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Saxmundham: Primary school head confident following Ofsted report

09:00 24 December 2012

Saxmundham Primary School headteacher Elaine Hawes

Saxmundham Primary School headteacher Elaine Hawes

A HEADTEACHER has assured that staff, governors and parents are “looking ahead” to the challenges presented following a recent visit from inspectors.

Saxmundham Primary School has been given a rating of “requires improvement” from Ofsted. The grade is the same level as the school achieved in its last inspection - when it was deemed “satisfactory” - but the category name has changed. Headteacher Elaine Hawes said there was much in the report to be proud of and that work was already under way to a tackle areas that were highlighted.

The report acknowledges the school is improving - but not quick enough. However it does say that children read well, with the library a well used resource, and praised pupils’ behaviour. Inspectors also felt there was good provision for cultural development and full inclusion and suitable provision for all youngsters within the school.

“The provision of pupils’ cultural development, especially in the arts and music, enables them to produce work of good quality,” the report reads. “They know about and have a good understanding of life in cultures different from their own.”

However inspectors felt pupils’ aspirations were not high enough and that too often adults would do things that the children could do themselves.

“Attainment in mathematics has remained static over time, despite some good practice,” the report reads. “Although leaders, managers and members of the governing body have accurately identified the action needed to improve teaching and so accelerate pupils’ progress, they are not yet stringent enough in evaluating the impact of their plan.”

Mrs Hawes said a recent meeting with parents and governors to discuss the Ofsted report, which followed an inspection at the beginning of the month, had been very positive. She said a number of improvements were already in place, including three new specialist maths teachers and training in new observation criteria as outlined in national guidelines published just a week before the Ofsted inspection.

“Pupils enjoy learning a broad range of subjects and after school clubs that enhance learning,” she said. “The school was commended for its strong commitment to the promotion of equality and diversity, and the nurturing atmosphere within the school that underpins pupils’ good behaviour.

“The school is adjusting to a rapidly-increasing roll, and an extended age range, as it becomes a full primary under the Suffolk school re-organisation programme.

“I am proud of what we are doing and we are moving forward on the right track.”

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