A Brighton primary school has retained its “good” rating after its first Ofsted inspection since 2017, according to a report published yesterday (Wednesday 22 March).
Coombe Road Primary School, in Milner Road, Brighton, was praised for the way that it helps pupils learn to read and the support that it gives children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
During the two-day inspection last month, lead inspector Nina Marabese met with school leaders and conducted “deep dives” into maths and physical education (PE).
She also observed pupil behaviour in lessons and spoke to them during class, play and lunchtime.
Her report said: “The SEND provision of this school is ambitious and highly effective. Leaders have trained staff to identify additional needs accurately. They know how to make appropriate changes to the curriculum so all pupils can keep up and achieve well.”
Staff were praised for spotting gaps in their learning of pupils who fell behind and for helping them catch up.
On children’s reading, the report said: “Staff are experts in phonics and teach pupils to read well. Teachers provide extra activities when they spot gaps in pupils’ reading knowledge so pupils can keep up and become confident fluent readers. Pupils love to read.
“Leaders have provided parents with workshops that help them to support their child to read. Pupils talk about books with enthusiasm and read a wide range of literature.”
The only area of fault was persistent absence which the inspector said was “too high”, adding: “This means some pupils are not able to benefit from what the school has to offer.
“Leaders are aware of this and are working with external agencies to improve attendance. While attendance of pupils is improving, some of the most vulnerable pupils are still not attending as well as they could.”
Head teacher Stuart Scrase said that attendance was a national issue and there were issues before Christmas with anxiety over strep A and covid as well as snow.
He said: “We always try to take a very supportive role towards our families and do everything we can to try to help with attendance.”
Measures have included coffee mornings to build relationships with families, regular attendance newsletters and assemblies about the importance of good attendance.
Mr Scrase said: “We also offer breakfast club places and work closely with the school nurse who has even run drop-in sessions.”
He thanked children, parents, staff and governors for their support before and after the inspection which took place on Thursday 2 February and Friday 3 February.
He said: “We’re thrilled that Ofsted recognises the hard work, ambition and dedication of everyone involved in our school community.
“As acknowledged in the report, we take pride in our inclusive and caring ethos alongside our belief that every child deserves to succeed and reach their full potential.”
The chair of governors, Peter Freeman, said: “This very positive report shows the further progress that the school has made since Ofsted’s last inspection in 2017 when they recognised that Coombe Road was a ‘good’ school.
“This report reflects the commitment and skill of all our staff and the impact of our school’s strong and caring leadership.”
Our eldest two both go to this school. They are so happy there, they have made lovely friendships, and they have learned so much. It’s a small school and has a family-like atmoshpere, which we really like. Great to see the hard work and dedication of the teachers being recognised.