A Brighton primary school requires improvement, according to inspectors from the government’s official education watchdog Ofsted.
St Mark’s Church of England Primary School, in Manor Road, Brighton, was given the second lowest rating out of four in a report published on Monday (3 June).
The school was previously rated good in a report published in November 2015 – the second best of the four verdicts reached by Ofsted.
At the latest inspection, which took place last month, inspectors said that “early years provision” at the school was good.
Oftsed said: “This is a school that requires improvement. Pupils’ outcomes are not good enough. Too many pupils are making insufficient progress from their starting points.
“Leaders have recently made a number of changes to improve the way reading, writing and mathematics are taught across the school.
“While these changes are beginning to impact positively on pupils’ progress, too many gaps in pupils’ skills and knowledge remain.
“The leadership team does not yet consistently make an impact on raising standards.
“Improvement plans do not focus sharply enough on developing the skills of leaders.
“Frequently, teaching does not adequately challenge pupils in their learning. This is particularly the case for the most able pupils.
“Pupils’ behaviour and attitudes to learning are inconsistent. When teaching does not meet the needs of all pupils, some pupils lose concentration and disrupt learning.
“The school has the following strengths. Leaders and governors have a comprehensive understanding of the school’s strengths and weaknesses. They acknowledge that pupils’ progress has not always been good enough.
“Leadership in the early years is good. Children make strong progress from their starting points. Disadvantaged pupils make strong progress from their starting points.
“The special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCo) ensures that provision for pupils with special progress.
“Pupils’ personal development and welfare is good. Relationships between school staff and pupils is a strength of the school. Leaders ensure that pupils are given many opportunities to develop their emotional resilience and well-being.”
Oftsed added: “What does the school need to do to improve further? Improve the effectiveness of leaders by ensuring that the skills of all leaders are sufficiently developed so that they can fulfil their roles with consistent effectiveness (and) all leaders are clear about school priorities and understand precisely what needs to be done to bring about rapid improvement.”
The report said that there was a need to improve the quality of teaching to accelerate pupils’ progress in key stage 1 and key stage 2 by
- ensuring that all pupils, including the most able, are sufficiently challenged in English and mathematics
- making sure that teachers provide adequate opportunities for pupils in key stage 2 to develop the more complex skills in reading, for example inference and deduction
- ensuring that teachers plan effectively to address gaps in pupils’ knowledge in writing, so that pupils can independently apply the core skills expected for their age
- providing regular opportunities for pupils to apply their fluency skills in problem solving and reasoning tasks, so that pupils’ understanding is deepened in mathematics
- ensuring that teachers use assessment to inform their planning so that lessons routinely meet the needs of all pupils in English and mathematics
It added that the school should “improve pupils’ behaviour by eradicating low-level disruption in lessons”.
Read the full Ofsted report here.
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