Head's disappointment over Ofsted rating

Warnham Primary School has been rated 'requires improvement' by Ofsted
Warnham Primary School has been rated 'requires improvement' by Ofsted

A headteacher is determined her school will bounce back after being told to improve by Ofsted.

Jill Costello, of Warnham Primary, said she and her team were disappointed to have been rated ‘requires improvement’ following a two-day inspection but were working to ensure they made progress.

Warnham was inspected at the end of November and the findings were published on January 6. While early years provision and the personal development, behaviour and welfare of the children were all seen to be ‘good’ inspector Mark Cole and his colleagues rated Warnham ‘requires improvement’ overall.

In his report, Mr Cole said leaders had not maintained the quality of teaching and learning seen at the previous inspection in 2012, when the school was rated ‘good’.

Teaching was now said to be “not consistently good”, particularly in Key Stage 1, while the teaching of phonics and reading in Key Stage 1 “requires improvement”.

Mr Cole said: “The proportion of pupils reaching the expected standard in the Year 1 phonics check has been well below national averages for the last three years. This does not represent good progress from pupils’ starting points.”

Mrs Costello said: “Warnham Primary School acknowledges the recent Ofsted report as it provides a clear focus for our continued development. The report identified many areas of strength including the positive start children make in early years, the harmonious school community and pupils’ good behaviour.

“Naturally the whole school community was disappointed with the overall judgment of requiring improvement but we were already working on some areas identified by Ofsted and are putting together a robust action plan to ensure further progress.

“We are confident we can rapidly bounce back to good and better.”

Regarding the children, Mr Cole described them as “confident and articulate”, adding: “Warnham is a calm and orderly place to learn. Pupils move around the school with a sense of purpose, including when they are not directly supervised.”

Attendance levels were seen to be good as was the behaviour of the youngsters.

Mr Cole was also impressed with the opportunities given to older students to think more broadly about subjects, witnessing “rich and stimulating” discussions about the age-old question – which came first, the chicken or the egg?

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