‘Reasonable’ progress is being made by Castle Hill Junior School after damning Ofsted inspection in February
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An Ipswich junior school criticised by Ofsted is making “reasonable progress” towards coming out of special measures, the education watchdog has said.
Castle Hill Junior School in Dryden Road fell from ‘satisfactory’ to ‘inadequate’ – the lowest possible grading – after an Ofsted inspection in February.
The report said reading, writing and mathematics were not being taught “effectively” and placed concerns over the behaviour of some children.
But a follow-up Ofsted inspection report has said the school, which is set to become an academy, is making “reasonable progress towards the removal of special measures”.
Daniel Jones, headteacher at Castle Hill Junior School, who previously expressed his confidence in improving the school’s rating, said: “I am delighted that the progress and hard work we undertake at the school has been recognised by Her Majesty’s Inspectors.”
The Ofsted monitoring report said the quality of teaching is improving and highlighted a greater consistency in leaders’ expectations, but warned a “legacy of ineffective teaching” has resulted in gaps in students’ knowledge and understanding.
And while it found pupils are achieving better-than-expected results in mathematics, attainment in reading and writing at the end of Key Stage Two “did not improve and remains well below average”.
The report said: “Many pupils are working below the levels expected for their ages in reading, writing and mathematics.”
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It added: “While most members of the school community feel that behaviour is improving, positive attitudes to learning are not embedded across the school.
“In classes where pupils are engaged and teachers have high expectations, lessons run smoothly. However there remain a minority of pupils who are disruptive in lessons and do not follow the rules.”
But Mr Jones said: “We are absolutely committed to making Castle Hill Juniors an outstanding school for the pupils and community and believe that we are taking our first steps on this journey.
“Last summer the school worked very hard to recruit many new staff. We now have a new deputy head and SENCo (special educational needs co-ordinator) who have increased leadership capacity. We have six new teachers who have all strengthened the teaching in class.
“We are increasing parental engagement and have put on several events recently which have been well supported, including class assemblies, a remembrance event and coffee mornings.
“We also have new leadership on our governing body which has been providing appropriate support and challenge.”