Parents' confidence still missing in school

PUBLISHED: 11:05 30 April 2015

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A PRIMARY school has been told it must improve after inspectors found pupils' achievements were 'not good enough'.

Churchfield Church School in Highbridge was adjudged to require improvement when Ofsted inspectors visited the academy last month, saying managers were ‘yet to gain the confidence of some staff and parents’ with efforts to improve children’s standards of learning.

The inspectors found pupils lost interest too easily and teachers’ expectations were not always high enough.

However, praise was reserved for the school’s ‘rapidly improving’ quality of teaching, and its use of pupil premium funding to support disadvantaged pupils, as well as its provision for early years pupils, which was rated as ‘good’.

It was the school’s first inspection in its current form, after it was placed in special measures in 2013, a month before converting to its current academy status.

Lead inspector Alexander Baxter said: “Leadership and management require improvement, because leaders have not yet secured good teaching and learning across the school.

“The curriculum has good breadth and balance, including an effective emphasis on English and mathematics. Although improving, pupils’ basic writing and number skills are not always taught well enough.

“The school’s teaching has not enabled pupils to progress and achieve well enough. Although strengthened leadership is rapidly improving the quality of teaching, it is not yet consistently good enough in all classes.”

In 2014, Churchfield was listed in the bottom 20 per cent of schools for the proportion of students reaching the required standard of reading and mathematics at key stage two.

For writing, 86 per cent of students received a level four grade, one above the national average, while grammar, punctuation and spelling sat at 76 per cent, which is 10 per cent below the national figure.

Headteacher Wendy Nelder told the Mercury: “We are very pleased that the hard work of the children, staff and governors has been acknowledged by the Ofsted team and are excited about building on this success in the future.”

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