Little Downham school ‘making progress’ in battle to raise standards

A VILLAGE school labelled “inadequate” by inspectors earlier this year is making good progress in its battle to raise standards.

Downham Feoffees, in Little Downham, was ordered to improve by Ofsted when it carried out an inspection in January after it ruled that the school had not made enough progress since its last visit in 2008.

Inspectors said the school was performing “significantly less well” than was expected and issued a notice to improve.

Following a second visit carried out by Ofsted in September however, inspectors said that the school, under interim head teacher Michelle Siequien, had made “good progress” towards raising standards.

In his report, inspector Paul Brooker, said: “The quality of teaching has strengthened. Opportunities for pupils to develop their skills in English and mathematics are now systematically identified across the curriculum, and lessons are more challenging because teachers set ambitious learning outcomes and encourage pupils to work hard.

“There have also been notable improvements in marking and the use of assessment, with some examples of excellent practice. Teachers give pupils detailed feedback and

provide clear steps for improvement.”

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Mr Brooke said that weaknesses remained in some areas however, saying that the standard in some areas of teaching needed improving.

He said: “The monitoring of teaching is systematic and rigorous, and provides constructive feedback to staff to improve performance.

“However, this more robust self-evaluation has highlighted shortcomings, particularly in teaching, that need to be strengthened.

“Observations undertaken jointly on the inspection confirm that much of the teaching

is good or outstanding, but that there are weaknesses that need addressing.”

A further monitoring inspection will be carried out by inspectors in the coming months to ensure that progress continues to be made.

For more information, or to view the report, visit www.ofsted.gov.uk.

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