School must give better teaching

A primary school in Holcombe has been judged to “require improvement” by insp-ectors, although behav-iour and safety of pupils was given the top grade.

Emmanuel Holcombe Primary, in Helmshore Road, was previously rated as “good” when Ofsted reported in October, 2008.

Following their latest visit on September 17 and 18, Ofsted described the achievement of pupils, quality of teaching and leadership and management as “requiring improve-ment”, but the behaviour and safety of pupils was “outstand-ing”, The report stated that achievement in writing and maths had not been as good as it should be, and that the quality of teaching had not ens-ured that pupils make better progress.

It read: “The level of challenge in questioning is inconsistent and pupils do not always have enough opport-unities to work collaboratively.

“Similarly, there is sometimes too much teacher direction and pupils are not expected to find things out for themselves.”

The behaviour of the pupils was praised, saying that parents were delighted with the care their children receive in school, and that the senior leadership knows how to help move the school forward.

The report continued: “Pupils find it very difficult to make any suggestions about how their school can be improved. When asked which is their favourite aspect of school life, they comment ‘every-thing!’ They are happy in school, feel very safe and believe that their friends and the adults who work with them support them to the full.”

Headteacher Ellie Lorenzo, who joined the school in January, 2010, said she accepted the Ofsted judgement and that the school was well placed to improve in the future.

She said: “Our recent inspection was fair, professional and cond-ucted in a positive frame of mind. The inspector was very thorough, yet he wanted to truly praise the outstanding behaviour and safety within our school. We are exceptionally proud of all our pupils. I believe that the requires improvement judgement is a reasonable summary at this time.”

Mrs Lorenzo said that the leadership team was now in tune with the changes made to Ofsted inspections, but there had not been time to adapt to the new focus for their inspection.

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