best out of four grades – up from “requires improvement”.
Since the last inspection in September 2012 the school has appointed new head teacher Sarah Clayton.
Two Oftsed inspectors visited the school for two days in April. In their report, published on Friday 16 May, they said: “In this average-sized primary school, the proportion of pupils who come from minority ethnic backgrounds is above average and the proportion speaking English as an additional language is well above average.”
The inspectors said that the school was good because
- Pupils’ achievement in reading, writing and mathematics is improving. Pupils make good progress from starting points which are often low and reach standards which are average by the end of Year 6.
- The new headteacher has been highly effective in raising the expectations of staff and pupils. She has inspired self-confidence and ambition in both.
- Governors and leaders at all levels work as a team and have been successful in improving the quality of teaching and raising standards.
- Teaching is generally good and an increasing amount is outstanding. Teachers and teaching assistants work well together to provide pupils with interesting activities and high-quality resources.
- Pupils say they enjoy school and feel secure. The school cares for pupils very well and works effectively to keep them safe.
- The school’s strong values and Christian ethos underpin the very positive learning environment. Pupils are well behaved and show consideration for others.
They said St Mary’s was not yet an outstanding school because
- There is not enough outstanding teaching and a small amount requires improvement.
- Occasionally, teaching does not challenge pupils appropriately, particularly the most able pupils.
- Teachers do not always clarify, including through marking, what pupils must do to improve their work.
- Not all teachers and teaching assistants use questioning skilfully enough in lessons to develop pupils’ understanding.
To read the full report, click here.
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