Inspectors praise Soham school after head teacher leads improvement drive

PUBLISHED: 08:46 07 July 2014

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"Strong leadership" at a primary school in Soham has brought about considerable improvement following a lacklustre report from inspectors.

Ofsted called for urgent improvements to be made at The Weatheralls Primary School following a visit in February last year, with a particular focus on improving the quality of teaching.

But, little more than a year on, and following a second visit, inspectors said that the school was now rated ‘good’ across the board and hailed head teacher Chrissy Barclay for driving up standards.

Inspector John Burkett said: “Since the previous inspection, the school has worked to improve the progress that pupils make.

“Evidence seen during the inspection indicates that pupils are now making good and sometimes exceptional progress in all year groups.”

Mr Burkett said that teaching standards had improved and that pupils were showing a willingness to learn.

He added: “Teaching successfully engages pupils and promotes good progress for all groups. Teachers establish positive relationships with the pupils and make good use of questioning to probe, extend pupils’ understanding and improve their learning.”

When they visited in February last year, inspectors said that progress was not being made quickly enough among pupils and noted in particular that boys were falling behind girls in writing.

Inspectors said that pupils safety and behaviour was good but said that the quality of teaching and management needed to improve if the school wanted to achieve a good rating across the board.

In order to improve, Ofsted recommended that progress made in nursery and Reception classes needed to be sustained in the early years of school by more rigorous levels of expectation and improved teaching.

In order to make the next step from good to outstanding, inspectors said the school needed to improve communication with parents and further improve the standard of teaching.

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